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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: July 2

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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.

HoosierJake on the premium forum writes: We had a visitor in recently that could still join this year’s team. With no immediate commitment from him, has that passed? If so, what is the likelihood of someone still joining this roster in time for the Montreal trip? How active is the staff in trying to round out this roster and fill scholarships?

I would not read the lack of a commitment to this point as anything of substance. Often times in transfer situations, there are academic things that need to be figured out, especially when a specific major or program is being sought. The situation you’re referencing, I believe is Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft, who took a visit to Bloomington recently. There is mutual interest there, so it’s certainly a situation to keep an eye on.

As far as the likelihood of someone still joining the roster, I think it’s definitely possible. Indiana has two scholarships open, so if there’s a player out there who can add something, I would expect the staff to pursue it. — Alex Bozich

iulaw79 on the premium forum writes: With Austin Conway committing to Wyoming, do you see this impacting our chances of landing his teammate De’Ron Davis?

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Nate Ritchie, Ryan Burton to walk-on for IU

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A pair of frontcourt players, one with Division I scholarship offers and one with playing experience at a major Division II program, are expected to walk-on next season at Indiana.

Nate Ritchie (pictured), who averaged 23.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game last season at Northridge, announced on his Twitter account earlier today that he would be a preferred walk-on. 

“I am blessed to say I will officially be playing basketball for Indiana University this coming fall, as a preferred walk on,” Ritchie wrote.

The 6-foot-7 Ritchie had offers from Air Force and Toledo and interest from other Division I programs. Northridge finished 18-3 last season, falling 67-62 to Concord in Class 4A sectional play.

Another Indiana native, Ryan Burton, who played two seasons (2011-2012, 2012-2013) at Bellarmine University in Louisville, is also joining the program as a walk-on.

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Watford to play for Pistons, Warriors in NBA summer league

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Former Indiana forward Christian Watford hasn’t given up on his dream of making the NBA.

As first reported by David Pick of Eurobasket.com and Dustin Dopirak of The Herald-Times, Watford will play with the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Pro summer league from July 5-11 in Orlando and the Golden State Warriors in the NBA summer league from July 11-21 in Las Vegas.

Watford is coming off his rookie season in the Israel Winner League with Hapoel Eilat, where he averaged 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 37 games. The Birmingham native shot 51.5 percent from the field and 79.3 percent from the free throw line.

Last summer, Watford played in for the Indiana Pacers in the Orlando summer league and the Dallas Mavericks in the Vegas summer league.

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Five takeaways from Chuck Martin announcement

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Indiana coach Tom Crean announced the hiring of new assistant coach Chuck Martin in a press conference on Monday afternoon at Assembly Hall, which officially fills a staff vacancy heading into three critical July evaluation periods.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the Martin announcement:

· Crean did his due diligence: While Martin has been in the fold since mid-June, Crean said he wanted to make sure that both Martin and his wife, Lee, could be in Bloomington to announce his hiring and with camps going on in Bloomington in recent weeks, Monday was the date that worked best to make the announcement. When the job opened in late April before the evaluation period, Crean didn’t rush into anything and as the process moved on, Martin established himself as the best fit.

“Jayd (Grossman) had called Calbert (Cheaney) right away, when it looked like Kenny (Johnson) was going to leave to see what his stance was,” Crean explained. “I don’t think Calbert was in a situation where he was looking to move. I definitely talked or had one other person in and did some research on others.

“But, really, for where we’re at with this youth and where we’ve got to go and continue to grow not only on the court but off the court maturity wise and all those things that come with having such a young team, when I kept hearing everything about just this is what he did here, this is what he did there, this is the kind of situation and how he deals with things and this and that, it was pretty easy.”

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Video, quotes: Indiana introduces Chuck Martin as assistant coach

Indiana coach Tom Crean announced the newest member of his coaching staff, Chuck Martin, in a news conference on Monday afternoon at Assembly Hall.

Martin, who worked last season in the scouting department of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was introduced to the media along with his wife, Lee, and spoke about a variety of topics, including his work with the Thunder, his recruiting philosophy and much more:

A full transcript is available after the jump.

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IU to announce Chuck Martin as new assistant coach

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Indiana is expected to announce former Marist coach Chuck Martin as the newest member of its coaching staff in a 2 p.m. news conference this afternoon.

The Hoosiers have had an assistant coaching vacancy since late April when Kenny Johnson left for a similar position at the University of Louisville.

Martin, however, has been listed on the university’s online staff directory for athletics for several weeks and has been actively recruiting.

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Video: Charlotte Hornets introduce Noah Vonleh

Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, along with North Carolina’s P.J. Hairston, was introduced by the Charlotte Hornets on Friday afternoon in a press conference with general manager Rich Cho.

Vonleh was the nith pick in the draft and the third lottery pick for Indiana in the last two years. Watch his full press conference in the embedded media player below.

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