The Inside the Hall Mailbag: August 10

  • 08/10/2017 2:37 pm 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.

Nate Bresler on Facebook writes: What are your predictions for team leader this season in points, rebounds, assist, 3 pointers made, and minutes played?

Nate, you cut right to the chase as the leadoff man in this edition of the mailbag.

Team leader in points, I’ll go with Robert Johnson, but I can also see De’Ron Davis figuring into the conversation. The big question with Davis is: Can he cut down on fouling enough to stay on the floor? If he can play 25-28 minutes per game, I can definitely see him challenging Johnson.

Rebounding, give me Juwan Morgan in what some may consider a mild upset. I think Morgan is a better defensive rebounder than anyone else on the roster, at least going into the season.

Assists, I’ll go with Josh Newkirk. I see him being less focused on scoring this season and more on distributing.

Give me Johnson in both 3-pointers made and minutes played, as well.

twoturntables on the premium forum writes: Who are your picks for most overrated and most underrated team(s) in the B1G league this year based on pre-season rankings and projections? Will anyone really contend with Michigan State for the regular season championship?

There’s not enough projections out there to form a true consensus on where each program will be picked, but Northwestern could potentially be overrated. Their schedule in the league is going to be tough and they also will have to deal with playing their home games at All State Arena due to renovations at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

On the underrated side, I’ll go with Maryland. Some may project them to fall off with Melo Trimble moving on, but I like their sophomore trio of Anthony Cowan, Justin Jackson and Kevin Huerter. College Park is also a difficult place to play and Mark Turgeon has done a really solid job in recent seasons. Maryland probably won’t contend for the league title, but I think they’ll probably be underrated coming into the season.

Alex Greulich on Facebook writes: When will the schedule come out?

It could be any day now. I know with the coaching change things were a little behind, but the expectation is that things will be finalized soon.

We already know Big Ten opponents and ten of the 13 non-conference games. All that’s really left to reveal are three additional non-conference games, the exhibition schedule and dates for the Big Ten games.

As always, you can keep up with future schedules over on our future schedules page. We keep it updated any time a new game is confirmed for a future season.

RoscoD73 on the premium forum writes: When will be the first opportunity for us to watch this year’s team play?

I’d expect that to be at Hoosier Hysteria, as is typically the case.

At this point, I’m not sure of any other planned events that will allow fans to watch the team play prior to that, but we’ll certainly keep everyone updated if there is an opportunity prior to that.

Aaron Atz on Facebook writes: Is it just me or is the world overlooking the raw talent and overall potential of Devonte Green? Last year we saw flashes of greatness from Green, a player who was adjusting to a diminished role for the first time in his life and I suspect was greatly under-utilized. My question: “What is the unrealized potential of Devonte Green?”

Interesting question. The world outside of IU fans probably isn’t talking much about Devonte Green. He’s probably not on the radar of many folks nationally or even around the Big Ten.

I’m not sure that Green was under-utilized as a freshman. Indiana had a solid stable of returning guards and he played the most total minutes of any freshman on the roster (482 minutes, 15.3 per game). That’s a healthy amount of minutes. Were there times that he should have played more? Absolutely. But he was also a freshman who was making the adjustment to a higher level of basketball. Unless someone comes in as sure-fire starter, part of earning your keep at this level is proving you belong on the floor.

I believe Green is entering his second season with an opportunity to grow into a much larger role. James Blackmon Jr.’s departure opens up close to 31 minutes per game. That’s enough time to move both Green and Curtis Jones over 20 minutes per game. The main thing Green has to improve upon is his decision making. He has a lot of potential as a shooter and a scorer, but a turnover percentage of 28.8 has to come down substantially. If he’s going to have the ball in his hands often, he has to make better decisions.

@ItSjEnKiNs on Twitter writes:  How do you see the Arizona series playing out if it does happen? Does Arch beat him?

I wouldn’t put this series happening in the “if” category. I’d put it in the “when” category. And I think it will be terrific for both programs and college basketball.

The setup, according to reports, will be games in Tucson, Bloomington and New York, in that order.

Sean Miller has built one of the nation’s top programs at Arizona, so the Hoosiers are going to have their hands full. Fortunately for Archie, he’ll have a few years to improve the roster before the series begins in 2019.

TroutyB on the premium forum writes: Which player (other than the obvious pick of DeRon Davis) do you see as poised to take a major leap forward this year?

