Inside the Hall Twitter Mailbag: February 15

  • 02/15/2011 7:05 pm in

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 …

@JohnDMercer writes: will Mo get a medical redshirt?

Alex Bozich: Tom Crean said shortly after Maurice Creek’s injury that he would petition the NCAA to get an extra year for his sophomore guard. Here’s the quote on that situation by Crean from shortly after the injury: “Because he’s basically right now played one year inside of two. I would hope that down the road we’re going to get the leniency on that, because this has been through no fault of his own.” But the rule for a medical redshirt (or hardship waiver, as it’s sometimes called) is playing in less than 30 percent of your team’s games with none coming after the second half of the season. In both seasons, Creek played in more than 30 percent of Indiana’s games and this season, he played during the second half of the season. It obviously won’t hurt to try the petition, but precedent says it’s not likely to happen.

@MicahMcVicker writes: Has anything changed regarding McGary’s status?

Alex Bozich: McGary, who told Inside the Hall back in December that he had an offer for 2011 from Indiana, has ruled out the possibility that he’ll enroll in college after this school year. It seemed like a long shot that’d he stay in the 2011 class when I spoke with him a few months back as McGary was retaking courses at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire to improve on his core GPA. Indiana is still keeping tabs on him as far as I know, but with four commitments already secured in the 2012 class, it’s not clear how he might fit into the Hoosiers’ plan for that class. Gary Harris and Jeremy Hollowell appear to be higher priorities and the scholarship situation would have to change in order for IU to take more than five recruits.

@rick_park writes: What Big Ten teams have the best recruiting classes coming in next year?

Alex Bozich: On paper, Ohio State and Illinois welcome the two strongest classes. The Buckeyes will welcome a pair of McDonald’s All-Americans — Amir Williams, a 6-10 center from Detroit Country Day and Shannon Scott, a 6-2 point guard from Alpharetta, Ga. Also in that class: small forward LaQuinton Ross (ESPN No. 46), small forward Sam Thompson (ESPN No. 45) and center Trey McDonald. ESPN ranks the class No. 4 nationally. In Champaign-Urbana, Bruce Weber will be joined by five recruits, four of which are rated among the top 100 by ESPN. There’s no true standout in the group, but collectively, it should help aid in the losses of Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis, Mike Tisdale and Bill Cole.

@Garrettlawton writes: beyond the addition of Zeller and AE, what makes anyone think this team will compete better next year? more experience?

Alex Bozich: Great question and I’m sure it’s one that many will be asking in the offseason. Indiana only loses Jeremiah Rivers and that could turn out to be a pivotal loss if the perimeter defense doesn’t improve significantly by next November. The expectations out of Zeller will be immense due to the hype surrounding his recruitment, but like most freshmen, there will be a period of adjustment. I’m not sure Etherington will crack the regular rotation right away, especially if Maurice Creek is able to return by the start of next season. He’ll also be competing with Matt Roth, Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey for minutes. As you point out, experience will be one reason that Indiana will be expected to take a large leap, but probably more important is how much the Big Ten is losing. I published this list in the last mailbag, but here it is again:

Illinois: Bill Cole, Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis, Mike Tisdale
Iowa: Jarryd Cole
Michigan: No players graduating
Michigan State: Durrell Summers, Kalin Lucas
Minnesota: Al Nolen, Blake Hoffarber
Nebraska: Lance Jeter
Northwestern: Michael Thompson
Ohio State: Dallas Lauderdale, David Lighty, Jon Diebler
Penn State: David Jackson, Jeff Brooks, Talor Battle
Purdue: E’Twaun Moore, JaJuan Johnson
Wisconsin: Jon Leuer, Keaton Nakivil, Tim Jarmusz

And this list doesn’t take any potential early NBA departures into account. Without going into too much detail, I think improvement, in terms of wins and losses in the Big Ten, will come down to establishing some sort of post presence and playing better defense. Indiana’s offense this season isn’t the problem. Has it struggled at times? Absolutely. But the defense has let this team down far more often. And until the Hoosiers learn how to consistently string their effort on defense, IU will struggle to win conference games, especially on the road.

@michugana writes: Picks for some end of year Big Ten awards? Any Hoosiers in the running?

