The Inside the Hall Mailbag: June 30

  • 06/30/2016 11:28 am in

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.

@kyl470 on Twitter writes: Your website is 9 years old. Who are the 9 best IU players during that time?

Without going too in-depth because this answer could be 500 words easily if I explained each choice, here are my top nine, in no particular order: Eric Gordon, D.J. White, Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Noah Vonleh, Christian Watford, Yogi Ferrell, Jordan Hulls and Thomas Bryant.

Just on the outside of the top nine: Troy Williams, Will Sheehey, Verdell Jones and James Blackmon Jr. – Alex Bozich

CincyHoosier on the premium forum writes: Expectations are high for OG Anunoby – but are they too high, considering he did not play starter minutes (only five times played more than 17 minutes – though his three highest minute totals were at Iowa, vs. UM in the B1G tournament, and vs. UK in the NCAA)?

You make an interesting point in terms of Anunoby’s minutes and whether he can sustain his level of play in a larger role when more focus is being given to him by opposing defenses.

His defensive ability should be able to translate fine with more minutes, but can he maintain the level of offensive efficiency and expand his game further on that end? From everything I’ve heard about the offseason he’s having, I would lean towards buying a breakout season for Anunoby.

His shooting should continue to improve. The key areas where he needs to improve are in his ball handling and ability to create his own shot off the dribble. He has already proven himself to be a lockdown defender. With the depth on the roster, he’s probably looking at minutes somewhere in the range of 22-27 per game. Expectations are high, but I tend to believe Anunoby will meet them or least come close. – Alex Bozich

@BierUndTuba on Twitter writes: The philosophy of the offense will be way different without yogi. Are we looking at a Spurs offense with space and passing?

I’m not sure I would say that the philosophy will be a lot different, but the personnel will be. Tom Crean is still going to have plenty of shooting on the roster with Robert Johnson, Blackmon Jr., Curtis Jones, Collin Hartman, Juwan Morgan, Anunoby and others.

Indiana will once again build its offense around getting one of two things: 1. 3-point shots. 2. shots at the rim. When the Hoosiers are at their best, they’re pretty much avoiding the mid-range game and it’s a formula that works. There may be more of a focus on getting shots at the rim and in the paint and less 3s, but the overall scheme probably isn’t going to change too much.

I do agree that ball movement and spacing will be more important without Ferrell because he could get just about anywhere on the floor with the dribble and next year’s team won’t have a player who can operate like he did. – Alex Bozich

CampHoosier on the premium forum writes: What does your starting lineup look like currently? Which Freshman will see the most minutes?

Right now, here are my two guesses. The first is a three-guard set with Josh Newkirk, Robert Johnson and Blackmon Jr. along with Anunoby and Bryant.

The second is Johnson, Blackmon Jr., Hartman, Anunoby and Bryant.

I’d say Jones will probably see the most minutes of the freshman with De’Ron Davis right behind him. I’d also expect Devonte Green to carve out some minutes next season if he’s as good as advertised on the defensive end. – Alex Bozich

DKIU83 on the premium forum writes: Can you give us an update on recruiting for 2017?

Interesting you asked. We just launched a completely revamped recruiting board for 2017, which you can access here. There’s a breakdown of all of the top prospects that IU is recruiting for 2017 along with links to profiles for all of the top targets that include rankings and video. – Alex Bozich

ancphill on the premium forum writes: Were you surprised that both Troy and Yogi went undrafted? Now that both have gotten summer league opportunities, which do you think is more likely to find himself on an NBA roster at some point?

Not surprised at all. When you get into the second round, it’s a complete crapshoot in terms of what teams will do. Perhaps both players could have been drafted had they agreed to go to the D-League for a year, but didn’t want to go that route until other options were explored.

In a lot of cases, as Jay Bilas explained before the draft, it’s better to not get picked so you can pick your destination. Ferrell should have an excellent shot to make Brooklyn’s roster given its lack of guards and the fact that the Nets are in the midst of a major rebuild. Williams, even if he doesn’t make the team in Phoenix, may still be able to land a partially guaranteed deal somewhere if he agrees to play in the D-League for a season. Of the two, I definitely view Ferrell as a better bet right now because of the situation in Brooklyn. – Alex Bozich

@Kev_B1988 on Twitter writes: Is focusing on east coast players/relationships (i.e., Virginia) inhibiting our ability to recruit top in-state players?

Indiana targets the best in-state players early in every class, but with fewer kids deciding early, it’s tough to just focus on recruiting the state. A wider net has to be cast, period.

If Indiana offers a kid a scholarship as a freshman or sophomore, watches them diligently during the high school and AAU season and hosts them on multiple unofficial visits and the kid still opts to let the process play out, the coaching staff has to cover their bases by looking at other prospects. That’s how the recruiting game works and most recruits understand this.

