The Inside the Hall Mailbag: February 22

IUUMITH0020The 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. 

@wmontgom447 writes: what’s up with peter jurkin? There have been ample opportunities for him to come off the bench for late game minutes.

The latest on Peter Jurkin is that he’s got some type of left foot injury, but details on the injury are not clear. Tom Crean mentioned that Jurkin had some “setbacks” a couple of weeks ago on his weekly radio show, but no further details have been provided beyond that.

Jurkin battled a shin injury for over a year during his prep career that forced him to miss a good portion of his junior season and the entire AAU season prior to his senior year. Now that we’re in the home stretch of the season and Jurkin has played in three games for a total of seven minutes, it’s unlikely we’ll see him at all the rest of the way. — Alex Bozich

Shane Camp writes: Chances Vic and Cody come back next year? I’m dreaming of a starting five of Yogi, Sheehey, Oladipo, Vonleh, and Zeller.

Keep dreaming, Shane. I think this is the question we’re getting most often recently given the fact that both guys are currently looking like lottery picks in June’s NBA Draft. Obviously neither guy is focusing on the draft at this point because their current goals include winning the Big Ten and a national championship, but I don’t see both players returning to school.

Oladipo will have his degree in May and is in the midst of a historic rise up the draft boards. His stock isn’t going to get any higher. Zeller is well on his way to a business degree, could complete any remaining course work after he goes pro and is basically a lock to be a top ten pick. Of the two, he seems more likely to return, but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s also possible that one of them just loves the experience in Bloomington so much that it could sway them to return, but beyond that, why, exactly, would either guy come back? — Alex Bozich

@hoopstrainer writes: Does IU’s performance in the Big Ten tourney secure a #1 seed more, or the regular season?

The performance in the regular season will mean more to the selection committee if the Hoosiers win the championship outright. If there’s a shared regular season title, it’s possible the tournament could be the deciding factor on who gets the top spot in the midwest, but if Indiana wins the regular season title (a share or outright), it will be a No. 1 seed. — Alex Bozich

@mattyork1941 writes: more deserving of poy zeller or oladipo?

Tough, tough question. The Pomeroy numbers, which I follow religiously, indicate Zeller has had the better year. Through Thursday’s games, Zeller was first in the KenPom Player of the Year standings and Oladipo was fifth. But for now, I’m going with Oladipo for a couple of reasons.

The first is that he’s been arguably the best defender in the country on a team that needed to improve its defense to win big. Oladipo is the driving force behind that improvement. That’s not to take any of the credit away from the rest of IU’s team because everyone else has gotten better defensively, too. But Oladipo has become an elite defender that can guard multiple positions, create havoc with ball pressure and even block shots. The other leading candidates for player of the year do not share those same credentials.

The second reason? Although his offensive numbers might not be on par with some past player of the year winners from a pure average perspective, they’re good enough when you look at his efficiency and then consider how balanced Indiana is offensively as a team. He’s second nationally in effective field goal percentage, is very good on the offensive glass and gets to the foul line at a healthy clip. — Alex Bozich

@thewisej writes: What are the chances Oladipo (or Zeller, for that matter) win National POY but not B10 POY? I’ve seen lots of Burke talk.

It’s certainly possible. Trey Burke is clearly in the mix for both awards and there’s always the chance that Oladipo and Zeller take votes away from one another because they’re teammates. The latest ESPN.com straw poll for national player of the year still has Burke in the lead, but it’s my understanding that many votes were turned in prior to the Indiana-Michigan State game on Tuesday. All three players still have ample opportunities to turn the tide in their favor, but as of today I believe the nod out of the trio would go to Oladipo for both awards. — Alex Bozich

@Chugustus writes: among elston, creek, hanner or anyone else–who do you see as the most likely to make a surge for minutes and add depth?

From the group you named, the answer is Derek Elston. But since you didn’t name him, Jeremy Hollowell belongs on your list, too. If we’re being honest, I’m not sure I see anyone “making a surge” for minutes. There are four regular season games left. If someone was going to emerge and take on a larger role, I think it would have happened by now.

