The Inside the Hall Mailbag: December 5

  • 12/05/2014 9:46 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.

TroutyB on the premium forum writes: Given their production lately, could you see either Collin Hartman or Emmitt Holt in the starting lineup at some point this year? If so, who comes out?

I could see it with Holt, but I’m not sure on Hartman because I feel like he’s settling into a role and I’m not sure how a move into the starting lineup would disrupt that. Holt certainly looked the part against Pittsburgh, but he’s also lacking experience and it was just one game. Will he be able to string together production with consistency? If he’s not able to do so, he’s in the same boat as Hanner Mosquera-Perea who I assume he would supplant in the starting lineup if a change were to occur. I think Holt is definitely going to be a positive for this team, but I also caution against expecting too much from him after his strong play against Pittsburgh.

As for Hartman, I think so far he’s epitomized what Tom Crean has talked about in the past when he references having depth because IU is not experiencing a drop off when he enters the game. If he’s excelling in his current role, do you make a change when guys like Troy Williams and Robert Johnson are also playing well? I don’t believe so. I like Hartman as a guy who can come in off the bench and provide energy, rebound, defend and drop in a perimeter shot when he’s open. — Alex Bozich

@TheLucasCorley on Twitter writes: If IU wins the big games but loses against weaker opponents, how does that look to selection committee at end of season?

The Eastern Washington loss was certainly a setback for Indiana, but it’s not going to make or break this team’s NCAA tournament chances in my view. The Eagles have a legitimate shot to win their league and are by no means a complete bottom feeder in the computer numbers. Essentially what IU must do now is take care of the rest of the guarantee games on its non-conference schedule and at least win one and ideally, two, of the Louisville, Butler, Georgetown games to be in decent position when Big Ten play begins. Going into the season, I thought 10-3 going into conference play would give the Hoosiers a solid shot going into conference play and the possibility still exists.

However, I think IU’s fate is ultimately going to be decided by how it fares in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers are going to have to protect homecourt as best they can and try to win more than just two league road games, which was a major reason last year’s team finished 7-11 in the conference standings. So to answer your question, IU probably needs to go 10-3 in non-conference play and then at least .500 in league play to feel good about its chances. I think finishing at .500 or better in a Big Ten that looks brutal in the middle would negate the committee’s feelings about a loss to Eastern Washington in November. — Alex Bozich

Zachary Farmer on Facebook writes: Many talk about the “Hanner” epidemic and he is seen as the source of our defensive issues. But nobody asks or talks about the fact Perea is forced out of position. Which brings me to the question: Is the problem much like Tom Pritchard’s and D.J. White’s (Freshmen year), where they are forced out of place or is it more than just that?

In Crean’s system, Perea isn’t playing out of position. You can argue that Noah Vonleh or Cody Zeller could have played the four at Indiana because both had some ball skills, but Perea is not a four in this system. He can’t defend multiple positions, doesn’t run the floor well, he can’t handle the ball and he doesn’t shoot any 3s. In today’s college game, he’s not a four.

As to your point of whether he’s the source of the defensive issues, I don’t think he is, at least not completely. The defense starts on the perimeter and if guys are getting consistently beaten off the dribble, there’s very little Perea can do to stop that. Where he does have some culpability is on the defensive boards. Given his size and athleticism, he’s got to do a better job of stopping teams in that regard. — Alex Bozich

@BiscuitsNDavey2 on Twitter writes: When do you expect to hear anything on Devin Davis playing this season? Is he even eligible to play next semester?

I don’t really have any expectation on when we might hear anything because IU has been quiet on that issue and the updates, at least in an official capacity, have slowed down considerably in recent weeks.

Davis did have this post on Twitter yesterday that seems to indicate that he’s progressing well and his presence at recent games suggests he’s doing well:

As for the eligibility question, I’m not sure what Davis’ academic status has been throughout this process. My understanding is that as long as he’s enrolled and in good academic standing with the university, he is eligible to play.

pgwhalen on the premium forum writes: After a solid showing from both Hanner and Emmitt against Pitt, do you see Crean playing them together ever to create more of a traditional frontcourt?

Against an opponent like Louisville where the size discrepancy is going to be a problem, I could see it. But otherwise, probably not with any regularity.

This team is very much built around its perimeter pieces and that’s the strength the coaching staff is going to try to utilize. Going with Williams or Hartman at the four provides more versatility in that regard as long as IU’s offense is playing well and the defensive boards don’t cripple IU’s chances to stay competitive. — Alex Bozich

twoturntables on the premium forum writes: You predicted an 8th place Big Ten finish for the Hoosiers before the season started. After seeing our team and the rest of the conference play a few games, would you change your prediction today?

I’d stick with the prediction because I haven’t seen anything to suggest that there’s much separation in the league besides Wisconsin at the top and Rutgers at the bottom. Every program in the middle has its warts. A prime example is Michigan State, which has been ranked all season, but lost all three of its major non-conference games. I suspect the Spartans have seen the last of the polls for at least a few weeks.

