The Inside the Hall Mailbag: October 25

  • 10/25/2011 12:47 pm in

The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehalland sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can. Now, onward … (Photo credit: Jamie Owens of J. Scott Sports)

Damon VanHook writes via Facebook: During Hoosier Hysteria, Christian Watford was in a boot, Why and for how long?

Alex Bozich: Watford was held out of Hoosier Hysteria after suffering a minor injury to his right foot, but is not expected to miss a significant amount of time. He seemed to be moving well on it during the player introductions at Hysteria and even did a little dancing, so holding him out was likely a precautionary measure. Saturday’s Haunted Hall of Hoops at Assembly Hall should give us a better idea of where things stand with Watford.

@alex_idle writes: How big of a role will Remy Abell have in this offense this year? Used as an energizer on offense?

Alex Bozich: Abell’s main duties will be to take care of the ball and get into the lane and finish or distribute to teammates. He probably won’t take a ton of perimeter shots, but he’s capable of knocking them down when given the opportunity.

But back to his ability to get into the lane because it’s something Tom Crean has talked about quite a bit: This is a dimension IU didn’t have a season ago. If Abell is able to do it consistently, he’ll play a fair share of minutes because it will cause defenses to collapse. That in turn will open up outside shooters and create opportunities to dump the ball off to the post.

@HoosierDaddy10 writes: how is Verdells playing time and position going to shake out this season in your opinion. Starter?

Alex Bozich: Verdell Jones will likely start and play major minutes, but as I wrote in his player profile, Indiana needs him to become a more efficient player. Not to totally rehash what I wrote in that preview, but these numbers are significant: His offensive rating (which measures a player’s personal efficiency) was just 94.8. That mark barely eclipsed Jeremiah Rivers (93.5) and Bobby Capobianco (93.8), who were IU’s two worst offensive players. He shot just 67 percent from the foul line and a dismal 29.8 percent from behind the 3-point line. All of those numbers need to improve or it’s hard to justify Jones playing such a prominent role offensively.

@IUCannon writes: what team attribute do you think the 2011 Hoosiers will improve the most from the past 2 season?

Alex Bozich: If IU is going to improve upon it’s 12-20 mark, it must start at the defensive end. The first glaring deficiency that must be addressed is the fouling. Indiana shot 632 free throws last season. Its opponents shot 815.

Second, the Hoosiers have to defend the 3-point line better. Big Ten opponents shot 40 percent against Indiana last winter. And in our film session feature, Ryan broke down the problem pretty clearly from the on set of the Big Ten schedule. While it’s tough to pinpoint just how improved IU could be in either of these areas until the games begin, keep an eye on both the fouling and 3-point percent defense as the season rolls along.

@hammergarland writes: Big concern for #iubb is foul trouble 4 Cody, especially in B1G on D. Thoughts?

Alex Bozich: As discussed in the previous question, this seems like more of a team-wide concern than an individual concern. Cody Zeller is a high IQ player that typically avoids putting himself into position to pick up unnecessary fouls. If foul trouble becomes a problem, it will likely be due to teammates putting him in position to bail them out of their miscues.

@hoopstrainer writes: If healthy, does IU have enough talent to make it to the NCAA tourney? Upperclassmen, Big Man, depth, etc. Anything missing?

Alex Bozich: The talent is there to make the NCAA Tournament. Whether it happens will be determined by how it all comes together. Leaping from the bottom of the Big Ten into an at-large bid is a sizable jump, but the time for the Hoosiers to win is now. Watford, Jordan Hulls and Jones have the experience. Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo look poised to take large leaps forward. Zeller is a difference maker because of his size and versatility. And from some of the preseason comments the players are making (see Watford’s comment here), this group definitely has March Madness circled as a goal.

@JSizzleCAI2016 writes: What type of season do you think Oladipo will have?

Alex Bozich: Oladipo, along with Sheehey, are keys to this year’s team. Both players bring an attitude and swagger that was missing during the first two seasons of the Crean era. For Oladipo, his numbers from a year ago suggest he could be in line for a breakout with more minutes. His effective field goal percentage of 57.1 was fantastic and his offensive rebounding percentage led the team. Look for a stronger, more physical sophomore season from Oladipo where he becomes a more reliable perimeter defender and an even bigger threat to score in transition.

@bhaggard89 writes: when can the 2012 class sign?

Alex Bozich: The early signing period begins on Wednesday, November 9 and runs through Wednesday, November 16. After that, members of the 2012 can’t sign again until the regular signing period which begins on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.

Filed to:

  • Beard

     To follow up that last question of the 2012 early signing period do we anticipate all IU’s verbal commits to sign in that early period?

