Live Chat transcript

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Hope everyone is doing well.

Are you ready to get started?

JEREMY: Ready as I’m ever going to be this sunny Thursday morning. Let’s get to it.

DUSTIN: That we are, even though I’m starting more than a little late. Let’s get to it.

ANDY: Actually had the windows flung open and the AC off last night. Felt good. Crisp. Cool. Kinda like a good chat.

 

QUESTION: I say this win or loss, but the Number 1 seed should never have to be the road team in the baseball tournament and especially in the tie breaker game. Makes no sense.

 

That aside, to me IU did not play the last 2 games like the IU team I saw this year. More defensive mistakes, missed several key scoring opportunities and of course giving up key hits & runs late….too bad. your thoughts

 

charles, indy

JEREMY: charles,

I’m on board with you regarding the top seed as the home team, at least so long as it keeps winning. Now, once you fall into the loser’s bracket in double elimination, all bets are off. But why IU was the visitor in the Saturday game with Stanford, I don’t understand. Regardless, being the home team or not being the home team ultimately wasn’t the difference. The inability to hold a late lead two straight days was the culprit. But it seemed like the breaks just didn’t go IU’s way, or at least not as many as Stanford. Had there not been a rain delay in that final game, Korte might have gone five or six innings, setting up the rest of the game differently. But stuff happens, and that’s why baseball is baseball.

DUSTIN: Charles,

That’s true, but that also had something to do with the opponent which from a talent standpoint, was the best team they played at Bart Kaufman Field this year. Obviously, you’d argue Louisville, but they played Louisville mid-week which meant they avoided Kyle Funkhouser so they didn’t see Louisville at their strongest. And from a pure lineup standpoint, I take Stanford over Louisville. I don’t know that Indiana had a lot of defensive mistakes so much as they failed to field a couple of really hard hit balls. It’s a “physical error” as opposed to a mental error. And missing key scoring opportunities had something to do with the fact that it’s really hard to get a hit off Cal Quantrill or A.J. Vanegas or Marcus Brakeman. Scott Effross and Jake Kelzer made good pitches and good hitters hit them. Those guys are no joke and it’s obvious they’re better than their record indicates. It wasn’t Indiana’s best game by any stretch, but I didn’t get the impression their heads were out of it. I got the impression that a really good team made it hard on them.

ANDY: Charles:

 

Wasn’t at The Bart, since I was covering high school sectional play, but picked up the radio broadcast of the last game just this side of Columbus on my way back from St. Leon and listened to the final couple of innings. It was exciting, then pretty brutal from an IU point of view. But baseball is a little different from, say, football. There are far more vagaries, more variables beyond physical superiority.

 

Stanford was an absolutely legit opponent and this was the equivalent of a short series, a three-game contest. Generally, from what I gather, IU played well but things just didn’t break its way. Stanford didn’t hit that many homers this season, but did when it really needed to over the last couple of games. Effross hadn’t given up a homer all season. It’s just baseball.

 

As to having the home team be the visitor after the first elimination game, I have no issue with that. IU had the final at-bat in the previous game, and still had the home crowd. I don’t mind the system evening things out a bit for the lower-seeded team once that team has already won some elimination games to earn another shot.

QUESTION: What a great season for the baseball team and a stunning ending but could not be more proud of the team. I am indeed one of the people who bought into baseball middle of last year but have to say I am hooked now. It�s kind of like Butler�s title runs. They have not duplicated them but they at least established a blue print and are on the sports map as a relevant team in Indy instead of being an afterthought regardless. People will go to IU baseball games and team will CONTINUE to be relevant and on peoples minds as long as they remain reasonably competitive like Butler.

 

Just 2 questions:

1. Even though it is NOT AT ALL the REASON IU lost, the NCAA needs to seriously re-consider how they decide who the �Home� team is in these tourneys in terms of who gets last at bats. I don�t have a huge problem with alternating but at least for the last 2 games of the series like IU had against Stanford, let the higher seed decide if they want to be home for the 1st or if necessary 2nd game instead of having pre-determined formula. There doesn�t seem to be enough reward for being a higher seed in that respect and in Supers its coin flipped instead 2 out of 3 for higher seed. There needs to be some more incentive for having last at bats more often as higher seed. Is this something you guys could do a story with the NCAA about now that summer is here, because this seems to have struck a nerve with a lot of fans not just at IU, but higher seeds everywhere as I read other team�s message boards?

