The Inside the Hall Mailbag: June 2

  • 06/02/2015 10:32 am in

The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), via email, 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.

Shknqk on the premium forum writes: If we assume Troy expects to play himself into the NBA, and in the league he will be a guard, can you characterize the likelihood he is the third guard in our three guard lineup? He will have to be able to go from being the killer baseline threat to truly driving and able to hit a 3-pointer. Having CH or EH at the 4 gives an excellent corner 3 threat (really valuable) and a great defensive threat (really valuable), respectively. I could see TW at the 3 being slightly less individually effective but better for the team.

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I think Indiana sticks with Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Troy Williams as starters and plugs in Thomas Bryant to the spot formerly occupied by Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

Williams is 6-foot-7, so in the NBA, he’s going to be a wing forward and probably isn’t going to be a player that ever makes his living off of a jump shot. Can he get better in that aspect of his game? Certainly. But he’s an elite slasher and finisher and that’s the reason he’s an NBA prospect. Teams will be willing to draft Williams because of that and they’ll figure out the shooting part later. They’ll certainly be watching his improvement in that area this season, but he’s not going to be showcased as a shooter because that isn’t his game.

As for whether it would be better for Indiana as a team, I’m not sure I buy in. I like the three-guard set with Williams at the four because it’s incredibly hard to guard. You can put the ball in Troy’s hands at times and surround him with three legitimate shooters. That can still be the case if Hartman is on the floor as the four, but if you’re playing Holt, Bryant and Williams together, now you only have two shooters and that’s easier to defend. I think it ultimately comes down to defense because Indiana has so much improvement to do on that end of the floor. If the lineup I mentioned is able to hold its own defensively, I think you go with that set most frequently. – Alex Bozich

Jeremy Lee Delagrange on Facebook writes: Who do you see on next year’s roster that will have a breakout season and have a bigger impact than most people think?

I like the chances of Emmitt Holt making a healthy leap forward next season. There are a couple of reasons for this: First, he’s going to have a full summer in Bloomington to work out both individually and with his teammates, which should have a major impact. He was a late August addition to last season’s team and he didn’t get the time in the summer working with the coaching staff so I think that extra work will make an impact.

Beyond that, Holt has the tools to be a very productive player in the Big Ten. He’s not going to be a featured scorer on a team that has few issues in that department, but he does finish plays at the rim (67.9 percent as a freshman) and has the ability to make an impact on the offensive glass. His length allows him to play taller than his height and he block shots, which is another plus. – Alex Bozich

@shaps911 on Twitter writes: With Hoiberg to Chicago, is (Max) Bielfeldt to IU a done deal?

No. If it was, he would have already committed to Indiana. If you’ve been following the Bielfeldt recruitment, it has taken a few twists along the way, but this appears to be a kid who has three good choices and is genuinely torn about his decision. He originally planned to decide in the days following his official visit to Bloomington, but pushed it back to give himself a few days over the Memorial Day weekend to discuss things with his family.

Now the Fred Hoiberg to the Chicago Bulls situation leaves the Iowa State job vacant and Bielfeldt may be waiting to see who is hired there before making a decision. I believe TJ Otzelberger, who is being mentioned prominently as a potential successor to Hoiberg, has been a big piece of Bielfeldt’s recruitment to Iowa State. But no, this is not a done deal for Indiana or it would have already been announced. – Alex Bozich

mcoghlan on the premium forum writes: Not counting Thomas Bryant, which freshman do you think will have the biggest impact?

Juwan Morgan appears to be more ready to play right away than O.G. Anunoby. And with the dismissals of Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis last month, there are minutes to be had at his position.

Similar to Holt, Morgan isn’t going to be a guy who commands the ball in the post, but he can finish at the basket, block and challenge some shots and rebound. Along with that, he sounds willing to embrace the role of being a scrappy guy who does the little things that might not show up in the box score but still contribute to winning. – Alex Bozich

@hoosierballer on Twitter writes: If Max Bielfeldt comes to IU, any chance that he starts at the four considering he can shoot?

Sure, there’s a chance, but it’s not very likely. Bielfeldt came off the bench last season at Michigan, which finished 16-16 last season, and Indiana returns four starters from an NCAA tournament team and adds a McDonald’s All-American in the paint.

As for the shooting ability that you mention, he shot 26.7 percent on 3s last season, which is lower than just about every returning player on IU’s roster. If he comes to Bloomington, I think he’d be best utilized as one of the first couple of guys off the bench. His size and experience can both be of value, but given what IU returns from a shooting and scoring perspective, I don’t view him as a guy who would have the green light to park outside and launch 3s. – Alex Bozich

OldeHoosier on the premium forum writes: With the addition of Bryant and coach Tom Crean’s stating our defense must improve next season, do you see us playing more zone or more man to man?

