The Inside the Hall Mailbag: March 21

  • 03/21/2014 10:50 am in

The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

rmclelan on the premium forum writes: How will playing time in Indiana’s backcourt play out next year? Assuming Yogi Ferrell commands 30 plus minutes per game, how will James Blackmon Jr., Stan Robinson and Robert Johnson share time? With the likelihood of Noah Vonleh turning pro, do you foresee Indiana playing a three guard lineup (reminiscent of Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Luther Head several years ago at Illinois)? Unlike this past season, competition seems very steep at the guard position for Indiana next season.

You’re definitely going to see a lot of three-guard lineups next season. There were plenty of three-guard lineups this past season, too, but the major difference will be that IU should be able to surround Ferrell with a couple of more versatile scorers in Blackmon Jr. and Johnson. Those guys should also help guys like Robinson and Troy Williams as well because defenses won’t just be able to sag off and help when they attack the basket with Blackmon Jr. and Johnson roaming the perimeter.

In most cases, Indiana should be able to get away with three guards and even an undersized four (Williams, Devin Davis) on the court at the same time. The frontcourt situation obviously still has a lot to play out and is perhaps the most interesting storyline of the offseason. — Alex Bozich

kmark22 on the premium forum writes: IU did not get into the NIT, was the feeling the CBI was beneath IU or was it not really an option?

I never got the sense that the CBI was a serious consideration for Indiana for a couple of reasons. The first and most important reason is that Indiana had little to gain from participating in the event. If you go out and win it, there’s still going to be criticism. It’s a third-rate tournament. And if you lose, there’s definitely going to be criticism. Kentucky lost in the first round of the NIT last season and look at the shots they took nationally.

If IU went into the CBI, which is a clear step below the NIT and did the same, you can imagine what the reaction would be. I also think fan interest in the CBI, which would have been held at Assembly Hall, would have been marginal at best. The NIT struggles attendance wise and I’m sure the CBI, which admittedly I know little about, is even worse. As much as some of IU’s young players could have benefitted from continuing to play, I think the right call was made to just end the season and move on. — Alex Bozich

kleeman20 on the premium forum writes: Another CBI question, the sense I got from Fred Glass was IU was “above” the CBI. This contradicts Crean’s remarks after B1G tourney that this team really wanted to keep playing more basketball and really needed to. Was it more of a no-win situation or is the feeling that IU is truly “above” that.

Similar question to the first one, but I think Crean was talking more specifically about potentially playing in the NIT, not the CBI. Any coach who is competitive is obviously going to want the season to continue, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Crean said what he did following the loss in the Big Ten tournament.

I think Glass’ initial comment about “We’re Indiana” certainly gave the impression that IU felt it was above the CBI, but he later backed off that stance a bit in the interview with JMV. Overall, I just don’t think Indiana wanted to set any precedent that the CBI was acceptable in any way and I think it was absolutely the correct decision to turn it down. — Alex Bozich

airnel48 on the premium forum writes: Assuming Noah goes pro and ignoring any potential JUCO transfers, who on the current roster has the best chances of starting at the 5 next year? Does Hanner have that position? Or is there a chance that Devin Davis takes it?

Those are the only two legitimate options at this point if I’m following the parameters of your question. Mosquera-Perea showed a lot of improvement this season, but not enough to be trusted just yet in every situation. For example, with Vonleh out, he was very good against Ohio State, but barely played against Nebraska because it was a poor matchup defensively for him going against a guy like Walter Pitchford. It’s a big offseason for the Colombia native with a lot to play out. His arrest in February still has to be resolved in the court system. And if he’s going to be a regular in the rotation next season, he needs to commit himself to significant improvement which means becoming consistent enough for the staff to trust him in any situation.

As for Davis, I think he’s best served, for now, as an energy guy off the bench who can help with hustle plays, rebounding and an ability to finish around the basket. He’s not going to be a featured scorer given how loaded IU’s backcourt should be, but every team needs guys who can bring energy, dive for loose balls, hustle and do other little things that don’t show up in the box score. If Davis embraces that role, his value should be tremendous. — Alex Bozich

IUfaninKY on the premium forum writes: How do you see Jeremy Hollowell fitting in at IU next year – or does he?

