BLOOMINGTON -- Did you EVER expect to see Mike Davis coaching basketball in Assembly Hall again?
Guess what? The former Indiana coach, who now runs the Texas Southern program, is returning to Bloomington on Nov. 17. He will bring a team that reached the NCAA tourney last season.
This is among the intriguing non-conference games in store for the Hoosiers, who announced their schedule late Friday afternoon.
Texas Southern is part of the Hoosier Showcase, an exempt tourney that also includes Lamar, SMU and Eastern Washington.
Davis coached IU from 2000 to 2007. He went 115-79 and led the Hoosiers to the 2002 national title game, where they lost to Maryland. They shared the 2002 Big Ten title and went to four NCAA tourneys in his six seasons.
Davis, who is in his third season at Texas Southern, guided the Tigers to the SWAC tourney title last spring.
“I'm glad we can bring a tournament tested team like Texas Southern for our tournament,” IU coach Tom Crean said in a university release. “Mike Davis has that program headed in the right direction and I'm sure he is looking forward to being back in Assembly Hall."
SMU is the marquee opponent in the Hoosier Showcase. Coached by Larry Brown, the Mustangs project as a top-15 team and American Athletic Conference favorite. They reached the NIT title game last spring. Brown is the only coach to win a NCAA title (Kansas, 1988) and a NBA crown (Detroit 2004). The game is set for Nov. 20.
“SMU, when we decide to do that, it was really last early fall and then they went out and had a phenomenal season,” Crean said. “They are adding players left and right and are going to be nationally ranked to start and without question they will bring in an experienced team.”
Overall the Hoosiers, who were 17-15 last season, will play 16 teams that finished in the top 75 in RPI last season, 11 that are ranked in preseason polls.
Pitt comes to Assembly Hall on Dec. 2 as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
“The fact that we are getting a home game with a team like Pittsburgh says a lot. We had a lot of battles with them when we were at Marquette and played them our second year here at Indiana in the Garden. We have had great battles with them over a period of time.”
The Hoosiers will play Louisville on Dec. 9 at New York City's Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic. They also will be at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 27, when they play Georgetown.
“The Louisville game is something that has been in the works for a while and we are excited to play them in the Jimmy V Classic,” Crean said. “They are another team we became familiar with in the Big East at Marquette and we had some intense games.
“The Georgetown game is a unique opportunity to play right after Christmas at Madison Square Garden against a great team. It is certainly not what you are used to doing in that sense of playing somebody that strong right after Christmas, but it will be really good for us.”
IU faces Butler in the Crossroads Classic at Indianaplis' Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 20.
“Butler is Butler and they are always going to be a tough team to play,” Crean said. “They get Roosevelt Jones back, who is one of the tougher matchups in college basketball, not to mention Kellen Dunham and the rest of the guys they have.”