The Inside the Hall Mailbag: May 12

  • 05/12/2014 10:28 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.

Millared on the premium forum writes: It seems to me the IU Nation is all in on Hanner Perea to be the main man in the middle next season. With Noah’s departure, Luke’s transfer and our recent inability to land another big, it’s not like we have many options. I would like to hear ITH’s take on HMP moving forward. What can we expect from him? Can he stay out of foul trouble? It sounds to me the jump we are hoping for is very Oladipo-ish. And I’m not sure if it’s achievable.

The staying out of foul trouble piece is obviously huge given that Mosquera-Perea averaged 6.1 fouls per 40 minutes as a sophomore. At 6-foot-8 or maybe 6-foot-9, he’s the closest thing Indiana has right now to a big man capable of making an impact. Davis obviously is another player to watch, but he’s smaller and not someone you’d ideally want to use primarily at the five. The information I have on Jeremiah April and Tim Priller is obviously limited, but I’m going to assume they’ll be behind Mosquera-Perea on the depth chart.

As for what we can expect, I’m not one for trying to project his numbers moving forward based on such a limited sample size. As a sophomore, he averaged just 7.7 minutes per game, so even if he jumps up to 15 or 20 per game, that’s a significant leap forward. Expecting an Oladipo-ish jump isn’t at all realistic, but Indiana certainly needs Mosquera-Perea to protect the rim reasonably well, finish plays around the rim and grow into a solid rebounder on both ends. He’s not going to be a guy that you post up and throw the ball to with any regularity, so most of his points are going to come in either pick and roll situations or from offensive rebounds. — Alex Bozich

modar42 on the premium forum writes: Do we lead for any recruits in 2015 and if so who?

That’s a tricky question and it may not be one that we can answer with any confidence until after the July evaluation periods. Very few kids come out and name a leader, so in most cases, you’re just making an educated guess based on conversations with the recruit, his coaches or someone close to the recruitment.

Most recruits are going to say positive things about every school recruiting them, so one of the main things to look for is how often the recruit has been to campus. It’s one thing to say a visit is planned, it’s another to actually make it to campus and visit. May and June are typically a somewhat busy time for visits and obviously July is huge for making evaluations and uncovering new targets. Not to dodge the question, but the next couple of months should tell us quite a bit and don’t forget that IU still has to name a successor for Kenny Johnson, who left for Louisville last month. — Alex Bozich

kmark22 on the premium forum writes: Looking at the recent 2016 recruiting updates it seems Indiana has hit the midwest hard, is the Midwest the new DMV? Did Kenny Johnson take the DMV with him?

The midwest appears to be pretty strong in 2016, so it makes sense to hit the area hard. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions on anything with regards to the DMV just yet. It’s an area ripe with top talent and no school is going to be able to “lock down” the area. Obviously Johnson was an asset there, but Indiana had success recruiting the area before he was added to the staff and I think you can expect to see the staff continue to recruit the area because there’s talent to be had. — Alex Bozich

schoosier on the premium forum writes: Any idea of when IU’s schedule might be out?

Typically the full schedule is released in August or September, which is typically just shortly after the Big Ten releases its schedule. The past few years, the non-conference games have trickled out over the summer as many of the schools that IU has faced in recent seasons have, in the past, released their schedules in June or July. We keep track of all of that information at this link as it becomes available. — Alex Bozich

townie12 on the premium forum writes: Any news on the (assistant) coaching search? Is it possible that the position will go unfilled next season?

There haven’t been any notable updates to this point and I think Tom Crean is going to take his time and make sure he finds the right fit. The timing of Johnson’s departure wasn’t ideal because of its proximity to the only spring evaluation period, but it wouldn’t have made sense to rush and make a hire just to have someone in place for that three-day period. There’s no chance the position will go unfilled. — Alex Bozich

mcoghlan on the premium forum writes: Of the incoming freshman, who do you think will have the biggest immediate impact and who do you think will have the biggest long term impact?