Alex Bozich: Big Ten player and freshman of the year should go to Jared Sullinger of Ohio State. JaJuan Johnson of Purdue could grab some player of the year attention, but ultimately I believe Sullinger wins out, especially if Ohio State wins the Big Ten and Sullinger beats Johnson twice head-to-head. Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford both have a shot to be named to one of the all-conference teams (and if not, honorable mention). Jeremiah Rivers could get a look on the media’s all-defensive team. Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey will likely have a tough time landing on the all-freshman team as Sullinger, Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Tim Hardaway Jr. (Michigan), Melsahn Basabe (Iowa), Jereme Richmond (Illinois) and Jordan Morgan (Michigan) all have legitimate cases to make that team.

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    Few other bits for those interested:

    Michigan State has the 3rd highest rated recruiting class in the conference, primarily due to Branden Dawson. Rivals has them as the 16th best class, ESPN ranks it 17th.

    Rivals has IU as #27 nationally, #4 in the Big Ten.

    Zeller is the highest rated incoming freshman in the Big Ten according on the ESPNU 100 list. Rivals and Scout have him second to Dawson.

  • Anonymous

    Seems like our best shot at a conference award would be Rivers for defense. I’m not who else would compete for defensive player of the year beyond David Lighty. There are certainly a number of excellent defenders in the conference, but Lighty is the only one beyond Rivers that I can remember getting much publicity for it…

  • What hasn’t been discussed yet is how healthy players will fit into the equation-as bad as we may be this year had everyone been healthy or at least as healthy as the average Div 1 squad the difference would have been at least an NIT Spot. Just look at all the close games that the addition of one healthy player would have changed.

  • Anonymous

    I was trying to remember everyone who’s missed time from injury this season. Creek–about half the season; Watford–multiple games; Jones—multiple games; Roth—multiple games; Rivers, Capobianco, Elston—all have missed at least a game; Pritchard—played one-handed (can’t remember if he missed games or not,) Sheehey and Oladipo I believe have each missed game time from injury. Feels like Hulls is the only scholarship player who hasn’t missed any time.

  • Kelin Blab

    JR should be on the all defensive team and Hulls and Watford I agree have a shot at all big ten some team.

    Got the permission slip signed to see Gary Harris tonight vs Teague and Pike. Great game…however.

    + I am off the we NEED Harris to complete the 2012 class. He is a very good player, great athletic body, and a good defender…..but a good 2-3 zone, takes him out of his game because he jumpshot is ok and takes 2 hours. If he committed to IU would LOVE it, but would equally love Hollowell.

    + The upside with Harris is he is a young 2012 kid, age wise, and he will only get better but saw some holes in the amour tonight. Zak Irvin is another solid solid player…..have to be honest he is a wing player, good skills, didn’t really move me too much.

  • Anonymous

    I may be mistaken, but I thought I heard Dakich say on his show that IU, Purdue, ND and Butler were working on a deal that would have IU and Purdue switch playing ND and Butler each year. So, basically that would mean one year IU would play ND and PU would play Butler and then the next year IU would play Butler and PU would play ND.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re correct on Harris and Hollowell being fairly equal—-and I pretty much always trust your opinion over just about anyone else’s because I know you’ve seen these guys in person—give me Hollowell, because I still think this team needs more help on the front line than the back court.

  • Were injuries a factor? Yes. But injuries didn’t lose the two games in Vegas or the Penn State game. Those are games IU needed to win for a chance to play in the NIT.

  • He could get some votes, but I think Sullinger and Johnson are ahead of him at this point.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. I’m not sure that our injuries were really much worse than average. Probably a bit worse and the bad luck really came in terms of who was injured but the overall injury rate felt just slightly worse than average to me.

  • stonaroni

    Looking at next season, OSU is only going to reload and be a 20+ win team. Michigan sacres me because they are so young with talent.

    I think ILL will be better next year with their new recruits than they are this year. No leadership. The same rings true for Mich St. Izzo will have that team back as a conference contender.

  • stonaroni

    I think IU gets in the NCAA tourn next seaon, but not without their struggles. Reason being, we still have NO power or strength in the paint. Zeller’s length and heigth will help, but we need DE to be a force. But, judging by the way he plays matador defense and allows himself to get beaten on the blocks, our depth is limited. Capo is now a non-factor. TP will be solid on D and having CZ nearby helps the interior, but I am concerned.

