BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana will play the second of three games in the Hoosier Classic at Assembly Hall against Little Rock on Wednesday night.
After a slow start on Sunday, the Hoosiers claimed a 30-point victory over Miami of Ohio at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to move to 4-0 this season. Indiana took a road victory in its first proper test against Xavier on Friday behind 30 points from Trayce Jackson-Davis and Xavier Johnson.
With these wins, the Hoosiers moved up one spot to No. 11 in the AP poll, and Coach Mike Woodson feels good about the depth of the team as he works to find the best mix.
“I have faith and I believe in anyone who wears that uniform,” Woodson said. “They just have to stay ready for it. You know, I mean, I’m still trying to figure out what rotations are out there and who can do what and what combinations work, and that can be an ongoing process, you know, as we do this navigating season. So, hey, just stay ready. That’s all I can tell our guys coming off the bench. Be ready to play.”
- *** LIVE BLOG: And once the game starts, follow all the action on our live blog from HoosiersNow.com publisher Tom Brew. To read that story, CLICK HERE.
How to watch Indiana Hoosiers vs. Little Rock Trojans
- Who: No. 11 Indiana Hoosiers (4-0) v Little Rock (2-3)
- What: Hoosier classic
- When: 6:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 23
- Where: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind.
- TV: Big Ten Network
- Announcers: Kevin Kugler (play by play), Stephen Bardo (analyst)
- Live stream: fuboTV (Start your free trial)
- Radio: IU radio network
- Radio announcers: Don Fischer (play-by-play), Errek Suhr (color), John Herrick (pregame, halftime, postgame)
- Point spread: Will update when available
- AP bearing: Indiana is No. 11 in the AP poll, the program’s highest ranking since December 2016 and the highest ranking of any Big Ten team. Little Rock is not ranked.
- KenPom Rankings: Indiana is #8 overall in the KenPom rankings after Sunday’s victory over Miami of Ohio. The Hoosiers are No. 10 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and No. 12 in Adjusted Offense Efficiency. Little Rock ranks #325 overall, #334 in adjusted defensive efficiency, and #289 in adjusted offensive efficiency.
- Seasonal Forecasts: As of Tuesday afternoon, Indiana is plus-900 to reach the Final Four and plus-3000 to win the national championship, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. The Hoosiers were the betting favorite to win the Big Ten regular season title on Sunday with plus-290 odds, but FanDuel has no odds for that right now.
- Top scorers: Preseason All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis leads the Hoosiers with 20.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game with a 75.6 field goal percentage. Freshman forward Malik Reneau averages 11.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and senior point guard Xavier Johnson follows with 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Little Rock’s DeAntoni Gordon leads the Trojans with 13.4 points and 5.0 rebounds, and Myron Gardner averages 12.8 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 47.4 percent of 3. DJ Smith is Little Rock’s third and last double-digit scorer with 10.8 points and 3.0 assists per game.
- notable games: Indiana proved its No. 11 ranking with an 81-79 victory over Xavier, who was selected to finish second in the Big East preseason coaches’ poll. Little Rock is 2-0 at home with wins over Arkansas Baptist and most recently Jackson State 94-91 in the Hoosier Classic. The Trojans are 0-3 down the road with losses in Southern Illinois, Central Arkansas and East Tennessee State.
- Records from last season: Indiana went 21-14 overall, 9-11 in Big Ten play, 14-4 at home, 3-8 on the road and 4-1 at neutral venues in 2021-22. The Hoosiers last year reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016, beating Wyoming in the First Four and losing to Saint Mary’s in the Round of 64. Little Rock went 9-19 overall, 3-11 in Sun Belt Conference play, 6 – 7 at home, 1-10 on the road and 2-2 at neutral venues in 2021-22. The Trojans defeated South Alabama in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament before finishing their season with a loss to Tory.
- Series history: Indiana leads the all-time series 2-0, most recently beating Little Rock 77-53 on December 29, 1994 at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Ind. Alan Henderson led the No. 24 Hoosiers with 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Brian Evans added 18 points and nine rebounds. Indiana finished third in the Big Ten during the 1994–95 season, losing to Missouri in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64 as the No. 9 seed.
Meet the trainers
- Darrell Walker, Little Rock: Darrell Walker is in his fifth season as head coach at Little Rock and has an overall record of 51-64 and a score of 30-40 in conference play. After a 10-21 record in his first season, he led an impressive turnaround to go 21-10, resulting in a Sun Belt Conference regular season title and Sun Belt Coach of the Year honors. As a player, Walker was the 12th overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft by the New York Knicks after three collegiate seasons at Arkansas and one at Westark Community College. Walker played in the NBA from 1983-93 for the Knicks, Denver Nuggets, Washington Bullets and Detroit Pistons, and appeared in 28 games for the 1993 NBA champion Chicago Bulls. Walker’s first coaching job was as an assistant with the Toronto Raptors before he head coach for two seasons. He made stops with the Washington Wizards, Washington Mystics, New Orleans Hornets, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks. Before Little Rock, Walker was the head coach at Division II Clark Atlanta University for two seasons, where he had a 45-18 record.