If the defense improves, more man-to-man. There are very few teams in college basketball who play an effective zone consistently. Indiana used the zone frequently last season because it had major problems keeping defenders out of the lane and the switching defenses was an attempt to mix up looks for the opposition. However, it didn’t seem to matter what defense Indiana was in last season as the Hoosiers had significant problems getting consistent stops.

I expect to see more man-to-man next season and that should be a good thing. – Alex Bozich

Jack Duncan on Facebook writes: If Thon Maker enrolls in the fall, is he eligible for 2015-16? And can he jump to the NBA after the 2015-16 season? Thanks!

Maker has no plans to enroll in the fall semester, according to comments from his Edward Smith. The plan being discussed is enrolling midseason and playing beginning with the second semester. (Story on that topic.) If you read through the other comments Smith made in the linked story, it sounds as if they anticipate Maker being eligible to enter the 2016 NBA draft if he’s ready, from a development standpoint, to do so.  – Alex Bozich

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  • TomJameson

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? You are going to go with Tom Crean clapping on the sidelines is why we won’t succeed??? Hahahahahahahahahaha, somebody asked and I have to re-ask … are you drung??? L:OL

  • ihoosieru

    I don’t care what anyones says Troy isn’t and should never be a guard because he doesn’t have the instincts to. If he plays guard IMO he is going to hurt things more by having turnover, He needs to improve his shooting to help out Indiana and to make him a better draft option, and I’m talking about 3 pt shots only he needs to pull in the paint and get better at handing the ball off.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    I have to agree the Calbert C – I would really like for EH to start but I think his role will be much like that of Will’s was three years ago off the bench. Obviously not the same positions but a guy that comes in w/o a drop off in production.
    We have our 5 starters TW, TB, JBJ, YF, and RJ but if we needed to be a bigger team easily Insert EH and have RJ come in for either JBJ and or Yogi as needed. This team will not get pushed around by teams like Georgetown, Eastern Washington, or NW this year.
    I know that is the fear a lot of us have those three games stand out to us all. Our freshman JBJ, EH, and RJ will be more accustomed to D1 play as well they will be stronger. Also we have a MCD AA beast that will be in the middle. HMP tried but he did not have a lot of help in that area.

  • hoosier93

    That great floor vision really helped with keeping them TO’s down… RJ just isn’t an NBA player. He’s not going to be able to play the 2 in the NBA. He’ll greatly have to work on his athleticism as well.

  • calbert40

    CH is a very good player, but I stand by my contention that he is not one of our five best players. I fully expect him to play a lot of minutes this coming season, and equally expect him to perform well. He has a well-balanced skill set, and he played very well in his 19.7 mpg last season. I expect him to log similar minutes this year.

  • calbert40

    EXACTLY! You need a PG. Without a PG, your team will struggle. Outside of that, you put your best players on the floor. If you are fortunate enough to have a skilled big, you let him play a lot of minutes too, but outside of that, if your best lineup goes 6’0″, 6’2″, 6’4″, 6’6″ and 6’8″ that’s who you play. It makes little sense to sit an incredibly talented 6’4″ player just so you can play a less talented 6’8″ player just so it fits into a position. Play your best!

  • calbert40

    What are you reading? When did I compare Troy and CH defensively?

  • TomJameson

    Come on 93… you say that after he was a starter on a top 10 offense as a freshman. Give the kid a break. I’m positive that his TOs will decrease this coming year.
    As far as playing or not in the NBA, I think I’d prefer to wait until maybe his junior year before trying to GUESS where his career might take him. And when I make my guess … I’m absolutely positive I won’t be conferring with you! LOL
    As far as playing or not in the NBA, I think I’d prefer to wait until maybe his junior year before trying to GUESS where his career might take him. And when I make my guess … I’m absolutely positive I won’t be conferring with you! LOL

  • IUMIKE1

    I’ll just put it this way, if CTC goes with the lineup that Alex is suggesting, and it is entirely possible he will, he better win and he better win damn big, and by that I mean winning the B1G, a #2 seed or better in the big dance and at the very least an Elite Eight appearance that happens without some other team playing the game of their lives and knocking off someone that would have been a major challenge for us. Anything short of that, with that lineup and I’m pretty sure I’m gonna be down off the fence and firmly planted on the, time to make a change, side. If he does that and does win big I’ll gladly admit I was wrong. Not afraid to admit it when it is obvious that I am. Still think our best lineup will be with TW being the ” third ” guard and going with two true bigs from the word go. Don’t see any real way that he could go with the three true guard lineup if Maker comes on board and I don’t really see him coming here unless he starts pretty much right away. We shall see.

