The Inside the Hall Mailbag: August 6

  • 08/06/2013 1:59 pm in


The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall) and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

@All_Hoosiers writes: What numbers should #iubb fans expect from Noah Vonleh this year? Not to compare, but better or worse than (Cody) Zeller’s?

It’s pretty hard to predict a stat line for any incoming player, so I’ll steer clear of making any bold statements there. I think Vonleh will be very productive and the more we hear about his work ethic this summer, the more and more excitement builds for his debut.

As for comparing his numbers, Vonleh will be hard pressed to match the efficiency Cody Zeller brought to Bloomington. As a freshman, Zeller posted the 14th best offensive rating in all of college basketball and shot 62.3 percent on 2-point field goals. That would be hard for anyone to match, especially in the Big Ten. The one area where Vonleh has a chance to make a huge impact right away is on the glass. With his length, motor and relentless approach to crashing the boards, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him have double figure rebounding games regularly. — Alex Bozich

@Beent12 writes: PG, SF are set. The post spots seem to have some depth too, but SG seems up in the air. Who has the inside track for minutes?

Small forward is set assuming that Will Sheehey plays there exclusively. If Sheehey improves his ball handling, I could see Indiana playing him some alongside Yogi Ferrell in the backcourt with Jeremy Hollowell or even Troy Williams at the three. When Sheehey is used at the three, you have to look at Evan Gordon and Stanford Robinson as the two most likely candidates to fill minutes at the shooting guard spot.

One early observation on this roster: It’s going to be tough to pin guys down to a specific position, especially on the wings. Indiana isn’t going to have as much talent in its starting lineup, but it will have more depth and more guys that can play multiple positions. At the end of last year, Indiana only went six deep with reliable contributors. That shouldn’t be the case this winter as it realistically appears that IU should go at least nine deep without the huge dropoff we saw last season. — Alex Bozich

@JenGawne writes: I want to know what’s up with Greg Graham! Where is he now?

Greg Graham is the head basketball coach and a physical education teacher at Warren Central in Indianapolis. He coached Devin Davis, who will be a freshman this coming season at IU. Here’s an update with Greg from a couple of summers ago where he talked about Calbert Cheaney returning to the program and Tom Crean bringing former players back to Bloomington. — Alex Bozich

@JSutel writes: What are you expecting from Hanner Perea this season?

Last season was a tough one for Perea from his ridiculous suspension by the NCAA to his struggles in adjusting to the speed of the college game. Everything that could have gone wrong seemingly did. He’ll begin this season with somewhat of a fresh slate which is a good thing as he looks to establish himself in the rotation.

Given what Indiana lost from its frontcourt to the NBA and graduation, there are minutes to be had. Whether he earns those minutes will depend largely on his offseason progress which is currently a mystery since we aren’t able to watch any workouts. Indiana is going to need him to contribute something because the entire load can’t fall on Luke Fischer. Without completely dodging your question, I think Perea will be improved, but until we see him on the court in a game setting, it’s tough to set any type of expectations. — Alex Bozich

@XUdad writes: Is there any IU interest in Greensburg combo guard Bryant McIntosh? Would imagine he’ll be ranked in the top 100 soon.

His father, Scott, told me earlier today that he and Bryant both talked to associate head coach Tim Buckley on Monday and that IU is interested in recruiting him. McIntosh, who was previously committed to Indiana State, was one of the great stories of the July evaluation period as he opened up his recruitment and picked up several high-major offers. — Alex Bozich

@SIREvan_C_White writes: What are the chances Exum skips college and jumps straight to the league?

In a recent interview with the Herald Sun, Exum said he was once 90-10 to go to college, but is now 50-50 between college and going straight to the NBA. Given that he’s considered a top five pick now in 2014 by many who follow the draft closely, it makes sense that he’d take a close look at his options and make an informed decision from there. But if he really is going to be picked in the top five, that’s an opportunity that will be tough to pass up. — Alex Bozich

@bjhicks78 writes: What is getting in the way of a marquee non-conference home and home series? Any chance a UofL series gets started soon?

