The Inside the Hall Mailbag: June 27

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.

@AdamPacmanB writes: Do you think IU has been overrated this preseason? Would they be a preseason top 5 if they lost to VCU?

Alex Bozich: No. They return all five starters (not including Verdell Jones) from a team that beat the eventual national champion, two other top five teams and reached the Sweet 16.

They could be slightly lower if they lost to VCU, but since they didn’t, they’re being judged by their body of work last season (which was impressive), the talent returning and a nice influx of talent. Top five seems perfectly logical.

@fakejho writes: where is iu with trevon blueitt? He seems to be picking up a lot of new offers

Alex Bozich: Bluiett is doing his due diligence with the process and you’re right, his collection of offers is continuing to grow. Michigan is the latest school to offer the Park Tudor junior and the Wolverines join IU, Florida, Illinois, Purdue, Xavier, IUPUI, Virginia, Kansas State, Louisville and Notre Dame.

Our last Bluiett update still had the Hoosiers in a favorable position, but he stopped short of naming a leader. Indiana was his first offer, but it’s clear that Bluiett isn’t going to be rushed into a decision before he’s ready.

@jayrigdon5 writes: Over/under 4.5 future NBA draftees on IU’s roster next year. Zeller/Watford seem safe. Thoughts on prospects of others?

Alex Bozich: That’s a tough question. Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo could certainly be drafted as could several of the incoming freshmen down the line. As it currently stands, Zeller is the only lock on the roster. For the sake of not ducking your question, I’ll go over.

@HOMEGROWN_IUBB writes: Any idea when the B1G will release the single play schedule for men’s basketball?

Alex Bozich: The single plays should be flipped for next season, so Indiana will likely get Illinois and Northwestern on the road only and Nebraska and Wisconsin at home only.

The complete Big Ten schedule is typically released in August or early September.

@d_fall83 writes: can you summarize the non con games scheduled to date & what do you think we can expect to fill out the rest of the schedule?

Alex Bozich: This information is maintained on our future schedules page, but here’s what is known for next season’s non-conference slate:

· Legends Classic at Barclays Center
– Dates: November 19, 20
– Teams: UCLA, Georgetown, Georgia
– Other teams who may play IU at Assembly Hall before games at Barclays incude: Duquesne, North Dakota State, James Madison, Liberty, UC Irvine, Sam Houston. (Source)

· vs. Ball State on Nov. 25 (Source)

· Big Ten-ACC Challenge: vs. North Carolina on Nov. 27

· Crossroads Classic: vs. Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Dec. 15

Beyond those games, barring an unforeseen change in direction from when Tom Crean addressed the media a couple of weeks ago at Huber Farms, I wouldn’t expect another marquee opponent to be added for next season.

@lybarger602 writes: with Roth and VJ3 gone, does IU have enough consistent outside shooters to stretch the defense and keep them honest?

Alex Bozich: Perimeter shooting shouldn’t be much of a problem for this group. Jordan Hulls (49.3 percent from 3) and Watford (43.7) led the team in made 3′s last season and Derek Elston and Will Sheehey are also capable of hitting open looks from the perimeter.

As good of a shooter as Roth was, he had difficulty getting his shot off against some of the better teams on the schedule. His three double digit scoring games were UMBC, Penn State and Iowa and he scored a total of three points in the NCAA Tournament.

@jasonwehlage writes: explain summer coaching rule…2hrs/ week only individual instruction or can multiple players b involved in drills same time?

Alex Bozich: You can read the complete details here, but it’s eight hours per week (for eight weeks) of which no more than two hours can involve skill-related instruction.

@Paytodd1 writes: what r the odds that Matt Roth is with the team this year?

Alex Bozich: A search of the student directory shows that Roth is not enrolled in classes this summer so the odds are not good. Roth’s status for next season has been a frequent question, but given IU’s scholarship crunch and the fact that he went through senior night in March, his return for a fifth season never seemed likely.

Nick Wilson writes: If you had to speculate a possible starting lineup, what would it be?

