The Inside the Hall Mailbag: June 20

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 … 

@scottbush8 writes: Of all the returning players who do you think will benefit the most with the new class coming in?

Alex Bozich: It may be hard to believe because of how effective he was as a freshman, but I think Cody Zeller will benefit the most as a result of the new class. And that’s because the new class includes Yogi Ferrell, who has an excellent chance to be one of the top point guards in the Big Ten and the country next season.

The reason Zeller stands to benefit the most is that Ferrell will create easier scoring opportunities in both half court and transition situations. Ferrell’s ability to get into the lane will result in lobs and dump offs for Zeller. And Yogi’s speed and ability to pass in the open court will mesh well with Zeller, who runs the floor as well as any big man.

@FWTykees writes: With #iubb playing so many in-state schools lately how soon or if ever do you see them coming to ft. wayne to play at ipfw?

Alex Bozich: At IPFW? No. It’s rare for a major conference school to go on the road to play a mid or low major opponent and that’s exactly what Indiana going to IPFW would be. The Hoosiers did go to Evansville last year, but that trip was mainly due to the opening of The Ford Center, which has 10,000 seats. And IU got two home games with Evansville in exchange for last November’s game. A trip to any non-conference opponent that TV isn’t behind is extremely unlikely to happen.

@LTTelamon writes: What do you think Peter Jurkin’s ceiling is this year? If he were to make a significant leap, could he be a rotation factor?

Alex Bozich: I haven’t seen Jurkin play in person since the summer of 2010 before he committed to Indiana, but the video that has surfaced of his final high school season shows he’s made strength gains in his upper body. His primarily role, at least for next season, would seem to be in rebounding, providing energy and blocking shots.

Given what the Hoosiers are returning and the other incoming players who will likely see time, it seems unlikely that Jurkin would be a regular part of the rotation. The minutes opening at his position would be Tom Pritchard’s, who played just 9.9 per game a season ago. Derek Elston and Hanner Perea are also going to be battling for a piece of those minutes, so it’s definitely an uphill battle for Jurkin to become a regular in the rotation.

Jon Robling writes: Is this the last chance for Mo Creek? And is he expected to practice on schedule?

Alex Bozich: From what Tom Crean told us a couple of weeks ago at Huber Farms for the IU Tailgate Tour, Maurice Creek is on a “long and tedious” road to recovery, but isn’t behind schedule. Creek seemed to be moving around pretty well towards the end of the season, but drills versus running up and down in the Big Ten are two totally different situations.

If Creek is able to return and play a part in what many are expecting to be a magical season in Bloomington, it would be one of the feel good stories in all of college basketball — deservedly so given what he’s been through since the fantastic start to his career.

@ElBonko writes: What are the odds that Dipo goes pro after his junior year? 75%?

Alex Bozich: It’s impossible to put a percentage on Victor Oladipo’s prospects for turning pro when he hasn’t played a minute of his junior season, but his play last season, especially late, put him on the NBA radar. He’s listed in the top 50 on a couple of draft boards I’ve seen for 2013, but a lot will be determined by his offseason improvement (most importantly improving his perimeter shot) and what Indiana is able to accomplish next season.

@Collin_OConnor writes: Other than Yogi, which freshman do you think will have the biggest role on next year’s team?

Alex Bozich: Jeremy Hollowell in terms of playing time, but I think Perea and Ron Patterson could also play big roles. Hollowell’s ability to score the ball in a variety of ways and rebound make him a candidate to play right away. His skillset for his size at 6-foot-8 is very diverse.

As for Perea and Patterson, both guys can carve out important roles because both guys are long and active on defense. Perea can block and affect shots around the rim. Patterson’s wingspan is incredible and he’s very good defending on the ball. Neither guy is going to put up big numbers offensively given that IU’s top five scorers are returning, but if the Hoosiers want to win the Big Ten, the defense must improve. Both players can help in that regard.

Tyler Trowbridge writes: What would be ITH’s preseason top 5?