I think the answer to both questions is the same: James Blackmon Jr. Not to take anything at all away from Robert Johnson because I believe he’s going to be a fantastic player who is capable of becoming an All-Big Ten guy in Bloomington, but I think Blackmon Jr. will be an impact scorer and shooter from day one and I think he’ll be around a couple of seasons at least. So I’d feel comfortable saying he’ll have the biggest impact both immediately and long term. I think the summer will be important for Blackmon Jr. in that he’ll need to improve his strength to prepare for the physicality of the Big Ten, but in terms of being able to score efficiently from day one, he’ll have a huge impact. — Alex Bozich

jerad95 on the premium forum writes: What are your early thoughts about next season? Do you see an improved team that will move the ball better, shoot better and play better together or will our lack of height and interior inexperience on defense offset this?

That’s a great question and on paper, IU should have fantastic perimeter play, but there are some serious question marks on the interior. The shooting should obviously be better with the additions of Blackmon Jr., Johnson and potentially Max Hoetzel, if he can work his way into the rotation. The turnover problem will need to be improved considerably, but Indiana is still going to need some type of production from its frontcourt. It doesn’t necessarily need to be scoring, but defending without fouling and defensive rebounding are going to be crucial in determining just how good IU can be next season. — Alex Bozich

rmclelan on the premium forum writes: Who do you think best replaces the rebounding void with Noah Vonleh’s departure to the NBA? Do you think it will be an individual effort on the parts of Hanner Perea, Troy Williams and Devin Davis, or will the team focus collectively on defensive rebounding? Do you think Indiana guards will effectively rebound the basketball to help offset any lack of consistent frontcourt rebounding next season?

I’m not sure Vonleh’s rebounding void will be replaced. He was an elite rebounder who is going to be a top 10 pick in June’s NBA draft. Collectively, all three of the guys you mentioned are going to have the opportunity to step up and fill some of the void and Mosquera-Perea and Davis are probably the keys to leading the effort, at least on the defensive glass.

Williams will actually be the leading returning rebounder on the roster and if he plays the four with any regularity, he’s got a chance to average six or more per game with increased minutes. Additionally, Indiana is going to need guys like Johnson, Blackmon Jr., Stanford Robinson and Yogi Ferrell to get in there and mix it up on the boards. — Alex Bozich

tj21 on the premium forum writes: There seems to be a pattern that a few of the better players that are transferring do not visit IU prior to making a decision after expressing interest. We have seen a few of these, what is your take on this situation? Is it a situation or am I jumping to premature conclusions?

Every situation is different. With the transfer situations, Anthony Lee only took one visit (to Ohio State) after saying he would visit several schools. Many thought Ryan Anderson would head to Arizona to get closer to home after spending three seasons at Boston College, so it really wasn’t a huge surprise that he didn’t pick IU, but the way he canceled the visit was a bit of a curveball. I don’t think either situation is anything to be concerned about. Obviously right now, fans are looking for good news as it’s been a rough offseason and it’s understandable that things like this get brought into question. What will be more interesting to watch is how IU’s 2015 recruiting develops this fall. I think it’s important for IU to get a couple of solid frontcourt commitments signed in November to solidify things in that regard moving forward. — Alex Bozich

NervousWreck on the premium forum writes: When can we expect the 2014 roster to be complete? Meaning, when’s the likely deadline for when the last scholarship would be filled or unfilled with a new recruit?

It’s hard to say for sure as there are obviously still players who are unsigned or potentially waiting on test scores still out there, but at this point, it seems like the roster is likely set. — Alex Bozich

@BlackMatt5 on Twitter writes: How crucial will Stan’s development be this summer? I can easily see Robert Johnson and JBJ combined stealing his minutes.