Now, if Indiana’s defense continues on the same path (currently 160th nationally), finishing eighth isn’t going to be realistic because a major part of winning in the Big Ten is the ability to survive a halfcourt grind where stops, not offense, typically wins. — Alex Bozich

BK39 on the premium forum writes: What Louisville weakness do you foresee IU being able to possibly exploit?

Louisville hasn’t been great on offense (28th nationally), which is really their only weakness. The defense is a juggernaut (allowing .84 points per possession), so the best shot for most teams to beat the Cardinals is going to be an off shooting night.

As Luke Winn of pointed out yesterday, Louisville guard Chris Jones is using a ridiculous amount of possessions (27 percent) for such an inefficient player (92.9 offensive rating), so perhaps the play is to let the guards try to win the game while packing in the paint.

Beyond that, this isn’t a good matchup for Indiana. The Cardinals are super physical and dominate the offensive glass, which presents a challenge unlike any this IU team has experienced to this point. — Alex Bozich

OldeHoosier on the premium forum writes: Despite sending all five guys to the boards against Pittsburgh we were still out rebounded by 20% totally and 100% on the offensive boards. What are we going to have to do to improve our rebounding?

I typically ignore raw rebounding numbers as I much prefer offensive rebounding percentage and those numbers for the IU-Pittsburgh game weren’t all bad. Yes, Pittsburgh may have had 25 offensive boards to IU’s 13, but look at the percentages. IU rebounded 40.6 percent of its misses and Pittsburgh rebounded 52.1 of the 46 (!) shots it missed.

As for how the rebounding improves, there’s no easy answer. It just has to remain a focus of improvement by the coaching staff and players. There’s no magic wand or elixir that will change anything, but things like boxing out and positioning must remain a focus. There are going to be games that Indiana is going to get beaten badly enough on the glass that it’s the difference between a win and a loss and there are going to be games where Indiana’s offense will overcome its deficiency on the glass. Like it or not, I think that’s reality with this group. — Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • Holt actually had better numbers against Lamar than Pitt on a per minute basis.

  • if you have good insurance, speech therapy is pretty standard after a serious brain injury. Hopefully it’s just a precaution. On a side note, I don’t what Devin’s particular therapy entails, but 90% of speech therapy in the clinical setting for adults deal with conditions that are not related to speech or speaking.

  • dssnyder1

    Good info

  • mharv2631

    He keeps saying it was one game with Holt, but he has looked great every time he’s stepped on the floor.

  • Derek

    I appreciate the positivity and i am the same way pre season but i do think we will have our hands full against larger teams. I think we can score enough points to win any game but im not sure we can defend enough down low yet but i seen alot of improvement for the most part against pitt. But i also seen the return of our bad defense as well a few times. That being said and i dont know if anyone else mentioned this yet but i am kinda worried about the purdue games this year. That tall guy they have looks like Drago off of Rocky 4 only taller. Anyone else watched them play any?

  • ForeverIU

    Lol, yeah, you mean Isaac Haas? They do look alike. I haven’t seen Purdue Drago play. I hope we’re not in for a Rocky ride the next four years.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Robert Johnson, Emmit Holt, and Max Hoetzel is a solid foundation. Those guys are three good, talented players. The X-factor in that group could be J April! If he doesn’t end up being a Bawa/Tijan/PJ project and can be a year 3 and 4 contributor then you have a very solid 4 year class to recruit around which is what made the 2012 team so good. You could recruit a CZ or VO and mix them in with CWat, Jordy, Will, etc. Even sitting here watching pUKe tonight I’m reminded how much better this pUKe team probably is with some returning players like Cauley-Stein and Poythrus (however the heck you spell it) than they would be with 5 freshman on the floor.

    I think JBJ may stay 1 more year and with the development of Emmit and HP and the additions of two young, very talented big men, next year could be a fun one to watch! I just hope this year’s team exceeds expectations and builds momentum heading into next.

    Side note – OH HOW I HOPE pUKe LOSES AT HOME TONIGHT AGAINST TEXAS AND BLOWS THE WHOLE UNDEFEATED THING EARLY!!! I can’t stand to think that a pUKe team could steal IU’s standing as the last undefeated team in college basketball!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I think IU has a lot of ball handlers and if they play with confidence and want the ball then breaking Louisville’s press could lead to a lot of open 3-point attempts. If IU happens to have a hot shooting night (which sometimes happens in big arenas – and sometimes it doesn’t!) then it could stay interesting. IU has the shooters to stretch any team in the country and so far TO’s haven’t been the 7-headed dragon this year it’s been in the past.

    We shall see . . .

  • HoosierHoosier

    With all due respect, I could not disagree more regarding Jeremiah April. I don’t think you can count on him at all. I think he was a desperate, last minute addition by a coaching staff that saw a lack of front court awareness with the departures of Luke Fischer and Noah Vonleh. Had Luke Fischer not decided to transfer, I think none of us would have ever heard the names Jeremiah April, Tim Priller, or maybe even Emmitt Holt.

