Inside the Hall Twitter Mailbag: January 21

  • 01/21/2011 3:31 pm in

(Photo credit: Jamie Owens)

The Inside the Hall Twitter mailbag is a weekly collection of questions tweeted to us via our Twitter account, @insidethehall. Tweet us your questions each week and we’ll answer as many as we can. Now, onward …

@michugana writes: When taking into account both offense and defense, is Victor Oladipo already this team’s best player?

Alex Bozich: I’ve been very impressed with how well Oladipo has been able to adjust to the college game, but no, I don’t believe he’s Indiana’s best player. He’s shot the ball very well (nearly 54 percent), but he’s still too one-dimensional on offense and struggles to make free throws (58 percent, but he has hit nearly 70 percent in Big Ten play). Defensively, he’s been a huge positive with his length and athleticism and I think down the line he’ll be one of the better defenders in all of the Big Ten. The nice thing about Oladipo’s situation is that Indiana doesn’t need to rely on him as heavily as they did last year’s crop of newcomers. Long term, that should help his development as he won’t be counted on to do too much too soon.

@hoopstrainer writes: Do you think this team this year will be better without MO compared to last years team without MO?

Alex Bozich: No question it will be. And the reason, one that Tom Crean talked about on Wednesday when he spoke to the media prior to departing for Madison, is pretty simple. This roster is more equipped to deal with the loss of Creek. It’s a deeper club, especially at the off-guard and wing positions, and although IU is still one of the Big Ten’s youngest teams, the Hoosiers are no longer relying so heavily on freshmen. Last season, Creek was far and away the best offensive weapon Indiana had when he suffered his fractured left kneecap. In fact, he was having one of the best seasons on offense in the country. This season, he was a solid contributor on offense, but had yet to return to being a go-to-guy in that regard. His defense had also not yet returned to pre-injury form. So while it may not be reflected in the team’s final Big Ten record, Indiana is much better equipped to deal with the loss of Creek.

@srhise writes: Will Matt Roth step in for Mo’ Creek’s minutes, or will we just add to WS and VO minutes?

Alex Bozich: Crean was asked about this on Wednesday and he admitted that he doesn’t have a specific plan on how Creek’s minutes will be distributed. He did mention that Roth will play more and that Daniel Moore will get a chance to play and both of those things came to fruition last night in Madison. I suppose you could see one of those four carve out more consistent minutes in Creek’s absence, but ultimately, I think the minutes will be divvied up based on matchups as well as which guy is playing the best.

@rick_park writes: What’s the likelihood that we get Gary Harris?

Alex Bozich: I’m not a percentages or prediction type of guy, but I think Indiana has as good of a shot as any school involved in his recruitment. And that includes Louisville and Michigan State, both of whom Harris denied were his leaders in a tweet last night. Look, there are positives at all of the schools he’s seriously considering, but when you look at what Indiana has already done in 2012, Harris would pretty much lock up the No. 1 recruiting class in the country for the Hoosiers. So if his decision is at all centered on the players that will surround him (and it likely will be), that bodes well for Indiana. Ultimately, I don’t believe Harris is close to making a decision and the hype and interest in his recruitment, especially from IU fans, will only increase as the months move along. #Garypalooza, anyone?

@StopCommotion writes: Here’s a twitter question for you, why does Eamonn Brennan, who got big from an IUBB blog, now seem to hate IUBB on ESPN?

Alex Bozich: Oh, where to start. First: Eamonn, who co-founded and played a rather large role in launching this site, did not get big, as you say, from an IUBB blog. He was already well-established blogging about MLB at FanHouse and also at WeAreThePostmen when Inside the Hall started. And his rise from FanHouse to NBC Sports to Yahoo! to ESPN can be attributed, in my opinion, to two things: hard work and talent. He’s an intelligent, driven guy that I’m proud to call a friend. As far as your perception that he hates Indiana basketball on ESPN, well, I’d say that’s misguided, too. He’s not writing for Inside the Hall anymore. He’s writing for the leading sports property on the Internet and his job is to give his opinion and analysis, which has not always been favorable for the Hoosiers given their on the court performance the last couple of seasons.

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  • Anonymous

    Nice work, I’m a big fan of this feature. Even though most of the answers inevitably end up recapping stuff that’s been discussed in some form on ITH previously, I feel like we get a little more opinion in these pieces and there’s usually a nugget or two of new stuff. Fun read.

  • millzy32

    Totally off topic but isn’t it interesting that there are a total of 10 individuals on the two College Game Day shows for both Football and Basketball and TWO of the 10 are former IU coaches.

    Go Hoosiers.

  • My question about Eamonn was tongue-in-cheek, but I appreciate you answering it. I was an avid reader of ThePostmen, and I saw his actually positive article about the hoosiers today. I do think he sway to the hypercritical side of things, perhaps as a defense mechanism to seem like he wasn’t a homer.