Alex Bozich: 1. Indiana, 2. Louisville, 3. Kentucky, 4. UCLA, 5. Michigan. Subject to change many times before the season tips off, of course.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.williamson.90 Charles Williamson

    uh yeah…that is what I was going to say. well stated comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.williamson.90 Charles Williamson

    I think the lack of continuity will start to catch up with the kitty kats, but since they play in a water downed conference and now have a non-traditional schedule they might still go undefeated the next 7 years.

  • Kelin Blab

    When I think of a kid being a project it is a kid who:
    1. Has limited basketball experience
    2. Played against low level competition
    3. Has a low basketball IQ due to lack of experience
    4. Has a sense of awkardness and not fully comfortable at their position

    I don’t think PJ is any of those things…
    1. Has played on a high level AAU team against very good competition
    2. Has had solid coaching in high school and through Indiana Elite
    3. Has a solid bball IQ as you can see in the development of his game
    4. Has worked on his body to prepare himself for the big ten. As of May he was at 222 pounds according to Crean.(Before you laugh at that, that is 1 pound more that a similar build Boston Celtic Jajuan Johnson)

    PJ, Bawa, and Tijan are not even in the same conversation. I think as a player and knowing who they are, Jurkin is further along than Perea.

  • HoosierKen73

    IMO that is a great post. I cringe at some of the guys on here that seem to want to fall back on that “PJ a project” notion just cause it’s there.. I think they throw that out not only erroneously, but unfairly, to the level of experience PJ has had, his work ethic and his desire to improve and be a contributor. Thanks for pointing those things out. I believe we will be pleasantly surprised by PJ this year…and am very much in his corner.

  • HoosierKen73

    IMO that is a great post. I cringe at some of the guys on here that seem to want to fall back on that “PJ a project” notion just cause it’s there.. I think they throw that out not only erroneously, but unfairly, to the level of experience PJ has had, his work ethic and his desire to improve and be a contributor. Thanks for pointing those things out. I believe we will be pleasantly surprised by PJ this year…and am very much in his corner.

  • Miamihoosier

    I’m pretty sure they’ll lose 2/3 of the following: at Louisville, Duke in the Georgia Dome, and on the road in the Big East challenge (Syracuse maybe?). Those are some of the best teams the nation has to offer. If they pull off all of those, Nerlens Noel must be the next Marcus Camby. Otherwise, 2 preconference losses = no top 10 ranking

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.williamson.90 Charles Williamson

    UK @ ND for Big East chall. Let’s hope he is the next Marcus Camby…wiped out season.

  • HoosierKen73

    ISH posted an article on here, maybe a month ago, wherein Dan Dakitch was talking about that… Where he had bumped into Cody at one of the AAU events at Cook Hall. Commented on how tall Cody looked. In that article he related it back to when Crean was approached about whether Cody has grown some more… Crean was credited with saying, Cody has grown..and is very, very close to 7′ 0″ now, 236 lbs and has added two inches to his vertical…as has Victor…hmmmm now that’s going to be awesome.

  • HoosierKen73

    ISH posted an article on here, maybe a month ago, wherein Dan Dakitch was talking about that… Where he had bumped into Cody at one of the AAU events at Cook Hall. Commented on how tall Cody looked. In that article he related it back to when Crean was approached about whether Cody has grown some more… Crean was credited with saying, Cody has grown..and is very, very close to 7′ 0″ now, 236 lbs and has added two inches to his vertical…as has Victor…hmmmm now that’s going to be awesome.

  • SCHoosier

    Well..he did have those injuries which hurt development…I would challenge the quality of competition statement..but who cares. I think IU found a sleeper cause I don’t think PJ was rated at all as a college prospect? Obviously I hope you guys are right…I do agree he has more upside than Bawa/ Jobe together…just not sure where he is right now as a “baller”. So Hoosier Ken given IU’s history with African imports…I think its fair to ask if is PJ a project..until he proves otherwise.. Want the kid to succeed big time..and if its in him, Crean et al will get it out. Part of the problem … there’s very little video of past play.
    but as they say “you can’t teach height.”

