More details on approved renovations for Assembly Hall

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On Friday at its December meeting at IU Southeast in New Albany, the Indiana University Board of Trustees approved the capital improvements project for renovations to Assembly Hall.

Plans to renovate IU’s basketball home, which opened in 1971, were announced last year after a $40 million dollar gift from Cindy Simon Skjodt. Since that time, the university has been in the planning stages for the renovations, which are slated to begin on April 1, 2015 and are scheduled to be completed by October 2016.

At the Board of Trustees meeting, a design summary for the renovations was presented with the following goals:

– Create a dramatic new entry sequence that enhances image and presence.
– Leverage Assembly Hall’s iconic qualities to renew the facility’s relevance.
– Provide new and renewed event amenities to improve the game experience.
– Celebrate the accomplishments of IU Athletics through a new interactive portrait gallery.
– Integrate the athletics campus with a new exterior plaza.

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Robert Johnson playing major role in Indiana’s success

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From the time he was recruited to Indiana, Robert Johnson knew he would have an immediate role to play for the Hoosiers.

Through seven games of his college career, Johnson has done just that. He has started every game in which he has played, averaging 29.7 minutes per game. He is scoring 11.3 points per game and producing 4.1 rebounds per game, four assists per game and an effective field goal percentage of 60.4. He also was named to the Wayman Tisdale Award Watch List — an award given to the nation’s best freshman.

Johnson also is expected to start, once again, for Indiana’s game against Savannah State at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

Despite the immediate pressure to succeed, though, Johnson said on Tuesday he is comfortable running the team. It’s exactly what he came to Indiana to do.

“I think those are some of the things coach (Tom) Crean talked to me about when he recruited me,” Johnson said. “When you come here as a guard you’re expected to do multiple things, and he only recruits versatile players. You’ve got to be able to rebound, drive the ball, dish it out, make smart decisions, just be a complete player.”

When Crean recruited Johnson from Benedictine College Preparatory (Va.), he quickly realized what value the 6-foot-3 guard could hold for his program. Playing under coach Ryan Marable, Crean saw Johnson as someone who was tenacious on defense and still had plenty of room to improve.  He said the Hoosiers were “very, very fortunate” to have had Johnson join the program.

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What to Expect: Savannah State

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Indiana will look to move to 7-1 on Saturday night as the Hoosiers welcome Savannah State to Assembly Hall. It’s the third all-time meeting between the two programs.

The game will tip at 7:30 on BTN with Chris Denari and Dan Bonner on the call:

There’s little intrigue as Indiana returns to action this weekend following Tuesday’s win over Pittsburgh and that’s because Savannah State is another overmatched opponent in a guarantee game with the Hoosiers. The Tigers last came to Bloomington in November of 2011, Cody Zeller’s freshman season, and left with a 29-point loss.

This year’s Savannah State club actually has wins over Winthrop and Cleveland State (both at home) to its name to go along with a complete drubbing at Louisville and lopsided losses at Eastern Kentucky, Marshall and Winthrop. Yes, it’s already played Winthrop twice. IU fans have circled games with Louisville, Butler and Georgetown on this month’s schedule, but the Hoosiers first must get past this contest before the schedule ramps up on Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic.

PERSONNEL

The Tigers come to Bloomington with just one player, senior guard Terel Hall (pictured), averaging in double figures. Hall’s 10.6 points per game lead the program as does his effective field goal percentage (59.1). Against Division I opponents, the 6-foot-1 guard is making 59 percent of his 2s and is doing a solid job of getting to the foul line (68.2 free throw rate).

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: December 5

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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.

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?

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Podcast on the Brink: Recapping IU’s win over Pitt

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Podcast on the Brink is back for another episode with host Jerod Morris of The Assembly Call.

Morris is joined by Herald-Times IU beat writer Mike Miller to discuss a variety of topics, including:

· The emergence of freshman Emmitt Holt in IU’s win over Pittsburgh and whether it was a surprise how comfortable he looked
· Will increased playing time for Holt motivate Hanner Mosquera-Perea?
· How Indiana was finally able to attack the 2-3 zone with success
· IU’s improved defense against Pittsburgh and where the Hoosiers still must improve
· Robert Johnson’s play and the potential for Yogi Ferrell to play more off the ball
· Student and fan support for the program

So tune in and enjoy. As always, feel free to drop the show a note at jerod@assemblycall.com.

Listen in the embedded media player below, download the episode, subscribe via iTunes or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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Film Session: Pittsburgh

In Indiana’s 81-69 victory over Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, freshman Emmitt Holt had a breakout performance to the tune of 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting from the field.

We’ll take a look at the range of ways he scored in the latest edition of Film Session:

I. Pick and Roll

Not long after entering the contest, Holt looks to set a wing ball screen for Stanford Robinson:

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Holt’s man looks to ward off Robinson’s drive to the middle:

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This gives Holt room to slip the screen and call for the ball:

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Pittsburgh

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Indiana moved to 6-1 with a comfortable 81-69 win over Pittsburgh in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday night at Assembly Hall. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the win over the Panthers:

· This was Indiana’s best performance of the season to date: If the Hoosiers are to find success with any consistency this season, last night was a decent blueprint of what needs to occur, sans the poor defensive rebounding. Indiana shot it at a very high rate (59.1 effective field goal percentage), didn’t turn it over much (14.1 turnover percentage) and put in strong work on the offensive glass.

The defense wasn’t great as Pittsburgh scored 1.08 points per possession, but when Indiana is shooting it so efficiently and getting easy baskets (48 points in the paint), the Hoosiers are tough to stop. Last night, Indiana not only got easy baskets at the rim, but also hit timely perimeter shots against a defense that was allowing teams to shoot just over 20 percent on 3s coming into the game.

Here’s a look at how Indiana scored last night, via Shot Analytics:

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· Emmitt Holt emerges as a legitimate rotation piece: Indiana fans had been clamoring to see more of Holt, a freshman from Webster (NY), and when Hanner Mosquera-Perea picked up two early fouls, he was called into action early. Holt, who is just 6-foot-7 but has a 7-foot-1 wing span, not only held his own, but he changed the game.

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