Mike Schumann/The Daily Hoosier

Reports: Indiana Basketball Will Play Marquette In Preseason Closed Scrimmage

After a memorable meeting last November, the Hoosiers and Golden Eagles reportedly would like to see more of one another.

Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel appears to have been the first to report that Marquette and Indiana will play in a closed-door “secret scrimmage” on October 20.

Indiana did not include any exhibition games or scrimmages in the full 2019-20 schedule that was released last month.

The Hoosiers hosted Marquette last year in connection with the 2018 Gavitt Games and had their best game of the season in a 96-73 blowout win.

The Golden Eagles played well after the Indiana loss, winning 21 of their next 24, finishing second in the Big East.  They finished the season poorly however, losing six of seven including an NCAA Tournament first round loss to Murray State.

Marquette finished the season with a 24-10 record and a No. 33 KenPom ranking.

The Golden Eagles will return 25 point per game scorer Markus Howard along with other top contributors including Sacar Anim, Ed Morrow and Theo John.

Marquette suffered a big loss however upon receiving the news that both Sam and Joey Hauser were going to transfer to Virginia and Michigan State, respectively.  The brothers combined to contribute 24.6 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game last year.

Former IU assistant coach and director of basketball operations Rob Judson is on the Marquette staff.  He is a link to both programs in another way in that he served under Tom Crean, who was a head coach for both schools.

Indiana played Loyola Chicago last year in a closed scrimmage, and head coach Archie Miller appears to prefer that approach over traditional exhibition games.  We are hearing that at least one more closed-door scrimmage is likely prior to the 2019-20 season.

The Daily Hoosier described the rationale for closed scrimmages last year:

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.

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.

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