It’s very much a priority for Athletics Director Fred Glass and Tom Crean to get a non-conference home and home series going after the Kentucky series ended, but it didn’t work out last year and doesn’t appear that it will work out for this season, either. For it to work out this year, Indiana was going to need to find someone who was willing to come to Assembly Hall to offset having the Big Ten-ACC Challenge game on the road. That may be easier to work out next year when the Big Ten-ACC Challenge game returns to Assembly Hall as IU should be available to start out a series going on the road first.

As far as the potential of a Louisville series, the most recent update from Fred Glass in early June at Huber Farms was that it’s something they’ve looked at, but nothing appears imminent. — Alex Bozich

@Geo10136 writes: Starting five for this season?

Keep in mind that it’s August 6 and that I also believe Indiana will have several different lineups throughout the season, but I’ll go Yogi Ferrell, Will Sheehey, Jeremy Hollowell, Noah Vonleh and Luke Fischer. — Alex Bozich

@loganguffey writes: Haven’t heard anything about Jeremy this summer?

The media had a chance to talk to Hollowell last month and he was asked specifically about his offseason improvement. Here’s what he said:

“I think one-on-one scoring, my shooting and my ball handling have come on a lot. I’ve been in the gym quite a bit this summer, definitely more than last year, so I know what to expect. Last season was a blur, it went by pretty fast, so just day in and day out, I’ve been working hard just trying to improve every aspect of my game.”

I’ve always been a huge fan of Hollowell’s upside and I think he’s got a chance to make a significant jump next season. He was brilliant at times defensively last season and if he can make that a consistent part of his game going forward, I expect the rest of his game to fall into place nicely. Hollowell has been criticized in the past for not always appearing to be engaged on the floor, but I thought he competed hard last year in what was an adjustment season for him. With a year of experience and an offseason of work with Je’Ney Jackson, I’m very bullish on Hollowell as a sophomore.

Derek Korte writes: Have any jersey number assignments been made? Curious to see who is wearing what number.

IU hasn’t announced anything officially, but a couple of players have mentioned them on Twitter. If I recall correctly, here are the ones that have been mentioned: Troy Williams (5), Noah Vonleh (1), Collin Hartman (30), Luke Fischer (44) and Stanford Robinson (22). — Alex Bozich

John Cole writes: Was wondering if any of IU’s home conference games this season would fall while the students are off for Christmas. I got to go to my first IU game two years ago and it happened to be the OSU game. What an experience.

If Indiana opens the Big Ten schedule at Assembly Hall, then it’s a pretty fair assumption that there will be a home conference game with the students on break. The conference should announce the schedule at some point later this month, so we’ll know for sure when that happens. — Alex Bozich

@NoahWhyde writes: Any chance at LeRon Black?

Black has mentioned Indiana prominently for a couple of months now, so the next step would be getting him on campus for a visit, which hasn’t happened. Right now, schools like Florida, Illinois and Memphis appear to be the lead suitors for the four-star forward from Memphis. — Alex Bozich

Nelson Bremer writes: You think we got a shot at T.J. Leaf? I saw him at the adidas invite in Indy. He was a beast and his parents are from Indiana.

It’s extremely early with Leaf and Indiana hasn’t offered a scholarship to this point. You can read our recent update with him right here, but having a father from the state and family in the area certainly won’t hurt IU’s chances. — Alex Bozich

James Corson writes: Where would picking up Exum potentially leave IU scholarship wise? Does he need one?

