The Inside the Hall Mailbag: April 24

  • 04/24/2014 10:49 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.

@AllDay_Ambrose6 on Twitter writes: With our top recruits all having a 3-point shot, which we lacked last year, where do you see all three of them fitting into the rotation?

I see James Blackmon Jr. sliding into the starting lineup immediately and I can also see Robert Johnson pushing Stanford Robinson for a starting spot. Blackmon Jr. can flat out score and his arrival is going to take some of the pressure off of Yogi Ferrell. Johnson can help some at both guard spots, but he is also wired to score, so if he’s making shots consistently and playing defense, he’ll also be hard to keep off the floor.

Max Hoetzel is much harder to judge at this point because I’ve only seen him live in an all-star setting where very little defense was being played. Right now, IU has 11 scholarship players for next season and the health of Collin Hartman is something we won’t know much about until the fall. Hoetzel has a great attitude, believes he belongs and can make perimeter shots. I think that bodes well for him challenging for some early minutes, but it’s too early to say how many at this point. — Alex Bozich

Real Assembly Hall on the premium forum writes: Will any of the games played on the Montreal trip be televised or streamed? Could this trip be considered a dual effort of getting pre season experience in, and also establishing a presence to create an avenue for future recruiting in Canada?

I can’t answer whether anything will be televised or streamed. The only details we’ve got at this point, via reports from Jeff Rabjohns and Zach Osterman, are that IU is going to Montreal in August. I imagine that full details would be announced once all of the plans are finalized. I would be surprised to see any television or streaming coverage, though.

As far as the question of it being a dual effort, I think it’s a lot more about getting the preseason experiences in and more importantly, the practices that accompany it. Obviously, if it can help expand the IU brand in the area, that’s great, but this is about the experience for what will once again be a young team that needs it. — Alex Bozich

HoosierFan76 on the premium forum writes: With Kenny Johnson leaving, who do you think are the most likely guys on the list of candidates to replace him?

Going back to when Kenny Johnson was hired, no one really had him on any candidate lists and I’m going to assume that Tom Crean is going to take his time with this hire, as he should. Here’s why: Off campus recruiting ends until July after this weekend, which is the only spring evaluation period for recruiting. It’s obviously not practical to have someone in place for this weekend, so IU will likely have director of basketball operation Rob Judson on the road in Johnson’s absence to do evaluations.

After this weekend, IU can still contact recruits and host prospects for visits, but there’s obviously a window in which to find a capable replacement before July recruiting begins. I’m sure names will surface, but it’s way too early in the process to even speculate where things are headed and if the search is anything like the one that yielded Johnson, it may not even be someone on the radar at this point. — Alex Bozich

schoosier on the premium forum writes: When do you see this incoming class arriving in Bloomington and what is their immediate training regime when they get there? (Classes, pick up games, weight training, etc) Individual programs or team stuff?

Both Hoetzel and Johnson said they’d be in Bloomington around June 17, which will allow them to attend classes in the second summer session. I assume the timeline would be similar for Blackmon Jr. and Jeremiah April.

As for the regimen when they arrive, they’ll work out with other teammates, get started on strength and conditioning with Je’Ney Jackson and also be able to work out with coaches for a set period of time each week. — Alex Bozich

tj21 on the premium forum writes: What is your view of the chemistry of how this years freshmen will fit into the mix? It seemed to be an underlying current last year. Is this fixed, have you seen any indication its improved? Seeing some of the team at the Derby Classic was a good sign to me, what is your opinion?

From what I know about Blackmon Jr., Hoetzel and Johnson, I don’t see any of them having an issue of fitting into the mix. I’m also not sure chemistry was a major issue last season. Any time a team doesn’t meet expectations, that’s one of the first things that will be examined, but I didn’t really see any major warning signs that something was really off. I’ll caveat that by saying that IU’s on court communication wasn’t nearly where it needed to be last season, so if that’s what you were referencing in terms of chemistry, I can certainly see the argument.

