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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: August 26

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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.

“WILL” take charge on the premium forum writes: Do you have any info about how Hanner is doing and or if it looks like he will “earn” the starting job or significant minutes ?

Crean mentioned in Canada that Hanner Mosquera-Perea has really improved defensively and I’ve got him penciled in as a starter right now despite the fact that he missed the foreign trip. He did get the benefit of the offseason workouts and the 10 practices prior to the trip, but obviously the games would have been great experience to have on top of that.

That said, he’s got a great opportunity to take on a major role this season. If he can rebound and defend with consistency, he’s going to be IU’s best option to corral the paint. – Alex Bozich

Jody Blakley on Facebook writes: Curious as to how Assembly Hall renovations are coming?

Renovations are still in the planning stages and will not begin until after the upcoming season. The renovations will then continue through the 2015-2016 season while IU continues to play in Assembly Hall and the plan is for everything to be completed in time for the beginning of the 2016-2017 season. – Alex Bozich

lawguyNA on the premium forum writes: Of the freshman not named JB or RJ, who do you believe will have the biggest impact this year…Hoetzel, Priller, April or Holt?

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Montreal rewind: Max Hoetzel

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Welcome to “Montreal rewind,” our player-by-player recap from Indiana’s five-game tour of Canada. Today, the series concludes with Max Hoetzel. Previously: Nick Zeisloft, Devin Davis, Troy Williams, Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, Stanford Robinson, James Blackmon Jr., Tim Priller.

Max Hoetzel had his first “welcome to college basketball” moment just a few minutes into IU’s first game in Canada.

As one of the first subs off the bench for the Hoosiers against Laval University at Brebeuf Junior College, Hoetzel’s first stint on the floor as a Hoosier was brief.

“Max had a tough run at the beginning because he jogged about his fourth trip,” Tom Crean explained after the contest. “That’s a non-negotiable for us this year. That’s an out. If you’re not running hard every possession, we have to sub you. When he went back in, he did a much better job.”

The trip to Canada was a learning experience for all of IU’s young players, including Hoetzel. The opportunity to get 10 practices and five games of experience prior to the official start of practice next month should allow him to get a head start on the season.

Over five games in Canada, the 6-foot-9 forward showed flashes of why Indiana moved quickly last fall to bring him into the program. He averaged 5.6 points and three rebounds in 13 minutes per game and nearly half of his field goal attempts came from behind the 3-point arc.

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Report: IU makes final six for 2015 center Nick Marshall

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Class of 2015 Lexington (Tenn.) center Nick Marshall, one of Indiana’s top frontcourt targets, trimmed his list to six schools on Sunday and the Hoosiers are still in the running.

According to Glenn Elrod of GamecockCentral.com, the 6-foot-10 Marshall is still considering Connecticut, Indiana, Memphis, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Marshall also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia Tech, Kansas State and Ole Miss.

Rated the No. 125 prospect in the latest 247Composite, Marshall, who played AAU for Under Armour affiliated Team Thad, emerged as a target for Indiana in July as the staff tracked him at various events across the country.

In late July, Marshall’s high school coach, Andrew Hicks, told Inside the Hall that IU’s recruiting message seemed to be resonating well.

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Montreal rewind: Tim Priller

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Welcome to “Montreal rewind,” our player-by-player recap from Indiana’s five-game tour of Canada. Today: Tim Priller. Previously: Nick Zeisloft, Devin Davis, Troy Williams, Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, Stanford Robinson, James Blackmon Jr.

The addition of Tim Priller in late April came as a surprise as the forward from Richland (Tex.) was a relative unknown nationally.

At 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, Priller shot over 50 percent on 3s as a senior in high school and our first look on-court look at the freshman came in Canada as he logged 44 minutes over four exhibition games.

Despite his size, Priller’s offensive game is very perimeter oriented as five of his nine field goal attempts on the trip came from behind the 3-point arc.

Tom Crean described Priller as “a little bit situational right now” in early July, which suggests that his role, at least right now, will be as a reserve who can help with his perimeter shooting. It’s a role that Priller seems to be embracing as he knocked down three of his five 3-point attempts on the exhibition tour.

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Video: Crean, Oladipo and Zeller at Indianapolis “on the road” tour

Tom Crean, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller addressed Indiana fans on Wednesday night at Lucas Oil Stadium as part of the “on the road” tour stop in Indianapolis.

Watch their comments in the media player below:

Montreal rewind: James Blackmon Jr.

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Welcome to “Montreal rewind,” our player-by-player recap from Indiana’s five-game tour of Canada. Today: James Blackmon Jr. Previously: Nick Zeisloft, Devin Davis, Troy Williams, Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, Stanford Robinson.

A theme of our Montreal rewind series has been Indiana’s retooled backcourt and the most important piece of it showed in Canada that he’s ready to be a major contributor as a freshman.

James Blackmon Jr., who committed to Indiana before his freshman season of high school, later de-committed and then committed again last fall, stepped into a Hoosier uniform for the first time and immediately began doing what he does best: scoring.

Lauded as one of the top shooters in the country, Blackmon Jr. averaged a team-high 18.8 points in IU’s five-game tour of Canada.

Efficiency was a big part of his game on the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) circuit and at Marion and his first performances as a college player were no different. The 6-foot-4 guard posted an effective field goal percentage of 65.3 and hit 13 of his 15 free throw attempts.

Most impressive about how Blackmon Jr. played on the trip was the variety of ways in which he scored and the fact that he didn’t force many shots. He hit nine 3-pointers over the five games, showed a solid midrange game and floater and also got to the basket in the halfcourt and in transition.

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Big Ten announces 2014-2015 basketball schedule

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The Big Ten Conference on Thursday evening announced its 2014-2015 men’s basketball schedule, which includes the conference’s new additions Rutgers and Maryland.

Indiana’s 18-game slate opens on New Year’s Eve at Nebraska and includes home and away bouts with both the Scarlet Knights and Terrapins, along with Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue. The Hoosiers face Maryland for the first time on January 22 in Bloomington, and Rutgers for the first time on January 31 in Bloomington. The Hoosiers’ two games against the Boilermakers are on January 28 in West Lafayette and on February 19 at Assembly Hall.

Road-only opponents outside of Nebraska include Wisconsin, who the Hoosiers will play on February 3 during ESPN Super Tuesday, and Illinois on January 18. Home-only opponents include Michigan on February 8 and Iowa on March 3, with the game being broadcast on ESPN, as well.

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