Alex Bozich: By the start of Big Ten play, Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Hulls and Yogi Ferrell with Sheehey as the first man off the bench.

@hoopstrainer writes: If you had to describe Coach Crean’s recruiting strategy how would you describe it?

Alex Bozich: Relentless and wide-spread. He never stops recruiting. As much of an emphasis as he’s placed on the state of Indiana, he’s also done a very good job going elsewhere to find talent like Watford, Oladipo, Maurice Creek and Sheehey. That’s continued in future classes with Luke Fischer and Stanford Robinson.

I believe you’ll continue to see a heavy emphasis on landing the top players from Indiana and a continued push to land more national recruits as well.

Chris Harder writes: What’s the most we can hope for mo creek??

Alex Bozich: Hopes have been high for Creek in his first two attempted returns from significant injuries, so this is a difficult question. Anyone who follows the program (or college basketball for that matter) is rooting for a return to the form of his freshman season, but is that a realistic expectation to place on Creek? Probably not. A return to a spot in the rotation this season would be one of the more uplifting stories for the program in recent memory and that’s probably a good place to start.

  • SCHoosier

    Yogi said in a recent interview that it would take a while for him to “get use” to the tendancies of the vets..while trying to learn the system and improve his own game. Very mature viewpoint from this very smart freshman. by B-10 opener…he’ll be able to play any role with any supporting cast they put with him.

  • MillaRed

    Does he “have” to guard the 2? When we are in situations where teams at the 1-3 are a scoring threat, Jordy struggles. But that is not every team, and at the end of the game he got yanked in favor of Sheehey.

  • Pritch24

    Yeah that’s crazy, has anyone considered a HUGE line-up for the middle of the game? How about Vic, Sheehey, Wat, CZ, and Peter all in at the same time. Wow

  • Arch_Puddington

    I agree, it will be great fun to watch this all play out. It is almost certain that someone will surprise us with the quality of his play, and someone else will come up a bit short. As you say, we won’t really know until a few games have been played and some serious competition has been faced. Maybe I’ll return to this page after the season has begun to see how wrong all my predictions are…

  • dumbfounded

    I don’t quite understand where some of these comments are coming from, oh how soon we forget. There is ZERO chance Jordy does not start next year, and ZERO chance he does not average more minutes than anyone else on the team.

  • Beard

    The starting lineup is one thing. As has been pointed out the real question will be how will the minutes be divided up and who will be getting them. It will be difficult, as Arch said in the initial post, for the rotation to be more than 10 players deep. Based on last year’s performance, I think we will see a rotation heavy in players with experience early on. For instance in the first 10 games it may not be uncommon to see Hulls as the primary point guard with Yogi and Abell splitting the back up minutes. I think Hollowell is almost a Watford clone and in such situations that spot will go to the Senior over the Freshman. Probably is a split like 30minutes to 10 minutes or 25/15. The nice thing about an easy schedule is that you could easily see blowouts and more minutes for the bench guys and less mileage on the upperclassmen.

    The real question will be how will CTC divide the minutes in big non-conference games and in the conference games. I hope he takes more of an NBA approach with with offensive and defensive substitutions. Hopefully CTC conserves his timeouts and uses them wisely to accomplish this task. It would appear that top 10 in the rotation will likely be:

    C — Zeller / Jurkin (probably in a 30/10 split for minutes)
    PF — HP, Elston (but these guys won’t get that many minutes bc the SF spot listed below will probably slide into this spot)
    SF — Watford / Hollowell (another likely 30/10 split for minutes)
    SG — VO / Sheehey/Patterson
    PG — Hulls, Yogi, Abell

    That list shows 12 players and I think those guys will be the ones getting minutes with Etherington likely only to get total mop up minutes. Creek being a total wild card at this point.

    So, if CTC and the Hoosiers need a key defensive stop but that stop also needs to lead to a score in crunch time who do you want on the floor? I probably want a lineup that looks like this: C-Zeller, PF- HP, SF-Watford, SG-VO, PG Yogi.