    Just watching April warm up at every game this season, he doesn’t move well. He’s slow. He’s clunky. Personally, I don’t think he’ll ever see the floor for this team again. I fully expect him to “explore other basketball options” just like Bawa and Peter Jurkin did.

    I don’t want to come off as a pessimist, but I am a realist. Go Hoosiers!

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Play them both @ the same time, geeesh.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    I am a business major & you may be correct in your forecast of JH.

  • HostileHoosier

    I would have to say that Hollowell was in over his head at IU! I think the kid thought that he was so good that he didnt need coaching! I would have to disagree with your statement about DD and say that heart makes up for some bit of talent. I would prefer a player that plays with heart over a over confident underachiver any time. DD has heart and plays all out all the time! Hollowell has no heart and underachived 100% off the time!

  • HostileHoosier

    Robert Johnson is the REAL deal and Hoosiernation should be excited about this young man! I was beside myself when Yogi came to IU but watching this guy play ball for IU REALLY has me hyped for upcoming seasons! For the most part he plays under control and can beat just about any defender off the dribble AS A FRESHMEN! This kid is going to be amazing to watch and we should all be happy he is at IU!

  • HostileHoosier

    Iu is gonna have to be ready to beat the press on about 33% of trips down the floor! Patino knows that IU has the 3 point advantage and he is going to press to turn IU over! I see Yogi playing about 35-38 min in this game just for that reason. We are going to need Troy to be his sneaky self on the baseline for this game and not force anything. IMO Holt SHOULD start this game unless he just has a total meltdown in this next gimme game. IU can beat UoL the 1 factor WILL be handling the press!

  • HostileHoosier

    Well I will go as far as a call out for prayer for this young man! I know me and my family are praying for him!

  • HostileHoosier

    Yes I agree the press should be our worry for this game. I replied to a post here about that being my 1 concern for this game. If we cant beat the press and not turn the ball over when they press we WILL get beat! I think Yogi plays 35-38 min in this game for that reason alone!

  • ForeverIU

    I was just looking at the FIU/Louisville box score: 20 turnovers for Louisville and 25 for FIU. This seems to be a pattern for Louisville in the last few games? Forcing a lot of turnovers but also incurring a lot. Might be a very ugly game on Tuesday.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Neither is ours…in case you hadn’t noticed.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    I’d add Louisville (of course), Wichita State, Arizona, Villanova, a healthy Virginia and Kansas to the tough matchup list.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    If we put 5 guards on the floor vs the ‘ville, Montrezl Harrell will give new meaning to the phrase “Career Night”.

  • Hoosier4life67

    I totally agree.

  • ‘Nuff_Said

    I think getting Holt and what we’ve seen from him thus far has pretty much sealed April’s fate to a seat at the end of the bench.

  • SilentBob

    People are reading too much into my comment. I too much rather have Davis, but not due to a lack of “heart” that people presume Jeremy has. Unless you’re a crazy athletic specimen like Hanner, you don’t get a d-1 schooly without having an extreme passion for the game. Was he a high motor guy? No, but It is just a better schematic fit offensively and defensively for Devin and pretty much everyone on the team now.

    Jeremy was never comfortable and the scheme just didn’t fit his strengths. Defensively they’d sometimes play zone with him in there, he is very slow on close outs. Or when they’d play man he’d be at the 4 or even sometimes the 5. Crean uses a lot of switching and again he is very slow on the close out. Jeremy is much better when he can get into his mans “chest” and keep him there. Getting picked apart on defense can kill someones flow on offense as well.

    Offensively, while it is true Crean values speed (which Jeremy doesn’t have much of), he actually runs a very methodical and sometimes tedious offensive. Jeremy is a quick to score kind of guy. More so, contrary to peoples belief, he didn’t have the ball in his hands enough. In high school Jeremy absolutely dominated the high left wing with his ball handling and natural upper body strength. They rarely, if ever, would run a high pick and roll with him and Vonleh on the left or allow him to bring the ball up from the left where he is superb at stepping into jump shots. When he was out on the left wing, he was usually waiting for a wide open three in the corner. Yogi rarely hit him, maybe he didn’t seem due to lack of height, but when he did so much of his confidence had already been sucked that he’d shorten the height of his release and shortened his follow through.

    Finally the only place I have ever questioned Crean’s development ability (I’m typically a huge Crean supporter) is with Jeremy. Jeremy never learned to finish up and over defenders around the rim. He always tried to go under them. A change of scenery and coaching should do him well. Coach Hunter knows his game better than anybody, and runs a system that goes through his scorers/ star players. Once RJ declares for the draft this year and Harrow graduates, I fully expect Jeremy to take over as their leading scorer.

  • Dave Carnes

    I will say this about the whole team last year. For some reason there was no cohesiveness.I believe everyone of the kids had better basketball inside of them we never saw.Crean did a poor job with that team and the year before.

  • SilentBob

    I don’t believe anything you said except lack of on court cohesiveness about last years team, but hey I’ve had this debate a million times and don’t feel like doing it again. All I will say is I’m more prone than most to not believe it because I thought both teams were overrated heading into the season.