The Inside the Hall Mailbag: July 2

  • 07/02/2014 11:58 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.

HoosierJake on the premium forum writes: We had a visitor in recently that could still join this year’s team. With no immediate commitment from him, has that passed? If so, what is the likelihood of someone still joining this roster in time for the Montreal trip? How active is the staff in trying to round out this roster and fill scholarships?

I would not read the lack of a commitment to this point as anything of substance. Often times in transfer situations, there are academic things that need to be figured out, especially when a specific major or program is being sought. The situation you’re referencing, I believe is Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft, who took a visit to Bloomington recently. There is mutual interest there, so it’s certainly a situation to keep an eye on.

As far as the likelihood of someone still joining the roster, I think it’s definitely possible. Indiana has two scholarships open, so if there’s a player out there who can add something, I would expect the staff to pursue it. — Alex Bozich

iulaw79 on the premium forum writes: With Austin Conway committing to Wyoming, do you see this impacting our chances of landing his teammate De’Ron Davis?

I don’t actually. Package deals are rarely a reality and in this case in particular, you’re talking about two players who have a complete different set of options recruiting wise. They’re also in different classes with Conway in 2015 and Davis in 2016.

While it’s true that Indiana did recruit Conway, I’m not sure how diligently it actually pursued a commitment from him. Wyoming is a good fit for him as he’ll come in and play major minutes right away. I’m not sure that was going to happen at a higher-tier BCS school.

With Davis, he’s a five-star prospect that has the attention of a large group of schools. Right now, Indiana has laid solid groundwork there and the fact that he’s already been on campus tells me that Indiana is a serious player. — Alex Bozich

kmark22 on the premium forum writes: With the hiring of Chuck Martin will he take the same role as Kenny Johnson as lead recruiter and what does he bring to the table with his NBA background and other experience? Are their new recruiting areas that IU will tap into?

I don’t get the impression that Martin is going to be listed as Indiana’s “recruiting coordinator” as Johnson was, but he’ll certainly be heavily involved in recruiting.

Admittedly, I didn’t know a lot about Martin when he was first mentioned as a candidate, but the fact that he’s been an assistant coach under John Calipari, has also been a head coach in college and has worked in scouting for a top NBA franchise says that he’s going to bring a nice mix of experience to the table.

One thing that really stood out to me from his press conference was his talk of applying the process he went through in scouting for Oklahoma City to the college game.

“In the NBA it’s just a draft in June, so it gives you … you don’t have a knee jerk reaction,” Martin said. “You watch him once. You watch him a second time. You go back home and you watch him on film. You speak to his high school coach, his collegiate coach, his AAU coach, you just keep going, keep going. As you continue through that process, you kind of connect the dots, and then eventually there is a picture, and you can see who this kid is on the court and off the court. That was something, quite honestly, that I did not have prior to the Thunder. I think that’s something that I can bring to Coach Crean and Indiana. Just kind of keep plugging away, keep calling, keep digging, keep watching, watch film, game footage, practice, and eventually you’ll get a chance to see who this kid really is.”

I’m not sure it’s going to change recruiting “areas” much in terms of where Indiana will go. The Big Ten’s expansion to the east is perfect as IU has already been involved in that part of the country and will continue to be very active. Martin, who is from New York, should be able to help in that area, but as Tom Crean mentioned the other day, he expects Martin to be able to help recruit in a variety of areas across the country, not just New York. — Alex Bozich

Robhoosier on the premium forum writes: Top 8 or 9 in the rotation for next year in your opinion?

In no particular order, for the top eight I would currently go Yogi Ferrell, Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams, Devin Davis, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Max Hoetzel and Collin Hartman, if he’s healthy. I haven’t seen enough out of Jeremiah April or Tim Priller, besides limited film, to say with any certainty the type of role I expect either of those guys to have. — Alex Bozich

Josh Witt on Facebook writes: It’s no secret that IU’s lineup will be smaller, but more athletic than it has been as a whole in years. Who do you guys see as the starting “center” if you had to pick one right now?