    If there is a situation where IU needs a score and defense doesn’t matter then you probably go with: C-Zeller, PF-Watford, SF-VO, SG-Hulls, PG-Yogi

    But think of how many interesting combinations there are available depending upon the situation in the game and the opponent’s lineup:

    IU can go smaller and be very fast with C-Zeller, PF-HP, SF-VO, SG-Sheehey, PG Yogi.

    The Hoosiers could go very big with C-Jurkin, PF-Zeller, SF-Watford, SG-VO, PG-Abell.

    IU can put a pressing lineup on the court with C-Zeller, PF-HP, SF-VO, SG-Patterson, PG-Yogi or Abell.

    As you can see the combinations with 12 guys for 5 spots could be virtually endless (I believe if my math is correct 12!/5! = roughly 4 Million). Even if you were forced to have certain positional players on the court at the same time you probably wind up with 1/2 a million to a million combinations.

    While it is a great problem to have, CTC will have his hands full keeping everyone satisfied. I could easily see Hollowell or Patterson or Abell getting upset about their lack of playing time. They probably won’t complain publicly (especially if the team is winning) but it could happen privately and the result of that could be transfers during or after the season. Let’s hope that is not the case.

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

    Anyone else think that we need to start beefing up our non conference schedule some? I’m not all for playing anything but top teams but I think we should also not be playing all duds either.

  • DarkSouth

    I’m not sure Yogi getting posted up is a problem in the conference season as I can’t think of anyone who inverts their offense like that who would also have a threat to score. Maybe I’m forgetting someone.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    no way yogi and jordy start together. not enough size there. here is my 5. CZ,CWAT, JH,VO and HOLLOWELL.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    no way yogi and jordy start together. not enough size there. here is my 5. CZ,CWAT, JH,VO and HOLLOWELL.

  • Mat

    Your right it does hurt us in size but Jordy is not a true point. Yogi will start by start of big ten and that is a fact! I do like your lineup but no one can handle the ball any where close to as good as Yogi.

  • Mat

    Just because Jordy would start at the 2 doesn’t mean he has to guard the 2. Yogi is much faster so they can stick him on the faster/scorer who they are playing against regardless if it is the 1 or 2.

  • http://twitter.com/erikholm Erik Holm

    It’s not too easy with UNC, Butler & 2 of 3 UCLA, Georgetown or Georgia for non-conference:
    http://www.insidethehall.com/future-indiana-basketball-schedules/
    With the lose of kentucky, 1 more BCS league team away would be good. Most teams only play a couple big boys early. Except for Mich St who usually loses big in those early games for some reason.

  • http://twitter.com/erikholm Erik Holm

    It’s not too easy with UNC, Butler & 2 of 3 UCLA, Georgetown or Georgia for non-conference:
    http://www.insidethehall.com/future-indiana-basketball-schedules/
    With the lose of kentucky, 1 more BCS league team away would be good. Most teams only play a couple big boys early. Except for Mich St who usually loses big in those early games for some reason.

  • Jethro Troll

    Nah. People put too much emphasis on schedules sometimes. Even so, IU will most likely play UCLA and UNC. That’s 2 top 10 teams right there. Butler will be good this year as well. And the Big 10 will be plenty tough enough to have IU ready to kick @ss and take names in the NCAAs.
    Go Hoosiers!!!

  • Mat

    Why is everyone complaining about Jordy playing the 2 and his defense. I know Jordy does lack when it comes to the D side but just because he starts at 2 does not mean he has to guard the 2. Like Alex said Wat was guarding the Point sometimes the 2nd half of the season. Our best bet to go all the way will be to start Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Hulls & Ferrell

  • IUCommish

    If you remember the book “A Season on the Brink” (and who on here hasn’t read it) Johnny Bench had a great defensive philosophy. As long as he scored more than the guy he was guarding, he figured he played good defense. Normally, I wouldn’t espouse that theory, but in Jordy’s case it might be applicable.