  • IUMIKE1

    It only stands to reason that if you put two guys out there that are 6’4″, and another one that is, generously speaking, 6’0″, that it will greatly increase the chances that one of those three end up guarding someone much taller than them, either simply because of the other team’s lineup or because the other team has run a play to create that scenario because we have that lineup on the floor. Yes, the other team has to deal with that defensively on the other end, but last year proved that that does not always create a situation where we win the trade off.

  • IUMIKE1

    Those last five words, there in lies the answers.

  • IUMIKE1

    The simple fact that we were that good offensively is why we can roll with the lineup of TW at the 3. Where were our biggest problems last year, defense, allowing the other teams to shoot well over 50% from two point range and to a lesser degree rebounding, but still an area of concern. A situation where we are able to protect the rim a whole lot better than last year is a must and TB isn’t going to get us to where we need to be in that category by himself and not without another true big and decent rebounder / shot blocker at the 3. What we gain in those areas compared to what we would possibly lose on the offensive side of things is worth the trade off in my book. One thing about it, one of the two ways that everyone seems to think is going to happen isn’t going to work as well as we will need it to, and CTC has to not be too stubborn to try the other option if the one he starts the season with isn’t getting the job done. That will be the biggest test of all if we aren’t hitting on all cylinders after the first few games.

  • IUMIKE1

    Wasn’t CH second on the team in blocked shots, and I was thinking that most people were in agreement that he had, overall, done an admirable job of playing D considering that he had to guard someone considerably bigger than him, height and weight wise both, almost all of the time and that once he didn’t have to guard someone so much bigger than him every game he would stand out even more defensively.

  • IUMIKE1

    Your first paragraph.

  • calbert40

    I’m not sure, Mike. Possibly. I wasn’t trying to suggest that CH is a bad defensive player. I just believe that his best attributes are on the offensive end. He’s not going to hurt us defensively, unless he is forced to guard some team’s version of Troy at the 4, but he is a better offensive player.

    In other words, the opposing coach has to gameplan for CH’s offensive abilities. I doubt they spend nearly as much time talking about how he is going to guard his man, though.

  • calbert40

    If we started Yogi, JBJ, Troy, CH and Bryant, I think we’d win a lot of games. I just happen to believe that it isn’t as dynamic of a lineup as Yogi, JBJ, RJ, Troy and Bryant. I think more teams have an athletic 3 than a 4. Also, while CH can shoot it well, and he handles the ball well for a big guy, RJ is like having a second PG on the floor. That is invaluable, especially when your best offensive player is your PG.

    Honestly, this is really a great “argument” to have. We have a much more balanced roster this year, so we can go bigger or smaller and not really lose much one way over the other. Last year, we couldn’t have done that. I happen to believe that if you have two equally talented players, and one is a guard/wing and the other is a forward, I would lean towards playing the guard/wing. JMO.

    I happen to think that RJ could be a HUGE key to this upcoming season. If he improves his numbers across the board by 10 percent over last year, next year he would average 10 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3 apg. Not bad for our “worst” starter!!

  • IUMIKE1

    Agreed, it hurt us more than it helped us. The vast majority of the times where we switched the type of D we were playing mid possession, to, you know, confuse the other team, all it did was confuse us to the point that the other team scored an easy bucket.

  • IUMIKE1

    Excellent point, and one that gets lost a lot of the time when the discussion turns to who the starters will be.

  • IUMIKE1

    We appear to be on opposite sides of the, ” who should our starters be next year “, debate, but had to upvote you for that response. It was one of those made me chuckle and that I immediately visualized the facial expression that the commenter had right after reading the comment they were replying to, or it was for me anyway. lol

  • IUMIKE1

    How hard the jump, to get to where we need to be defensively, is going to be is the thing that the most people are overlooking, IMO, and I’m not talking about just the people that think that we will make some kind of miraculous jump to a ranking of the top twenty or even top thirty. Getting to a ranking where we are even a 100 or 125 spots higher than last year, which would still not put us to where we would need to be to accomplish a lot of the things that a whole lot of people say they think next year’s team will do, and do it over the span of just one offseason, well, that will be a lot harder than a lot of people understand. Impossible, no, not at all. Will it happen simply because, we added TB, everyone from last year’s team will be a year older and the NBA people told TW & JBJ that they needed to be better defensively…..no. Tom, you better make sure you fill your assistant’s slot with someone that is very much defensively minded.

  • calbert40

    Right? I try to be respectful to all commenters even if I disagree with their points. But when guys start talking about how much Crean claps as a problem, that commenter obviously doesn’t have the ability to discuss the subject intelligently. Time to move on from that discussion.

    RE: our earlier discussion, I think we would be fine if CH started and RJ came off of the bench. I just prefer it the other way. I am really excited to see what RJ brings this coming season. I follow some people on Twitter who have been raving about RJ’s play this summer, and I think his play may just make this argument moot.