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It's official – Iowa at IU next Thursday

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Tipoff: Indiana at Northwestern, 8:15 p.m, Saturday
Radio: 1380-AM

Online: For more on college sports, follow Pete DiPrimio via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pdiprimio

Hoosiers face brutal week

Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 5:01 am

BLOOMINGTON -- It's official: Indiana and Iowa will play at Assembly Hall next Thursday.

The date for the game, which was postponed from Tuesday because of a fallen Assembly Hall metal plate, was locked in after engineers said Assembly Hall will be cleared early next week. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ESPN will televise the game.

To ease the burden on Iowa, Big Ten officials moved the No. 15 Hawkeyes' home game against Purdue from Saturday, March 1 to Sunday, March 2.

“Both our University and outside consulting engineers have advised us -- and we in turn have advised the Big Ten -- that the remediation of the problems at Assembly Hall will be 100 percent complete by early next week and that Assembly Hall will be safe and ready to host Thursday's men's basketball game without any limitations or restrictions,” athletic director Fred Glass said in a university release.

That leaves the Hoosiers (14-11) with a brutally hectic eight-day period. They play at Northwestern (12-14) Saturday night, at No. 16 Wisconsin (21-5) on Tuesday, host Iowa (19-6) on Thursday and host No. 24 Ohio State (20-6) Sunday, March 2.

As a result, coach Tom Crean has altered his practice approach to ensure the Hoosiers are mentally and physically ready.

“We practiced (last) Tuesday with the uncertainty of, were we going to play the next night? Were we going to play the night after that or were we going to have to wait until sometime next week to play the game? We made our adjustments a little bit on that.

“We did not practice Wednesday. We've structured the practice not only for the Northwestern game, but also for the fact that we're going to be playing so many games in a short period of time.

“The bottom line is there's nothing we can do about it. The preparation is what it is. We prepared hard for Iowa, we continued to prepare for Iowa on Tuesday night. Then you just have to rekindle that next (Thursday).

“In the meantime, we not only have to get ready for Northwestern and then ready for Wisconsin, we have to get better. That's what we've been focused on as much as possible. My whole focus outside of family and some recruiting which I did Wednesday is how do we get this team right? How do we get them better? That's what it always is, and that's certainly what it is right now.”