The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall ) and 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)
@RealAdamJ writes: When do the freshmen arrive on campus and how much time can coaches/strength coaches spend with them?
Alex Bozich: Assuming all of their academics are in order, I would expect the freshman to arrive on campus in time to begin taking classes in the second summer school session, which would be in mid-June. The three players participating in the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star series should arrive in Bloomington shortly after those games conclude.
As for the amount of time coaches and strength coaches can spend with them (and the other returning players), a rule change this year will allow “a maximum of eight hours of athletics activities per week during the summer in which institutional staff members may conduct or supervise. Of that, no more than two hours can involve skill-related instruction, for a maximum of eight weeks.”
In the past, strength coaches were the only staff members allowed to spend one-on-one time with players, so this is a rule change Tom Crean and several other college coaches have expressed excitement about.
@jasonwehlage writes: not sold on hiring coaches because of pipelines rather than acumen of basketball/ personal development…thoughts?
Alex Bozich: While not mentioned by name, this seems to be in reference to the hiring of Kenny Johnson as an assistant coach, who replaced Bennie Seltzer (now the head coach at Samford).
As for Johnson’s “acumen of basketball/personal development,” his background shows coaching experience at Paul VI Catholic and a season at Towson (as an assistant coach) as well as experience in directing Team Takeover, one of the top Nike travel programs in the country. He’s been around the game and Crean has known him for a while as well. He also has a degree in Cell, Molecular Biology and Genetics.
Recruiting, like any business, is heavily dependent on building relationships. Programs across the country hire assistant coaches they feel can help successfully recruit players for this very reason. Given Johnson’s ties to the D.C. area and his former association with Team Takeover, the same program that produced Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo, it seems like a savvy hire for Indiana that will help them continue to recruit one of the top areas in the country.
@Brice_Bowden writes: do you think every incoming recruit will get regular minutes next year?
Alex Bozich: Regular minutes? No. I would expect playing time for all in some of the non-conference blowout victories, but once the conference portion of the schedule rolls around, the rotation will likely be trimmed.
IU returns seven players who saw regular minutes on a team that went to the Sweet 16. And that doesn’t factor in Maurice Creek, who will warrant serious consideration for minutes if he’s healthy. Even if they went ten or eleven deep regularly, there will be an odd man or two out.
@OGZeman writes: How deep do you think IU will play next year? 10-11?
Alex Bozich: 10 or 11 seems realistic, if Indiana does indeed play at the pace Crean has tweeted about frequently since last season ended.
@Whitey6275 writes: who will be the biggest surprise from the 2012 class next year?
Alex Bozich: I’m not sure there will be a surprise player in this class. Yogi Ferrell is obviously expected to play a major role, so he’s not going to be labeled as a surprise. How often Hanner Perea, Peter Jurkin and Ron Patterson play as freshmen will depend heavily on how much they’re able to improve during the summer and how quickly they’re able to embrace a role. For Perea and Jurkin, that role is post defense and rebounding. For Patterson, it’s getting stronger and continuing to build on what’s currently a strong presence as a defender.
That leaves Jeremy Hollowell, who is going to be a very good offensive player from day one because at 6-foot-8, he’s got guard skills and can also score around the basket. For those who haven’t seen him play much, there could be a bit of surprise in terms of how polished he already is.
@PaulAynilian writes: With the Robinson commit, how many scholly’s are left for 2013 class, and how important is Anya to the class’s success?
Alex Bozich: On paper, no scholarships remain for the 2013 class. But “on paper” assumes that no one leaves early for the NBA Draft after next season. Cody Zeller is obviously on the NBA radar and Victor Oladipo skyrocketed up draft boards after the season. There are also questions about Maurice Creek: Is he healthy enough to return to the court? Will he use a scholarship beyond this upcoming season? It’s impossible to know if anyone is going to leave or how things turn out with Creek. Scholarships are always going to be viewed by some as a “problem” if IU continues to utilize the oversign, but another way of looking at it is proactively planning for the future in case there’s a transfer, medical issue or early departure.
As for Anya, he’s a big time talent that can lock down the paint as a shot blocking presence, so he would elevate the class from very good to potentially great. But following the highly publicized 2012 class, the 2013 haul is a nice follow up act. Stanford Robinson is a top 50 kid who one national analyst told me is a “tough kid who plays hard and is a winner.” Luke Fischer is a rapidly improving big man that can run the floor and plays the game with a solid base of fundamentals. Devin Davis looks healthy this spring and may be a bit undervalued nationally. And Collin Hartman is a forward who can shoot it and is working to develop a more well-rounded offensive game. This is going to be a very solid class that will only be better if Indiana is able to add Anya.
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