Yes, if he opts for college, he’ll need a scholarship. On paper, Indiana has one more scholarship available for next season with James Blackmon Jr. currently committed. But as of early April, Indiana had 16 players who could have potentially been on scholarship this season and two guys left early and two others transferred. It’s probably not a wise use of time to speculate on these numbers as they work out every year and the staff always has a plan in place for any scenario that could arise. — Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • Miamihoosier

    Player development is the #1 reason Tom Crean is one of the premier coaches in college basketball. Recruiting is a distant second. Novak and Deiner aren’t in the NBA if they go to a lot of other schools. Oladipo isn’t the #2 pick. I still remember how shocked I was at the giant leaps Sheeladipo made in their sophomore years. I agree 100% with Alex on being bullish towards Jeremy Hollowell, but Tom Crean is the reason why. We have all been so great at complimenting the players work ethic (mainly because CTC always gives them the credit), but that culture didn’t come out of thin air. Jordan Hulls embraced it, but coach Crean demanded it. Most of the questions on here are regarding the type of seasons guys are going to have. With CTC at the helm, I’m bullish on all of them.

  • Caleb Moore

    Crean has been tweeting upbeat signals about Hanner’s and Jeremy’s development this Summer. Especially Jeremy…….Crean refers to him as another of the 365 guys………the term he uses to distinguish for fans who he sees putting in the most work. Hanner is also getting close to that level too. Apparently his shot has come a ways and he is just a more confident player in general. Have also seen Coach speak to the work ethic of 17 year old Vonleh on many occassions. Depends on how his game comes along and who goes for the draft this next year, which should be loaded, but I could easily see him as a 2 year guy. His shot, his physical development, and his need to refine his game on the perimeter and in the post offensively will be his needed focus. He can be a beast on the boards from day 1, but refining a jump shot takes some more time. And that is something he will need to have in the bag should be hope to be a top 10 or even top 5 pick. Plus he’s 17 and just needs to complete his physical development. He’s a load at 17, but against 30 yr old men in the NBA? Gonna need time to let his body develop like every other human being.

  • HoosierTrav

    Well said

  • skotchie

    I recently joined the Forum I like it a lot, have you considered it?Didn’t mean to single you out I remember you from Hamilton Park.
    I used to be on staff there.

  • HoosierTrav

    He shoots it very well as is (refining it couldn’t hurt) and he is up to 241 lbs since being on campus. I believe he has added around 15-20 pounds. His body is ready. He’s one of those guys that are blessed with the physical tools at a very young age. Coach Crean said it perfectly when he stated that “You will remember where you were when you watch him play for the first time.” He’s that good!

  • HoosierTrav

    I have considered it. I have a baby on the way and I’m saving nearly every dollar i can. The old lady is like a blood hound. She can sniff out every spent penny. Hamilton Park! Those are already my “good ole Days.” Fun times and some really good baseball teams.

  • N71

    Would love to add a high profile home and home series. If its not going to be Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, or an ACC team then what? Here are my top 5:

    1. UCLA – classic match-up
    2. Georgetown – DC area recruiting tool
    3. Texas – Giant school
    4. Stanford – be good to rub shoulders with the Cardinal
    5. Missouri – should be in the Big Ten, not Rutgers

    This assumes Notre Dame and Butler are already locked in and we would still have a problem with Syracuse’s zone.

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)

    I was thinking UCLA too as it seems KU is not going to work out.

  • Kyl470

    A lot of people talk about the new players, but I’m with you that it’s going to be the improvement of guys like Yogi, Jeremy, Will that will have a great impact on the type of season IU has.

  • SCHoosier

    Rutgers gives the B-10 conference all sports coverage in the largest population area in the country ..good for TV ratings (++ ad dollars) and great for recruiting. Missu provides nothing bu sweet corn and wheat.

  • N71

    I was thinking competitive athletics which equates to viewer interest. Also, haven’t we learned after the fact that the viewership of Rutgers in NY metro is low due to it being made up of over achievers from elsewhere. I don’t think Rutgers is an Evansville, its more respect for Missu and the St. Louis market.

  • Dflahardy

    Had we played Syracuse in the regular season last year, the season may have ended quite differently!

  • hoosier1158

    Let’s not forget about Austin. He can play ball.