The depth of this team has been debated for months now because it was cited as a potential strength coming into the season. The bench did play a key role in the non-conference schedule against some inferior teams, but that hasn’t been the case in conference play. When you dig into the numbers from Big Ten play, Indiana is playing its starters and Will Sheehey roughly 170 of 200 available minutes per game (Overall, IU ranks 277th nationally in bench minutes). That means Elston, Remy Abell, Hollowell, Mosquera-Perea and Creek — five players — are splitting 30 minutes per game. That’s hardly enough time to make much of an impact at all. At this point of the season, I think any drastic change in the current allocation of minutes would be shocking. – Alex Bozich

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    With all the positive press Oladipo got this week, he has to be the favorite for both B1G and National PoY. That Michigan State performance, in a hostile arena, on a bad ankle, has got to be the best game anyone has played this year. Unfortunately, it also means that Vic is gone to the NBA next season. There is a reason we have a six man recruiting class coming in next year. This team, this special group of players, that have been through so much… need to win NOW.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    With all the positive press Oladipo got this week, he has to be the favorite for both B1G and National PoY. That Michigan State performance, in a hostile arena, on a bad ankle, has got to be the best game anyone has played this year. Unfortunately, it also means that Vic is gone to the NBA next season. There is a reason we have a six man recruiting class coming in next year. This team, this special group of players, that have been through so much… need to win NOW.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    If we go 15-3 in conference and finish two games clear of the field in this year’s excellent big ten (my slightly optimistic prediction), which would also mean wins @OSU, @MSU, and either @Minny or @UM, I don’t see any way we wouldn’t be #1 on the S curve and in the Indy regional if we get that far (don’t want to jinx anything). Even if we lose the Friday game in the BT tournament.

    I think the concerns about depth are unfounded. We aren’t deep, but you don’t need to be in college Bball. We have an 8ish man rotation (Will, Remdog, Hollowell, maybe Elston for a couple mins) which is fine for the rest of the way.

    Vic is gone for sure IMO. I’m a little less sure on Cody, who could reasonably expect his draft stock to rise over the next year and who’s not as close to a degree. There’s a big difference between top 3 (where he was before the season) and #10.

    If they hang #6, I bet they both go, and none of us would mind a bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Fischer/691470077 Steve Fischer

    IU Fans should play up that we have two Academic All Americans and another who will graduate in three years, so we don’t become confused with Kentucky. Also I find myself checking Nortwestern State’s scores because I don’t like it that they are the leading scoring team in the nation (1 point a game higher than us). I wish Northeast Central Arkansas State or whoever would slow them down.

  • Victorbear

    Have you looked at the schedule????? @minnesota and @michigan, home Iowa and Ohio state..

  • IUHoosiers23

    Every time I think about the tournament (which is constantly) I get goosebumps and can’t really control my excitement. I hope I’m not breaking the unwritten rule and sitting next to the pitcher who’s in the midst of a no-no. But, all I can think about is that feeling of winning a National Title. I know, I know. There is a long way to go and I’m not overlooking closing out this season right and winning the Big 10 title. I want more than anything to face Wisconsin in the Big 10 Tourney and crush them. But I can’t deny the fact that the thought of Banner #6 is on my mind 24/7. This has been an amazing season and I can’t wait to see how it ends. Cheers to everyone at ITH, writers and commenters included. You all continue to make the Hoosier experience something special.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    I don’t know why so many haters point out Victor’s 14ppg isn’t enough to make him POY. That’s a pathetic argument. Anthony Davis won the POY last year almost purely on his defensive abilities, and no one raised a stink about that. Victor is the best defender in the NCAA. He’s by far the most efficient scorer among all the POY candidates. There are a lot of offensive weapons on IU, so naturally he won’t take as many shots. People who look at only one stat: ppg and don’t actually watch the games shouldn’t be allowed to have a vote.

  • Brklynhoosier

    Illinois and THEN Wisconsin…

  • Brklynhoosier

    Illinois and THEN Wisconsin…

  • And_One

    If I am misinterpreting your criticism, I apologize, but I think he was citing those 4 road games as prominent items on IU’s overall resume, not as the 4 games remaining on their schedule.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chris.hunt.71697 Chris Hunt

    I believe NotTheRealSteveEyl is talking about what our resume would look like after finishing the Big Ten season with a record of 15-3.

  • http://twitter.com/IUinNap Caleb Moore

    Last Lunardi S curve I saw had Indiana with Wisky and Butler in their bracket. Much like IU having to face UK last year, I’m sure the NCAA will make sure we get our challenges going through.

  • HoosierD

    no way Vic stays – Oladi-PRO.
    on another note, can anyone confirm that was Kyle Hornsby that gave Tom Crean a hug after the MSU game? need to settle an argument. go Hoosiers!

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    We have had a great year and I’m enjoying all of it . However I have really been disappointed with this years freshman outside of Yogi. And I guess the bench too besides Will . So you factor injuries to Elston , Creek , Etherington and that leaves me disappointed with Remy that has no excuse for bad play . Peter has been hurt since he committed to IU , and I really don’t know how much he will be able help us because he is so raw and fragile . Again I’m not bitter , I just expected more out of this “movement ” thing . I know with our 6 starters that minutes are tough to get but they have to be somewhat positive minutes when they get them .

