IU Announces 2003-04 Schedule
August 22, 2003BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana will play four of its last five regular season basketball games at home and appear on national television at least 10 times in 2003-04, the IU Athletics Department announced today. The Hoosiers announced their non-league ledger on June 23, and the Big Ten Conference office released the league game composite schedule earlier this week. All remaining non-conference game times and television information will be announced next week.
For the last five months, Indiana coach Mike Davis has emphasized the importance of offseason conditioning, and all indications are that the Hoosiers are taking their fourth-year head coach's words to heart.
"The tone has to be set in the summer," Davis said. "When we start practice in October, we have to be physically and mentally prepared. That all goes back to how we approach work in the weight room and conditioning. Our seniors and juniors know what it takes to win a Big Ten title and get to a Final Four, and they have to be good examples.
"Last year showed us how tough and competitive the Big Ten is, especially on the road. We open the (league) year with four of our first five on the road, so we'll know right away where we stand."
In addition to facing 2003 NCAA Tournament teams in six of its first eight non-league games, Indiana will also play four league opponents that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers open the Big Ten schedule on Jan. 6, 2004, when they visit defending league champion Wisconsin (8 p.m., ESPN). Along with the Hoosiers and Badgers, Illinois, Michigan State and Purdue also represented the Big Ten at last year's NCAA Tournament.
Due to the Big Ten schedule rotation, Indiana meets Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Minnesota and Michigan in home and home series this winter. The Hoosiers will entertain Illinois (Feb. 3, 7 p.m., ESPN) and Iowa (Feb. 7, 4:37 p.m. ESPN Plus Local) without return trips to Champaign or Iowa City. Likewise, IU travels to Michigan State (Jan. 31, 8 p.m., ESPN2) and Penn State (Feb. 11, 6 p.m., ESPN Plus Local) without the Spartans nor Nittany Lions making the return trip to Bloomington.
Indiana may play four of its first five games on the road, but that is balanced with four of the last five games at home. Davis feels that this could serve as a special incentive to the Hoosiers. IU currently owns the nation's second-longest active NCAA Tournament appearance streak (18 straight seasons).
"We never want to look too far ahead, but if we can stay in the thick of the league race, we could be in real good position the last two weeks of the regular season," Davis said. "We need to use that part of the schedule to our advantage."
The 2003 Big Ten Tournament takes place March 11-14 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
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