It’s always a good sign when you see current players showing up at an event to watch future teammates. In the case you are referencing, Robinson and Troy Williams made the trip to Louisville last Friday to watch Hoetzel and Johnson at the Derby Festival Basketball Classic, an event they played in last year. I think anytime players can get to know each other well away from basketball and build strong bonds, it’s something that can carry over to the floor. — Alex Bozich

@bradton23 on Twitter writes: Any update on when Josh Cunningham will be announcing? Everything pointed to early this week.

I’ve heard nothing concrete and judging by the number of times this decision has been changed or delayed, this may just be a case where everyone has to take a wait and see approach. The schools you hear mentioned the most with Cunningham right now besides IU are Bradley, St. John’s and South Carolina. The latter two are his most recent visits. — Alex Bozich

@DrB365 on Twitter writes: Will Peter Jurkin become a contributor this season, and if not does that say more about him or coaching development of him?

Unless he’s healthy, which he hasn’t been so far during his time in Bloomington, the safe answer to this question is no. I don’t think it says anything about coaching development if a player is hurt and can’t play nor do I think it says much about the player. Jurkin has had leg issues going back to high school and unless he’s healthy, he’s not going to be a factor on the floor. — Alex Bozich

Olde Hoosier on the premium forum writes: Who do you think our starting five will be and who will become the sixth man?

Let me preface this by saying that it’s late April and we’re not even sure if the roster as it currently stands is going to be IU’s roster for next season. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll go with Ferrell, Blackmon Jr., Robinson, Williams and Hanner Mosquera-Perea with Johnson as the sixth man. Right now, that’s how I see it. Given that we’re nearly six months from IU playing a game that counts on its record for next season, I’m going to reserve my right to change prediction this in a future mailbag. — Alex Bozich

@mgdoss79 on Twitter writes: Do you think Jeremiah April will make an impact next season and if not can Hanner be the guy we need him to be?

I can’t speak to what IU fans can expect out of April because I’ve never seen him play. All I have to go by are the comments of his high school coach, which were mostly positive and the national recruiting services, which don’t have him ranked.

As for Mosquera-Perea, I think his offseason might be the most pivotal of any player on the roster. He’s not a true five, but he’s likely going to have to guard that position next season in Bloomington. For me, there are three major areas where he needs to show improvement. First, and most importantly, he needs to be able to defend without fouling. In limited minutes last season, he committed 6.1 fouls per 40 minutes. That number needs to be at four or less, in my opinion. Second, Mosquera-Perea had a turnover percentage of 25.7. For a player that IU only needs to catch the ball and finish plays, that’s simply too high. Third, Mosquera-Perea’s instincts and feel for the game have to get better. This comes from living in the gym. His athletic talent is undeniable, but the best players in any program live in the gym and dedicate themselves to constant improvement. — Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • Devout Hoosier

    It does. DD wants 4 perimeter players with spacing that are all threats and one post player that high ball screens or plays on the weak side of the ball to open up driving lanes and rebounding. We need one solid athletic post player to really make it work. DD is a motion offense that really can’t be defended, read double team help, when you have the right pieces on the floor.

  • Devout Hoosier

    There will be a lot of three guard lineups next year.

  • Devout Hoosier

    IDK, Hanner had major improvement over the last off season. Another leap and …

  • Bryce Kepner

    I agree that JBJ is better coming into college.

  • JetpackJunky

    Whew. I was worried there hadn’t been any off topic pessimists yet. Thanks for stopping by and replying to a random comment.

  • bk39

    If TC uses Alex’s starting line-up, is a freshman JBJ 3 pt shooting enough to overcome the loss of Will and Vonleh’s outside shooting? Im not convinced the overall team shooting will be better unless Stan and Troy can improve in those areas. I agree with Alex’s starting 5 at this point in time.

  • Outoftheloop

    Yogi , James and Troy are the only 2015 NBA prospects. But each will probably need one further year so look out in 2016!

  • Outoftheloop

    Better shooter and scorer but not as strong and athletic.

  • Outoftheloop

    But you have to defend guys like Kaminiski too!

  • Outoftheloop

    Canada beat the US World team that Will and Yogi played on !