  • Daniel Coffman

    i think hollowell has been emerging as a solid bench player. He’s become the 7th man and has provided a good amount of defense and frontcourt minutes to spell cody and watford

  • Daniel Coffman

    i think hollowell has been emerging as a solid bench player. He’s become the 7th man and has provided a good amount of defense and frontcourt minutes to spell cody and watford

  • ILHoosierSwisher

    Shannon Bunger

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    i had a PUke fan at work tell me he wasn’t watching the NCAA tournament because he thinks IU is gonna win it all. my reply was it takes a little luck and good guard play to win 6 in a row. if we do win it and CZ and VO go pro, so be it but i hope CZ comes back

  • plane1972

    Hollowell is going to make a huge jump this summer, and hopefully Hanner, too. If Sheehey and Yogi take the leadership reins and get everyone on their page as far as work ethic is concerned, Hollowell and Hanner should make nice strides.

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

    Tough for Freshman to get PT on an elite team like IU. I think if they were on the squad 2-3 years ago, they’d be more seasoned already and have more PT to show off their skills. I’m sure HP & JH will get much better. Yogi is already great. PJ…who knows.

  • http://twitter.com/RWNemanich Robert Nemanich

    Actually Abell increased his status and minutes during this time last year. I think the issue is not so much CD (coaches decision) but rather actual contribution to the rotation. Looking at MSU as a model for the rotation Elston and Creek have real oppty’s to add because of offensive capability along with Sheehey as for a few minutes Crean had those three along with Hollowell and one of the starting guards on the court at the same time for a spell. It is those 3 or 4 minutes that can make a huge difference and points have to come from somewhere.

  • marcusgresham

    All those kids who say they like hearing from Coach Crean because he coached Dwyane Wade—in 5-10 years, they’re going to be interested in IU because they’ll want to be like Vic….and can you think of a better spokesman for your program?

  • marcusgresham

    All those kids who say they like hearing from Coach Crean because he coached Dwyane Wade—in 5-10 years, they’re going to be interested in IU because they’ll want to be like Vic….and can you think of a better spokesman for your program?

  • marcusgresham

    I know how you feel. Being a Reds and Cowboys fan I’ve had well over a decade to perfect tempering my enthusiasm, but it’s hard to not be a bit giddy.

  • SCHoosier

    I’m not sure they are “haters”..I am sure they just don’t know the game. That said..if UM beats IU later this month and Burke is the dominant force..I think we have a problem Houston.

  • N71

    What’s the latest on recruiting? We’re involved with a ton a great prospect but what are our needs for the 2014 class. If we start with James, is he a 1 or a 2, can he break a press? If not, we need a 1. Remy will be a Senior and hopefully Yogi is still at IU, if he’s not, a point guard, if James isn’t one, has got to be the highest priority which I think that puts Jaquan at the top of the list.

    Next I think is the 5 spot not knowing if Peter will pan out. Noah I think can play 5 but he’s probably one and done. That leaves Luke having to do 100% of the work, that’s not fair so that would put Cliff Alexander, Okonoboh, or Enechioyia at the top of priority #2.

    For wings we seem to be in decent shape with Stan, Troy, Collin, and Devin but wow, look at the wings we’re talking to: Pinson, Bluett, Booth, and Hill. Then you throw in Exum, Russell, and Allan, man. I’ll just default to Coach to figure this one out, he has a gift finding the right guys.

    Then there’s the banger spot, I would still love to have that dump truck but with our style they have to run the floor. Hanner and Devin should fit well but Dwayne Morgan looks like a nice piece.

    Here’s my priority for 2014 thinking James is probably a shooting 2:

    #1 priority: point guard – Jaquan Lyle

    #2 priority: center – Cliff Alexander/Okonoboh/Enechionyia – anyone

    #3 priority: banger – Dwayne Morgan – he’s more than a banger I realize but to me he looks like a guy that will be thick/strong/rough like Green was for MSU.

    #4 priority: wing – Theo Pinson – wow

    If we can get Big Business (Darius Lathum) after football season each year, just in time for the Big Ten part of our schedule, that would be fun to watch. I’d love to see him moving people around. Don Fisher announcing, “checking in to the game, Big Business, a 6’5″ 300 pound sophomore…wait a minute…the Michigan players are going over to their bench…it looks like they’re saying something to their coach…I can’t make it out…I think…you’re not going to believe this folks, they are all asking to be taken out of the game”.

