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An early look at the 2014-2015 frontcourt

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With the official start of practice a little more than a month away (Oct. 3), the 2014-2015 season is on the horizon. We’ll have comprehensive player-by-player previews this fall, but here’s an early look at some of the storylines to keep an eye on with this season’s frontcourt: 

· Whom can Indiana count on up front? Even after a five-game tour of Canada earlier this month, this is the biggest question that surrounds this Indiana team. And it’s one that we may not have a clear answer to until the Hoosiers get into the meat of the non-conference schedule in late November. The need for additional help in the post was significant enough in the eyes of the coaching staff that Indiana went out and added Emmitt Holt last week.

“We are excited to bring Emmitt to Indiana at such a late date,” Tom Crean said in a release earlier this week. “We determined that we needed another quality player up front and we were able to uncover Emmitt’s potential availability.”

With Holt’s addition, Indiana now has three or potentially four options to log minutes in the post with Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Devin Davis, Holt and Jeremiah April. Of those four, we’ve yet to see either Holt or April in an IU uniform because neither played in Canada. Davis looked stronger and more confident in the five exhibition games and Mosquera-Perea missed the trip due to visa issues.

The question that looms, however, is whether IU can find the right combination to hold its own in terms of defending the rim and rebounding on both ends. The Hoosiers should have one of the best backcourts in the Big Ten, but piecing together a serviceable frontcourt could ultimately decide just how far this group can go.

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Video: Matt McQuaid at Nike Global Challenge

Class of 2015 Duncanville (Tex.) guard Matt McQuaid emerged as a recruiting target for Indiana after opting to reopen his recruitment in mid-July.

McQuaid, a four-star prospect according to the 247Composite, continued his strong summer earlier this month at the Nike Global Challenge in Chicago.

Watch highlights of his performance at the Global Challenge, courtesy of Courtside Films, below:

A final look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten

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With the fall semester underway on many Big Ten campuses, it’s time for our final look at who’s coming and going in the Big Ten for the 2014-2015 season.

Illinois (20-15, 8th place tie, NIT second round)

· Arriving: Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall, eligible this season), Ahmad Starks (Oregon State, eligible this season), LeRon Black (247Composite Top 100), Michael Finke

· Departing: Jon Ekey (graduation), Joseph Bertrand (graduation), Darius Paul

Notes: After Darius Paul was suspended for the 2014-2015 season in early June, he opted to leave the program for junior college at Lamar State rather than serve out his suspension in Champaign.

Indiana (17-15, 8th place tie)

· Arriving: James Blackmon Jr. (247Composite Top 100), Jeremiah April, Max Hoetzel, Robert Johnson (247Composite Top 100), Tim Priller, Emmitt Holt, Nick Zeisloft (Illinois State, eligible this season)

· Departing: Austin Etherington (transfer), Evan Gordon (graduation), Jeff Howard (graduation), Jeremy Hollowell (transfer), Noah Vonleh (NBA), Will Sheehey (graduation), Peter Jurkin (transfer)

Notes: Indiana added two players since our last update in June in 2014 forward Emmitt Holt and Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft. Both are expected to be contributors this season.

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Indiana confirms addition of Emmitt Holt

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Emmitt Holt, who committed to Indiana last Wednesday during an official visit, is in Bloomington and enrolled in classes for the fall semester, which began on Monday.

Earlier this afternoon, IU media relations confirmed the addition of Holt to the 2014-2015 roster in a press release, which you can read below:

Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that Emmitt Holt, a 6-7, 225-lb power forward from Webster, N.Y. has accepted an offer of financial aid to attend IU and play basketball for the Hoosiers beginning this season.

He graduated this past spring from Webster Schroeder High School where he played for coach Matt Spadoni. He averaged 19.8 points, 14.6 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game as a senior. He boasts a 7-3 wingspan and earned second team All-State honors and was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in New York. He also earned Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester team honors in 2013 and 2014.

“I think Emmitt has unlimited potential, he kept getting better and better,” noted Spadoni. “He is a team player, and I think when you put him in a highly competitive environment like that it will bring even more out.”

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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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