The Inside the Hall Mailbag: June 27

  • 06/27/2012 8:53 am in

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.

Filed to:

  • Ray Finkle

    Yogi, Hulls & Oladipo would be a pretty small starting 5, no?
    i’d like to see Hanner start if he’s ready so Watford could slide to the 3 spot with 2 Oladipo and either Yogi/Hulls at PG

  • N71

    What is a fair projection for our 2014 class?

    Trey Lyles – committed
    James Blackman – committed
    Trevon Bluiett – 50% chance

    Beyond that, I have no idea.

  • N71

    What is a fair projection for our 2014 class?

    Trey Lyles – committed
    James Blackman – committed
    Trevon Bluiett – 50% chance

    Beyond that, I have no idea.

  • Hammer

    BTN is playing old videos of IU all day today. Below is a
    link to the schedule of the programming times.
    http://www.iuhoosiers.com/genrel/062112aab.html

  • MillaRed

    Something tells me Hanner will not be ready to start as a frosh. He is still very raw. If we go big it would be Elston at the 4.

    But I have said all along, Alex’s starting 5 is mine. It’s a real scoring threat at every position and when you mix in a zone defense, it could cause problems.

  • Jethro Troll

    And most contributors on this board had Pritchard starting last year, and that wasnt close to being right.
    IU can matchup against the bigger teams, when necessary, but most times you can get away with small guards. I think we’ll see the staring lineup of Yogi, Hulls, Oladipo, Watford and Zeller right off the bat. I really look forward to seeing Hulls playing off the ball, creating space, running off of screens and doing what he does best, firing 3 pt bombs. Offensively, that will be an elite unit on the floor. How good defensively they will be, and the team as a whole, will dictate how far they go.

  • CreanFaithful

    Since when is scoring our issue? Defense is where we need improvement – and alot of it. Their has certainly been optimistic projections here at ITH for Yogi’s defensive abilities at the collegiate level, but I am not sold (yet). I am very excited about Yogi’s arrival, but I cringe at the idea of Yogi and Jordy playing many minutes together. Against certain teams it may not be a problem, but I believe top-tier teams would exploit us.

  • Eastwood88_2

    You are 100% correct. We all need to temper our expectations from Hanner. His slide in the ranks was due to his inability to develop. I saw him in person at the Hoosier classic and would rather have elston in there.
    My starting five remains with no freshman. Hulls and Yogi will not be able to defend for long periods of time together. Sheehey for Yogi.

  • Eastwood88_2

    You are 100% correct. We all need to temper our expectations from Hanner. His slide in the ranks was due to his inability to develop. I saw him in person at the Hoosier classic and would rather have elston in there.
    My starting five remains with no freshman. Hulls and Yogi will not be able to defend for long periods of time together. Sheehey for Yogi.

  • calbert40

    I think Alex is spot on with his starting 5. The thing is, though, that the starting 5 is really not all that important. They will play the first 5 minutes together, and then someone else will come in. I think the more important item so far as our lineup is concerned is who is in the rotation, and how deep is the rotation.

    I think that the starting 5 Alex mentioned plus Will, Hollowell and DE are obviously in the rotation. Then we have HP, PJ, Remy, Buss, Mo and AE fighting for the remaining 1 or 2 spots in the rotation.

    Personally, I give the edge to HP and Remy out of that group, but if Mo is healthy, I think he has a good crack at it. I love Buss, and I think he will be a great player for us, but maybe not a huge contributor as a freshman.

  • A_Schick

    Also keep in mind that Oladipo can play bigger than he is on defense.

  • calbert40

    Agree. What excites me about our roster this year is that we have the horses to go big with a bigger team (Wisky, etc), as well as the pesky players to go against really small and quick teams (VCU types).

    I think we will have a set group of 7 or 8 that play and then CTC can mix and match. Against taller teams, give more minutes to HP and PJ. Against littler teams, give more minutes to Remy and Buss. Love this roster’s flexibility!

  • And Watford guarded the point some during the second half of the season.

  • And Watford guarded the point some during the second half of the season.

  • A_Schick

    Thanks for the reply, Alex. I had forgotten about Watford. I don’t think size is going to be an issue for us.

    And congrats on the five year anniversary!

  • SCHoosier

    Iu’s biggest weakness last year was its perimeter defense..the Hulls/Yogi combo don’t make that much better..altho Yogi has the quickness to adapt. Hulls may end up guarding some strange people):

  • Thanks, I appreciate that. Looking forward to the next five years.

  • CreanFaithful

    When Pritch was on the court our defense typically stepped up. Granted, having the ability to mix in “wing players” with a 7 footer is a luxury of CTC’s system, but two 6 foot and under players at the 1-2 spot is not the same. Offense has not been a problem, it’s our defense that needs addressed. That lineup will likely not be an improvement defensively IMO.