  • N71

    What’s the latest on recruiting? We’re involved with a ton a great prospect but what are our needs for the 2014 class. If we start with James, is he a 1 or a 2, can he break a press? If not, we need a 1. Remy will be a Senior and hopefully Yogi is still at IU, if he’s not, a point guard, if James isn’t one, has got to be the highest priority which I think that puts Jaquan at the top of the list.

    Next I think is the 5 spot not knowing if Peter will pan out. Noah I think can play 5 but he’s probably one and done. That leaves Luke having to do 100% of the work, that’s not fair so that would put Cliff Alexander, Okonoboh, or Enechioyia at the top of priority #2.

    For wings we seem to be in decent shape with Stan, Troy, Collin, and Devin but wow, look at the wings we’re talking to: Pinson, Bluett, Booth, and Hill. Then you throw in Exum, Russell, and Allan, man. I’ll just default to Coach to figure this one out, he has a gift finding the right guys.

    Then there’s the banger spot, I would still love to have that dump truck but with our style they have to run the floor. Hanner and Devin should fit well but Dwayne Morgan looks like a nice piece.

    Here’s my priority for 2014 thinking James is probably a shooting 2:

    #1 priority: point guard – Jaquan Lyle

    #2 priority: center – Cliff Alexander/Okonoboh/Enechionyia – anyone

    #3 priority: banger – Dwayne Morgan – he’s more than a banger I realize but to me he looks like a guy that will be thick/strong/rough like Green was for MSU.

    #4 priority: wing – Theo Pinson – wow

    If we can get Big Business (Darius Lathum) after football season each year, just in time for the Big Ten part of our schedule, that would be fun to watch. I’d love to see him moving people around. Don Fisher announcing, “checking in to the game, Big Business, a 6’5″ 300 pound sophomore…wait a minute…the Michigan players are going over to their bench…it looks like they’re saying something to their coach…I can’t make it out…I think…you’re not going to believe this folks, they are all asking to be taken out of the game”.

  • IUMIKE1

    Don’t discount the difference it has made in practices. I would venture to say that the more competitive practices are one of the main reasons for our success this year. They have no doubt pushed our starters to work harder to maintain their status as starters which has made both better players. This also lets the current freshmen see just how much hard work is required and what the payoff is.

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

    Agree, also look at Big Game numbers by Vic. Against the best opponents he scores more than 14 pts on unreal efficiency. Come Dance time, I’ll bet we run more stuff through him at the top of the key, not unlike the Kentucky NCAA game last year that we were right in it until he got a couple back-to-back cheapies late that took the wind out of our sails.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregory.spera.3 Gregory Spera

    Not just that Crean coached DWade, but that Wade, even as an NBA superstar, still goes to Crean for advice and council. That says a lot.

  • IU84

    Special team no matter what happens. Everyday the Team plays is a great day. Something tremendous to look forward to. Certainly feel like Vic is gone, but holding out hope that Cody will return one more season. He could leave the most popular (important) player in program history if he leads us to a banner or two. If we can keep it fast paced we can beat anybody. GOIU!!

  • IU84

    Special team no matter what happens. Everyday the Team plays is a great day. Something tremendous to look forward to. Certainly feel like Vic is gone, but holding out hope that Cody will return one more season. He could leave the most popular (important) player in program history if he leads us to a banner or two. If we can keep it fast paced we can beat anybody. GOIU!!

  • Kenneth234

    We have to be patient with Jurkin. We have been very patient with other 7 footers in the past. At this point we have just become a bit spoiled with Cody. Should we expect Jurkin to be an All-Big Ten performer? No, but he could still be better than guys like Linderman, Mandeville and others. Especially as he works to get healthy. We just have the luxury of being able to wait. At some point, I believe he will be a presence down low for us, whether or not he ever is able to beat out the guy in front of him to be a starter. In a few years, he could fill out the role that someone like Pritchard filled last year. Someone to spell some minutes for the starter, set some pics and screens, box out, get some boards and he will be able to block some shots. All are extremely valuable attributes for any team that wants to continue a high standard of excellence that we all want this program to obtain.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I have a bad feeling craft is going to win bigten d poy. Going to beside myself if that happens.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Had a good shot at Illinois being the eight seed until iowa lost at Nebraska. Also, looking like Michigan is the four seed unless they run the table

  • CrimsonShouter

    I really don’t think that either Zeller or Oladipo will leave. Both are excellent students. That’s just how I feel. I hate the NBA. Absolutely hate it. Further on Zeller. Both his brothes played four years and graduated. I think that Cody will too. Just my opinion.

