IU Basketball prepares for unknowns ahead of first practice Wednesday

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana University Men’s Basketball team is trying to manage what it can, and cannot control, ahead of its first practice Wednesday, which takes place about six weeks before the Division I Men’s Basketball season can tip off on November 25.

IU is preparing for a potential season to play without a set schedule, which the Big Ten Conference is responsible for finalizing.

In the meantime, IU head coach Archie Miller is encouraging his players to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to taking precautions to prevent contracting COVID-19, especially while outside the university’s athletics facilities.

“In our space, that’s where you’re going to be obviously the most safe. That’s where the facility protocols, distancing and masks..,” Miller said. “Guys are going to be on top of you if you’re not doing it.”

It is unclear whether fans will be allowed to attend games, should the college basketball season get underway. With that understanding, the Hoosiers know it is possible to play without fans during the 2020-2021 season.

Senior guard Aljami Durham has pictured an empty Assembly Hall, which can seat approximately 17,000 people.

“There’s nothing like playing at Assembly Hall. Thousands of people. The crowd. Yelling. Cheering us on,” Durham said. “At the end of the day, basketball is still basketball. We still want to go out there and play our hardest.”

2019 Indiana Mister Basketball Trayce Jackson-Davis elected to return for his sophomore season instead turning pro. The Center Grove High School graduate hopes to make the most of his second year with the Hoosiers.

“I think everyone is kind of in the dark about what’s happening,” Jackson-Davis said. “We just got to play it one game at a time.”

2020 Indiana Mister Basketball Anthony Leal, entering his first season with the Hoosiers, is embracing a season that is still to be, or not to be.

“I wouldn’t have imagined it. But at the same time, it’s still the same opportunity and we are still playing and working for the same goal,” Leal said. “I’m going to embrace it as easily as I would have.”

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