Jeff Goodman, a basketball analyst at Stadium, has reported that the Indiana University men’s basketball team will play a secret scrimmage on October 28th at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis against Loyola Chicago.
The Ramblers and Sister Jean were the darlings of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, shocking the country with a trip to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.
So what is a secret scrimmage?
Basically, it is a preseason controlled matchup in which statistics aren’t supposed to be revealed and fans and media aren’t allowed to be present. We’re still awaiting word whether an exception will be made for Sister Jean to attend.
Many of the elite teams historically haven’t had secret scrimmages because the administration doesn’t want to give up the money for a home exhibition with fans in attendance.
More broadly, teams have been playing in these scrimmages since the early 2000’s, and back at that time (i.e. before social media) they generally were a reasonably well kept secret.
There are reasons why teams prefer the so-called secret scrimmage approach. First, it allows teams to play more evenly matched opponents than what is common for exhibition games. Second, if the opposing coaches are friendly, they can trust one another to keep any scouting reports, well, secret. The coaches can also agree to give each other certain looks that they want to work on.
For all of these reasons, the scrimmage against Loyola Chicago seems like a really good opportunity for IU. With such a young team, it will be a good opportunity to be tested vs. a higher level opponent than they would have faced in a second exhibition game. The only Hoosier exhibition this season is against Southern Indiana.
Ramblers head coach Porter Moser lost three of their top six players from last season, including double-figure scorers Donte Ingram and Aundre Jackson.
Loyola Chicago knocked off Miami (Fl.), Tennessee, Nevada and Kansas State on their way to the 2018 Final Four. They were upended in the semifinals there by Michigan.
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