  • stonaroni

    I think WS will help with the depth at defending the PF; AE can help inthis role too. BOTH WS and AE are athletic and solid rebounders and on the offensive end in a small line up should be able to out quick their man, gets some put backs like WS has done this year. Both WS and AE are good shooters as well.

  • stonaroni

    CZ will have to start next season. Too talented to keep off the floor. I think AE cracks the rotation next season as Capo, Roth, and Moore will be subjected to the bench and JR graduated. I see the starting 5 being Hulls (PG), Creek (SG) if healthy, CW (SF), CZ (PF), TP (C); VJ, VO,WS make up the 8 man; AE 9, DE 10. IF Mo cannot be healthy, VJ starts and AE slides into 8 man rotation; DE could be there depending on type of team or lineup we play.

  • stonaroni

    Would love to get him too Kelin. And I agree, that we do not need him. We have solid guard wing players locked up for many years; JH (2); Mo (2-3); CW (2); VO (3); WS (3); AE (4) then Yogi (4); Buss(4).

    However, we only have one true PF or C stude locked up right now in CZ; Hanner should come here so that gives us 2. I am of the thinking we need one more PF/C type to seal up the interior D. I think all of our wings and guards are multi-function type players (outside of Hulls because he is a PG) meaning they do more than one thing well: shoot, rebound, score, slash, pass, defend, etc. SO any combination of our wings should yield positive results due to talent, game, and depth. The same cannot hold true for the interior of this team.

    The 2011-12 team could be 23-9 next season, get a #6 seed and lose in the first round to an interior driven team based on paint scoring and rebounding.

    But with more depth in the paint, we could match that team’s interior and choose from JH, WS, VJ, VO, AE, CW, MO, Roth to play the perimeter and take what they are giving us.

    This is why I think the Pitchford kid is so enticing. Talent wise, he would be our 2nd best interior player next season.

  • Anonymous

    Heights won 50-40 @ Northwestern last night (7-11, 2-4 MIC, tallest player 6′ 3″).

    AE: 20 pts, 4-10 (0-4 from 3), 12-16 FTs (about 10 in the 4th). Eleven boards.

    NW seemed content to slow it down, because they just don’t have the horses to compete with HH. The tempo seemed to frustrate AE a bit. When he shot in rhythm, he looked okay, but he couldn’t get an open 3-pt look. Without the FTs in the 4th, he had a pretty mediocre game, but some of that may be attributed to the tempo of the game as well. I don’t know how much we can take from the 11 rebounds either considering he towered over all NW’s players too.

  • Anonymous

    If Creek is healthy, I think that is a really strong starting 5. Then if we bring in VJ3, WS and VO off the bench, that is a good front 8. So far as your rotation, I think we have to put DE up higher, because CZ and TP are going to have to get a rest. Sure, we can slide CW down to the 4, but I still think DE ends up getting more minutes than AE next year. We need more post minutes than we need wing minutes. The 2/3 is the one spot on the floor that we are pretty solid at.

  • Anonymous

    I know Illinois has a really nice class coming in, but I can’t see them being better than they are this year. They lose way too much. McCamey, Davis and Tisdale are their 3 best players.

    OSU and MSU will be good, and Wisc always finds a way to be in the conversation. I agree that Michigan will be tough. Purdue loses a ton, but they will still have Hummel and with Painter’s defensive scheme, they should still be good too. I think that ILL, Iowa, Minn and IU will all fight for the 6-9 spots with NW, PSU and Nebraska bringing up the rear.

  • Glawton12

    IU does play ND next season (this December) at Conseco, and PU plays Butler. It will indeed rotate to IU/Butler and PU/ND the next year. I don’t know anything about IU playing Butler in addition to this, next season.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but Illinois is adding freshmen who are talented—-generally that would not mean much in comparison to who they’re losing, but you have to consider that Weber hasn’t had four years to screw these incoming freshmen up yet.

  • James

    Losing GMM is a bigger reason for the struggles than any injury. We desperately need a post presence.

  • stonaroni

    FYI, your boy Smith from Peru choked against the same Northwestern team last week in a losing effort to a team, as you listed above, 7-11 and 2-4 in the MIC. I believe Smith had something like 12 or 13 pts.