It’s a big summer for Robinson, as it is for everyone on the roster. He obviously needs to improve his shooting as he finished his freshman season at 60 percent from the foul line, 47.7 percent on 2s and 16.6 percent on 3s. The free throw numbers improved as the season moved along, but as a player who gets to the basket and gets fouled, you’d like to see the number rise to around 75 percent. The turnovers, too, are a concern as a turnover rate of 22 percent is clearly a number with room for improvement. Robinson also needs to continue to grow as a defender. If he does that, it’s going to be hard to keep him off the floor. He already drew plenty of crucial defensive assignments as a freshman and I’d expect that to continue next season. — Alex Bozich

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  • ronb

    Every year the top 40 teams try and have a great big man on their team but it’s less than 20% chance that they work out well enough to be a high NBA Draft pick. I am talking about 4/5 star bigs that go to these schools and just don’t play to the level they hoped. Say what you want about our Coaches but they had back to back big men in Cody and Noah who are both lottery picks. Other bigs see that and Coach will get more. It is to bad about LF he would likely be a starter next year but these big guys will look at where IU bigs went in the draft and not what fans say. If you listen to these interviews between recruits and Inside the Hall you will read or hear that bigs still view Crean as a great Coach and IU as a great School. We will be alright. The sky is not falling on IU basketball and the Coaches are making big men a priority for 2015 and 2016 and will fix that problem. Our 2014 class is ranked 20th in the Nation by ESPN. That is higher than about 327 other Schools. I know it may be hard with no proven big man next year but Coach may have someone who will surprise us and I am not sure he is done shaking the bushes yet. Hang tough guys and support the team and Players. Go Hoosiers!

  • Hoosier Hall

    Jeez, I hope he gets more than 11.6 per game. I get what you are saying but that would mean we are in bad shape. Or, it would mean that April and Jurkin are ready to rock (which I don’t think is the case).

  • Arch_Puddington

    I may be missing your point AND making mine poorly. Let me try again.

    You posited that in the absence of an elite big man, CTC does not seem to have a program in place to develop a serviceable one. My point is that he doesn’t have a big man development program because he doesn’t have any big men. He DID have some big men, including four to begin last season and another being heavily recruited. One by one they have all been lost other than Hanner. Had Luke not went home to mommy, PJ not been hurt, NV not overachieved, and Goodluck not opted for a third tier program, we would have four big men on the roster in various stages of development right now and a fifth on the way. Instead, we have two, one of whom is too unhealthy to play.

    How much blame one assigns to CTC for all these losses is a bit of a separate matter. The point for this discussion is that he can’t develop big men if he doesn’t have any.

  • Kelin Blab

    My two cents….

    + I know JBJ is expected to have a big impact out of the 2014 class…however given what we expect with Yogi and Stan not starting the season playing….I could make the case for Rob Johnson to have the biggest impact early. He will have the ball in his hands more and he is the ONLY other player on the team not named Yogi that has played PG the most.

    + April is intriguing to me because of his size and what he can bring defensively.

    + Hopefully Stanford is NOT working on 3pt shooting yet…but moreso developing a strong mid range game. If he develops what VJ3 and Victor had, he will be unstoppable on the offensive end.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d have loved to see Kitchel, Wittman, and Isiah with the college 3 point line.

  • marcusgresham

    Here’s a point no one really ever makes when they talk about Crean’s development (or lack thereof) of big guys: he’s never had a top-notch 5 to work with for more than about 3 months. As good as Zeller and Vonleh were, they were 4s, not 5s. Fischer fit the mold, and I’d say he improved from the start of the season to the point when he left.

  • ForeverIU

    What do you mean Yogi and Stan will not start the season playing? Don’t tell me they will be suspended.

  • PocketHoosier

    I understand you now and I think all of those are fair opinions to have. I also don’t think that it is all on Crean to coach up the bigs if that is not his forte (and it is not) It *is* his responsibility to build up a coaching staff comprised of coaches whose strengths mitigate his weaknesses. I think it is going to be very difficult to find a recruiter that can adequately replace KJ’s abilities, but the slot could definitely be used to bring in someone to help McClain work with the bigs. We all know that the guards are well taken care of. It would be wonderful if a coach can be found to help McClain build a more robust regimen for post players that can match what Crean and Buckley do for the guards

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I think TW’s development and bulking up will be equally important, DD development will be a bonus

  • Outoftheloop

    Hey, I am cool with IU stopping the opponents 2 out of 3 on inside 2-point attempts! That would be lots of victories!

  • Outoftheloop

    Hanner must be a 25 minutes/game man and Devin 20 minutes/game. I have no fear with Hanner and Devin on the boards. They are tough! I hope Max, Tim and Jeremiah can contribute rebounds and boxing out. Our guards will help rebounding big time!