When you get later in the process of recruiting a class and it gets down to crunch time in terms of filling a need, it’s a tricky proposition to put all of your eggs in one basket. If you take a risk and get burned by going all-in on a kid, you can be left with nothing. Certainly the staff has a feeling in terms of which direction a particular situation is heading or where things stand, but you can never be sure as we saw with Trey Lyles. – Alex Bozich

GregorySpera on the premium forum writes: De’Ron Davis… more minutes at power forward NEXT TO Thomas Bryant or at center as Bryant’s back-up?

More minutes as Bryant’s back-up is my guess. Look at the other frontcourt players on the roster: Anunoby, Juwan Morgan, Hartman. All of those guys can and will be able to guard fours on other teams, but not necessarily be able to guard a five in every situation (see Haas, Isaac).

Davis should be able to guard fours or fives and while I do foresee times when he will play with Bryant, I would guess that he’ll be on the floor without Bryant more often than he will with him. – Alex Bozich

@clearcreekdavid on Twitter writes: How worrisome is it that Davis and McSwain are missing the bulk of the summer? Behind on conditioning, acclimating to culture.

It’s obviously not ideal, but the circumstances are what they are, so I’m sure the players and the coaching staff will make the best of it.

Davis should be on campus soon and McSwain is expected in August and it’s my understanding that both have been in regular communication with Lyonel Anderson to get workouts to do on their own. It’s obviously not the same as being there and building camaraderie with teammates and getting a chance to workout with the coaching staff.

However, if you look back at the summer of 2014, Indiana added Emmitt Holt after the Montreal trip and he was contributing by early December. – Alex Bozich

Coop_ThereItIs on the premium forum writes: Status of the renovations of AH? Any behind the scenes pictures?

On schedule for an October 14 dedication ceremony is the latest information Fred Glass provided earlier in the month. (If you missed those comments, they are available here.)

If you venture over to the photo galleries on the, you can view photos from as recently as June 10. – Alex Bozich

cdub76 on the premium forum writes: Which freshman needs to have the biggest impact?

My pick would be Jones because Indiana has questions to answer in the backcourt. Both Blackmon Jr. and Johnson are returning from injury and Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft and Harrison Niego are gone.

Newkirk also arrives, but he is coming back from an injury and sitting out a season. He’s been talked about favorably by multiple people close to program dating back to earlier in the year, but he didn’t exactly light things up as a sophomore at Pittsburgh.

Jones arrives with the ability to play both guard spots and is an above-average shooter and scorer. He appears as if he’s going to be able to carve out a pretty nice role and potentially more depending on how others around him perform. The biggest part is the shooting because IU lost so much there. Davis will be important, too, because of his shot blocking and rebounding, but the Hoosiers need 3-point shooting to be effective and Jones should bring that. For that reason, I’d rank him as the bigger “need” to have an impact of the two prized freshmen. – Alex Bozich

Filed to:

  • Arch Puddington

    b_side thinks the same as you about the “two bad teams” comment. I will admit I am surprised. Given the epic collapse at the end of that season, the historically bad defense, and a string of off-the-court problems, I count that year among the worst of my years as an IU fan.

  • Bill Graham

    Thats fair. Its hard to say which is more valuable though. One side of me likes the 4 year guys even if they aren’t as spectacular. There’s just an ease of mind that comes with having seniors on the floor usually fewer turnovers, they take charges, and don’t get wild (especially in crunch time)…But like you noted…Every program needs those 1 or 2 year guys to make that crazy game saving blocks or plays.

  • Bill Graham

    Thats a foul on Clyde for speaking in a foreign language. Nigel Hayes shooting 2.

  • Exactly. Morgan, Hartman, and OG will all sufficiently fill the 4 spot. DD will be needed more as TB’s backup. I see no way around this.

  • Arch Puddington

    I think we agree more that we disagree. Unless you are Calipari or Coach K, your program has to have guys who stick around. I’m not knocking Yogi at all, just placing him at a slightly different level than you are. Without him, we don’t win this year’s B1G, so he gets as much credit as any one player can for that great accomplishment.

  • Arch Puddington

    I will say this for the Pritchmeister: his put-back dunk against Minnesota is an all-time IU highlight. He deserves consideration on this list for that play alone.

  • to “play alongside” might not mean playing on the floor at the same time in game situations. It could more vaguely refer to simply being on the same team, being teammates with a future All-American and lottery pick. More significantly, it probably also means practicing against him on a daily basis. That to me would be the biggest draw: top talent to go up against each and every day, to make the said recruit a better player.

  • ForeverIU

    It means that once he comes off the bench, he won’t be back on the bench any time soon!

