The Inside the Hall Mailbag: July 11

  • 07/11/2014 8:31 am in

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.

kmark22 on the premium forum writes: I know people believe with the loss of Fischer, Jurkin, & Vonleh IU needs big players….is this idea/topic really overblown given how IU plays. Do they really need big men to be successful?

I believe you have to have some sort of presence, even if it’s just mainly for defense and rebounding. However, there are very few offenses in college right now that are based on throwing the ball into the post and letting a guy operate with his back to the basket. It’s a perimeter oriented game with ball screens and pick and roll dominating the landscape. If you can space the floor, make 3s at a reasonably efficient rate, offensive rebound and get to the line, you can win without a big man who scores a lot.

I think the main thing for Indiana next season is going to be finding a combination of players up front that can defensive rebound and defend without fouling, which is something Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Devin Davis had problems with in limited roles last season. — Alex Bozich

Richard Howenstein on Facebook writes: How do you see Hoetzel fitting in to the lineup? He has length that we need and has an outside shot. Is he a 7th or 8th guy off the bench?

I think he’s got a shot to be a rotation player right away if he’s able to defend adequately. If you look at it on paper, the “sure fire” rotation guys appear to be Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams, Mosquera-Perea and Davis. Beyond that, Nick Zeisloft and Hoetzel are probably right there for the 8th and 9th spots.

We don’t really know enough about where Collin Hartman is physically to say how much he’ll be able to play with any certainty and I’ve never seen Tim Priller or Jeremiah April play, so the foreign trip should give us a gauge on where those two stand. To answer your question, if Hoetzel makes shots and helps space the floor, he’s going to find his way into the rotation in some capacity. — Alex Bozich

@croneleoni on Twitter writes: With so many talented wings and guards at IU, can you give the odds of who could enter the draft next year?

I would think if there’s any candidate to possibly consider a jump, it would be Ferrell. And even that seems like a long shot given that not many 6-foot point guards are leaving early for the NBA. I believe Blackmon Jr. will need a couple of years in college at the least to develop physically before the NBA enters the equation and Williams is another guy who may have the potential one day to play at the next level, but there’s plenty of development that remains before that’s even a discussion. — Alex Bozich

motorcityhoosier on the premium forum writes: I see a lot of forum members predicting that Devin Davis will play minutes at the 5 spot, either sparingly or for significant stretches of each game. Based on size alone (and our limitations therein), I would expect Perea to start at the 5 with April backing him up. Do you really think we’ll see Davis play center, and if so, how many minutes per game?

Considering Davis started at the five and played quite a few minutes there in IU’s narrow loss at Michigan late in the season, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him play there for stretches. I’m not buying into the assumption that April is going to be the backup at the five until I actually get a chance to watch him in live action.

Right now I can definitely see Davis operating as the first frontcourt player off the bench, which means if Mosquera-Perea picks up a couple of fouls early, he could be used at the five. I would think there will also be plenty of situations where Davis and Mosquera-Perea are on the floor together, but Davis playing the five is certainly a possibility that exists. — Alex Bozich

Geoff_85 on the premium forum writes: Where should we expect improvements this year in regard to player development? It looks like Devin Davis and Hanner Perea are going to log significant minutes and some people are talking as if Perea may be drastically improved. Do you see this as a possibility given the improvement he showed last year?

The primary thing that most folks will be looking for is improvement in decision making and limiting turnovers. Given that IU is going to be unconventional this season in that it’s not really going to have a deep frontcourt, the ball is going to be on the perimeter quite a bit and IU needs to be efficient there. Obviously, I think you’re going to see improved physiques from several guys on the roster if Je’Ney Jackson’s recent track record in that area is any indication.

As for the possibility of drastic improvement from Mosquera-Perea, I think he’ll continue to get better as he continues to get more reps. He obviously has the physical attributes to grow into a major contributor, but it’s all about how quickly that can happen. This is a big offseason for him as there’s really no obstacle for him growing his role significantly besides himself. It’ll be interesting to see how he embraces the opportunity. — Alex Bozich

madweber on the premium forum writes: Nebraska was a surprise last year in the B1G. Who do you see making similar waves this year given returnees and recruits?