  • Outoftheloop

    “I feel like the majority of success that we’ve had down low over the past few seasons has been due to exceptional talent, not exceptional development.” I have no clue what “evidence” leads you to this statement! As a comparison look at KY and the lack of development for Poythress (#8 in 2012). He will have 3 years playing at KY. He was ranked #8! And now, after 2 full years at KY, no one wanted him in the NBA! All you need is 1 team out of 30 to say: “if you are in the draft, we will take you with our first pick” and then you declare for the draft.. But there were no takers! Compare that to Indiana’s record with Zeller (#17 in 2011, drafted #4 after 2 years at IU) and Vonleh (#8 in 2013, and probably drafted #7 after 1 year at IU). Look at Tarczewski of AZ, ranked #9 in 2012, but no NBA team wanted him after 2 full years at AZ. Indiana has demonstrated great development of “Bigs” under Coach Crean. Look at McAdoo of NC, ranked #8 in 2011, but he is now ranked in the draft well below Vonleh despite 3 full seasons of “development” at NC under Coach Roy Williams, who everyone believes is a top college coach. You just have no evidence for your statement!

  • Outoftheloop

    Very few teams have a 5 to guard. Most play two 4’s, like MSU, OSU, Iowa, etc. Some excel with only playing one 4 and zero 5’s, like MI. Hard to really define Kaminski and WI, but he is not a prototypical 5!

  • Outoftheloop

    The 5’s for IU: Hanner and Jeremiah; the 4’s for IU: Devin and Tim; the 3’s for IU: Troy and Max; the 2’s for IU: James and Robert; the PG’s for IU: Yogi and Stan. Then Collin ( a 3 or 4) and Peter (a 5) getting healthy (hopefully).

  • PocketHoosier

    Apparently, you’re misunderstanding what is meant by the word “development.” Zeller wasn’t developed; he was recruited. He came in and was plugged into the roster and essentially told to “go do what he does.” The same with Vonleh. There is plenty of recent evidence for that. I’m not sure what the list of “overrated big men around the country” has to do with the Indiana coaching staff’s capabilities of building up a stable of at least serviceable big men.

    Maybe it’s an overreaction; maybe my opinion is based on a sampling error.

    But, my opinion still is that I would be excited to see that coaching vacancy used to bring in someone to work alongside McClain with the big men to help build up that area of the depth chart. One man can only have his attention divided so many ways and the big men on the roster are ALL currently “Projects.”

  • Kelin Blab

    I don’t know if they will be suspended, but I would expect them to given what happened with Hanner….we will see.

  • PocketHoosier

    Yogi and Stan were arrested by Excise for Minor Consumption and False Identification back in April. You knew that, right?

    (I can understand the Minor Consumption, but….False Identification?!?!?! How did Yogi and Stan think they were going to get by with fake ids? Because they’re so totally incognito anywhere they go in the state of Indiana.)

  • PocketHoosier

    Hanner’s was an OWI, though…at twice the legal limit. Yogi and Stan were nabbed for minor consumption. I’d expect a punishment, but I bet it won’t be the same severity; at least, it shouldn’t be.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    make em eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at taco john’s for a week. that too stiff a punishment? wait, is taco john’s still around?

  • PocketHoosier

    If that’s offered to them as a punishment, it’d be better for them to take the suspension

  • ForeverIU

    Yeah, of course I know, but I didn’t think it was going to spill over into the season. That would suck. But I can imagine Yogi in his first game after a suspension. He’s gonna bring down the house.

  • calbert40

    I am just trying to be realistic. One of the group of big men will probably emerge as the starter, and accordingly he will get starter level minutes. I just don’t want to put unrealistic numbers on either Davis or HMP, because then we are disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

    If one of them was able to carve out 20 mpg, that would be fantastic, but before that happens, someone needs to make a big jump this summer.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Let’s just hope they both make a big jump this summer!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Adam Woodbury is most definitely a “5” for Iowa…in general though, I agree with you, very few teams have legitimate centers that we need to worry about taking games over.