  • Gotcha. I think he definitely doesn’t start, but will also definitely be playing significant minutes right away. Especially if Bryant has an off-night, foul trouble, or gets dinged up somehow.

  • SilentBob

    I too expect him to have a great offensive season if he can stay healthy. However, he was a poor defender before this injury, I don’t expect it made him any better. Perhaps we can hide that better than years past, but again it’s all assuming he stays healthy.

    I like CuJos ceiling, I think it’s the highest of any guard currently on the team. Now when he really starts reaching for it, and pass them, I have no clue. But I’m excited for his career.

  • Hayes is a punk and OG’s gonna reduce his ego again this season. Can’t wait.

  • Arch Puddington

    I’m more worried about Happ than Hayes….

  • I definitely won’t say it was a good year, but more frustrating than “bad.” Very roller-coastery and at least a positive step towards improving the program…i.e., all of that got flushed out of the system and things look much better now. Gradual progress is better than total failure, I guess is my point.

  • ForeverIU

    You might be right, but it isn’t my reading. Why would he get less playing time than Troy did his freshman year (21.5 mins) or Rob in his freshman year (27 mins)? And here’s more from ITH: “Davis has been at the top of Indiana’s class of 2016 recruiting board for quite some time as the Hoosiers prioritized him early and followed through until the end. According to his coach, the Hoosiers have pitched him on playing a major role in the front court and the possibility of playing alongside a McDonald’s All-American like Thomas Bryant is something that intrigues Davis.”

  • Ha, was going to mention the same. It’s on youtube still, I believe.

  • Quick question: why is McSwain not arriving until late summer? I expected that he was already in Bloomington, or would be very soon. This is unfortunate news, in my opinion. He needs to start working on b-ball skills and gelling with the team, pronto. Crap.

  • Ole Man

    Has a class to finish.

  • Ole Man

    I bet CTC runs out 11 or 12 players that game.
    IU loses.
    And the open forum calls for his head!

  • ForeverIU

    Are you licking your chops already Ole Man? LOL.

  • Outoftheloop

    IU lost a pretty tight game to a very good Wichita St team that went on to beat KS in a bragging rights game. How is that bad? Not great, sure. Bad never!

  • I am Baby Cakes

    Not worried about McSwain. He won’t play much either way. De’Ron should be fine but this team can’t have the same start it did last year and get destroyed by Kansas, UNC and UofL.

  • HardRockHoosier

    Not really sure that translates well to a basketball scenario. just sayin’. No wonder Cooper was such a mediocre coach at OSU..

  • HardRockHoosier

    Might as well throw in Luke also… I guess he’d also be responsible for that… idiotic…

  • HardRockHoosier

    It was reported on here quite a long time ago.. he has some class work to finish up before he can leave there.. So, it is not an option for him to be here before August 19th I believe it is…

  • BL4IU

    Man, I hope not. Absolutely rofl.

  • Arch Puddington

    “How is that bad?”

    As I’ve said on multiple occasions in this thread, this is all in the eye of the beholder. I thought that season was a disaster on and off the court, and I have offered multiple, detailed reasons for why I think so. You don’t have to agree, and I’m not trying to convince you.

  • BL4IU

    Be nice to see DD play a game or two before opining but as a 6’10 top 50 PF, regardless how TB plays, wouldn’t we expect to see him play both 4 and 5 and therefore maybe 15 minutes per game? Possibly 20 mpg if he exceeds expectation.

    Regarding CUJO, guessing big minutes will only come if RJ, JBJ or JN are on restricted minute plans due to injury.

  • BL4IU

    Could win all three, could lose all three but I don’t think they’ll get destroyed. Either way, barring injuries, expect them to be there when it counts the most.

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t get this logic of facile correlations. I could take the same situation and completely flip your conclusions. As in: we did make both post-season tournaments, thanks to Yogi. We still had a team, thanks to Yogi.

  • INexpat2001

    I have a higher threshold for “stud” than you do.

  • IUJeff

    I did not say he was fully responsible. But when there is obviously bad chemistry in the program, you can’t let the captain off the hook. I know he walks on water to most of you with the glasses on, but I am not fooled. I saw him flat out refuse to pass the ball, and multiple guys left. Remember how frustrated NV was at not getting the ball? Then the great “movement” came in. A class of over-hyped mal-contents that he was the leader of. And yes LF left because of the bad chemistry and partying was way out of hand. He was not made to feel welcome. Guys were not focused under his “leadership”. He was great at getting his, and even though he broke the all time assists record, I’ll never consider him an elite facilitator. It was me-first for most of his career here. End of story. Don’t let the door hitcha.

  • Koko

    I think your comment on McSwain not playing much is unfounded speculation, unless of course you have inside info of which you should share with the rest of us. If not then why don’t you let the boys play a few games before you decide who should play and who shouldn’t. Then of course you may more interested in speculative scenarios than actually observing game time situations.

