Ken Pomeroy's college basketball analytics website Kenpom.com predicts Indiana basketball winning one game in January:
The only game the site has the Hoosiers winning is their home game against Minnesota. Although Indiana has to travel to Piscataway to play Rutgers, the only way Indiana loses to the Scarlet Knights is if they are so discouraged from their loss that they have a huge letdown. Rutgers is 317th in scoring offense and 336th in effective field goal percentage.
Even if the Hoosiers struggle to score on the road at the RAC, Rutgers can't score. Rutgers does have a presence inside to neutralize Kel'el Ware, but Malik Reneau and Mackenzie Mgbako are rounding into shape.
To be fair, the site's predictor believes 3-5 is more likely than 1-7. The one win is the only game the predictor has Indiana favored:
Nebraska might be a road game, but they lack a closer. The Cornhuskers don't beat themselves. They don't foul, turn the ball over, or make defensive mistakes. However, who can get their own shot in a close game? Indiana's size and athleticism give them an advantage over Nebraska.
Iowa can light up the scoreboard, but they are one of the worst defensive teams in the conference. That game is at Assembly Hall as well. While Indiana isn't great defensively, they have a size advantage against the Hawkeyes.
That would have the Hoosiers at 4-4. That leaves Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Purdue. The Boilermakers have proven they are beatable, and that is a rivalry game at Assembly Hall. The Boilermakers are looking to get that win back since they lost both games to the Hoosiers last season.
Illinois is another winnable rivalry game, especially since the Illini might be without Terrance Shannon for an extended period. Wisconsin and Ohio State might be the only legit losses on the schedule. The Badgers are tough on the road, and the Buckeyes are tough on both ends of the floor.
Senior guard Xavier Johnson is back at practice and should return sooner rather than later. Coach Woodson having his floor general goes a long way.
Is the predictor right? Are we right? As the legendary Chris Berman says, "that's why you play the games."