There are a couple of guys who come to mind. First, I think there’s going to be a major opportunity for Curtis Jones to take a major step forward. He has to get stronger and improve defensively, but he’s a capable scorer and there’s plenty of lost production to replace. He hasn’t been talked about too much, but I think the potential is there for Jones to emerge as a sophomore.

Juwan Morgan is another name that bears watching. He’s had a problem staying healthy, but played very well recently at adidas Nations in Houston. Over three games against other college players, he made 8-of-13 from behind the 3-point line. He averaged 10.3 points, eight rebounds and also had five assists with just one turnover.

Banner Up Get Six on Facebook writes: How concerned should we be with (Chris) Holtmann at OSU being able to recruit the state?

Perhaps Holtmann and Ohio State fans should be more concerned with Archie Miller recruiting in Ohio than vice versa. Indiana already landed a commitment from Jerome Hunter, who is from just outside of Columbus and is probably the No. 2 player in Ohio for 2018 behind Darius Bazley.

I absolutely think Holtmann will have a chance to reel in some players from the state of Indiana, but as Miller said in his introductory press conference, you simply can’t get every player in the state to come to Bloomington.

Indiana needs to do a good job in future years of recruiting the state, but they’re already off to a solid start with the commitment of Damezi Anderson. When Anderson signs, he’ll be the first top 100 player from the state to ink with the Hoosiers from the state since James Blackmon Jr., a member of the 2014 class. Things seem to be trending in the right direction.

archie1 on the premium forum writes: Best guess on the rotation? And what do you see Justin Smith’s role being this year?

Guys I’d expect to clearly be in the rotation: Robert Johnson, Juwan Morgan, De’Ron Davis, Collin Hartman, Josh Newkirk, Curtis Jones, Justin Smith, Devonte Green, Clifton Moore.

Guys who could crack the rotation: Al Durham, Freddie McSwain Jr., Zach McRoberts, Tim Priller.

As for Smith, he’s going to play as a freshman, I believe. His body is college ready, he’s athletic and he’s a very capable finisher around the basket. If I had to characterize his role, I’d probably call him an energy guy off of the bench to start the season, but I think he could potentially grow his role as the season goes along.

Alex Bantz, via email, writes: I am curious your opinion on whether IU fans constantly hitting up recruits on twitter is a benefit or a deterrent to those recruits?  Feels like some go overboard and mention them in every tweet, conversation, etc. 

I wouldn’t call it a deterrent, but it should never get to the point where a recruit is bombarded or harassed, either. A lot of recruits enjoy the attention, but I’ve never talked to a recruit who said, “I committed because all of the fans tweeted at me constantly.”

This also isn’t an IU-specific thing, it’s happening everywhere. If a recruit tweets out a decision, an update or a school list, there are typically a large number of fans responding with GIFs and comments. This is the social media world we live in.

Filed to:

  • sarge

    Awesome mailbag, thank you AB. Glad to hear about JM at Adidas Nations. I knew he was going to be really good this year, glad to hear he is off to a solid start before the season even begins.

  • JM is my pick for 2nd leading scorer on the team behind Rob Johnson. Deron could be that guy, but I’m not convinced he’ll be able to play the minutes yet. I think JM will get plenty of minutes and if truly healthy has some real scoring ability.

  • We’reAllForYou82

    Expecting CM in the rotation in archie1s question and answer was a pleasant surprise. If he is B1G ready, that might really help us

  • Richard Howenstein

    We don’t really have a choice as to whether he’s ready or not. We have to have him come in for De’Ron.

  • Arch Puddington

    If what we have seen thus far is accurate, he is in no way a backup for DD. Not only does he not have the frame for it, he doesn’t have the heart for it. He was explicit during his recruitment that he is not a center or traditional low post player. He wants to be a stretch 4, or even a 3. Whatever his position is called, it would not be a direct substitute for DD. He might technically sub in for him, but not to play the same position. Guarding a true big when DD is out will likely fall to JM, CH, or even TP, whom I watched guard Thomas Bryant in a scrimmage and not took totally ridiculous.

  • bball at nick’s

    My feeling too.

  • TomJameson

    Thanks Alex, another great mailbag.

    Nine players definitely in the rotation, with another 4 probably playing some minutes (paraphrasing here). That would be the entire non-redshirted team, and it would be pretty nice to have that kind of talent going for us.

  • sarge

    I agree, and those 3 guys you mentioned along with FMc are more than experienced/physical enough to do so. Anyone else remember CH playing center his sophomore season after knee surgery and being a total beast for 6’7″?! He really opened some doubting eyes that year.