  • TomJameson

    So, me-first Yogi becomes the IU assist leader (which you acknowledge). Those two just don’t go together, so since the assist leader is a fact, I’d just have to say your impression is incorrect.

    You seem to be just throwing a lot of crap around to see what sticks.

  • TomJameson

    IMO he got called on those phantom fouls because he wasn’t very smooth, or graceful. But according to all the reports I’ve seen, his footwork has been really been an emphasis for him thus far, and he looks more natural. Plus he’s not out of position as much.

    Reports may be a little exaggerated, but game-time we’ll all see. But being a hard worker who listens to the coaches, I’d bet that he’s going to be looking pretty smooth on the court.

  • Oldguyy

    So according to Arch, Ferrell was responsible for the fact that a team that was both the shortest in the B1G and the least-experienced in the B1G failed to win the B1G. Well, I guess he contributed to the shortness…

  • Bill Graham

    Wow Koko thats a bit harsh. I mean BC is never speculative. She is always supportive and well-researched….It’s weird because most of the time ITH either has trolls are cynics…the cynics don’t bother me so much b/c sometimes they support their negative opinions and it makes for some good banter….trolls are obviously very very very annoying. BC (in my opinion) is half troll-half cynic. She is our first “trynic”

  • Bill Graham

    My point with the minutes was not to degrade our 4’s. I’m just as excited to see O.G.’s transformation as the next guy…My point was simply to note that our guards are more experienced. Also, sidenote, I really like the idea of DD backing up TB. I see him playing Max’s role this year. 4-5 combo/ stretch rebounder.

  • Bill Graham

    UNC lost Paige and doubled-double machine Bryce Johnson. We lost Yogi and Troy but I’d argue our replacements are better than theirs. I’ll O.G. over Hicks any day.
    Kansas may very well be the best team in the country with Mason, Graham, Jackson, Bragg, and Azabuike not to mention their bench (which is better than most starting 5’s – Siv, Newman (ya they got him), Lucas, and Lightfoot. Kansas is my fav to win the whole thing next year and prob a loss for us…
    As for UofL they lost there top 3 scorers and they only have one recruit coming in (and yes VJ king is good) but we are better and deeper. We should win that one.

  • Arch Puddington

    “I don’t get this logic of facile correlations”

    I will just have to bravely press on, knowing that you find my correlations to be facile. I might be more troubled if you offered anything other than a superficial counterclaim, but you didn’t, so I’ll probably manage to look myself in the mirror again someday. And when I do, I’ll note that one does not “make” the B1G tournament…

  • Arch Puddington

    Sheesh. I specifically observed that it was not all Yogi’s fault, and I said nothing about not winning the B1G championship. I said that a team of which he was the unquestioned leader collapsed down the stretch, played the worst defense I have ever seen an IU team play, and that he was himself one of those who had off-court issues. If that does not detract from his legacy in your mind, so be it. It does in mine. Not sure why that is cause for such a pointed response; it’s just an opinion about basketball.

  • Koko

    I like “trynic”……I hope BC doesn’t block me.

  • Bill Graham

    Some people have a nemesis on ITH…I suppose BC is mine….

  • Bk39

    OG has the size to be a capable 5. So IU has at least Bryant, De’Ron and OG to play the 4-5.

  • weitrhino

    Hey! Why not Todd Jadlow? Huh?

  • weitrhino

    Oh. Not the last 29 years

  • IUJeff

    I think he could of easily had 20% more assists. Needed to be an elite facilitator at his size. Instead he had to lead in scoring 3 years AND dominate the ball. The NBA draft proves me right on that point.

    The rest, is what it is. The team this year looks the potential to have great chemistry.

  • IUJeff

    I’d call those good calls for more reasons than just getting them right. Time to field teams where at least the starters are well rounded ball players.

  • Ole Man

    No; but you know it could happen. LOL!

  • I am Baby Cakes

    UNC still returned 6 of their Top 8 scorers. Berry, Britt, Pinson, Jackson, Hicks and Meeks. They’re going to be good. It won’t be like 2012 when we destroyed them and they ended up being mediocre all year.
    Kansas will be very good. And they have depth down low. That’ll be a hell of a test for our bigs. Newman though can’t play til next year.
    Louisville is going to be good. Simply because of Pitino. They’re going to play defense. They’re going to be super athletic and big. More athletic , bigger and longer than we are by a far margin. I wouldn’t be surprised if we went 0-3.

  • Outoftheloop

    Of course it can and still hang a Banner! Isiah’s Banner year IU was killed by NC at The Hall. Later we destroyed NC on the way to a Championship! All you have to do is make the Tournament and finish the season 6-0!