  • CrimsonShouter

    I really don’t think that either Zeller or Oladipo will leave. Both are excellent students. That’s just how I feel. I hate the NBA. Absolutely hate it. Further on Zeller. Both his brothes played four years and graduated. I think that Cody will too. Just my opinion.

  • Jeff Davis

    I bleed IU Cream and Crimson but live in Columbus, Ohio. I love Victor and am so happy we have had the luxury and fun of having him. But I promise you with all due respect to Victor he is not the defender Aaron Craft is. I have watched Craft up close for three years and he is a GOD on defense. I have never in 54 years seen anything like him in college. Victor is a better all around player, probably by some margin but we all should give Craft his due. And I just heard today that Craft has the highest GPA of any Division One College player (in pre-med). Pretty impressive. Still love IU.

  • SCHoosier

    Ii don’t think so but he deserves something after what he did to MSU Sunday..helped the Hoosiers quite a bit.

  • HoosierGrad07

    I think Michigan will win out because I believe we will win our next 3 games and have the Big 10 Title locked up outright and Michigan will still only edge us out by a few points on their home floor on Senior Day. So that will leave UM at 14-4 and as long as MSU beats Wisconsin in East Lansing, that will leave both of those teams at 13-5 w tiebreaker to MSU. So we could get Wisky in the semis and winner of the Michigan schools in the final.

    How does that all sound? Sounds pretty good to me…

  • HoosierGrad07

    exactly, he scored 3 points in the blowout win against Purdue after turning him ankle. He never came back in because obviously we didn’t need him so that hurts his ppg but his production in the primetime, nail biter games is undeniable. Whereas Burke went on the road to MSU and took a beating and Plumlee goes for 4 points and like 5 rebounds in their loss to Maryland.

  • HoosierGrad07

    I’m sorry but you actually mean that Craft is a “God” on on-the-ball defense. That’s not the only way defense is played. Craft guards one position on the floor and he puts all his focus into that one task. He is very good at it but he is not a better defender than Vic. Oladipo guards 4 positions on the floor, usually in the same game, he leads the conference in steals (Crafts bread and butter) and he blocks shots and has more athletic ability than Craft (obviously).

    When the Hoosiers played in Columbus, and the game had ended, I couldn’t even recall if Craft had put on his jersey and taken the floor. All he did was hold Yogi’s scoring down, which is what happens most games anyway, and not force a freshman (in a road game) into any TO’s. Not god-like at all. Oladipo has played defense at an extraordinary level EVERY game of conference play this season and even OSU fans would agree Craft has had at least a couple off games this conference season. There’s no way on Earth he deserves that award over Vic. Vic should win it based on the first Michigan game alone, guarded 4 different players over 45 possessions and allowed 4 points.

  • HoosierGrad07

    -Yogi won’t be gone yet, he’s at least a 3 year and most likely 4 year guy because of his size. I do believe he’ll play in the NBA but we’ll certainly get 3 great years out of him.

    -I heard recently from a midwest recruiting guy that it’s about 95% that Cliff Alexander will end up at MichSt. We haven’t been on him as much lately.
    -Blackmon is definitely a 2. He’ll keep working on his handle but he’s a pure shooter/scorer which is exactly what we need.

    -It would certainly be great to get Lyle and/or Pinson. IU is putting a lot into this two so we’ll see what happens. Also throw Morgan into that group too. Getting just 1 of those 3, when added to Blackmon and what we would still have coming back in 2014 would keep us in the mix as a top 15 team.

    -Lathum is a monster…that is all.

  • HoosierGrad07

    If we win the title I’d say it’s 99.9% they both leave. And just remember that Vic graduates at the end of this year and his stock will never be higher than now. So Vic is gone but I agree, it’s possible Cody could return for another year (his last) to finish up his degree. His draft stock would likely not go down at all, it might even improve slightly as he starts to hit those jump shots with more regularity.

  • HoosierGrad07

    If we win the title I’d say it’s 99.9% they both leave. And just remember that Vic graduates at the end of this year and his stock will never be higher than now. So Vic is gone but I agree, it’s possible Cody could return for another year (his last) to finish up his degree. His draft stock would likely not go down at all, it might even improve slightly as he starts to hit those jump shots with more regularity.

  • http://www.babytown.com/ OceanArcher

    Craft can only guard the guard position, and he’s only effective if his opponent is not significantly taller or faster than him. He can’t guard the opposing teams best player every game because he simply doesn’t have the skills to do so. Victor routinely guards the best offensive player on the other end unless that player happens to be the center. Can you imagine Craft guarding Tim Hardaway Jr.?

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