The Inside the Hall Mailbag: January 20

  • 01/20/2012 10:52 am 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)

Tim Skibbe via Facebook writes: Do you think all these close games in the Big Ten season are because of the parity in the league, or is it more because Indiana is playing up to the good competition and down to the level of the teams with lesser talent?

Alex Bozich: I think it’s a little of both. As we saw last night with Illinois going to Penn State and losing, it’s tough to win a road game in the Big Ten. Michigan, who currently sits atop the league standings, is 5-0 at home and 0-2 on the road. The Wolverines have yet to win a true road game this season. In the losses to Minnesota and Nebraska, which are by far the most scrutinized, both teams played with more poise down the stretch than Indiana. Minnesota controlled things throughout the second half and held off a furious rally by IU and in Lincoln, the Hoosiers had control and let things slip away. There’s no such thing as a good loss, but this group should be able to go back and look at both of those situations and extract valuable lessons.

Hoopstrainer via Twitter writes: With the addition of Luke Fischer to the 2013 class, is there another potential 2013 guy or is IU done with that class?

Alex Bozich: I’d be shocked if the 2013 class is complete. Even if the recruit that ultimately ends up in Bloomington isn’t on the radar at this point, there’s still plenty of time this spring and summer to get involved. Of the kids currently being mentioned, Bo Zeigler out of Detroit or BeeJay Anya out of DeMatha seem to be top targets. Zeigler has spoken highly to us about Indiana and Anya, who has a long list of schools to choose from, has done the same.

rick_park via Twitter writes:  Is there a root cause to the three-game losing streak or did we lose each game for different reasons?

Alex Bozich: Some of you probably feel like I’ve beaten this point into the ground, but I always go back to the points per possession the Hoosiers are allowing in Big Ten play. 1.11. Last in the conference. Indiana’s offense hasn’t been as elite in Big Ten play as it was in non-conference play, but Indiana must get back on track defensively. The perimeter defense especially is troublesome because it’s allowing opponents to get into the lane with little resistance. That’s leading to easy points in the paint and when the Hoosiers are able to react and collapse on penetration, the opposition is kicking the ball back out for open looks.

asokes via Twitter writes: when are we going to see more of remy abell? he always seems to be a spark off the bench.

Alex Bozich: Good question. It’s been a bit surprising that Remy hasn’t played more (just 16.7 percent of available minutes), but given the experience of the players in front of him, maybe it shouldn’t be. After every loss there’s second guessing as to why a particular decision was made or why a certain player isn’t playing more, but since we don’t see practice or what goes on behind the scenes, it’s tough to say. In limited minutes, Abell has been effective. His turnover rate (14.6) is low, he gets to the line at a healthy clip and his defense does provide a spark. Whether or not he gets a look these next few games will be interesting to watch.

CallMeG_Unit via Twitter writes: seems like all the talk about Jordan hulls being the leader has regressed to this point. Who needs to step up as well and lead

Alex Bozich: I’m not sure that’s a fair statement with regards to the regression part. I think Hulls has done a stellar job to-date leading this team. The results over the past three games have not been good, but the chemistry of this group is the best I’ve seen in the Crean era and I believe Hulls is a big part of that. But it’s not all on him. Verdell Jones is a senior that’s been through battles in this league. Victor Oladipo can lead defensively. Cody Zeller can lead by example. And Christian Watford has shown more grit and determination at times this year than we’ve ever seen before out of him. All of these things were clicking when IU started 15-1. Some of them have been missing at times throughout the past three games.

eric_c_cooper via Twitter writes: which of the McDs All American Nominations has the best chance of making the team? Yogi?

Alex Bozich: Yogi seems like the best possibility because he’s one of the top three point guards in the country, he’s got a state championship under his belt and the national analysts, who typically have a vote in determining the rosters, hold him in the highest regard of the group. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t selected.

JHub336 via Twitter writes: what do you think about people saying we could slide and miss the tourney?