  • Jethro Troll

    Depth is an overrated term in this sport. And the sheer amount of talent up and down IU’s roster next year will be problem that Crean has to work thru.
    IU’s depth is still an asset. We’re not going to see a dropoff in play as Crean goes to his bench. Not many teams can say that, hence the short rotations against good competition. This is both a luxury and a problem that Crean hasnt had to deal with yet at IU.
    And he still has to figure out the scholly issue.

  • Geoff_85

    Wanna bet?

  • Geoff_85

    You’re remembering his one bad NCAA Tournament game and forgetting about his 2 very good NCAA Tournament games. You’re right, he struggled against VCU and has us all screaming at the t.v., but were you screaming at the t.v. for him to be pulled when he was dropping 3′s on NMSU in a 22pt, 3ast, 1to effort? How about during his 12pt, 9ast, 0to Sweet Sixteen game against pUKe? 2 TO’s per game in 3 NCAA Tournament games for a PG who isn’t a “true PG” is pretty damn good if you ask me. I don’t think it’s as easy to shut him down as you think, or it would have been done a lot more. He has a good mid-range game that everyone forgets about too. To shut him down, you have to flat out get after him. Teams won’t be able to do that with the offensive firepower IU will have on the court with Yogi running the point. And I got news for you, Remy Abell isn’t that hard to shut down (not trying to knock him) and his D is good, but not as good or as important as Hulls’ offensive ability and leadership.

  • Geoff_85

    You’re remembering his one bad NCAA Tournament game and forgetting about his 2 very good NCAA Tournament games. You’re right, he struggled against VCU and has us all screaming at the t.v., but were you screaming at the t.v. for him to be pulled when he was dropping 3′s on NMSU in a 22pt, 3ast, 1to effort? How about during his 12pt, 9ast, 0to Sweet Sixteen game against pUKe? 2 TO’s per game in 3 NCAA Tournament games for a PG who isn’t a “true PG” is pretty damn good if you ask me. I don’t think it’s as easy to shut him down as you think, or it would have been done a lot more. He has a good mid-range game that everyone forgets about too. To shut him down, you have to flat out get after him. Teams won’t be able to do that with the offensive firepower IU will have on the court with Yogi running the point. And I got news for you, Remy Abell isn’t that hard to shut down (not trying to knock him) and his D is good, but not as good or as important as Hulls’ offensive ability and leadership.

  • HoosierKen73

    I’m not sure where to put this, but I would not be surprised to find Hulls, with less and less minutes by the time conference season rolls around. I mean seriously.. I like Jordy, it’s just that we have much quicker options this year and they can also score. Most of the guys at work (who incidentally are not necessarily IU fans) consider him way too slow and short and not enough of an athlete to even get his shot off against the elite guards. It’s like someone pointed out in a post above…how many times were you sitting in from of your TV yelling for Crean to get him out of there last year, toward the end of the season? I recall doing that a lot. We have a lot more scoring options this year, and ones that can also defend talented opponents. Think by B1G season, we’ll see Zeller, CWat, JH or Hanner, Oladipo and Yogi starting, with WS coming off the bench. CHC has said, “If you thought we were fast last year, wait ’til you see us next year. We’re not going to be much faster if Hulls stays out there.
    You’re right, it’s very hard to be patient. Can’t wait to see how this plays out.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Harvard?