    AE took 10 shots last night and scored 20. So what if they came from the FT line. He actually had 13 boards. I would say that is a very good game for a kid who gets only 10 shots. Smith from Peru always gets at least 15 shots a game.

    I think that puts HH in first place in the MIC and there is no doubt that AE is the best player in the MIC.

    Did you attend the game last night? Did you see AE get cheap shoted all night long? My brother, who has strong ties to Northwestern was pissed to say the least at the classless effort shown by the Tiger defenders last night.

    Did you see AE had 32 points in 3 quarters last Friday? Sure they were not playing the #1 ranked team, but 32 points in 3 quarters is still impressive.

    If I were you, I would not judge AE at all based upon his high school performance this season. It has been a roller coaster. His shot has been off a bit; he has been pressing at times; the fact that he has averaged 18 ppg, 8 reb, 4 asst, and 3 blocks/game is impressive. He averaged 16 ppg and 7rpg as a So; 21ppg and 7 reb as a Jr.; He has been consistent over his high school seasons just like he has been consistent scoring 15 ppg for Indiana Elite over the past 2 summers raining 3’s, rebounding, feeding the post, hitting mid range jumpers, and driving to the rack. This all can happen when you have PG’s like Dee Davis, JDavis, and Yogi feeding you instead of a 5’7″ Seth Small who dribbles the air out of the ball.

  • stonaroni

    Totally disagree. If you have watched the games lately, WS has been logging more minutes at the #4 defending a post player. He was serviceable and showed more promise than DE. This is why I don’t see CW playing too much #4 and WS and AE slidiing to play the #4 once in a while. WS and AE are better shooters than DE and I feel they rebound as well if not better. There surely are better than DE on D. DE plays post D directly behind the offense with his back arched and alligator arms out to the side. He lets himself get bounced down off the blocks and under the rim where the only rebound he can snag is on a made basket.

    Also, DE did not play the blocks at Tipton; he shot the ball from the perimeter. DE has shown no comfort at IU being the PF. His muscles look great at the beach, but in the paint they go into hiding.

    Also, VO, WS, AE, and CZ are helping bring a new culture to IU. Hulls has it too. That is being tough on both sides of the ball. Mo, CW, DE, VJ all struggle with this. I think when push comes to shove next year, some of the Jr’s will be put on the bench before Fr and So if the Jr’s play the same poor defense they did this year.

  • Anonymous

    I really don’t understand why you and @BackoffAE get so agitated when I say anything less than “AE is going to be the next Damon Bailey.”

    How would you characterize his game last night? 4-10 (0-4) is mediocre for a high D-I recruit against a lower-division MIC school. Would you disagree with that statement? I did mentioned (on another thread) that I thought the fact that he hit 10 FTs in the 4th qtr is impressive. I don’t think he is bad. I just don’t think he is great.

    I have seen him multiple times, and every game he has played fine. Not great. Not bad. Just fine. My opinion is that “just fine” against the competition he plays is not making-the-rotation-at-IU good next season. I still don’t see him getting a load of minutes at the 2/3 over the other guys we still have on the roster.

    If you read nothing else that I write, please read the next paragraph: I hope you are right about him. I hope he is a stud from the word Go at IU. I hope he plays more like the AAU AE as opposed to the HH AE. I have no axe to grind against him. I don’t know him. Every time he is on the floor for IU, I am going to root for him like every other player. I hope he ends up being great.

  • Anonymous

    You are entitled to that opinion (and yes, I have watched the games lately, but thanks for being condescending for no reason), but if we are going to rely on AE and WS to log significant minutes at the 4, we will be lucky to make the NIT. I think DE is currently struggling with his role on the team, but a ton of kids have solid Freshman years and then have a Sophomore slump, i.e, Tom Pritchard.

    I feel much more comfortable with a 6′ 8″ 210 Junior in the post over 6′ 6″ 185 Freshman. AE is a wing.

  • Gustin

    The Illini also lose Cole, another senior, who plays a lot of minutes for that team in the paint.

  • Anonymous

    Sheehey and AE are not power forwards. If they play there much on D opposing coaches will simply exploit the mismatch. Sheehey belongs on the wing where his quickness, shooting, and drives to the hole can be a weapon. I have not seen AE play but he would seem natural at the wing as well. With Zeller to help down low Elston may blossom. He has the tools. I think he can be a very solid player.