I don’t see any team being picked to finish last to make a jump like Nebraska did last season as that would require a prediction that Rutgers won’t finish last, which is somewhere I can’t go.

I haven’t studied it super closely yet, but I think Illinois is going to be a team to keep an eye on. There’s a solid nucleus returning with Rayvonte Rice, Tracy Abrams, Nnanna Egwu, Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill along with two transfers in Aaron Cosby and Ahmad Starks. Then you’ve got top 40 recruit Leron Black, a name IU fans are familiar with, coming in to help in the frontcourt. The Big Ten is wide open in the middle after Wisconsin, but Illinois is a team that could make a move up in the standings. — Alex Bozich

ajbeatty311 on the premium forum writes: With Yogi taking the priority of the outside shots (or least making the majority of them taken), how does his game expand with the shooting JBJ, RJ and MH bring?

Adding two guards like Blackmon Jr. and Johnson should help take some of the pressure off of Ferrell to score and allow him to beat guys off the dribble and find shooters on the perimeter or guys via cuts or lobs like Mosquera-Perea or Williams.

The good thing about Blackmon Jr. is that he’s not just a spot up shooter. He can catch the ball, size up his man and then make a play, whether it be a jab step to create space or simply beating his man going to the basket. He’s not going to be a guy that you can cheat off of and provide help on Ferrell. The same goes for Johnson.

One problem last year with IU’s offense is that there were too many instances where there were players on the floor who weren’t a threat to score. That’s going to be less of a problem this year which should help eliminate some of the possessions where IU wasn’t going to get a shot unless Ferrell created one on his own. — Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • dontfiretomcrean

    Make him like a Supreme Court justice: retirement or death.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Agreed, but depending on who we’re facing we could go with that bigger lineup.

  • Hoosier Hall

    It’s definitely fun to beat ranked teams in a down year (especially ones you’ve lost 12 straight to). Tell me this though, if you could have any one of these losses as a win, which one would it be: Syracuse (obvious revenge win and highly ranked road win), UCONN (eventual national champs and close loss anyway), Northwestern (worst home loss ever), or Nebraska #2 (considered a bubble game after we beat Iowa and Ohio St.)?

  • ForeverIU

    Syracuse no doubt even before I looked at the other choices lol

  • Snookafly

    I agree. If we had beaten every ranked team we played last year we might have even made the tourney despite several embarrassing losses. The committee might’ve thrown us in as a “wildcard” type of team on the bubble, and if we still didn’t make it we could’ve held our head a little higher from a perspective of pride.

  • INUnivHoosier

    If they play too far off HMP, it will just be alley oop time. If he can do at least one thing, it is dunk.

  • Snookafly

    Moye? When it’s all said and done DD might not have as many memorable moments, but he should be way better than AJ– and that’s not to take anything away from “the Sparkplug.” A 6’7″ PF should have a better career in the B1G than a 6’3″ guard being forced to play the 4.

  • CreanFaithful

    It’s not a “one or the other” kind of deal. He will do both.

  • Snookafly

    Maybe on paper it appeared as though we had the individual talent (or at least the athleticism) to be a good team, but really our fundamentals were terrible and our strategy was just as bad much of the time. I would say the exceptions were against Michigan and Wisconsin. I know our memories are short, but If you have any doubt go back and watch the footage from our home games against Penn State and Northwestern– without exaggeration, two of the most embarrassing efforts I’ve ever witnessed as an IU fan. Watch us against Purdue, or even early in the year against Notre Dame. We could not handle tighter 2nd half D, we had no late game strategy other that “Yogi from the top for 3,” and of course there was the little issue of turnovers. The good news is that all of those prbblems can be corrected. If they worked as hard as they claim to over the summer, we should be a much better squad.

  • IUJeff

    It is actually a necessity that he not be a volume scorer like last year. If he is not made to realize this, players will leave after or during the season again. Yogi needs to prove he can run a team and have a low TO percentage, not score.

