The Inside the Hall Mailbag: July 21

  • 07/21/2015 7:53 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.

Zachary Farmer on Facebook writes: When do you believe the Maui Invitational schedule will be released? I’ve heard early August was the most likely.

Last year’s Maui Invitational schedule was announced on Wednesday, August 6, so if that timing holds true this year, we’re probably looking somewhere during that first week of August, which is the 3rd through the 7th.

The eight teams participating are Chaminade, Indiana, Kansas, St. John’s, UCLA, UNLV, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, so the Hoosiers should enter as one of the favorites. – Alex Bozich

TroutyB on the premium forum writes: What can we realistically expect from Tim Priller this year? Is there a chance he cracks the rotation?

I think it would be a major surprise if Tim Priller cracks the rotation on this Indiana team. Nothing against Priller, who by all accounts is a great kid and a hard worker, but on paper, he’s the 12th man of 12 scholarship players. To this point, he’s played very little in an IU uniform and with the core of last year’s team returning and the addition of some very talented frontcourt pieces, it’s hard to imagine Priller playing much of a role on the floor. – Alex Bozich

Anthony Baird on Facebook writes: What’s going on with the Thon Maker situation?

After much speculation and discussion from his camp that he could move to the class of 2015 or enroll in December, Maker is now a class of 2016 recruit, which means that his recruitment appears to have rebooted a bit.

New schools are becoming involved, new offers are being reported and right now, it doesn’t sound as if Maker is anywhere close to making a decision. Indiana has been spotted at many of his games through the first two July evaluation periods, as has Arizona State. Those are the two schools still being mentioned most frequently.

Of course, there are still many who believe that Maker never plays a minute in college basketball and with the number of twists and turns that have already happened in this recruitment, it’ll be interesting to watch it play out over the next 10 months or so. – Alex Bozich

KTuck on the premium forum writes: OG and Juwan are listed as 6’7 and 200 lbs and 6’7 and 205 lbs respectively. However, when looking at snapchat and other, more recent video, they both seem bigger than their listed weight (Juwan appears to be a little taller as well) and Juwan even looks as though he could play some minutes at the 5 spot. Do you have any idea how big they really are and what position and how many minutes do you see Juwan playing this year?

The current heights and weights we have listed on our roster page are just fillers based on the best information available at this point. When IU updates its roster this fall, we’ll have a better handle on those, but I think the heights are probably close to accurate. Morgan has always looked a bit taller because of his hair, which instantly becomes the best hair on the IU roster.

I’m sure the weights will be adjusted upward based on their work this summer with new strength and conditioning coach Lyonel Anderson. As for a position for Morgan, he appears to be a very good fit at the four, but he would be undersized at the five. It seems more likely that Emmitt Holt or Max Bielfeldt would see minutes at the five before Morgan did. Holt is a little bit bigger and probably a better shot blocker at this point and Bielfeldt has some experience at the five from his days at Michigan. Morgan could be a rotation player this year and I believe around 10 minutes a game is probably a realistic guess right now. – Alex Bozich

Andrew Miller on Facebook writes: Any more recent news on whether Kassoum Yakwe will reclassify to 2015 and if so does IU really have a strong shot at him?

ESPN recently addressed the Yakwe situation in a piece on Insider, which is premium content so we can’t quote it here. But the gist of the report is that Yakwe and his guardian are still in the decision making process on whether he’ll enroll this fall and become a member of the class of 2015. Indiana is not mentioned in the ESPN report, nor are the Hoosiers mentioned in this report from Zagsblog.com.

Yakwe, who won the EYBL’s defensive player of the year award, averaged 11.8 rebounds and 5.8 blocks per game at the Peach Jam earlier this month and would obviously be a huge coup for any program if he decides to move up a year this late in the process. – Alex Bozich

madweber on the premium forum writes: At first glance, the shot clock change will be a good thing for IU’s style of play. Who else do you see in the B1G that may benefit from the rule modification and which teams could struggle?

Teams that already play relatively fast and do so with efficiency should be the ones who benefit most from the change, so I’d agree Indiana would be in that category.

Michigan State also seems to fit the description as the Spartans were the Big Ten’s fourth best offense a season ago and had the 3rd shortest average possession length. I also think teams like Michigan and Wisconsin, who play slow by design and not because they lack the talent or coaching to play faster, will adjust pretty easily to the changes.

As for who it hurts, I think a team like Nebraska would come to mind as the Huskers played slow last season and weren’t efficient. I don’t see how a shorter shot clock helps their cause. – Alex Bozich

dmacer1227 on the premium forum writes: How bad is JBJ’s knee? Do you think it will hamper his play for 2016?

Tom Crean said that James Blackmon Jr. should be good to go by the start of practice, so it doesn’t sound too bad. Knee injuries, of course, can be tricky, but from what Crean said just after the surgery, the expectation is that it isn’t an injury that will cause problems for Blackmon Jr. moving forward.

Blackmon Jr. will have some ground to make up from the time he will lose in the offseason in terms of strength and conditioning, but I wouldn’t expect the injury to have a major impact on his play or performance for the 2015-2016, barring any unforeseen setbacks. – Alex Bozich

DevoutHoosier on the premium forum writes: Having a more veteran team next year than in recent memory, how many players deep will get significant minutes in Big Ten play (double digits)?

Safe bets for double digit minutes in the Big Ten: Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, Blackmon Jr., Troy Williams, Thomas Bryant, Nick Zeisloft, Holt and Collin Hartman. Bielfeldt is probably in that category, too, and Morgan also has a chance to get in the mix.