  • Anonymous

    In a perfect world, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal would send their 25 year old selves back in time and the NCAA would let them join IU in 2011 as their time traveling personas have not used any eligibility.

  • Anonymous

    In a perfect world, Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal would send their 25 year old selves back in time and the NCAA would let them join IU in 2011 as their time traveling personas have not used any eligibility.

  • stonaroni

    Fellas, I 100% agree that WS and AE are wings. However, I have no qualms with them being #3 or #4 on the PF depth chart if DE gives us another year of what he has shown as a FR and So.

    That is all I am saying. If IU goes to a small line up, I feel AE and WS would be serviceable in the post and stil;l have more scoring on the offensive end then DE.

  • stonaroni

    AE is not the next Damon Bailey. However, he isn’t the second best player in the MIC. That is my issue. He is the best from the MIC since 1987. But, he was better than his dad in high school so we can continue to go back to the 1970’s when a guy from Western went to Stanford and Kyle Macy went to Purdue and UK.He is the best player from Kokomo, Marion, Logansport, Tipton, Lafayette, Muncie, Peru, , Anderson, Pendleton, ,etc over the past 10 years. Outside of Zach Randolph, he is the best player to come from this region since Jay Edwards in 1987, and yes he is better than Lyndon Jones ever was.

    I have an issue with suggesting a kid from Peru with half the skills of AE be better or the best in the MIC.

    Next season, AE replaces Matt Roth at the least. Capo will not sniff the floor. AE also plays well with CZ. I could see CTC trying to get them some minutes on the floor together early on to see if they gel. If you noticed, I said he would be #8 or #9 in the rotation, not Damon Bailey starting as a freshman.

    Because you are a true IU fan, I have no doubt you will pull for the guy.

    I guess I just see AE really fitting the IU system well. His ability to knock down 3’s will keep him in the mix for all four years. and, if he can make a few threes, Mo is wider open as is Hulls. They will feed off each other. WAtford too. And when the D has to come out and defend, CZ can flash or post strong to score. Everything will open up.

    And think about 6’3″ Roth shooting 25′ jumpers with a minute to go because he has to shoot so deep to create his space. AE at 6’6″ can take a 20″ jumper over his defender and get better looks. AE will also rebound on the D end so we don’t lose so much in possession ball games. There will not have to be crazy offense for defense substitutions. Plus, AE makes his FT. And, just likein AAU ball, AE has a knack for finding the open space on the floor as well as the open man.

    I love WS and VO, but I truly believe he has more upside th

  • Anonymous

    A couple thoughts:

    First, I think much of what you say at the end of your comments is correct. I think what makes AE more promising than some others we have discussed is his size and ability on the perimeter at that size. Look, I am not trying to be a punk. I think he was (is) worth a scholly, but based upon what I have seen from him, I just don’t believe that he will be able to see much floor time as a freshman. I think he will eventually contribute to the club, but not next year.

    Secondly, I am going to take some issues with your comments about him being the 2nd best player in North-Central Indiana since Jay Edwards.

    Just a quick list off the top of my head who were better HS players:
    Elston – I feel he was far more dominate in HS than AE is now.
    Brandon Wood, Kokomo (Valpo) – Will be 1st Team all conference this year
    Austin Parkinson, NW (Purdue) – For a little guy, was amazing.
    Lee Coomler, Kokomo (Morehead St) – State All-Star and OVC Fresh of the year
    Tom Coverdale, Noblesville (IU) – Mr. Basketball! Better college player too.
    Kojak Fuller, Anderson (Southern?) – Mr. Basketball!!
    Lyndon Jones, Marion – Mr. Basketball.

    Sorry, there is NO WAY AE is better than Jones was in HS! He won a Mr. Basketball (which AE won’t finish in the top 5), and he played on one of the best Indiana HS basketball teams in the last 50 years.

    I am glad you are really high on AE, and as I have said before, I hope your assessment of his abilities is right and mine is wrong. Obviously, it really doesn’t matter if AE is or isn’t better than anyone on this list. What matters is how he plays for IU over the next four!

  • Anonymous

    Nebraska could struggle in the B10 for a few years – not sure they know what they’re getting into