  • IUJeff

    You are joking right?

  • IUJeff

    I am really hoping that Yogi can show a floater and the alley oop this tear. If he cannot, I am pretty sure some of the newcomers will web able to.

  • IUJeff

    This is true for the most part but in one game he made such an impressive post pivot to jump stop score, that he caught the refs so off guard, that they had to call travel on him.

    Let’s hope he finally has the focus he needs to be successful

  • Snookafly

    He can definitely dunk, but can he actually catch and hang on to it?

  • Snookafly

    He did look completely rattled as a freshman, but he started to show flashes last year. The only problem is that anytime he started playing well, he was immediately pulled from the game to ride the bench.

  • shknqk

    Stan will become widely known or defense. Going against jbj and yogi everyday and him knowing thats how he will get on the court, with victor as his role model… Book it.

  • IUJeff

    Poor was being very kind. This years group will be so much better on O if Yogi will share the ball.

    My take is that if Yogi decides that he needs to be the leading scorer again, we finish just above .500 overall, lower half of the B1G, and narrowly make or miss the NIT.

    If he relinquishes the scoring role and embraces being a facilitator first, scorer when he has to, we finish top half of the B1G, and make the NCAA tourney.

  • IUJeff

    We were very easy to game plan for last year. Not so much this year. Wisky will eat us alive playing inside out ball, but not many other teams will be as balanced as them

    So there is considerable hope. Coaching and buy in from the players on what Crean is selling will be the key. And what he is selling HAS to be Yogi the distributor first, scorer second IMO.

  • SCHoosier

    Blackmon’s got all that..and more.

  • Hoosier1158

    Sure, B1G will make you pay for it!

  • Hoosier1158

    I like Stan at the 3 spot.

  • shknqk

    Please post regularly until we prove we can’t get buy with our small 5 & 4.

    From my favorite movie glory…
    Colonel Robert G. Shaw: There’s more to fighting than rest, sir. There’s character. There’s strength of heart. You should have seen us in action two days ago. We were a sight to see! We’ll be ready, sir. When do you want us?
    Share this quote

  • HoosierGrampy

    Say what?

  • JJ

    He wanted to be closer to home…He is. He’s also going to start there when eligible come 2nd semester. It’s not all about the basketball.

  • Outoftheloop


  • Outoftheloop

    Devin Davis and Stan Robinson are our best defenders. We shall see if any freshmen take the challenge.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    IUJeff…I agree with you and would add that perhaps YF should be put on the weak side and be a finisher…someone else should facilitate and run the point.

  • Outoftheloop

    I like your starters. With a deep bench: Stan and Robert as virtual starters, Max as the first off of the bench, then Jeremiah (5), Tim (4), Collin (3-4), and Nick (3-2) as the game dictates (sorry no walk-ons).

  • Outoftheloop

    Last year we should have beaten NW, PSU, Purdue and IL in the tourney. That would have been 20 + 1 wins, and no shame! Neither the players nor the coaches rose to the occasion.

  • Outoftheloop

    Do not waste Devin forcing him to take minutes as a 5, he is very good as a 4! If you play him as a 5 everyone will say “he is just not good enough” when he is “very good”, he is just being forced to play out of position!

  • Outoftheloop

    A bad plan! Let Jeremiah sub for Hanner, that IS why we recruited him! We have to try it.

  • CreanFaithful

    Certainly Yogi needs to improve his assist/TO ratio, but that will be almost a given since he will be surrounded by a better scoring cast. Less need to force (TO’s) and players that can actually score the ball when he gets it to them (Assists). He will still take a lot of shots next year and the team will need him to.

  • CreanFaithful

    He will score AND facilitate. What is the issue here? I can’t stand the Yogi being selfish insinuations. PG’s that can score like Yogi are expected to do just that. Luckily, he will have some better pieces this year and that should boost the amount of quality attempts he gets vs last second forces.

  • Josh O’Brien

    What Kyle said. Rob’s defense was a big strength in high school.