Twitter Mailbag Archive

The Inside the Hall Mailbag: May 5

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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.

Anthony Baird on Facebook writes: Will (Thomas) Bryant really be that big of an improvement? Crean has proven he can’t get it done with bigs. I mean look what he did to Cody Zeller. I’m looking more forward to the return of Devin Davis!

Yes, Thomas Bryant will be a major improvement and a major factor from the minute he steps onto Branch McCracken Court. He’s a high energy guy who is coachable and makes hustle plays. He chose Indiana for a variety of reasons, one of which I’ll get into now as I tackle your second comment regarding Zeller. That reason is player development.

If “not getting it done with bigs” is putting a guy into the lottery for two straight years, I’m not sure what else you’d like to see. Zeller came to Indiana ranked just outside of the top 10 nationally in his recruiting class and went No. 4 overall in the NBA draft and was an All-American. When he left campus, he was a much better player than he was when he arrived. Those are all facts. You can certainly argue that IU should have advanced further than the Sweet 16 back in 2013, but that is a separate discussion. In terms of making guys better that put in the effort and helping them reach their potential, it’s hard to dispute what Crean has been able to accomplish. – Alex Bozich

mcoghlan on the premium forum writes: Assuming there are no more departures or additions in the Big Ten, where do you think IU will end up in the Big Ten standings?

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: March 24

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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.

hoosierfan1 on the premium forum writes: Clearly Indiana has a lot of work to do to improve its defensive effectiveness for next season. In your opinion, what are the key issues that need to be addressed in the offseason to improve defensive effectiveness?

Obviously a rim protector would go a long way in helping to shore up IU’s defense around the basket, but most of the issues begin on the perimeter. The Hoosiers struggled to contain dribble penetration all season and IU’s help defense was poor as well. Without much ball pressure, IU didn’t force many turnovers nor did it contest shots nearly enough.

From what I saw up close – and I watched this team all the way from the Montreal trip in August through the final game on Friday – basic things like positioning and communication just weren’t there with enough consistency. Perhaps some of it was a result of youth, but given that IU’s defense never really made much improvement over the course of the season, that’s obviously not the entire issue.

Ultimately, the level of improvement is going to come down to how much the coaching staff is able to teach and emphasize what it wants to accomplish on that end of the floor and the players embracing what they are taught and realizing that without a major improvement on defense, the ceiling is only so high. – Alex Bozich

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: February 28

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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.

bk39 on the premium forum writes: Collin Hartman, how important is he to this team defensively, and is he expected to return for Iowa?

Collin Hartman has been huge to this team, defensively. Especially in the absence of Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Hartman held whatever semblance of a defensive post presence the Hoosiers had left with his physicality in dealing with opposing big men in the halfcourt. He held 6-foot-11 Illinois big man Nnanna Egwu to zero points and just two rebounds — in Champaign. Against Maryland, he shut down 6-foot-11 Damonte Dodd from the start. Despite being 6-foot-7 and undersized when he is used at the five, he really has done a solid job at not allowing himself to be dominated inside with good technique, quickness and simply being unafraid. And the numbers speak for themselves — the Hoosiers were 6-4 with him in the starting lineup, and while he doesn’t necessarily stand out in the stat sheet, he has accounted for 31.5 percent of Indiana’s blocks in Big Ten play.

As far as his playing status is concerned for Tuesday’s game, we should find out more on Monday — whether it be via Tom Crean’s Big Ten coaches conference call appearance, his pregame press conference or his radio show. But he has said that Hartman is day-to-day with that leg injury, and having this weekend to recover should help, as well. – Jordan Littman

@robosalt on Twitter writes: Why does IU switch from man to zone mid-possession? Never seen it before.

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: February 6

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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.

Anderson-Kitchel on the premium forum writes: TC constantly talks about this team needing to play through all 5 positions on the court. Do you have any feeling for when Hartman/Holt/Hanner will get touches in the paint? Ball movement around the perimeter and handing off to a teammate outside the arc is really exciting to watch, but it limits offensive effectiveness when they virtually eliminate drives/kicks to open shooters.

Of the issues this team has, and there are some significant ones, offense is not on the list. Indiana ranks sixth in adjusted offensive efficiency in the country. The Hoosiers just scored 1.20 points per possession on the best team in the Big Ten on the road. They’re the best 3-point shooting team in Big Ten play and are second in effective field goal percentage. Offense, quite simply, is this team’s strength and outside of the Michigan State and Purdue game, IU really hasn’t struggled to score against anyone in league play.

It would be counterintuitive to throw the ball into the post with any regularity when you have one of the best perimeter groups in the country that can hit 10 to 15 3s on a given night and also get to the basket. – Alex Bozich

Clint Unger via email writes: Do you see IU signing a big man in the 2015 class? Do you think they need one? I’ve heard Thon Maker and Thomas Bryant’s names thrown around, but is that even realistic?

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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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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: October 21

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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.

hoosiersftw on the premium forum writes: In the opinion of the ITH staff, what are reasonable expectations for this team? An improved B1G record? A return to the NCAA tournament? More?

For this question, I solicited the opinion of ITH co-founder Ryan Corazza as well beat writer Jordan Littman. Corazza: “I think a return to the tourney qualifies as reasonable, which would likely mean an improved Big Ten record.” And Littman: “Well firstly, I think a reasonable expectation for this team would be a return to being regarded for its shooting. This year’s squad has many more capable shooters than last year’s, and multiple in-game scoring droughts last season certainly did not help the Hoosiers. As far as results-based expectations are concerned, though, it’s a bit difficult to say as nobody has seen this team in action. And 60 percent of the entire roster has never even played a game in the cream and crimson. That said, though, there always is a pressure for Indiana to make the NCAA tournament, and I think that also is an expectation for this season.”

Assuming Indiana improves its Big Ten record, it should be in contention for a NCAA tournament bid. That would mean it would have at least eight conference wins and if you reasonably assume ten non-conference wins, 18 wins (at minimum) going into the Big Ten tournament at least gives the Hoosiers a chance. I think getting back to the NCAA tournament is certainly reasonable to expect. — Alex Bozich

Mike Stepp on Facebook writes: What’s the latest status of the Jeremiah April injury? And if healthy what kind of role can we expect him to play this season?

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: September 23

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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.

mcoghlan on the premium forum writes: What do you think the ceiling and floor is for this year’s team?

Wasting no time putting me on the spot, mcoghlan. Although I do have a bit of an advantage from seeing IU’s games in Canada, those games didn’t include Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Emmitt Holt, two players I expect to have an impact on this year’s team. I certainly believe this team has the personnel to get into the NCAA tournament, assuming the turnover problem is improved upon and IU is able to hold its own defending the paint and on the glass.

The floor would likely be a repeat performance of last season’s team in which turnovers are still a major problem and a young team struggles to finish off opponents after grabbing a lead. — Alex Bozich

kmark22 on the premium forum writes: For the 2015 or 2016 class do you see IU pursuing a point guard and if so, is it more in the mold of Robert Johnson or Yogi Ferrell?

Indiana is recruiting Shake Milton, who can play either guard spot, in the 2015 class and I think it’s a fair assumption that the Hoosier staff will be looking for point guard help in the 2016 class. With Yogi Ferrell locking down the point guard position since the day he arrived on campus, it probably hasn’t been the easiest sell to recruit a pure point guard in the last few classes.

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