Inside the Hall Twitter Mailbag: August 25

  • 08/25/2011 9:02 pm in

(Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports)

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 …

@BlastBeezo writes: why is Buss so underrated to all of these recruiting gurus? I can’t wait til he’s a Hoosier!

Alex Bozich: Recruiting rankings are not an exact science. They never have been and never will be. Ron Patterson started out as a top 50 or 60 prospect when the first national rankings for 2012 were released, hovered around in the bottom quarter of the top 100 for a bit and fell a little bit more in the post-July rankings. Part of the latest tumble might be related to the fact that he didn’t play at all in the second 10-day July evaluation period. Has he gotten worse as a prospect? Absolutely not. Remember this: where he’s ranked will have no bearing on how successful he’ll be in college. Patterson is probably the best defender in Indiana’s 2012 recruiting class and his importance in that facet of the game cannot be overstated. If Indiana plans to return to prominence, defense will be pivotal and Patterson can be a big part of it.

@HoosierNationIU writes: Best guess for top 3 leading scorers for 2012-2013 season….

Alex Bozich: It’s tough to imagine Cody Zeller not being in the top three. If Christian Watford returns for his senior season, he’ll be in there as well. Beyond that, I’ll go with Jeremy Hollowell because he’s the most versatile scorer of the 2012 group and I believe he’ll play major minutes from day one.

@KylejMiller3 writes: who do you think will lead the team in scoring this year? Probably between Oladipo, Zeller, and Watford. I like Oladipo.

Alex Bozich: It wouldn’t be a total shock if Victor Oladipo was Indiana’s leading scorer, but it would be surprising. Watford has to be the heavy favorite to lead the team in scoring. He did it last year and as our old friend Eamonn Brennan wrote recently over at ESPN.com, he was efficient in doing so. In fact, in Ken Pomeroy’s offensive rating statistic, Watford was top 25 in the country last year. I believe he could be even better as a junior as defenses won’t be able to key on him as easily with Zeller’s arrival.

@caseybaksa writes: I know he has yet to be made media-available, but is there any talk of Creek’s rehab progress?

Alex Bozich: All has been relatively quiet on the Maurice Creek rehab front. I wouldn’t necessarily read into the silence as being doom and gloom for Creek’s future. Obviously, it’s a tough road coming back from an injury as significant as Creek’s. If there were something concrete I could share at this point, I would, but there isn’t. I suspect we’ll know more as the start of the season grows closer.

@Quick_Dude writes: hear any updates on Gary Harris? What’s your gut feeling?

Alex Bozich: This was easily the most discussed topic in all of the tweets received (surprise, surprise), but the latest update is that Harris and his family continue to let the process play out. In a lot of ways, his recruitment is reminiscent of Zeller’s last summer and fall. There is clearly a plan in place and I wouldn’t expect any twists and turns. Harris will take his official visits and then make a decision. As has been discussed, the primary contenders are Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue. I don’t have a gut feeling on how it will end, but I don’t buy the reports that the Hoosiers have fallen behind either of the other two schools. From what I can gather, Tom Crean has done as good of a job as anyone in recruiting Harris.

@hoosierwhodey writes: Who is in your rotation this year if you are TC? Also, for 2012 assuming that GH is not at IU and Watford is?

Alex Bozich: There will be an emphasis on defense this winter in Bloomington, so those that defend and do it with consistency will be in the rotation. No one on Indiana’s roster a season ago was an above average defender, but several guys have the capability to blossom into solid defenders. I think plenty of guys will get a shot to play early, but once Big Ten season rolls around, I can see the regular rotation paired down to right around nine players. Since nobody knows if Creek will be back at 100 percent (or close to it), I’d go with Jordan Hulls, Oladipo, Will Sheehey, Zeller, Watford, Verdell Jones, Tom Pritchard, Derek Elston and Remy Abell as the top nine. And on the second question, it’s too early to begin speculating on 2012.

@Landon_Howard writes: how many games should IU win this year in bball? And do you think we will make tourney?

Alex Bozich: Without a complete schedule in hand, I’ll go with 17 or 18 as the number of games IU should win. The Big Ten will still be a solid league, but it won’t be as good as it was last season. They could certainly win more if the defense improves dramatically and the number of fouls committed comes down. If both of the aforementioned improvements occur, Indiana could be in the discussion for its first NCAA Tournament bid since the 2007-2008 season.

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  • Anonymous

    Great responses Alex.   IMHO pretty spot on.

    I agree with Patterson.  Just watch his videos, he is a complete stud.  I too have watched him play several games and there is no doubt he is a player.  He will be a fan favorite at IU before he is done at IU.

    I too like to see people are respecting what Oladipo can bring to the fold this year.  Although I too agree Watford will lead us in points.  But, I do expect Oladipo to take a huge step forward not only this year but his junior year.  As a result, this is why I think people underestimate how difficult it will be for the 2012 class to take time on the floor away from he and Sheehey, regardless of how good that class is.