  • HoosierKen73

    I believe a post on this site about a week ago, which stated that Jurkin and Perea, were the first two of the class of 2012 to arrive on campus, and that both had been cleared by the NCAA. Believe it was the article on Crean addressing the Scholarship situation…

  • HoosierKen73

    So you’re going to stereotype PJ into a ‘African import’ model, huh? hmmmmm I would respectfully have to say, that is even more unfair than the way you stated it earlier.. Are you aware that PJ decided first, then talked Perea into joining him? … Then most of the rest of the movement followed suit and fell into place.. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure they’re both from the Sudan….which I guess could be lumped into ‘Africa’…after all it’s the same continent…and oh, there’s Oladipo…hmmm, now where do we think he’s from? Is he also limped into your catagory of IU’s past history with ‘African imports’? Additionally, I follow Rivals acouting reports pretty closely and am sure Rivals had PJ as a 3 star… I believe that’s also where they have had Luke Fischer all along…. Hmmmmmm, Is he also a project? Don’t think there’s many 3 stars that could be considered ‘projects’ whether from Africa, er, uh, actually Sudan…or not. Good post though…just not fair, in PJ’s case….
    He also has length, and athleticism. He’ll run the floor like Cody, you’ll find out.
    Hey, I do like most of the stuff you’ve always posted…just don’t think you’re right on this one about PJ, even being close to ‘call him a “project ’til he proves otherwise”…sorry just can’t and don’t buy that.

  • coach c

    I was in cook hall about 2 weeks ago watching individual workouts and open gym. It’s almost disrespectful to compare Jurkin to Jobe and Bawa. He can def shoot the ball better than most people think. He also run the floor well and can finish around the rim with contact. I’m not saying he will be the best center in the BIG but the kid is confident and is in a great situation so anything is possible

  • coach c

    I was in cook hall about 2 weeks ago watching individual workouts and open gym. It’s almost disrespectful to compare Jurkin to Jobe and Bawa. He can def shoot the ball better than most people think. He also run the floor well and can finish around the rim with contact. I’m not saying he will be the best center in the BIG but the kid is confident and is in a great situation so anything is possible

  • Sghoosier

    God’s cruel joke — when you are young, you are struggling to put any weight one. The moment you hit 30, you struggle to take any off.

  • Miamihoosier

    I kind of hope Kentucky doesn’t lose their championship and have their 2 final fours wiped out of the record books, for at least several years after Calipari leaves. When it happens, it is going to put an unpleasant stain on all of college basketball, but if it takes them a while to catch up to him, at least you can say “oh well that was 5 years ago” ………..just looking out for us…ha

  • Sghoosier

    Oh the irony!! Lumping into Africa…

    Both PJ and Hanna are from Sudan? Unless you consider Columbia part of Africa which technically was true a few million years ago.

    VO can technically qualify as a Nigerian simply due to his parents being Nigerian.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Not with Mizzou now in the SEC…

  • marcusgresham


    Don’t think there’s many 3 stars that could be considered ‘projects’ whether from Africa, er, uh, actually Sudan…or not.”
    OK, he was from Ghana, not Sudan, but I’m pretty sure we’d all agree he was project, and he was the #16 rated center and #112 rated player overall in his class.

    http://rivals.yahoo.com/basketballrecruiting/basketball/recruiting/player-Bawa-Muniru-37966

  • marcusgresham

    I’ve read National Geographic—we’re all of African descent.

  • DarkSouth

    I could easily see them dropping a few games, especially UofL and Duke. But they’d probably still be in the top 10 considering their preseason ranking and the caliber of those opponents. They’ll be given leeway by voters, I bet.

  • ttrepp

    When are we gonna be able to see video of this years team run up and down the court scrimmaging? Sometime this summer?

  • SCHoosier

    On one of the tours..Crean said that the NCAA is concentrating on football at the present time given that their season is right around the corner. Guess we’re stillholding our breath on Perea..altho TC shounds pretty confident ab out that situation.

  • SCHoosier

    I stand corrected on a couple of things..I believe Perea is from Columbia. The “Import” comment was not meant as a slam…there are a ton of African players being recruited here and you know what… they..in the vast majority..are from good families..have high academic goals..and take advantage of most everything that’s offered to them in the US. Some return home..some stay..but the vast majority from what I’ve read..are otustanding kids. How many American kids could leave their families for 4-6 years..and “make it.”?