  • Anonymous

    IF VO can finish around the rim this year instead of going for the spectacular play how many points can he average this year?  I am thinking he averages ~12 points in 22-25 minutes per game.  Any thoughts?

  • MillaRed

    I really think this “finishing” deal with VO is a little over-exaggerated. It only happened 5 times or so but a few of them were in a crucial point in the game. At any rate, I don’t think this (non) issue will affect his scoring average.

    It’s his outside shooting that will bring him to the possible 12 ppg. And from what I have heard, this is what he worked on most this off-season. Knock em down Victor!

  • MillaRed

    When you have Verdell, VO and Will at the SG position I think you are in a great position to go with the hot hand. We all know what VJ is capable of good and bad. If he’s hot and it not turning it over, let er rip. If he is having one of those games, insert option #2.

    I really hope VO and Will are on the floor a lot together this season. They will reek havoc on defense and fill the lane on the fast break. It’s a smaller lineup but the most athletic we’ve had in a long time. They LIKE defense!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Yeah, the key is keeping VJ3 in the two-spot and not let him assume PG duties.  Jordy must demand the ball back when VJ3 starts pounding the rock and waving off teammates for a clear out.  When you dribble for a long time, the problem beco–*shot clock buzzer* 

  • Anonymous

     I was only able to see a few games last year and it seemed like every time I saw him play it looked like he had the ability to finish but didn’t.  I agree that if he can consistently knock down his jumper he will be very dangerous.  Hopefully, all of the off-season workouts have helped all the players work on their weaknesses.

  • Yes.

  • Anonymous

    Great points.  I have always thought that was a problem, going all the way back to the last few Knight years.  Road toughness can be hard to come by.  You can’t rely on shooting on the road, and the defense needs to be stellar.  I think Defense is the reason why Purdue has been so good on the road recently.

  • Alex as you seem to have the answers – On what day will Gary Harris sign with us?

  • IUBluebird

    Thursday, Nov. 10th

  • Anonymous

    VJIII was problematic as a PG last year… but so was Hulls… VJ turned it over too much, Hulls didn’t create enough assists.

    I’m not certain Jordy is good enough at creating to have the sole PG duties. VJ can pass, he just needs to identify open lanes much better. It’d help us out a lot if VJ could back Jordy up at the point.

  • MillaRed

    Do you actually like this site? Just curious because I thought your last post regarding Alex’s take on Harris was a thing of the past. Sorry if I gave your comment a “spin.”

  • Big D

    VO’s problem about finishing was in High School he could go up and put it in easily. But, in College he needs to go up and adjust his shot to get it in the basket because a straight line to the basket gets blocked. I think he will learn to adjust his shot for this year. Or, at least he should.

  • Add this one to the mailbag:  Happy Birthday Coach Bob Knight! 

  • Anonymous

    there is competition. minutes are not just given away, they will be earned.  who whats it most? 

  • So if they all sign, that includes our oversign right? Meaning if Garry Harris wants to sign during that period, technically he can’t? Am I mistaken?

  • InTheMtns

    Yes, you are correct.  If all five verbals sign in November, our scholarships will be at 14.  That’s the 13 + the oversign.  If Harris should chose IU in November, that would put us two over, so someone can’t sign in November and two players or recruits will have to leave or go off scholarship before the 2012 season begins.

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking Wednesday, Nov 9th.  But you’re connected so i’ll go with your date instead;)

  • IUJeff

    I am sure someone accidentally clicked like on this one.

    Best case would be Jordy shooting the ball a lot and backing up Remy at point when needed.

    VJ needs to catch and shoot or attack the rim if he happens to have the ball w/ 5 seconds or under left. All IMHO of course.   

  • I would see that as a huge turn off for a kid who makes up their mind and wants to sign. I don’t see how IU can tell one of the other five not to sign during that period so Harris can sign. And if Harris can’t sign, then he will see that IU needs to still free up two scholarships one way or another.

    I know IU is in the mix, and he probably really likes IU. But when it comes down to an actual decision, that will probably really hurt IU’s probability of him committing.


    I believe he will not only have and impact , but likley be the starting PG well before mid-season. TC brought him in late because he realizes that without a solid big ten type PG this team would stall. VJ and JH both have nice points but neither has the combination of size, speed, strengh, ball handling skills, mind set and scoring ability to play PG well enough to  take IU to the next level. I know a lot of people on this site love JH because he is the ideal of what an IU player is,but over the next two years I see him becaming a Todd Leary type player- three point shooter, leadership and toughness- just not in a starting role.