    I wish we knew more on Creek.  He could be a huge x-factor.  And I feel bad for him as well. 

    I too hope IU can get to 17-18 wins.  That should put us on the bubble.  I am optimistic we can make it happen this year!

  • Kelin Blab

    I think many have taken the super cautious approach with Mo Creek. We have kinda gotten use to him not playing, but all hope he returns to better than full strength.

    Watford has to lead us in scoring this year to demand more attention on the perimeter to open things up for Cody and yes….Pritch, who I predict will double double 5 times this year.

    Still believe Harris comes down to MSU and IU. I still think IU wins out with the 2012’ers playing a huge part of it.

  • Anonymous

    Crean tends to run plays for specific players (altho not well executed over the past 2 years). I just don’t see VO (unless he’s greatly improved his mid-range and 3 pt shot)as one of the first three scoring options in most possessions. Now if Zeller can get on the boards..and the D creates TO’s..Oladipo will be a monster in open court …offensive folo’s etc. Having a low post scoring option is something Crean has never enjoyed at IU..with Hulls outside, Zeller inside, Wat either..and Jones for penetration…IU’s offense should be much improved. If not..then people will really start blasting  the coaching schemes. Many times since Crean’s arrival there have been 3 or 4 people on the floor at the same time who were really no threat to score. That makes a defense look like Godzilla….IU now can score from any position..or should be able too.

  • Anonymous

    Crean tends to run plays for specific players (altho not well executed over the past 2 years). I just don’t see VO (unless he’s greatly improved his mid-range and 3 pt shot)as one of the first three scoring options in most possessions. Now if Zeller can get on the boards..and the D creates TO’s..Oladipo will be a monster in open court …offensive folo’s etc. Having a low post scoring option is something Crean has never enjoyed at IU..with Hulls outside, Zeller inside, Wat either..and Jones for penetration…IU’s offense should be much improved. If not..then people will really start blasting  the coaching schemes. Many times since Crean’s arrival there have been 3 or 4 people on the floor at the same time who were really no threat to score. That makes a defense look like Godzilla….IU now can score from any position..or should be able too.

  • Oldguy

    I can see The Pritch as the recipient of a lot of Cody’s interior passes when the defense collapses on Cody.  Let’s hope Elston is correct that Pritchard’s free-throw shooting problems are behind him.

  • Oldguy

    I can see The Pritch as the recipient of a lot of Cody’s interior passes when the defense collapses on Cody.  Let’s hope Elston is correct that Pritchard’s free-throw shooting problems are behind him.

  • Anonymous

    Agreed on Pritch.  He could be the new Jared Odle, who exploded his senior year when Jared Jeffries came onto the scene and gave him space to shine.  The key?  Pritch needs to get confident, discplined on defense and knock down his free throws and 12-15 footers.  If he does he could be a great role player this year.

  • Anonymous

    I agree on your comments about VO.  I think he needs to prove himself as a more versatile scoring threat, and he may take that step this year.  Right now I see Watford, Hulls and Zeller as the primary scoring options with everyone else playing off them.

  • cooper

    I hope they redshirt Creek whether he decides to take it and stay the extra year can be up to him. He needs a full year to get both legs strong. He looked like a cripple running up and down the court last year. I can’t see him being very effective this year.

  • cooper

    I hope they redshirt Creek whether he decides to take it and stay the extra year can be up to him. He needs a full year to get both legs strong. He looked like a cripple running up and down the court last year. I can’t see him being very effective this year.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    That’s the key oldguy!  You must be one of those wise old guys because I watched TP pass up scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity last season because it almost looked like he was scared to get fouled and have to shoot FT’s.  If he’s just a 60% guy this year that should take away that fear and we may see some of those freshman moves come back again!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    That’s the key oldguy!  You must be one of those wise old guys because I watched TP pass up scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity last season because it almost looked like he was scared to get fouled and have to shoot FT’s.  If he’s just a 60% guy this year that should take away that fear and we may see some of those freshman moves come back again!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I can’t wait until HH so we can see if a healthy Mo Creek runs out there and answer the questions once and for all.  I hope he’s healthy and a couple rumors have led me to believe that he may be but I just want to know for sure so we can put it to rest. 

  • Anonymous

    Have to agree with your assessment on Harris.  IU has 3 of the top 4 players in the state that year and he would make it a perfect 4 for 4.  So much talent and yet he would likely start out of the gate.  There’s too many reasons for him not to be a Hoosier.

  • Anonymous

    Have to agree with your assessment on Harris.  IU has 3 of the top 4 players in the state that year and he would make it a perfect 4 for 4.  So much talent and yet he would likely start out of the gate.  There’s too many reasons for him not to be a Hoosier.

  • hgdownunder

    Yes, I agree.  Patterson’s enough of a stud to know what is important and what is not.