Photo by Mike Schumann / The Daily Hoosier

Your Indiana Hurtin’ Hoosiers Return to Action on Friday Night vs. UC Davis

(Updated to reflect Vijay Blackmon’s injury)

Indiana University basketball returns to action on Friday night in Bloomington against the UC Davis Aggies from the Big West Conference.

GAME DAY ESSENTIALS

UC Davis Aggies (1-5) at Indiana Hoosiers (4-1)

  • Tip time:  Friday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern
  • Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (17,222)
  • Television:  BTN Plus (Subscription streaming service)
  • Point Spread:  Indiana is a 22 point favorite
  • Series:  First Meeting
  • Tickets (Seat Geek affiliate link)

The teams have played two common opponents thus far on the season.  UC Davis lost at Arkansas 81-58 and at UT Arlington, 68-59.

UC Davis head coach Jim Les is from Illinois and played college basketball at Bradley.  He told the Yolo County News that he has never been to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall and said this about the road trip:

“I grew up a Bobby Knight fan, an Indiana fan. I was never good enough to play at Indiana.”

“But I’m excited for our guys to have the opportunity to play one of the storied basketball programs in history,” says Les. “The place is a storied venue, too.”

Les had a long NBA career with multiple teams.

The Aggies have been struggling mightily on offense.  Leading scorer TJ Shorts averages just 11 points per game, and their top four scorers are all shooting below 40% from the field.

INDIANA’S ROSTER DECIMATED BY INJURIES

Like it or not — it’s the story right now.  The situation has gone from unfortunate to just simply bizarre.  Seven players are dealing with various issues.  All seven were expected to see playing time, and at least two, and possibly three were opening day starters.

From the outside looking in, the injuries are a major problem.  IU can barely practice at this point, and they could be down to one scholarship guard.

From the inside, it doesn’t matter.  No one is going to feel sorry for Indiana right now.  IU has to put their best foot forward, go next man up, and try to win the next game.  It’s really just that simple.

There is a silver lining.  As it stands right now, it is our understanding that none of the injuries are of the season ending variety, and some could play on Friday night.  Moreover, there are guys that are getting much more extensive action than they otherwise would have.  That’s ultimately a good thing both for those players and the team as the season progresses.

Here is our current understanding of the IU injury situation:

WHO’S INJURED (8)

  • Jerome Hunter — Archie Miller said earlier that Hunter was expected to be back with the team this week.  It will be interesting to see if he is on the bench on Friday night, but he is not expected to play anytime soon.
  • Devonte Green — Green was noticeably limping last week with a lingering thigh issue, but he is progressing.  Miller indicated that a return next week seems likely.
  • Zach McRoberts — McRoberts has been battling a back issue.  Similar to Green, the senior co-captain could return next week.
  • Race Thompson — Thompson took a shot to the head at practice and has been suffering concussion like symptoms.  After staying away from the games at the advice of his doctors, he was back for the UT Arlington game.  While seemingly progressing, there is no word on when he might return.
  • Romeo Langford — Langford took a violent shot to the nose on Tuesday night.  There is no word on whether his nose is broken.  While he could play on Friday night, maybe with the dreaded mask, Langford also could be in the concussion protocol.
  • Al Durham — Durham fell hard as he attempted to dunk the ball on Tuesday.  He landed hard on his back, and the fall was audible from 40 rows up in the stands.  He stayed in the game and played nine minutes before informing Miller that he was unable to return.  It is unclear whether he will play on Friday.
  • De’Ron Davis — After extended action against Arkansas, Davis came out in a boot for Tuesday’s game.  Miller clarified that the issue was actually not the Achilles tendon that he tore last year, but instead tenderness with the other Achilles.  His timeline is not clear.
  • Vijay Blackmon — Thanks to our readers for reminding us of Vijay, who Archie Miller described as having a broken hand but still practicing.  His availability for games his unclear.

WHO’S LEFT (9)

It’s getting to the point of being easier to just tell you who is not injured.  These are the players that we can comfortably say will be available on Friday night.

  • Juwan Morgan (F)
  • Justin Smith (F)
  • Rob Phinisee (G)
  • Damezi Anderson (F)
  • Evan Fitzner (F)
  • Jake Forrester (F)
  • Clifton Moore (F)
  • Johnny Jager (walk-on)
  • Quentin Taylor (walk-on)

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