That’s A Wrap: Max Hoetzel

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Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Today: Max Hoetzel.

Hoetzel (31 games): 2.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 51.8% eFG, 71.4% FT, 34.5 3PFG% in 7.7 minutes per game.

It was in Max Hoetzel’s first game at Indiana that the freshman showed what he could be for the Hoosiers.

Against Mississippi Valley State in the season opener, Hoetzel would score 19 points off the bench, five of his baskets coming from 2s and another from behind the arc. He also recorded nine rebounds (three offensive boards), along with an assist and a steal. But that was the most production the Hoosiers would see from Hoetzel all season.

A 6-foot-8 freshman originally from Calabasas, Calif, Hoetzel came into Indiana via Wilbraham and Monson (Mass.) Academy. And his coach, Chris Sparks immediately warned that the future Hoosier would have to improve his strength significantly.

It’s eventually what held Hoetzel out of significant minutes this season.

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Stanford Robinson to transfer from Indiana

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Sophomore guard Stanford Robinson is leaving the Indiana program, Inside the Hall has learned. The news was first reported by Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.

According to a release by Indiana, Robinson has requested a release from his scholarship in order to transfer to a school closer to home where he can earn more playing time.

“I respect Stan’s desire to contribute more on the court and understand that the opportunity to play closer to your family is something he would like to have happen,” Tom Crean said in the release.  “I think he has grown a great deal and matured in the two years he has been a part of the program and I hope he takes his experiences at Indiana University to remind him of what he can accomplish not only as a basketball player, but as a human being.”

Robinson averaged 3.0 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Hoosiers last season. IU’s release states that he’ll continue to use the team’s facilities and have access to academic support through the end of the semester.

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That’s A Wrap: Robert Johnson

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Welcome to “That’s A Wrap,” our player-by-player recap of the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. First up: Robert Johnson.

Johnson (34 games): 8.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 52.9% eFG, 65.1% FT, 38.8 3PFG% in 27 minutes per game.

A top 50 recruit from Richmond, Virginia, Robert Johnson came to Bloomington and made his impact felt immediately. We had our first glimpse at the role Johnson would occupy back in August during IU’s trip to Montreal when he did a little bit of everything in averaging 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.2 steals per game over five exhibition games.

The coaching staff showed confidence in Johnson from the season’s onset as he started in a three-guard set alongside Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr.

His second game in an IU uniform produced his best offensive output of the season as he torched Texas Southern for 21 points at Assembly Hall on 8-of-13 shooting. He also had three other key offensive performances in Big Ten play as he went for 14 at Nebraska in the conference opener, 20 at home in a win over Penn State and 19 at home in a win over Minnesota.

But while Johnson was effective as a scorer when he asserted himself, his role was more complementary than that of a featured piece of IU’s offense. With plenty of other offensive help around him, Johnson never forced the issue and often chose the role of facilitator rather than looking for his own shot. His overall numbers reflect that as he took 162 fewer shots than Blackmon Jr. despite playing only 72 fewer minutes on the season.

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Podcast on the Brink: Season recap, a look ahead

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Podcast on the Brink is back for another episode with host Jerod Morris of The Assembly Call.

In this special edition of the show – which was broadcast live last night over at The Assembly Call – Morris is joined by Inside the Hall editor Alex Bozich and Chronic Hoosier for a recap of IU’s season and a look ahead to the offseason. Among the topics discussed:

· How IU’s season should be viewed as a whole
· Whether Indiana’s defense can make major improvements over the offseason
· Potential NBA decisions for Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams and program attrition
· What adding a player like Thomas Bryant would mean for next season

And plenty more, so tune in and enjoy. As always, feel free to drop the show a note at jerod@assemblycall.com.

Listen in the embedded media player below, download the episode, subscribe via iTunes or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: March 24

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), via email, submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

hoosierfan1 on the premium forum writes: Clearly Indiana has a lot of work to do to improve its defensive effectiveness for next season. In your opinion, what are the key issues that need to be addressed in the offseason to improve defensive effectiveness?

Obviously a rim protector would go a long way in helping to shore up IU’s defense around the basket, but most of the issues begin on the perimeter. The Hoosiers struggled to contain dribble penetration all season and IU’s help defense was poor as well. Without much ball pressure, IU didn’t force many turnovers nor did it contest shots nearly enough.

From what I saw up close – and I watched this team all the way from the Montreal trip in August through the final game on Friday – basic things like positioning and communication just weren’t there with enough consistency. Perhaps some of it was a result of youth, but given that IU’s defense never really made much improvement over the course of the season, that’s obviously not the entire issue.

Ultimately, the level of improvement is going to come down to how much the coaching staff is able to teach and emphasize what it wants to accomplish on that end of the floor and the players embracing what they are taught and realizing that without a major improvement on defense, the ceiling is only so high. – Alex Bozich

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