  • Arch_Puddington

    Excellent post, particilarly the point that we have players coming in at multiple positions. Although we are going about it differently than some of the other major powers, we have arguably the deepest pipeline of incoming talent in the country over the nex 2-3 years. If we snag any of the top guys we are still working on – Ojeleye, Anya, Vonleh, etc. – we will be legitimate championship contenders for years to come. Heck, we will be even without them. We are once again the marquee program in Indiana, but with Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue all on top of their games, plus  lesser but still serious powers such as Xavier lurking about, good players will get away from time to time. Fortunately, Crean is rapidly establishing us as a national recruiting power as well. We will miss out on some of Indiana’s talent, but should have no trouble making up for it elsewhere.

  • Dtfreed

    It will be interesting during pre-B1G sched. CTC might play all Frosh most of the game just to give them game time experience against lessor teams,

  • Dtfreed

    It will be interesting during pre-B1G sched. CTC might play all Frosh most of the game just to give them game time experience against lessor teams,

  • INUnivHoosier

    We have our reparations. We don’t have denim shirt recruiting players that would ban us from post-season play due to low APR scores. Also, we have a great coach who is recruiting great players that have class and the chance to win a NC.

  • HoosierKen73

    I agree with ya 100% or at least pretty close to it (maybe 99.9% or so…lol..). Not many American kids could do that. As long as we’re standing corrected, I’ll stand corrected on where Hanner came from. I do know, or at least it has been written, they’re close friends..and if ya look at when the agreed to come to IU, PJ decided, and it’s been written that he helped talk Hanner into coming with. Anyway, if ya also look at some of the commenting going on here, after the last video on PJ was posted..most we’re saying they were “very impressed, that he was more than a ‘project’ kind of guy…and that he was a ‘steal’…mostly because he had missed his junior year due to a hairline fracture in his leg…and was not rated as highly as he probably would’ve been. So, what do ya believe, I like the video, and also like the athleticism, the size, the length…and everything else about the kid. Crean has said, “He’s a legit seven-footer”..so they’re not stretchin’ him to make him one on paper, at least I believe Crean on that. I think we’re going to like him and I think he’ll do great in candy stripes.

  • lug

    Ford Center big whoop! IU fans would fill the coliseum to the rim at atleast 12,000 and some change. This will happen someday. Obviously not in the Hilliard Gates arena but at the Coliseum. If it can bring in Elton John it can bring in the Cream and Crimson.

  • DannerPerea

    Does anyone else see Cody’s offensive game getting better as a result of having to face Hanner, Jurkin, and Hollowell in the paint EVERYDAY in practice? I bet Cody’s assist numbers spike too this season.

  • DannerPerea

    I shoulda read your post before opening my big fat fingers toward the top. You took the keys right out of my keyboard.

  • http://twitter.com/karynb99 K B

    We’ll get our reparations as soon as the county refunds my money from the speeding ticket I got for going 40 in a 30 two years ago now that they’ve upped the speed limit in that area to a 40. You follow the rules that are in place at the time.

  • calbert40

    haha! Comments that agree with my own opinions are always welcomed!!

  • http://twitter.com/BrandonTucker Brandon Tucker

    IU is so deep that Crean will be able to give out minutes based on tenacious D, since everyone’s going to be able to score. If the D shores up & everyone stays healthy, hello Final 4!

  • HoosierKen73

    I’ve read National Geographic also..and wow, I did pass geography class at IU, or was that in High School? Oh well, nice thing about getting older, ‘you don’t remember what ya don’t remember’…lol.. Seriously though, I really didn’t know if Hanner was Columbia or Sudan, or where Olidipo was from for sure.. But I think if you’ll check on the dates, and what has been written about it, PJ committed (and he and Hanner are close friends) and then the rest started falling into place.. becoming what is at least thus far, one of the best recruiting classes we’ve had in a long time. Think we’ll see some great stuff from these guys b4 they’re through. Love what Crean is doing with the program.

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