  • Luke72

    You guys have really made this site into a must read for IU fans. Really like the tone set here! In regard to VO I really think with another year of experience it’s going to be hard to keep him out of the staring line up. both freshmen look like great finds. Another example of how the recruiting rating system is very questionable! Mr. Eamonn is talented and I do’nt doubt he worked hard to get where he’s at, but I do think that ESPN has an anti Big Ten slant. All the praise for the ACC sounds like self promotion in that they have a big money deal with them. On the other hand the last three years finding alot of good things to say about the Hoosiers is kind’a hard. Keep up the great work!!!

  • Kelin Blab

    When Victor adds to his perimeter game and improves his handle, he will be hard to hold along with Will. Their athletic ability will be even better with another year of weight training.

  • IU_Fan_99

    I have another question…. Why is the IU/Iowa game right in the middle of the Bears/Packers game??????? (Go Bears!) and…. VJIII is a huge Bears fan… will he be distracted during TV timeouts checking the score of the game?

  • Anonymous

    …and one of the others is Erin Andrews!?

  • Anonymous

    That ACC love from the network is about to be replaced with hard-core pimping of Texas, now that ESPN is going to do a network with the ‘horns.

  • Kelin Blab

    Alex Etherington is as athletic as Austin. Saw some nice highlights tonite.

  • Luke72

    Loks like Alex would be a great pick up for the Hoosiers too! Have not seen much talk about that as a possibility. Anyone have info in regard if he has interest?

  • Diesel

    CTC tweeted that it was “very successful”. Now, I’ve never heard someone come out and say “we botched it up” or “we did the best we could” and the reality would be that we have not a clue. The outcome now will depend on the rehabilitation process moving forward.

    When we heard the surgery was very successful last year, I’m not sure any of us envisioned that to mean Mo would still be limping around the court over a year later, so to me it has never made any sense to say a surgery was successful because the outcome does not materialize until about a year later in this instance.

  • Anonymous

    He’s a ’13 kid, right? Or is it ’14?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I watched them play a couple weeks ago and was too busy to give me analysis so I’ll go by memory.

    First, AE is a “dirty” player! I liked it honestly and hope he carries that over to college. He has an attitude, in a good way, and pushes players around the court and gets under their skin. There was about three shoving matches and a couple technical fouls during the game I watched and Austin was at the heart of all of them. But he put his team on his back down the stretch and pulled out a close game! Austin can shoot!

    Alex reminds me a lot of Will. His outside shot needs work but he has a very high level mid-range game and is a freaky athlete! If he gets a couple more inches of growth he’s going to be a top tier D1 player and I hope IU lands him as well. He is a quick leaper and great jumper and is not scared of contact at all!

    I actually think Alex is a better athlete than Austin but not as skilled in an all-around way as his brother.

  • Diesel

    I haven’t heard anything, but I have seen both Alex and his dad decked out in the IU gear.

    Here is Fox59 link to last night with video: http://www.fox59.com/sports/isn-012111-ihsaa-basketball-feature-hamilton-heights-story,0,1311100.story

  • Diesel

    ’13 is correct

  • WestCoast Hoosier

    I love Maurice Creek as a person and as a player — and I hope to see him fully recovered back to where he was and beyond by next year and making the NBA and all the good stuff —– so this is not what some call “hating” at all.

    But having said that, IMHO, his departure this year is a net positive for this year’s team. Purely because of the injury, I think he was a defensive liability (this year) to the extent that his offensive skills, while improving, didn’t compensate.

    I think the Hoosiers are already playing better without him – this year.

    Having said that, I hope and pray that he’ll be healing fast and back on the court better than ever next year.

  • WestCoast Hoosier

    I love Maurice Creek as a person and as a player — and I hope to see him fully recovered back to where he was and beyond by next year and making the NBA and all the good stuff —– so this is not what some call “hating” at all.

    But having said that, IMHO, his departure this year is a net positive for this year’s team. Purely because of the injury, I think he was a defensive liability (this year) to the extent that his offensive skills, while improving, didn’t compensate.

    I think the Hoosiers are already playing better without him – this year.

    Having said that, I hope and pray that he’ll be healing fast and back on the court better than ever next year.

  • Anonymous

    Good analysis. I have seen Austin play four or five times and Alex play a couple of times. In my opinion, he is a type of player the Hoosiers really need. AE is a pest. He is going to be an agitator and develop into a leader pretty quickly. He is “dirty” in the way Dane Fife was. He’s won’t intentionally injure anyone, but he makes sure the opponent knows he is there. Add in a great shooting touch and you have a valuable piece of the puzzle. People are forgetting about him because of the hype surrounding Zeller but they will both help this team immensely.

    Alex still needs to develop his shot but the athleticism is unquestionably high-major level already. He still has a lot of time to develop the rest of his game. I have heard the brothers are pretty close. You never know, but if IU wants him, you would think Alex Etherington would join the 2013 class.

  • Kelin Blab

    The Sheehey comparison is perfect for Alex. Will may be a better shooter right now but both guys get off the floor quick.

  • Luke72

    Thanks Diesel! Austin got some long arms ,yeh.