The leader has to be Mosquera-Perea at this point. He’s not really what I’d call a true center, but for IU’s system, he’s certainly got the size to play the position. The thing with Hanner has always been that he just needs to play and get reps. He’s going to get that opportunity this season because the other options are limited.

Crean was pretty direct in his comments about his expectations for Mosquera-Perea back in early June, which you can read here if you missed our story. — Alex Bozich

Wes Cook on Facebook writes: Do you think IU is being underrated because of last year? I feel like IU is getting no respect and we have a hell of a big 3 in the starting line up with Blackmon, Yogi and Williams. Not to mention our bench will be deeper and we have shooters. We have pieces to the puzzle that fit Crean’s system.

I’m not sure underrated is the correct word to use. Expectations are lower because the lasting impression in the minds of those who watched last season is that the team didn’t perform up to its capabilities and it also lost Will Sheehey (graduation) and Noah Vonleh (NBA). Indiana also had major turnover problems, which is something it obviously must fix moving forward.

When the preview magazines begin to hit newsstands in the fall, I wouldn’t expect Indiana to be picked high in the league. While it’s fun for us to post those and discuss the various opinions out there, when the season starts, it’s all meaningless. Last season, Nebraska was picked to finish last in the league and the Cornhuskers finished in the top half and made the NCAA tournament.

Indiana is going to be a backcourt driven team next season and if it can get enough from its frontcourt players, there’s a solid chance you’ll see an improvement record wise from last season. The Hoosiers certainly have four very solid options in the backcourt with Ferrell, Blackmon, Williams and Robinson, but guys like Davis and Mosquera-Perea need to be able to defend and rebound in the frontcourt without fouling. Scoring and shooting doesn’t appear that it will be an issue for this group, but the turnovers, rebounding and defense are going to ultimately tell the story of the season. — Alex Bozich

@TheJohnSmoltz on Twitter writes: Do you expect/envision CTC putting (Nate) Ritchie out on the floor in more competitive games? Though he is a walk-on, kid can play.

I’ve never seen Ritchie play, but the fact that he had Division I offers tells me that, at the least, he’s going to be able to push other guys in practice and provide depth. If he can play, I assume he’ll have a chance to earn minutes. Indiana has played walk-ons in several seasons under Crean and I wouldn’t expect that to change. — Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • Kyl470

    You don’t put a guy on the floor unless he is ready to contribute.

  • Kyl470

    HMP, April, Priller, and an undersized Davis are going to be outclassed by every Big Ten team we face. Yes that includes Northwestern, Penn St., and even Purdue. We just have to hope they can defend and rebound well enough to keep us in games.

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong, the bench is there, but you must play it with the starters, not all by itself! If you start Hanner, Devin, Troy, James and Yogi, then bring in Max for Devin and Stan for Yogi, and play that group for 5 minutes. Then bring in Yogi and April for 5 minutes, etc.

  • Outoftheloop

    There are NO credible “initial reports”! Wait until November!

  • Outoftheloop

    The uninformed forming opinions for the weak of mind with an agenda!

  • Outoftheloop

    Which did not happen yet. Alex said he has not seen enough of either!

  • Outoftheloop

    Tim is a 4 (and a stretch 4 at that) not a 5.

  • Outoftheloop

    And the away trip would be beautiful!

  • Outoftheloop

    Some of those are intra-roster scrimmages!

  • ForeverIU

    I think we play them in Btown 🙂

  • Lisa Wiggins Osmon

    who are we playing in the Crossroads Classic and ACC challenge?