  • marcusgresham

    Depth is overrated depending on style of play. If you intend to go all-out run-like-hell press-them-like-paninis then depth/conditioning are paramount. Watch the ESPN special on the old Loyola Marymount teams. They said they were frequently losing in the first half and early in the second half, but they knew when it got to about the 10:00 to 8:00 mark in the second half the other team started dying.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I went back and looked at some box scores to see if there were was indeed a stretch of games where Hulls was only scoring 2-3 points a game. I started with the first game of February (since you said later part of the season).
    -18 points on 6-12 shooting
    -10 points on 4-10 shooting
    -15 points on 4-8 shooting
    -0 points on 0-3 shooting
    -2 points on 1-5 shooting
    -5 points on 2-3 shooting
    -12 points on 4-8 shooting
    -10 points on 3-7 shooting
    -10 points on 3-7 shooting
    -20 points on 7-10 shooting
    -17 points on 7-10 shooting
    -22 points on 8-12 shooting

    That’s up until the VCU game. I would say calling a couple of low scoring games (one of them against NC Central where he didn’t play much) a “stretch where he was ice cold and only scoring about 2-3 points a game” is a bit of, well, a “stretch”. For the vast majority of the season, he was very effective and had a really good offensive season.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I went back and looked at some box scores to see if there were was indeed a stretch of games where Hulls was only scoring 2-3 points a game. I started with the first game of February (since you said later part of the season).
    -18 points on 6-12 shooting
    -10 points on 4-10 shooting
    -15 points on 4-8 shooting
    -0 points on 0-3 shooting
    -2 points on 1-5 shooting
    -5 points on 2-3 shooting
    -12 points on 4-8 shooting
    -10 points on 3-7 shooting
    -10 points on 3-7 shooting
    -20 points on 7-10 shooting
    -17 points on 7-10 shooting
    -22 points on 8-12 shooting

    That’s up until the VCU game. I would say calling a couple of low scoring games (one of them against NC Central where he didn’t play much) a “stretch where he was ice cold and only scoring about 2-3 points a game” is a bit of, well, a “stretch”. For the vast majority of the season, he was very effective and had a really good offensive season.

  • CreanFaithful

    I’m not sure how you came to that conclusion. I think most of us understand, that lineup can work against several teams that we will face this year. But when considering games against elite competition, I just don’t see it shaking out that way. We threw Watford on Burke in the MI game, because there were two other players on the court Jordy could guard… that won’t always be the case.

  • CreanFaithful

    He is obviously going to be on the floor. The debate is whether Yogi and Jordy should play significant minutes at the same time. Sure, there will be times when we can get by with it, but against top-tier teams we won’t have that luxury IMO. We need to make big advances in our defense if we want to pursue a 6th banner. The offense will be fine no matter what lineup is on the court.

  • CreanFaithful

    Defensive match ups – understood. That still doesn’t solve having two 6 foot and under players on the court at the same time. Yogi may very well be capable at defending at a high level as a freshmen (I will believe it when I see it), but scorers are going to be capable of shooting over the top of him just like Jordy. Playing them together weakens our defense – which is precisely where we need to improve to hang a banner.

  • CreanFaithful

    Defensive match ups – understood. That still doesn’t solve having two 6 foot and under players on the court at the same time. Yogi may very well be capable at defending at a high level as a freshmen (I will believe it when I see it), but scorers are going to be capable of shooting over the top of him just like Jordy. Playing them together weakens our defense – which is precisely where we need to improve to hang a banner.

  • Arch_Puddington

    Surprisingly, the Loyola Marymount teams you referred to had almost exactly the same allocation of playing time as I described above. The 1989-90 team that averaged 122 points/game had 7 guys who played more than 15 minutes, and 2 who played more than 8. That team was good not because of its depth, but because it had Bo Kimble and Hank Gathers. The more I look into it, the less depth matters. Championship teams win because of their best 2-3 players, plus another 4-5 who play solid roles.

  • Outoftheloop

    No, Princeton of course.

  • Outoftheloop

    None of us knows what sort of player Etherington will be this year. But we do know that he will be vastly improved physically and totally into Coach Crean’s expectations for contributing to the Indiana team. He will have a definite advantage over the “non-Yogi” freshmen, at least early in the year. If he can shoot like Hulls, he will see the floor often.