The 2013-2014 season didn’t bring a lot of positives for Hollowell. His numbers were bad. There’s no way to sugarcoat that fact. He shot just 38.7 percent on 2s and 21.9 percent on 3s. It’s hard to argue that he should have played more with that type of production and there’s a pretty compelling argument that he should have played less, especially early.

As for how he fits in moving forward, I’ve long been intrigued by Hollowell’s talent, but he’s yet to put things together with any consistency at this level. Much like Mosquera-Perea, it’s a pretty big offseason for Hollowell as well. With his size, the best way he can help moving forward is with defense and rebounding. — Alex Bozich

HoosierFan76 on the premium forum writes: In your opinion, if/when Noah Vonleh leaves early and is selected in the 2014 NBA draft lottery, will the positive buzz of IU’s first lottery-pick one-and-done since Eric Gordon be enough to counteract the negatives from IU’s disappointing season when it comes to recruiting high-level talent in 2015 and beyond, especially at the power forward and center positions?

IU has been able to attract a McDonald’s All-American for four straight years now and putting another player in the NBA certainly can’t hurt recruiting going forward. It will definitely be interesting to see how the class of 2015 shakes out as IU currently doesn’t have any commitments in that class, so there’s a lot of intrigue on how that will play out.

As for the disappointing season, I think with the right pitch, IU can probably turn it into a positive with some recruits, particularly in the frontcourt. Some schools will definitely try to use this past season against Indiana, but the Hoosiers will be able to offer major post minutes right away for 2015 prospects. I’m sure the staff views the situation as a challenge they must overcome and given that IU was able to land recruits when the program was winning six, 10 and 12 games, it’s not an impossible hill to climb, either. — Alex Bozich

@mattyork1941 on Twitter writes: Who seems to be the biggest priorities for the 2015 recruiting class?

One of the offseason priorities around here will be updating the 2015 recruiting board, which, quite frankly, needs an overhaul. We’ll also have a better idea of who the biggest priorities are after the three-day evaluation period in April when coaches can attend various events around the country and watch prospects.

Here are just a few names to keep in mind for 2015: Allonzo Trier, Raymond Spalding, Bryant Crawford, Daniel Giddens, Alex Illikainen and Doral Moore. — Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • ForeverIU

    What confused me is that Dawson is listed as a G-F. Guard/Forward?

  • ForeverIU

    Lol! You are pulling our leg.

  • ForeverIU

    So we can be “elite” and still suck on a given year, right?

  • Ole Man

    Got it. Just give me someone in the middle who can defend.

  • ForeverIU

    Now UK will play LOU. Will we have a MICH / LOU rematch? Go Big Ten.

  • PBzeer

    While many schools have well known players, the elite programs and their coaches are known for their teams, not the individuals. They have a team identity that carries through, no matter who is playing for them, that’s the foundation of the program.

    After 6 years, I see no evidence of such an identity with IU, or even an emerging one (other than negatively). And I find that worrisome. Talent, especially in the form of potential, can only carry you so far. It’s consistency and continuity that are necessary to make the most of that talent, and enable a team to be playing it’s best game in March.

    The most disappointing, to me, thing about this season, and even last year, is that there seemed to be no real improvement over the course of the season. This year especially, and even last year at times, one never knew what team would be on the floor … the one that played to it’s abilities, or one that did not.

  • ForeverIU

    Folks, we are arguing about semantics and what “elite” means. When empires begin to stagnate, they begin to revel in past glories. We need to get first-class players and get them to win games and championships, that’s what “elite” means. Who cares about banners and what-not?

  • Alford Bailey

    Hope so

  • Alford Bailey

    Crean has never, ever consistently won in his coaching career. Up and down up and down. Makes you wonder why so many still think this leopard is gonna suddenly change its spots.