  • CreanFaithful

    My exact thoughts…

  • CreanFaithful

    My exact thoughts…

  • chihoosier

    You are high if you don’t think Yogi will be in the starting lineup….

  • Outoftheloop

    With Hulls no longer required to dribble the ball to start the offense (i.e. Yogi playing); and with established scorers like Zeller, Watford, Oladipo and Sheehey alternating on the floor; and with new firepower in Hollowell and Yogi; I expect Jordan to score 20+/game, hit 50% on 3’s, 90% on FT’s, and 55% on 2’s, plus be the intense leader of the team that he has become. Those are All-American numbers on a non-All-American body.

  • Outoftheloop

    You don’t fight so hard to get 14 in the program without giving them all a chance to play. Look for the most offensive team in the US, scores in the 100’s routinely, constant up tempo running on offense and pressing on defense. And will the national recruits eyes light up when they see IU play!

  • MillaRed

    Who said scoring was an issue? I am agreeing with Alex and noting that scoring is a strength.

    If you have watched Hanner as much as I have, defense is NOT his strength. Size and athleticism yes. But he gets lost. Like a lot. He needs time to learn and hone his skills IMO.

    Like Calbert said, we have a lot of flexibility in terms of match ups.

  • MillaRed

    First of all, I do not think you are high. I agree at some point Yogi may start though if not right away.

    As the PG, he really just needs to stay in front of his man, limit penetration etc. I think we might be underestimating him defensively. Staying in front of people was Jordy’s main problem.

  • MillaRed

    First of all, I do not think you are high. I agree at some point Yogi may start though if not right away.

    As the PG, he really just needs to stay in front of his man, limit penetration etc. I think we might be underestimating him defensively. Staying in front of people was Jordy’s main problem.

  • CreanFaithful

    My point was that everyone seems to agree on this lineup because of the offensive advantage but we already offensively inclined. We need to focus on a lineup that will improve our defensive capabilities. We will put up impressive offensive numbers no matter who is on the court this year. Defense is the key.

  • calbert40

    I think all will be given ample opportunity to earn minutes. The plain fact is that there are only 200 minutes to spread around between 13 (14) players. I believe it will be common to see 10 or even 11 guys log minutes each game, but I believe our core rotation will be 9 deep.

  • Hudson

    Hulls will get ate up on the defensive end playing the 2 but at the same time he would flourish on the offensive end….idk seeing hulls playing the 2 scares the hell out of me on the defensive end considering he cant stay in front of anybody

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I can actually see all of that happening except the 20 points a game. If he does all that and puts up 15 a game, it will still be a national story.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    This isn’t a function of the Hulls/Yogi combo though. This is a function of the Hulls/anyone else combo. Hulls is terrific offensively, but somewhat limited on defense. Hulls always ends up guarding strange people, because we usually put him on the least threatening perimeter player. Heck, he guarded Doron Lamb.
    Let me be clear though, because there is a misconception that Jordan Hulls can’t play defense. This is untrue. Anyone as smart and hard working as Jordy can play D. He understands help side D, rotates well, and knows where to be. His limitations are in isolation defending, because he isn’t the quickest or biggest of guys. But he can play defense.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    This isn’t a function of the Hulls/Yogi combo though. This is a function of the Hulls/anyone else combo. Hulls is terrific offensively, but somewhat limited on defense. Hulls always ends up guarding strange people, because we usually put him on the least threatening perimeter player. Heck, he guarded Doron Lamb.
    Let me be clear though, because there is a misconception that Jordan Hulls can’t play defense. This is untrue. Anyone as smart and hard working as Jordy can play D. He understands help side D, rotates well, and knows where to be. His limitations are in isolation defending, because he isn’t the quickest or biggest of guys. But he can play defense.

  • Hardwood83

    I agree with you, having Hulls & Yogi together for long stretches is scary defensively and that was IU’s weakness last year. I am not convinced Yogi is a regular starter. Heresy!……then again I was one of those that thought TP would start last year, so what do I know.

  • Hardwood83

    Then I have a monkey on my back too- cuz I agree. I won’t be upset if I’m wrong, but recall that VJ3 was a starter last season (pre-injury) due to his maturity/leadership. This was despite the vocal opposition of a number of fans who knew better then CTC. My guess is Yogi is NOT a regular starter this season.

  • MisterSlippery

    I agree – I can’t imagine not starting Yogi. We’re all just guessing, though. They’ll figure it out – they’re not going to put a crap lineup on the floor.