  • Outoftheloop

    You can never be really good unless all 5 players are offensive threats !

  • Outoftheloop

    Devin Davis the ultimate undersized warrior!

  • TomJameson

    That’s a good point, and I agree with it up until there is a big dominant (focus on dominant) center. Then a decent 7 footer that focuses on defense would be a great asset. But man, there are so many conditions and what-ifs that go along with that. Personally, I really do like a bunch of quick, athletic, 6’8″ wings with some good shooting/driving guards. And all of them passing well!!! lol

  • Shaggy_C

    Yogi made exactly as many threes as the rest of the team combined last year. Any talk of a “loss” when it comes to outside shooting next year is almost laughable – it really couldn’t get much worse unless you got rid of the 3 point line! Now, the combined 22 points and 13 boards…that is a bit more of a concern.

  • Outoftheloop

    And what you heard was correct! So what is your point? You don’t have a point!

  • Outoftheloop

    That would be edited to: ” if hmp does NOT play 25 minutes or more!”

  • Outoftheloop

    Agreed!

  • Outoftheloop

    Devin Davis was our #2 rebounder and Hanner our #3 rebounder in rebounds/min to Noah (the B1G and team #1 rebounder) last year. So. IU is in great shape there with Troy very solid at rebounding, with Yogi and Stan also strong!

  • Outoftheloop

    We all know that a Tom Crean team with depth is NOT restricted to a starting 5 plus a 6th man, try a good 8-9 man rotation and 0 walk-ins!

  • Shaggy_C

    Sigh. “Not a true five” – the same description we had for Zeller and Vonleh. Part of the reason I was so excited for Fischer is that he was a true “back to the basket” player, which it seems we’ve never had in the Tom Crean era. We just seem to default our tallest guy to the five by default regardless of their comfort level or fit there. Really hoping April can come in and buck the trend, but we’ll have to see how he handles D1 competition first!

  • bk39

    Let me word it this way- Is there improved shooting with JBJ and Hanner over Vonleh and Will? Because that’s the main adjustments to the starting line-up. I ask this because shooting was such a concern and problem last year– will we continue to have this problem?

  • Shaggy_C

    Will was always streaky, so it probably depends on the night – some days he was lights out, but he also had a tendency to disappear for several games at a time, especially once B1G play started. Hanner will need to step up to fill those shoes, for sure, but it’s not unimaginable that he could do so. I feel like a guy averaging 7 points night in and night out would be preferable to 14 points one night and zero the next, honestly.

    Vonleh’s production on the other hand would be hard to compete with – the guy averaged almost a double-double. But if anyone can come in and drop ten a game, JBJ could do it. That’s 3 treys and a free throw, which for someone of his talents should be very well attainable.

    However, I think you’re putting too much focus on the top of the pile here – you have to think the rest of the team around the starting five will be better too. Would you rather have Hollowell or Hoetz? Evan Gordon or Robert Johnson? You can give up points and shooting from your starters if you have a bench that can come in and produce at a similarly high level.

  • bk39

    the rest of the team that might impact shooting is RJ and MH, I can see RJ doing just that, not so sure MH will see enough of the floor to impact overall team shooting. If RJ can play heavy minutes and can shoot at a high level in D1 I would have worried for nothing.

  • bk39

    Is this a team with proven depth?

  • IUfanforever

    Hey Chuck…..this team will be able to shoot,drive to the basket and make lay-up.

  • Bryce Kepner

    He’ll surprise most around here

  • sd chuck

    Your right if he can stay out of foul trouble! You know if he would just improve as much as he did last year I think we’ll be alright. Agreed he doesn’t have to be great just solid. He doesn’t have to score a lot, rebound, defend the rim, couple of throw downs we’re good.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Yes.

  • TomJameson

    I think the center position is the closest to an exception to that rule. He can be a shot blocker, alter shots, rebound on both ends, able to pass it out of trouble, and get his points with put-backs and easy rebound-dunks. I think most of that would be considered great defensive skills. All of that would be a holy terror to the other team. lol

  • KmanCRK

    Did you play left field back in the day?