  • CreanFaithful

    Jeremy was not a “front line player” in high school. He has always been a wing player. CTC made him a forward last year…

  • CreanFaithful

    Cody gets 17 min/game in the NBA. They play 2-3 times a week (82 in total). Those might not be starter minutes, but Cody is getting much more playing time in the NBA than he could in college (32 games). It’s simple math.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes! The idea is an elite “program”. Over a 4 year period it is almost impossible to keep the same players if you go to 3 Sweet Sixteens. So the program has replaced great players with more great players. So yes you can have 1 off year out of 4 while you “blend” in the next group of players. Just as KY did last year. But to be “elite” you must make the Sweet Sixteen in 3 out of 4 consecutive seasons.

  • Outoftheloop

    Only if your leg is inside your cranium and between your ears.

  • Outoftheloop

    He has not done it yet, anywhere. And of course it is not
    all” that I am asking for.

  • Outoftheloop

    You HAVE to make the Sweet Sixteen to GO to the Final Four! You have to make the Final Four to WIN a Championship. That is obvious! So while the Sweet Sixteen is not everything, it IS the step that you must achieve before the top prize. The more Sweet Sixteens, the more chances for a Championship!

  • CreanFaithful

    Troy Williams played the 4 at IU for most of the year. That doesn’t make him a big. Devin Davis is an inch taller and the same weight as Dawson. I thought Ole Man was referencing the conversation as of late that IU needs a true big for next year, not wings or small forwards 6’8″ and smaller…. which is why I took exception to the “big” comment, being that Dawson is 6’6″ 230…

  • William Hagenmaier

    let him go we will be better without him clogging up the middle

  • Outoftheloop

    I would agree with that. Please give me that list. But you have to win at least two more games to make the Sweet Sixteen. And, then, you still must win four more to hang a Banner!

  • ForeverIU

    Oh thanks, it could have been worse, like between my … (What’s the scientific name for buttocks?). Okay, then, I won’t laugh at your humor from here on. I honestly, sincerely, most conscientiously thought you were joking. lol.

  • q95

    I would like to see a Big Ten team break through this year. I was concerned that Wisconsin was heading towards another early exit last night against Oregon. In 13 solid seasons with the Badgers, Bo Ryan has done no better than one Elite 8 appearance. More often than not, they have been sent home in rounds one or two.
    For those readers who in recent days have criticized or questioned TC coaching abilities, just keep in mind there are thousands of fans of “elite” programs with high profile coaches who are just as critical and asking the same questions tonight…i.e., Kansas, Duke, Syracuse to name a few.

  • Outoftheloop

    Thanks for sharing!

  • hoosier1158

    Dayton Flyers beat Syracuse and we failed last year with two top 4 draft picks?

  • You don’t really think Ben is an IU fan do you?

  • Outoftheloop

    8 out of 12 is bad, but not the “bottom”. Wait until next year to say this when we actually “say the same thing”.

  • Outoftheloop

    It is always a struggle to get the ball to a scoring threat in the post. But Cody got lots of touches and earned lots of FT attempts.

  • Outoftheloop

    OK, I am right once and you are right once.

  • Outoftheloop

    NBA GM’s LIE as part of their job to misdirect other GM’s away from their secret draft choices!

  • Outoftheloop

    How could anyone be more aggressive than Cody the way he dove (at 7′) for steals and lose balls?

  • Outoftheloop

    No, he is playing 15-18 minutes/game in 82 games to warm up for the play-offs!

  • That Syracuse team had this NBA ‘Rookie of the year’ on it.. as well as a kid named Triche who played an absolutely great game against us. Yeah, and I know we had Zeller and Oladipo, and a couple of others, who did not play so great, i.e., Hulls and Watford.

  • MillaRed

    Go to 3 final fours in 4 years and you can make an argument. Sweet 16s? Maybe at some programs. But no way is that the IU standard.

    Like him or not, doesn’t matter. CTC needs a good season in 2014-2015 or he may get booted. That IMHO is not a fringe elite program.

    I appreciate your energy Loop but you are usually more realistic than this. We are not sniffing an elite status right now.

  • b_side

    Ok, pal. At this point you’re arguing for the sake of arguing. No need to continue any further.