Alex Bozich: It’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen the rest of the way. No one had Indiana at 15-4 at this point on record that I know of besides Dan Dakich. Right now Indiana is solidly in the tournament. If they beat North Carolina Central, they’ll own a perfect 13-0 non-conference mark that includes wins over Butler, N.C. State, Notre Dame and Kentucky. Obviously they can’t afford to keep stumbling in the Big Ten and expect to still get in, but they’ve got six more conference games at home and opportunities to try and win on the road as well.

Filed to:

  • MillaRed

    We’re on the same page. My point is, Jordy is so vulnerable I suggest an offense-defense sub as much as possible at the end of a close game. Not just the very end, the last 5 possessions or so when necessary. We had many opportunities to do so in the last two weeks.

    He has fresh legs, and the man he is guarding probably does not.

  • MillaRed

    We’re on the same page. My point is, Jordy is so vulnerable I suggest an offense-defense sub as much as possible at the end of a close game. Not just the very end, the last 5 possessions or so when necessary. We had many opportunities to do so in the last two weeks.

    He has fresh legs, and the man he is guarding probably does not.

  • HP

    Really think IU is done recruiting for ’13…..who leaves or goes pro?

  • Nuhl508072

    The next Jon Hood.

  • Anonymous

    Count me in. GREAT post!

  • Anonymous

    Count me in. GREAT post!

  • Anonymous

    We’ll get the win. Double digits, write it down. My son and I are driving through snow/rain/slush to be there, and therefore the boys will deliver. After the savage beatdown, the ITH posters will all have hilariously sunny dispositions. Coach will again be a genius, Jordy and Verdell will be favorite sons, and the future will be impossibly bright.

    Somewhere down the road, they’ll lose again, and we can go back to gnashing our teeth, rending our garments, tearing our hair, kicking the dog, and–our favorite–second-guessing a guy who knows a thing or two more than we do about the game and this team.

    Just win. I want to see the swagger.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think the Minnesota or Nebraska losses were due to opponents’ adjustments, I think it’s more a problem with decision making.  Even with poor defense those were still games we could have won by making better choices.

    On defense, I’m not sure what adjustment you make to cover for slow feet.  (Most) of our guards aren’t very quick; when opponents stop impersonating Illinois with silly long jumpers and start attacking the basket I don’t think there’s much they can do.  Remy seems to have played fine defense (haven’t watched him that closely) and I’m not sure what’s going on with Oladipo, but the others aren’t going to stay in front of most Big Ten guards. 

    The decision making is something they can control and improve on.  The quickness isn’t.  It’s frustrating to see guys repeatedly get in the lane, I’d rather they lay off and allow more jumpers…but I’m afraid it’s going to be one of these two options.  Against Minnesota, for example, the jumpers were falling and we over-compensated in the 2nd half. Heck, we got burned repeatedly off the dribble against UK and I thought teams would pick up on it then.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, pretty early in the season it got to the point that we knew what Oladipo was going to do from the wing as soon as he touched the ball.  If it’s that obvious to fans then conference coaches are going to pick up on it in game film pretty quickly.

  • Anonymous

    so altogether, 200%?  That is some serious agreement

  • Anonymous

    Just a general question.  Where can I go for definitions of the stats used here.  I think I can figure out the math behind stuff like turnover rate, but I’d love to see a site that just lists all the formulas.

    By the way, I love these new stats.  Rate stats are so much better than counting stats in general.

  • 888

    If we dont talk about this stuff than whats the reason to have this blog. Just put up the stories and have no responses unless its rah-rah? Sorry we are way to passionate of a fanbase for that. Thats what we all want ( TO WIN). Its been since 1993 since weve been legit. We got hot in 2002. The state of Indiana has enough talent that with the right coach we should almost always be in the top 5. We should not have to settle for anything less. CTC is closing the boarders he just has to prove that he can do something with it. I like CTC but he hasnt proven that hes an elite coach YET but hopefully he will. Only time will tell. Its only an opinion.

  • Anonymous

    yep…got the feeling that IU fans have wanted/needed a collective break for a few days.