  • KmanCRK

    I agree about Stan’s energy, but assuming (assuming should be underlined) he gets a reliable jump shot, even if its only within 18 feet, it would be difficult to keep on the bench to start games. He is easily our best defender and with his ability to drive and rebound, I think you’ll see him at the 3 spot most of the season with Troy starting at the 4. Hopefully Mad Max can earn some minutes, but I am at this point assuming we’ll only see a 7 man rotation this year with RJ & DD coming off the bench.
    Depending on his offseason development, Stan could be one of our greatest assets next year due to his defense and grit.

  • TomJameson

    You know they just may concentrate on Blackmon, and/or Yogi, but that still leaves us with shooters and drivers. NOT like it was last year. In other words, I really don’t think they can concentrate on one or two people and make it stick. IMO we are going to have too many other weapons for that to work. For IU to be great though, the boys have to work hard in the summer, work (and play) together, and bring it all to every game. I so much hope that they all get along and have a great time on the floor!

  • KmanCRK

    Napier was UConn’s leading rebounder. I think you’ll definitely see a rebound by committee mentality and even though we’ll avg 6-5 or so, I think Troy, Stan, Devin and Hanner will be crashing the boards hard making up for the lack of size. They all tend to be more athletic than who they are matched up with.

  • TomJameson

    I think Max is going to work hard to get on the floor. And, as he gets acclimated to the new level, he’s going to be really tough. Right now though, he can shoot, and shoot the 3.

  • Nice comment, really something how JpJ just threw that out there.. There’s no pessimism, like good pessimism… lol…

  • You could be right, but I’m hoping that Jeremiah, will come in here and help us all forget Fischer was even here. I could be wrong, but I think we’re going to get some solid contributions out of Jeremiah next year… I just feel he’s in the middle of some real improvement in terms of his size, and his development. I think he’s going to come in here and work his butt off, and make some meaningful contributions.

  • BradTon23

    Thanks so much for posting my question, Alex!

  • TedHightowerSucks

    Current bangee blossoming (hopefully) into the banger 🙂

  • JetpackJunky

    I don’t have any idea what this means. Is it criticizing me for calling out recker? Or is it a long way of saying “like”?

  • bk39

    I agree that MH will work very hard, I like his attitude and confidence and enjoyed watching him in the derby classic. IU will be a better team with Max in whatever role he plays and that can be said for each of IU,s four recruits. If Max can see a fair amount of minutes on the floor it would certainly improve the team shooting because as you said he can shoot it and beyond 3pt range.

  • Outoftheloop

    Of course not “proven”! But today “proven” depth does not exist. If you are really good you want to start, or you transfer out. IU could have 6 new players next season, none of them are “proven”! Of the 7 returners, 2 are medically questionable. So IU has 5 “proven” players. Of those 5, 3 have 1 yr experience, 1 has 1.5 years experience, 1 has 2 years experience. But the quality of our 4 recruits looks good on paper and highlight tapes, so Indiana should have a good 8-9 deep rotation. If you give a kid a basketball scholarship to IU, you must think that he can play and contribute! The only kid in the B1G who seems happy to be a “proven depth” guy is Spike at MI, Horford was NOT!

  • Outoftheloop

    If IU is undefeated and Max is not playing I will keep my mouth shut. But if we are 500 in the B1G and he is not playing I will put the blame on Coach Crean!

  • Outoftheloop

    His name is Jeremiah April.

  • calbert40

    WOW!! I hope you are right about JBJ vs Harris, but I find that hard to fathom. One thing that I believe JBJ will have to improve is his D in order to be compared to Harris. Harris’s defensive ability was overshadowed by his offensive acumen, but he could play strong D.

    But I certainly hope you are right!!

  • IUMIKE1

    Agree, Harris probably didn’t get the credit for the level of D that he played from most people….including me his freshman year. Tried to tell myself that he wasn’t as good as everyone said he was after he picked Izzo over us, but had to come to grips with the fact that I was just telling myself that and that he really was that good, defense included.