Looking back at last season, nine players averaged double figure minutes in the Big Ten with a 10th, Max Hoetzel, at 6.7 minutes per game in conference play. This upcoming season will likely play out in a similar fashion. – Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • hoosier93

    It’s just stats. Simple to find.

  • At the Quarries

    My best and my simplest stats are my eyes and ears. Robert and James are stars, period, and Robert will be the better of the two. You heard it here first. LOL!

  • hoosier93

    RJ is a rOle player. JBJ could be a star.

  • At the Quarries

    RJ will be our point guard post-Yogi.

  • hoosier93

    Maybe. That doesn’t make him a star.

  • At the Quarries

    Been saying this for a while!

  • At the Quarries

    I can’t see anyone but a star filling the point guard position at IU.

  • At the Quarries

    He is a very good on-ball defender. CTC and his teammates, including Collin, have said that. What we lacked is team defense, which could make a good defender look mediocre.

  • hoosier93

    Well I’m sure you can’t.

  • At the Quarries

    He’s also the tallest body going up against Thomas in our practice sessions, I would think.

  • hoosier93

    His teammates might say he was a good on ball defender. But it didnt show up in games. Which means he isn’t a good on ball defender. He was god awful at anything related to defense along with everyone else..

  • Dmoe

    Please explain why Juwan won’t play much this year? I would really love to hear your reason. I believe that I’d he was not good enough then he wouldn’t be there.

  • Dmoe

    People are also sleeping on JM as well. He is the type of player that does the little and dirty things that others will not. So to everyone on this blog wake up and see that is one that is going to be the difference. Also he has been ranked as one of the top 10 surprises and outbreak players of this year

  • hoosier93

    It isn’t that he’s not good enough. But depending who we start at the 4. There won’t be much playing time. He has to compete with Bryant, Max, Holt, Hartman and possibly even Troy for minutes at the 4 or 5. He can’t play the 3. His natural spot is the 4. He’s going to have a role somewhere within Hollowell and Perea their freshmen year.

  • Dmoe

    I’ve been watching him play for years. And he has played the 3 so based on what I’ve and no about this kid. The can’t doesn’t match up he also adds something you might have missed. He can guard just about every position as well. So let not focus on what you think he can’t do. How about you do a little more research I understand The Competition and all that. But before you say what won’t happen think about what can.

    Hoosier Nation

  • hoosier93

    He was able to guard every position in HS. He’s at Indiana now. He’s going to be playing in the Big Ten. He’s going to be playing the 4 and 5. He’ll never be on the floor as a 3. Even on recruiting websites he is listed as a PF.

  • Dmoe

    Believe me I know where he is and I also understand what sites have him at. That doesn’t mean that he can’t play the other position in certain situations. Have you ever played college ball? Because I have Just asking because a lot of people form opinions based on other people BB IQ. He will have a break out season and the ones who have said he won’t do this and that will. All over this kid with praises. These kids read these things as well.

  • hoosier93

    He can have a “breakout” season if he wants. It’d be nice. But there won’t be any times he’ll be the 3 when on the court.

  • Dmoe

    Okay Mr. High BB IQ I noticed that you didn’t mention if you ever played. However u don’t have to because I know that answer based on some of your comments.

    Hoosier all the way.

  • hoosier93

    I’m only 21. But I’ve played and coached. Morgan is not a 3. You can get away with certain things at the HS level. Like having a player like Morgan defend guards. But with the speed of CBB and especially the B1G. He will play the 4 and 5 only.

  • Tyler T

    I am just so ready for this year’s team! Lets go Hoosiers!

  • Tyler T

    Great info and a great comparison.

  • Dmoe

    Your 21,okay I’ve been playing and coaching long than you have been living young man.However I appreciate and Applaud Your Rebuttals

  • Dmoe

    I agree with you on the RJ is more physical then JBJ. Some on here really don’t know the true essence of the game of BB. RJ is a better defender and stronger I’ve seen it first hand

  • Dmoe

    Listen BB fans etc based oh the comments that have been made it should be clear that Hoosier 93 doesn’t have a clue.

  • hoosier93

    No. It is pretty much fact that you don’t need amazing strength to play PG or SG. Not everyone needs to be Russell Westbrook.

    Now from what you’ve said… well its a different story. But I just don’t really care.

  • At the Quarries

    The 3 position is one of the most versatile. He is a good shooter from mid-range and behind the arc He can play at the 3. The 3 might not be his most natural position, but it benefits him and us more to have him put in some minutes at the 3 than not play him at all his first year. Especially if CTC is to experiment with a 2-guard lineup, which I think he will.

  • At the Quarries

    Everything he did was in HS, so you can’t selectively use one aspect of his HS game as an argument.

  • hoosier93

    If Crean is going to go with a 2 guard lineup then Troy will be at the 3 with Holt and Bryant. Hartman would come in behind Williams. Morgan will never see time at the 3. He’ll Troy almost doesn’t see time at the 3.

  • At the Quarries

    CTC will find a way to give Juwan 5-10 mins a game. Please don’t tell me that a top 100 player is going to sit and play cheerleader all season. This would be ridiculous and you know it.

  • hoosier93

    That really doesn’t give much of a role. And like I said he’ll have a role that of Hanner Perea and Jeremy Hollowell their freshmen years. Which is 5-10 minutes a game. Please read. He could end up averaging that and he’ll do that at the 4 and 5. He’ll never be a 3 ever again in his life.