  • Hudson

    Hulls cannot keep anybody in front of him…there is no way he should be playing the 2 spot considering our defense was terrible last season

  • Arch_Puddington

    All this talk about potential lineups got me curious: how do good teams allocate playing time? For all the talk about depth on next year’s team, the reality is that at most 6 or 7 players will see meaningful playing time. I looked at a number of top teams from last season, including IU, all of the teams in the final four, and a handful of other high profile teams (North Carolina, Syracuse, etc.). None of them had more than 7 players average more than 15 minutes, with the most typical number being 6. Ohio State only had 5.

    In addition to these primary players, all but one of the teams I looked at had 3 or fewer players average between 8 and 15 minutes (for some perspective, Remy Abell averaged 8 minutes for IU last season). All in all, most teams had 7 or 8 players receiving meaningful playing time, and two teams had 9.

    Indiana, like most of the other top teams I looked at, had 6 players average more than 15 minutes, but did play a slightly deeper bench, with 4 players averaging between 8 and 15. They were the only team I saw that had 10 players averaging over 8 minutes.

    So what does this say about our lineups for next year? Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Sheehey, Hulls, and Feller will surely be our primary 6, with 3 or 4 others receiving more than 8 minutes. Elston will be one of them, which leaves just 2 or 3 others. Hollowell is a natural backup for Watford, and is just generally too talented to sit. One of others will have to be a post player, and my money is on Jurkin. He provides much of the same defensive presence that Perea would, but with seemingly more polish on offense (and, arguably, he is a more natural replacement for Zeller in the middle). The other spot will be a backup guard, which will be an interesting battle. Patterson is arguably the best defender of the bunch and Etherington is the best shooter, but I suspect Abell’s experience and point-guard skills give him the nod.

    That leaves Perea, Etherington, Creek, and Patterson to fight for mop up time. (And yes, I realize one player I have named will not be on the team due to the scholarship crunch). I know that many fans are excited to see Perea’s athleticism, and I know there others who believe that Etherington’s shooting will allow him to fill Roth’s role from last year. For my own part, I am surprised I can’t find a place for Patterson. His perimeter defense seems like a great fit for a team that needs more of it, but there are only so many minutes. It’s all pure speculation, of course, but somebody good will be sitting no matter what, and these are my best guesses.

  • Arch_Puddington

    All this talk about potential lineups got me curious: how do good teams allocate playing time? For all the talk about depth on next year’s team, the reality is that at most 6 or 7 players will see meaningful playing time. I looked at a number of top teams from last season, including IU, all of the teams in the final four, and a handful of other high profile teams (North Carolina, Syracuse, etc.). None of them had more than 7 players average more than 15 minutes, with the most typical number being 6. Ohio State only had 5.

    In addition to these primary players, all but one of the teams I looked at had 3 or fewer players average between 8 and 15 minutes (for some perspective, Remy Abell averaged 8 minutes for IU last season). All in all, most teams had 7 or 8 players receiving meaningful playing time, and two teams had 9.

    Indiana, like most of the other top teams I looked at, had 6 players average more than 15 minutes, but did play a slightly deeper bench, with 4 players averaging between 8 and 15. They were the only team I saw that had 10 players averaging over 8 minutes.

    So what does this say about our lineups for next year? Zeller, Watford, Oladipo, Sheehey, Hulls, and Feller will surely be our primary 6, with 3 or 4 others receiving more than 8 minutes. Elston will be one of them, which leaves just 2 or 3 others. Hollowell is a natural backup for Watford, and is just generally too talented to sit. One of others will have to be a post player, and my money is on Jurkin. He provides much of the same defensive presence that Perea would, but with seemingly more polish on offense (and, arguably, he is a more natural replacement for Zeller in the middle). The other spot will be a backup guard, which will be an interesting battle. Patterson is arguably the best defender of the bunch and Etherington is the best shooter, but I suspect Abell’s experience and point-guard skills give him the nod.

    That leaves Perea, Etherington, Creek, and Patterson to fight for mop up time. (And yes, I realize one player I have named will not be on the team due to the scholarship crunch). I know that many fans are excited to see Perea’s athleticism, and I know there others who believe that Etherington’s shooting will allow him to fill Roth’s role from last year. For my own part, I am surprised I can’t find a place for Patterson. His perimeter defense seems like a great fit for a team that needs more of it, but there are only so many minutes. It’s all pure speculation, of course, but somebody good will be sitting no matter what, and these are my best guesses.

  • HoosierInTheVille

    Hoping most people (even fans of rival teams) can root for Mo to return in stellar fashion. Just as I rooted for Robbie Hummel (him personally, not purdue) to succeed or how when Darius Miller (Mr. Basketball in the state of KY in 08 and a senior who had been recruited over) was holding the NC trophy it seemed ok, then it got handed to a freshmen or Cal and it seemed tainted again. I sure hope he can come back to play a role in the national championship he deserves to win. We’re all pulling for you Mo Creek.