  • HoosierGrampy

    That sounds nice, but in point of fact, CTC consistently put guys on the floor last year whose sole contributions were to give starters a little rest. No one can be certain how, when or if a player is going to contribute until that player is given an opportunity–and I’m not talking about a 1-2 minute window here. I recall CTC raving about how much of a competitor and contributor Tom Pritchard was in practice, yet in all but a very few games, he left or lost his “game” somewhere between the locker room and the court. On the other hand, during the 2014 NCAAs, UK’s Marcus Lee found his game and made some major contributions…once he was given (earned?) the opportunity to play.

  • yimyames

    Which is why you won’t see April and Perea, playing together, much less starting together

  • HoosierGrampy

    I seriously hope CTC doesn’t try to fix the errors of last season by playing a certain way again this year! IU never had a BIG lineup on the floor for any appreciable amount of time last year, and its half-court game generally sucked–largely because not enough passing, screening, back-cutting, blocking out–basic offensive fundamentals–were performed. Having a back court full of good/great shooters may help, but a quantum leap forward to improve off-the-ball movements will have to occur to get them open for a shot. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll be fortunate to equal last year’s record. There is sufficient talent in town to play very well…I hope the coaches are able to put the pieces together.

  • SCHoosier

    My point was Jeff didn’t help IU LOSE any games either..TO’s from the other subjects did.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Saying JA and HMP are not 2 of our better players or close to it is unfair and arguably inaccurate. ON PAPER neither jumps out as a double-double threat, but no one can know what impact either one’s motivation or desire to improve will have on their respective games. By Sept-Oct we should have more information on the status of their progress.
    No question that the presence of capable shooters in the back court is a big plus for 2014. The fact that none of them is over 6’4″ or has super hops will probably have a negative impact on the team, but that’s not an automatic given. Somebody besides Troy or Devin has got to be on the floor to get on the glass and patrol the paint so to speak or it will not take a rocket scientist mentality to devise game plans to capitalize on IU’s weaknesses.

  • Ole Man

    Loop, kiss my grits! Ya wanna go personal. Have at it, moron!!
    I passed along a comment made by Alex. I believe he’s far more informed than you are.
    I realize you worship at the idol of Tom Crean, but this had nothing to do with him, So go back to kissing his backside.
    Come on….say something smart alecky now.

  • sweetwilli

    Sounds like the fox news loop.

  • HoosierGrampy

    I’m not sure what you mean by outclassed, but aside from Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois, the other B1G teams lost significant front court players, too. If you’re old enough to remember MSU’s Johnny Green or the Sonics’ Paul Silas, each of them were rebounding machines who were @ 6’7″. You don’t have to be a lot taller than that to be great–or at least effective–on the glass. Bill Russell once said something to the effect that he got over 50% of his rebounds BEFORE the shot was taken because he had mastered the fine arts of: positioning. blocking out, studying the tendencies of your opponents and communicating. I suggest we give our front court players a little time to further develop and enhance the skills which they bring to the table before sending up the white flag.

  • HoosierGrampy

    There is a major difference between an NCAA D1 coach who has 20+ years of experience and a coach with 1 year of experience which has been repeated 20+ times.

  • Outoftheloop

    Please give me 2 examples of to’s by Devin that actually caused a loss last season…by Hanner? Thought not!

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong! You don’t give out the scholarship unless the kid can play and contribute the first year. This is NOT 2008-09!

  • Outoftheloop

    I like my grits with cheese gravy! How is that personal, it was not your comment on the paid forum? You did NOT attribute the comment to Alex but to an unknown post on the paid forum. Alex did say that both Tim and Jeremiah needed wok in the weight room. That is NOT what your comment said. Tom Crean is not as good as he should be, but not as bad as some assert!

  • Outoftheloop

    That was a joke…not very funny

  • Outoftheloop

    Wrong! But we will each see on the court this season!

  • Hoosier1158

    HMP and April will be sharing time at the 5 spot this year. They are the only “true” 5’s we have. I would start HMP now and bring in April off the bench.

  • Kyl470

    Well Priller and April won’t contribute this year so I guess you will be disappointed.

  • Kyl470

    You’re right they will probably be a dominating force.