- Mike Woodson, Indiana: Woodson has NBA head coaching experience with the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-10 and the New York Knicks from 2012-14. Dating back to 1996, Woodson also served as an assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers. Woodson played at Indiana University from 1976-80 and was named the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player as a senior under coach Bob Knight. He was the 12th overall pick in the 1980 NBA Draft and played for several teams from 1980-91, averaging 14 points in 786 games.
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Three things to watch in Indiana vs. Little Rock
1. Jalen Hood-Schifino finds his shot
Indiana’s six-foot-tall freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino has a knack for influencing the game in many ways. He leads all Hoosiers with 18 assists, is tied for the team lead with five steals and tied for fourth with 4.3 rebounds per game. Hood-Schifino played 26.1 minutes per game, behind only Trayce Jackson-Davis and was crucial to Indiana’s 4–0 start.
But the only flaw in Hood-Schifino’s game early in his Indiana career is the efficiency of the shooting. After going 3-for-4 night in his debut against Morehead State, he shot a combined 3-for-17 overall and 1-for-6 for 3 against Bethune-Cookman and Xavier. Most recently, he went 5-for-12 against Miami of Ohio, including 2-for-4 for 3. Hood-Schifino didn’t force any contested or off-rhythm shots, but his improvement as a shooter is key to Indiana reaching its full potential .
“I’m not worried about taking pictures,” Woodson said of Hood-Schifino. “Damn, we scored 80 points tonight, like 80 points. We’re averaging 90 points. Again, Jalen will be there when it comes down to it. He’s capable of big shots, so that’s not a big concern.”
2. Start strong
Indiana recorded easy wins in three of four games and picked up a resume-boosting win at Xavier on Friday. However, in each of these wins, the Hoosiers didn’t look their best in the opening moments.
Morehead State tied the game with 9:17 going into the first half, Bethune-Cookman narrowed the deficit to two points at 12:01, and Indiana trailed Xavier by a whopping nine points in the first half. On Sunday, Miami of Ohio made it a 21-20 game with 7:46 left before halftime. The Hoosiers eventually found an offensive flow and closed in on the defensive end to start the year 4-0. But with two games to matchup with No. 1 North Carolina, it will be important for Indiana to enter games with the same energy it later proves to have.
3. Defending Myron Gardner
Myron Gardner, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound guard, does a little bit of everything for Little Rock. Gardner averaged 12.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.4 steals in five games. He made some highlight reel dunks last season and also showed the ability to step back and knock down 3s or mid-range jumpers.
Little Rock’s leading scorer DeAntoni Gordon (13.4 ppg) scores most of his goals inside, meaning a tough game Wednesday against Trayce Jackson-Davis and Indiana’s deep front field. This could lead to an increased emphasis on playing through Gardner, who has the hot hand after a 23-point night on 5-for-6 3-point shooting in Little Rock’s victory over Jackson State on Sunday.
- PHOTO GALLERY: Relive the action and see 25 photos from Indiana basketball’s 86-56 victory over Miami of Ohio at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Hoosiers improve to 4-0 in the young season. CLICK HERE
- CJ GUNN STANDS OUT CONFIDENCE CJ Gunn didn’t play with Xavier on Friday, but he did everything in 22 minutes against Miami or Ohio on Sunday. He was ready to play and exuded confidence that isn’t always common among freshmen, which is all Coach Mike Woodson asks for. CLICK HERE
- KOPP’S STRONG START: Miller Kopp shoots 53 percent from three-point range in four games and plays well during Indiana’s 4-0 start. He may not be Indiana’s most important player, but he is when he has the ball in his hands. He is Indiana’s top perimeter shooter and they need him to play well this year to win titles. CLICK HERE
- NDIANA BEATS MIAMI: Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis had 17 points and 16 rebounds and eight other Hoosiers scored six or more points as the No. 12 Hoosiers claimed their fourth win in a row with an 86-56 victory over Miami of Ohio on Sunday in Indianapolis. CLICK HERE
- MIAMI GETS WORN: Ohio’s Miami hung with Indiana for most of the first half, but Redhawks coach Travis Steele thought the Hoosiers’ size, strength, and athleticism were dragging his team down as the game progressed. Here’s Jack’s opponent in the locker room. CLICK HERE