    I agree & would add Hanner’s name to that list. Think a lot of different things hinge on how much he has improved. The amount he has improved will go a long way in determining how Crean has to play his cards, so to speak, and who ends up on the floor.

  • PV Mike

    On another note. Really excited to see Victor/Magic come to Indy to play the Pacers opening night.

  • esapata

    Is a Louisville series really that likely now that they’re joining the ACC in ’14? They’d be in the B1G/ACC series rotation. As far as big name match ups go, there’s still Kansas, UCLA, UConn, Georgetown, etc. Florida would even be an interesting SEC opponent.


    1) Think that if NV doesn’t average a double double it will be awful close to it with more than just two or three games with those kind of stats. If that isn’t the case it’s more than likely cause someone else is contributing more than we thought they would.
    2) The amount of improvement that Hanner Perea makes is going to affect a whole lot of things IMHO. His big jump in improvement, or an acute lack there of will affect a lot of players in a lot of different ways.
    3) See Troy Williams being the biggest surprise and most pleasant surprise out of the incoming freshman.
    4) Have to agree with Alex’s starting five…for right now and believe it may change from time to time depending on the opposing team. I see Troy Williams being the first guy off the bench most of the time and maybe the second off depending on the situation.

  • esapata

    While it’s true Rutgers doesn’t have much sway in the NY area, it does have an impact on the densely populated state of New Jersey as a whole. Particularly south of Newark in the heart of the state. NYC has many schools in the area, plus people who move to the area from New England schools and then from schools around the rest of the country. Rutgers is just the state school from the next (densely populated) state over, and their biggest competitor from within NJ is Seton Hall. It’s still a healthy TV market, it just wont deliver as much NYC TV viewership as some midwesterners seem to think.

  • SCHoosier

    True.. but in that business “penetration of a market” is the key…there are a lot of sports fans who will watch a marquee match up even though their favorite school might not be involved. Re: the athletic competition u are right on target..can’t see what the Scarlet Nights (?) bring to the table. Getting cable and sat systems to carry the BTN in that population center, however is huge…for the reasons I mentioned. Interesting that we are playing Muzzu in football this year.

  • CreanFaithful

    I’m wondering if that starting 5 prediction is start of the season or end… My guess is Hanner will get the nod to start (whether he has made the jump want/need or not). All accounts are that he has been working his butt off this off-season and I think CTC rewards the combination of that and seniority (as little as it may be). I still think Fischer gets as many minutes as Hanner to get an idea of the best long term combinations. c

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I like your predicted starting lineup because of the length, though I won’t be surprised to see E Gordon starting and Will sliding over to the 3 spot because CTC seems to like guard heavy, quick lineups. I also agree that it should be expected that this team will be deeper than last years team, though again, that’s never something you can 100% predict so I understand the apprehension to do so.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Noah Vonleh produce bigger yet less efficient numbers than Cody as freshman for the simple fact that he may be relied on pretty heavily if other guys don’t emerge as legitimate scoring threats early.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree! I started saying early last year that AE has above average athletic ability and can shoot and that I thought he would gain time throughout the year. I think he was just starting to gain a little of that time and CTC’s trust when he went down, so if he comes back 100% healthy and just as explosive from a tricky injury (ala Blake Griffin) then I too think he’ll contribute a lot as a junior and senior.

  • skotchie

    I’m Scott, I was on the HP board as JR / SR player rep hung the big diamond with Coney & Bridgestone.
    I was also on the District Staff for D10.
    I made the sign with all your names on it for winning State,that has since disappeared, sure would lik to know who walked off with it.
    I got to know your dad a little bit, used to see him in Tower once in a while.

  • MillaRed

    The TJ Leaf recruitment is really cool. When I was growing up in Evansville his dad Brad Leaf was part of a Purple Aces club that made the NCAA tourney pretty regularly. His dad could really shoot. Surprised how tall TJ is. Dad was a SG.

  • calbert40

    I’d really enjoy watching an annual IU-UCLA home and home series. However, I think Alford may be able to recruit in Indiana fairly well despite being in LA already. Giving him an annual opportunity to play against IU and showcase his program may hurt us, even if only slightly.