  • BadBoyHulls

    He seemed to regress with his 3-point shooting last year but I believe multiple factors played into that. if he can knock down the corner 3, get some dirty points around the rim, and get to the foul line I believe he’ll be right there behind RJ.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I’m a big JM fan, but I haven’t seen the evidence in his 2 years that he has too much more to offer (right now) in terms of scoring. He hasn’t shown a consistent or confident jumper, not particularly great at driving/finishing at the time (not bad, just not great), average foul shooting. JM has never looked like a go-to guy or even offensive-minded. We know his style is scrap, defend, rebound, put-backs, and that will amount to 8 to 11 PPG. Do you think that PPG will be significantly higher? Or that 10ish PPG will be enough for 2nd on the team?

  • Eli McNaughton

    I commented on the interview post that I could see RJ starting at the point. If that happens AND if CUJO manages to grab a starting spot, I could see him being the second leading scorer. He could score in bunches.

  • Tim Gunn

    I agree, the shoulder injuries have really affected his development. If finally healthy 14 ppg. I had similar injuries and didn’t feel 100% for almost 2 years.

  • Cleveland Hoosier

    Great work as usual Alex. I see CuJo being a double digit scorer this year. I’m ready for tip off!!!

  • Cleveland Hoosier

    Is it crazy to foresee Hartman as the second leading scorer, if he is solid all year and we get sporadic spurts from the rest of the young guys?

  • Jeremy

    Time to update the roster on inside the hall. We still have James, Thomas and OG on the team.

  • Eli McNaughton

    I see CH as a key player and starter, I’d be surprised if he scores that much. Especially given the logical second leading scorer will be DD given he will likely be a focus in the offense. Crazy, no. But I’d say unlikely.

  • TomJameson

    Think it’s nearly impossible to predict who’s going to be the leading scorers with this team. They will probably take turns having breakout nights, thus confusing anybody who is trying to devise a defensive strategy against us. lol

    Like Alex, I see RJ as the leading scorer. After RJ, I can see a case being made for several on the team. DD, CH, JM, DG and CuJo, are probably my top scorers after RJ and any one of those could be 2nd. That is certainly a good thing.

    Eli … don’t forget that CH is a very solid 3-point shooter already, and he’s been practicing that sideline 3 for a long time during his rehab. Wherever he is on the hierarchy of scorers, I’d be willing to bet he scores a lot of points for us.

  • HoosierDom

    I think that’s a fair assessment of him, but “never looked like a go-to guy” applies to our entire roster. Despite that, we’re going to have to go-to someone. JM seems like as good a guess to be that guy as any of 5 other guys who might end up with the role.

  • The roster will be updated when IU updates the official roster.

  • N71

    I agree with Eli essentially, Hartman will be most valuable being the 3rd, 4th, or 5th scorer but also with 7 rebounds, defense, those clever little plays, leadership, etc. He’s our Swiss Army knife, scoring is just one facet for him. If Hartman is our second leading scorer some others are probably underperforming.

  • CreanFaithful

    Agree. I found it interesting that JMo said that DD and TP is always the best battle in practices.

    Miller in the recent Bloom article: “There’s a good chance that my man Tim Priller’s going to be in there. Tim’s got to see himself a little differently than he did yesterday. He’s got to go from being a fan favorite to being coach’s favorite. That’s the key.”

    Sounds like The Prilla may see some time this year…

  • Hardwood83

    Agreed, Priller likely will see some time this season. I think it’s a combo of necessity and (hopefully) his improvement.
    He’s not physically impressive, but he’s 6’9″ and as a Senior, should have learned something by now. He’s looked capable in the glimpses I’ve seen. If Tim can give 6-8 solid mins a game I think everyone is a winner. If he’s playing 10+ mins regularly, things have either gone incredibly well or very, very badly, imo.

  • IdahoHoosier

    No argument here. JM may well end up being 2nd leading scorer. But I could more easily imagine one of the guards taking that slot. JM probably will have to be more offensive minded for sure.

  • Arch Puddington

    I really love CM’s comment. It is an honest and demanding appraisal without being insulting. It sounds like something Bob Knight would say, but without the arrogance or edge he so often displayed. I was often critical of CTC for publicly questioning players’ leadership, but what CM has done here does not put Priller down. If, as certainly seems to be the case, this is typical of how CM relates to and motivates his players, I view it as good news indeed.

  • I think that’s a great observation, and similar to one I voiced early after Archie’s hiring and after I’d studied everything I could find out about him. He seems to have most of the best traits of RMK without suffering his worst traits.