  • Mk

    Fair and early aren’t bigs. Both small forwards. Same with Powell

  • Outoftheloop

    He is a really tall 6’6 and a really strong 230!

  • Outoftheloop

    What does “MSU’s to lose” mean? Is Izzo going to insult the kid’s mother? No one really knows what a recruit will decide until after he does it (yes, I know that it means most reports are that he is leaning towards MSU).

  • ForeverIU

    We also had a poor shooting night and injuries. Syracuse shot 0/10 from three against Dayton.

  • Ole Man

    Duke: 19 & counting
    UNC: 32 & counting
    KU: 25 & counting
    MSU: 17 & counting

    Just off the top of my head. I’m sure a little research could find more.

  • Snookafly

    I totally agree with you that an elite program should almost always make the tournament. My fanhood however requires that I point out UNC missed it in 2010, and if I remember correctly, they also missed in 2002 and 2003. Sorry, but I can’t let them take anymore credit than they deserve.

  • MillaRed

    I agree. Whatever Dawson is physically, he had zero issues guarding the 4, and his opponents had a really tough time dealing with his athleticism.

    When we started Etherington I suppose Troy was the 4. And we struggled terribly. JH started there early. And of course, Hanner and Noah on the floor at the same time would have resulted in a nuclear disaster.

  • ScoopGeoff

    He got lots of touches in transition and on the perimeter… He did not get lots of touches in the low post.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Crean has literally never beaten Syracuse… And they were in the same league for a number of years. The Orange is his Kryptonite.

  • ForeverIU

    The Bob Knight Years:

    1973 – 3 – 1 National Semifinals (4th rd) Bob Knight
    1975 – 2 – 1 Elite Eight (3rd rd) Bob Knight
    1976 – 5 – 0 National Championship (5th rd) Bob Knight
    1978 – 1 – 1 Sweet Sixteen (2nd rd) Bob Knight
    1980 2 1 – 1 Sweet Sixteen (3rd rd) Bob Knight
    1981 3 5 – 0 National Championship (6th rd) Bob Knight
    1982 5 1 – 1 Round of 32 (2nd rd) Bob Knight
    1983 2 1 – 1 Sweet Sixteen (3rd rd) Bob Knight
    1984 4 2 – 1 Elite Eight (4th rd) Bob Knight
    1986 3 0 – 1 Round of 64 (1st rd) Bob Knight
    1987 1 6 – 0 National Championship (6th rd) Bob Knight
    1988 4 0 – 1 Round of 64 (1st rd) Bob Knight
    1989 2 2 – 1 Sweet Sixteen (3rd rd) Bob Knight
    1990 8 0 – 1 Round of 64 (1st rd) Bob Knight
    1991 2 2 – 1 Sweet Sixteen (3rd rd) Bob Knight
    1992 2 4 – 1 National Semifinals (5th rd) Bob Knight
    1993 1 3 – 1 Elite Eight (4th rd) Bob Knight
    1994 5 2 – 1 Sweet Sixteen (3rd rd) Bob Knight
    1995 9 0 – 1 Round of 64 (1st rd) Bob Knight
    1996 6 0 – 1 Round of 64 (1st rd) Bob Knight
    1997 8 0 – 1 Round of 64 (1st rd) Bob Knight
    1998 7 1 – 1 Round of 32 (2nd rd) Bob Knight
    1999 6 1 – 1 Round of 32 (2nd rd) Bob Knight
    2000 6 0 – 1 Round of 64 (1st rd) Bob Knight

  • Brian Evans

    NV didn’t help because crean can’t coach. are we clear?
    Or did losing in the sweet 16 last year with oladipo, zeller, watford, hulls, ferrell, and sheehey not make that clear enough. oladipo is going to win rookie of the year for crying out loud. Who knows, maybe NV will next year too.

  • ForeverIU

    No tourney appearances in 1974, 1977, 1979, 1985

  • Snookafly

    You might be right, but it hasn’t hurt Kansas.

  • Ole Man

    You are correct, sir. Thank you as I had missed that.

  • HoosierFan76

    I agree.