  • Dee McDonald

    We will probably have a shot at UCONN this year in the 2KSports Classic. UCLA would be cool because of Alford returning to Indiana for one of those. There were a lot of stalled talks with Kansas last year, but it sounds like a pretty complicated formula to finding big-time home and home’s.

  • Ole Man

    Agree that Vonleh should really help our rebounding. Just hope the B1G refs don’t give him the “freshman” treatment with a lot of ticky-tacky calls.

  • Ole Man

    Amen, bro….having lived in NYC I can honestly say that no one there follows Jersey teams (Giants and Jets may play there, but they weren’t considered Jersey teams.).
    Heck, New Yorkers didn’t even follow the New York Islanders, and technically Long Island is part of the City.

  • Ole Man

    Rutgers, in MHO, was a poor choice. They’re stuck between the City and Philly. Trust me, no one in those cities gives two cents about Rutgers.
    We could have made far better choices, basketball-wise. Rutgers was added for football.
    Heck, Temple University in Philly would have been better than Rutgers.

  • Ole Man

    We can’t be afraid of recruiting competition.

  • Outoftheloop

    I know that Coach Crean always wanted the “365” concept for his program. But today, unlike the days when Coach Knight ruled, the kids have to bring it themselves, from the bottom up not from the Coach down. Of those 365 days, for the most part the coach can’t even see the players. Jordan Hulls did exactly that! He is the reason for the great work efforts of Oladipo, Sheehey and Zeller which are now the norm for the “IU Way”! Jordan Hulls deserves all of our deepest thanks!

  • Outoftheloop

    Alex, you are a little parsimonious with the “9 deep” limit. Whom are you leaving out? Yogi, Will, Noah, Jeremy, Luke. That is 5 starters. Hanner, Troy, Evan, Stan and Devin (who will be one of the best “bench-rotation” players that IU will have because of his versatility and motor), make another 5. Austin is not going to wait for another year! He will bring it all on day one and every day thereafter in 2013-14. He knows the system and he is athletic (and he only has 2 years to show his game). Collin was a leader and winner at a big-time Cathedral program where we are still recruiting his teammates (now going to La Luminera). He will not want to be left out and he will always be just one 4/5 shooting performance at the 3 point line away from lots of minutes. When Peter is 100% healthy he will be the defensive rim protector that IU has never had. Coach Crean will not keep him on the bench against the “Bigs” of the B1G if he can play. IU will be the deepest team in the country if injuries do not take a toll!

  • WhatsUpKnight

    i’m going to thoroughly enjoy this season, that’s for sure. so many unknowns, so much potential, and a boatload of athleticism! from what i’ve seen, the ‘experts’ have iu ranked (preseason) somewhere in the 2nd half of the top 20. but what if jh and hp have improved dramatically? what if nv, tw, lf, and the other frosh are even better than anticipated? what if yogi and will have seriously stepped up their games over the summer? these guys could have a shot at cracking the top 10, imho. maybe get to elite 8. whatever the outcome, it’s gonna be an entertaining journey.

    now if everybody stays around, no reason to believe they won’t be top 5 and serious contenders next year, right?

  • calbert40

    Any time that UCLA comes up for discussion as a possible annual opponent, the topic of Alford’s potential impact on regional recruiting should come up. Simply discussing the potential impact is utilizing/seeking discernment, IMO, and I don’t believe seeking discernment is tantamount to be afraid of something. In fact, it is wise.

    I think it would be foolish NOT to acknowledge the relationship between IU and Alford is slightly different than it would be with IU and Pitino, Self, Calipari, et al. I’m just suggesting that giving an all-time IU great and his all-time great program the opportunity to come into Bloomington, and possibly beat us, could affect recruiting negatively. That doesn’t make me “afraid.”

    I’d be fine if UCLA was on the schedule regularly, but at the same time, I think Glass and CTC are probably weighing the potential pros and cons of playing UCLA differently than they would a team like Kansas.