    Except me, who’s all basketball, all the time. I need to get some shots up tonight…

  • Walt

    epf521, said this earlier, but would not want to be in Penn State’s collective shoes on Sunday. Turn out the lights, this party is over.

  • 888

    They werent that night and if we play like we can I like our chances

  • Anonymous

    It should never been down to the last 30 seconds. Throwing away
    a 10 point lead with 5 mins. to go with careless play at both ends of the
    court is a problem.How a coach handles that problem makes all the difference.and is what separates a good coach from a not so good coach. They kept running the perimeter offense and what they needed
    was a high post/ low post going for the basket and make the other
    team foul. Defensively, he needed some fresh meat in there with some
    energy, Remy for example.

    90% of the games will come down to the last 5 minutes and it is where the coaches earn their money and reputation. I hope CTC can turn the corner on this but so far the jury is still out.           

  • Jerry

    i guess the out bounds play against pUKe doesn’t count

  • MillaRed

    Our first 14 games averaged double digit victories. There is definitely some adjusting going on. But you are right. The level of play is declining.

    We certainly can make adjustments on defense. We are not switching on high screens, not subbing late to hold leads, stop playing zone, etc. IU is not the only Big Ten team with unathletic guards.

  • Jon McClain

    that wasn’t a play that was drawn up!  that’s why CW was running down the court calling out ‘V’ – Verdell didn’t know he was back there until the last second.  it worked out great but lets get real – we do not score on out-of-bounds plays after a timeout, period.  maybe this is why he doesn’t call them.   

  • heinsohn

    Great remarks,succinct,accurate.Just plain solid analysis

  • heinsohn

    Great remarks,succinct,accurate.Just plain solid analysis

  • Anonymous

    Have been screaming for CW to use the shot fake for three years now. Everyone, including the opposing teams, know by now that he does not have an above average vertical. So, what do you do to compensate for that ? Fundamentals, it doesn’t get any more fundamental than the shot fake. Oh, and he might want to try and use his left hand once in a great while. I’m with you, as many times as he has had his shot blocked, by shorter players as well as just as tall or taller, one would think that he wouldn’t even have to be told to use a shot fake. Oh, and while you’re correcting some things please block out, strongly, on foul shots and stop getting pushed under the basket or allowing your man to simply roll around you for the rebound.

  • Anonymous

    I have found our circle the perimeter and get shutdown or throw a bad pass offense pretty abysmal lately. Don’t understand why we do not run more. We have no other way to beat people off the dribble and no other way to get the ball inside.

  • Anonymous

    I have found our circle the perimeter and get shutdown or throw a bad pass offense pretty abysmal lately. Don’t understand why we do not run more. We have no other way to beat people off the dribble and no other way to get the ball inside.

  • Jerry

    your wrong about they don’t score on timeout’s period.  they may not score as often as you would like or CTC likes.  in one of his pregame press conferences he mentioned we are scoring on 31% of our out of bounds plays which is not good(CTC’s words).  he also said to be fair we have had more pressing  things to work on. 

    go watch the 1st psu game.  we scored on a number of them and the pUKe play was drawn up with every player going to a spot – including cody setting the pick to try to prevent the foul that pUKe had to give with verdell reacting to the defense – no they didn’t draw up or expect the ball to return to CW for the final shot but part of developing as players is the ability to make plays when the play breaks down.  these teams scout each other so well they know all the plays and often recognize them as the opposing team sets up or begins to run them.  

  • Jerry

    your wrong about they don’t score on timeout’s period.  they may not score as often as you would like or CTC likes.  in one of his pregame press conferences he mentioned we are scoring on 31% of our out of bounds plays which is not good(CTC’s words).  he also said to be fair we have had more pressing  things to work on. 

    go watch the 1st psu game.  we scored on a number of them and the pUKe play was drawn up with every player going to a spot – including cody setting the pick to try to prevent the foul that pUKe had to give with verdell reacting to the defense – no they didn’t draw up or expect the ball to return to CW for the final shot but part of developing as players is the ability to make plays when the play breaks down.  these teams scout each other so well they know all the plays and often recognize them as the opposing team sets up or begins to run them.