  • Arch_Puddington

    He was the starting point guard on a team that won 27 games and made it to the Sweet 16. He is arguably the best 3 point shooter in the country, and the acknowledged heart of the team. He will most certainly be on the floor.

  • Hudson

    nobody is saying he should not be on the floor but starting at the 2?? keep him at pg and when yogi comes in move him to 2 if he stays on the floor

  • Outoftheloop

    4 X 3’s (8 shots) + 3 X 2’s (5 shots) + 3 FT’s = 21 pts (on 13 shots). Jordan should be the #2 scorer (20) behind Cody (21) and ahead of Christian (18). That is 59 points/game, so IU needs to average 90+/game. Yes, these are totally outrageous numbers. But we scored over 90 vs. KY in the NCAA (a very good defensive team). That is how Indiana will play this year-full throttle! Hold the other guy under 80 and WIN! The “Hurri’n Hoosiers” are back!

  • CreanFaithful

    I think he was saying Hulls shouldn’t be moved to the 2 spot, not that he shouldn’t play. Typically the SG is more of a scorers position, which might make Hulls an even larger liability defensively. They are also usually taller at the SG position. So, pretty much any opponents SG that has these attributes would be able to easily rise above him for open looks and still be able to break him down off the dribble.

  • CreanFaithful

    I think he was saying Hulls shouldn’t be moved to the 2 spot, not that he shouldn’t play. Typically the SG is more of a scorers position, which might make Hulls an even larger liability defensively. They are also usually taller at the SG position. So, pretty much any opponents SG that has these attributes would be able to easily rise above him for open looks and still be able to break him down off the dribble.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    That is a remarkably cogent argument. I agree with every point you made, except for Jurkin being more offensively polished. I think what gives him the nod over Perea is his size and defensive awareness. I also agree that Abell will get the nod as a backup guard, he’s too talented and did too well last year not to.
    Of course, I don’t think we’ll know what the REAL rotations will look like til the UNC game in late November. I’d bet until then that all 13 players have a game of 10 or more minutes, just to see how everyone plays. I’m excited to see that.

  • Hudsucker

    @Hudson Flourish offensively? I like Hulls a lot, but people forget how ineffective he was at times, offensively. He had a stretch in the later part of the season where he was ice cold and only scoring about 2-3 points a game. And let’s not forget about the VCU game, which found me screaming at the TV for Crean to take Jordy out, because he was a TO waiting to happen. It was freshman, Abel, who stabilized the offense and allowed the team to mount a comeback win. Hulls is capable, but he certainly has his limitations, offensively. A great defensive team can easily shut him down and cause enormous fits.

  • I could see Cody, Wat, and Yogi being definite starters, with the other two spots dependent on that particular game’s match-ups. This team is so deep they have a million possible combos. They could go big by starting Sheehey at 3 with Oladipo at the 2. Hell, they could even go REALLY big by inserting Jurkin and sliding Cody and Wat to the 4 and the 3.

  • SCHoosier

    Yes..he can play defense against average offensive players. He can not consistantly guard quick players (last half of first UK game last year when Jordy was taken to the hole at will by Teague and others) I think he starts at point..with he and Yogi getting a lot of time there. With some matchups or against a zone..Yogi at point and Hulls at an outside shooting position where Yogi can drive and dish. Crean has multiple options..but he’s got to get these guys playing time 1) Not using Abell more last year hurt us when Jones went down. 2) These f-men are good enuff to play a role 3) Future uncommitted recruits who want to play immediately..will be watching how Crean handles his talent.

  • Jethro Troll

    Guys, keep in mind that just because you’re the Starting SG, that doesnt mean you’ll always be matched up with the 2 defensively. Basketball is all about matchups, and the matchup may favor him guarding the PG one game, or the SG another or a perimeter oriented SF the next. That will play itself out. And like I said earlier, IU has the ability to go bigger if the matchup dictates.
    The main thing is that his leadership will be needed, and IU will need his outside shooting ability to keep the floor spaced, leaving room for Zeller to work his magic, room for Victor to get to the basket, etc… He’s too good offensively and too important as a leader to not see the floor for major minutes. We’re not looking for perfection here, all players have weaknesses. He’s going to be an important part of this team, so you might as well get used to seeing him on the floor, guarding soembody.

  • SCHoosier

    Milla- easier said then done given some of the elite points Hulls will have to guard. Not many express concern that Yogi is subject to being posted us on D ..when he is..but with Zeller roving around the paint to help..not as big a problem as opponents clearing out and letting a really quick guard go one on one against Hulls. But hey..I’m so excited about the potential of all/any lineup’s next year..its hard to be patient.