  • Jethro Troll

    Exactly. Depth is a luxury that can be an asset at times, but it’s not generally a huge factor when projecting FF talent. You can only play 5 guys at a time.
    In general, a college bball squad needs a good reserve guard/wing and a good reserve big man to fill in and provide rest. There are times when quality depth can be a huge asset, such as during foul difficulty. So Im not saying depth isnt important, Im just saying that teams generally dont go 12 deep, especially against elite talent. I guess Im talking about “quality depth” over “quantity depth”.
    I still like IU’s depth, dont get me wrong, and I think it will greatl help at times this year. But, when all is said and done, IU’s NC hopes will rely on the play of Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Hulls, Ferrell and Sheehey.

  • Jethro Troll

    Exactly. Depth is a luxury that can be an asset at times, but it’s not generally a huge factor when projecting FF talent. You can only play 5 guys at a time.
    In general, a college bball squad needs a good reserve guard/wing and a good reserve big man to fill in and provide rest. There are times when quality depth can be a huge asset, such as during foul difficulty. So Im not saying depth isnt important, Im just saying that teams generally dont go 12 deep, especially against elite talent. I guess Im talking about “quality depth” over “quantity depth”.
    I still like IU’s depth, dont get me wrong, and I think it will greatl help at times this year. But, when all is said and done, IU’s NC hopes will rely on the play of Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Hulls, Ferrell and Sheehey.

  • SCHoosier

    Hull’s3 years of experience in the system can’t be discounted at “crunch time”. Yogi goes so fast he’s gonna have some TO problems until he gets used to how the guys play. But I agree by conference time..it will be hard to keep him on the bench. I expect Hulls to shoot so well this year..that it will be hard to give him pine time also. Nice problem to have.

  • CreanFaithful

    Wow! What games were
    you watching? I can only think of VCU… Personally, I remember Jordan taking the
    team on his shouldered several times throughout the season when the offense got
    stagnant and we needed a clutch basket – both by perimeter shooting and
    creating off the dribble. He may not be
    a speed demon, but he gets the ball up the floor on fast breaks quicker than
    any other Hoosier from last year’s squad (Obviously Yogi is quicker but that
    doesn’t negate Jordan’s value). He was 6th in the nation is 3 point
    field goal percentage last year (no one listed above him hit as many 3’s as he
    did either). He is a senior, a leader,
    one of the league’s best shooters and an all-around good ball player. I don’t know how the minutes will shake out
    next year, but he will remain an important piece of any success the Hoosiers
    achieve.

  • Kelin Blab

    Hulls will ABSOLUTELY start and should. He is a senior, his defense has improved, he is experienced, and he is Cody’s biggest asset on the floor. I love Yogi as much as the next guy but I have seen bigger High School guards that are equally as quick have success against Yogi. Yogi will have some trouble defensively, until he gets stronger he will have a tough time fighting through screens.

    Against top tier teams, our team defense will have to be better and it should be but don’t let the ‘movement’ ‘move’ you to believe these guys are coming in replacing seniors.

    Love Hanner but athletic ability can only get you so far, until you have to block out the big boys from Wisconsin.

    Offensively, Hulls not being on the floor hurts Cody and Yogi. You need someone to spread the floor which Hulls can do better than ANYONE in the country.

  • MisterSlippery

    For the life of me, i don’t see what Elston has done for people to think he’ll get decent minutes.

  • MisterSlippery

    For the life of me, i don’t see what Elston has done for people to think he’ll get decent minutes.

  • marcusgresham

    The highest 3-point % on the team last season for starters.
    An NBA body that is probably best equipped of anyone on the roster to compete physically in the Big10
    If Elston were to have played the same minutes as Zeller his stats project to 9.7ppg and 5.7 rpg. The points are less, but the rebounds per game at that clip are commensurate to Zeller and Watford’s production.

  • marcusgresham

    The highest 3-point % on the team last season for starters.
    An NBA body that is probably best equipped of anyone on the roster to compete physically in the Big10
    If Elston were to have played the same minutes as Zeller his stats project to 9.7ppg and 5.7 rpg. The points are less, but the rebounds per game at that clip are commensurate to Zeller and Watford’s production.

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