  • guest587

    he can recruit but can he prepare and make in game adjustments? i like his
    passion and that he is a christian. but as we saw against cuse he was totally unprepared for the zone with 4 days notice. he also got out coached with the small line up. he made his adjustments too late. look at some of our losses last year and the coaches………groce,ryan,stevens,boeheim etc etc etc. i hate to say it cause i like coach. but some of the reason we got beat was lack of a game plan and in game adjustments. the talent is going to rise now. will the coaching? you cant win on talent alone.

  • CreanFaithful

    Ooooooooooohhhh boy. Lol

  • skotchie

    I’ve been to L.A., I’ve been on UCLA’s campus. The last thing that worries me is loosing recruits to UCLA or coach Alford. If thats a kids dream to go there nothings gonna stop them. On the other hand I doubt you sway many midwest kids to move to the west coast.

  • calbert40

    Alford is spending quite a bit of time recruiting kids from outside of his region, so evidently, he disagrees with your stance that he can’t sway many Midwestern kids to go to UCLA.

    If you check their recruiting pages on any of the various sites, they are in on players from all over the country including players from IN, MA, MN, WI, KY, TX, NY, TN, etc.

    I agree that the chances are that he doesn’t land many kids from this area, but allowing him the opportunity to gain a foothold, even if it is extremely tiny, must at least be discussed prior to signing a multi-year home and home with UCLA.

    Again, I never thought that the DC area would become nearly a pipeline to IU, but it only took a couple solid recruits plus an assistant from that area to put DC recruits in play for us. How much more could a head coach with a history like Alford’s do in Indiana?

  • BC

    Why is it “Crean always got outcoached?” Why isn’t it “the players got outplayed?” Because I saw Hulls lose his shot before the tournament and it never came back. I saw Cody disappear in that game, where he was the primary threat to break the zone. There is a reason Michigan moved on. The zone isn’t complicated, but fuse had length and talent. More length and athletism than IU. They lost. It was a nitemare matchup and the worst one they could of had in the tournament IMO. Bad luck of the draw. Personally I prefer to look at where we were as a program when he came. And now where the program is. Nothing short of amazing in that amount of time.

  • calbert40

    Football, money and exposure are driving the bus on this wave of conference expansion. Unfortunately, as a traditional basketball power, it doesn’t help us much! I know there is no chance of it happening, but I still maintain that ND would have made an excellent B1G school. Rutgers? meh.

  • Ole Man

    And when Alford was recruiting for Iowa, did his playing us at home once a year make a huge difference.
    Not arguing here. Just standing by my original statement. Under NO circumstances should we back down from playing someone because of recruiting—unless it’s Cal and UK!! We should never play them again while he is coach; and it has nothing to do with recruiting.

  • Ole Man

    ND would have been great, but as you noted, with football driving the bus, it wasn’t ever going to happen.

  • dtfreed

    Sorry Luke F. didn’t get get any play above. He seems to be the forgotten recruit, kind of. It would seem he’s almost a must starter for the team this coming season. Any idea how he is comparing to HP or V?

  • CreanFaithful

    Talk has been quiet on Luke. Not sure if it is just speculation, but I heard that he has been a bit slower to adapt to the college game in comparison to the the other freshmen. CTC has talked a lot about NV and TW, but very little of the others. There was also a picture of the freshman posted to the forum where NV appears to be taller than Fischer, indicating he is likely 6’9″ instead of the near 7 footer we were hoping for. I’m still optimistic about him though.

  • calbert40

    I read you, but I’d suggest that Iowa isn’t a real recruiting threat to us regardless of who is the coach there. He only made the NCAA three out of the eight years he was there, but Iowa was better under him than they normally are. UCLA is in a different league. And, if I recall, he did nab a few good Indiana kids during his time there still.

    I agree that we shouldn’t “fear” anyone, but I think we could probably come up with a few better opponents.