 

2. My next point relates to my opening thought and asks how IU avoids becoming the Purdue of 2 years ago? While I fully expect a drop off next year to 5-10 games over .500 and mid pack Big 10 team, how do you not free fall to last place like Purdue did the last 2 seasons with all its losses and instead reload into a contender in 2-3 years? I fully trust Tracy Smith and he is the best thing that�s happened to IU baseball but Doug Schreiber did a nice job to and now has fallen off the earth at Purdue and has a team going nowhere for a while? As my first point said as long as team has the level of play they did 2008-2012 they�ll remain relevant and fans will go but they CANNOT become the pre 2008 era again (I know I said I didn�t go till last year but have since read up on history of team) or recent Purdue team or IU will go back to being an afterthought.

 

Lastly thanks for the great coverage this yr.

 

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

1. See the above regarding the home team. While I mostly agree with you, I can also see the flip side when it comes to the NCAA Tournament since it’s rather subjective as to who deserves a higher seed and hosting honors. However, in the case of the Big Ten Tournament, it made little sense to me that IU was so rarely the home team despite being the top seed. That said, it’s as much an advantage just to be playing in the comforts of your home ballpark as it is to be the home team. The Hoosiers just didn’t get the job done this time, which maybe should help folks appreciate what last year’s team did in getting to Omaha, which is just not a very easy thing to do.

 

2. I believe we had a similar question a couple weeks ago, and it’s a valid concern. But I think the combination of coaching, facilities and a foot in more doors recruiting after reaching the College World Series goes a long way to avoiding a complete collapse. As good as Purdue was, it didn’t come close to Omaha.

 

Also, the key to maintaining any competitive team is pitching, and at the moment IU looks well-stocked in that regard.

DUSTIN: Darren,

I might. I mean, I get the point. They look at NCAA Tournament as neutral territory, and the simple fact that you’re hosting the game is your reward for your record. But obviously a lot of people are displeased about this, and it’s worth looking into.

2. Obviously, as Tracy Smith said in yesterday’s paper, it just comes down to recruiting. That’s super obvious. For whatever reason, Purdue didn’t keep getting players. Of course, Purdue also didn’t go to the College World Series and didn’t get the same kind of national exposure as Indiana even though they had a great season. They have to turn their success into good players and those guys have to pick off where Schwarber, Travis, DeMuth, DeNato etc. left off. And not only do they have to get good players, but they have to make sure those good players don’t sign if they’re drafted out of high school. The Hoosiers are bringing in two legitimate left-handed power bats in Logan Sowers and Josh Ockimey who might get looks from major league teams. If they enroll at Indiana, the Hoosiers will only lose so much in the middle of the order. If they don’t, IU might be devastated. They just need to get players.

ANDY: Darren:

 

Agree that the Butler basketball analogy seems a good one. Dustin made the same general observation when we were discussing things in the office yesterday.

 

1. As I noted in a previous response, I have no issue with the playing field being balanced a bit for the lower-seeded team once it has survived multiple elimination games and earned yet another shot at the top seed. IU had the last at-bat the previous game and still had the home crowd. But I also have no issue with your idea of giving the home team the option of choosing either the penultimate or ultimate game to have a final at-bat.

 

2. I think pitching is the key, and IU on-paper looks like it will have enough of that to avoid a precipitous fall. If Scott Donley returns, especially, then I think the offense should prove competitive, while obviously not constitutng quite the sort of superb attack we’ve seen over the past couple of seasons. And one never knows exactly what capacity lurks in players we’ve yet to see. Schwarber and Travis weren’t especially highly-recruited nationally out of high school. IU might well never seen their like again, and certainly having two hitters of that caliber simultaneously is rare, but some young guys might surface who prove pretty capable at the plate. I think Skip will field a competitive B1G team.

QUESTION: I am sorry to see the Baseball team’s loss and its great how much the program has gone up. For years Pre 2008 IU would draw that 50-100 people as you keep referencing but last couple years of Sembower crowds were up to 300-500. While it was up 5-10 times at Bart Kaufman Field and the regular 2,000+ drawing was awesome its a little exaggerated to say they drew 50-100 people at the end of the Sembower era. Something you didnt even mention is that Sembower Field was free and Bart Kaufman charges $5 admission so to see the crowds increase 5-10 times is especially impressive with that fact.

 

On a different note I am very glad to see IU add Georgetown to the schedule and to have SMU, Louisville, Georgetown, Butler and Pitt on schedule is such a massive upgrade from the past its not even funny. Its also a nice mix to have 2 at home 2 on the road in a neutral site in New York and 1 nearby in Indy. One of my main complaints with Crean was his scheduling and clearly he was being serious when he said he was going to upgrade it and I’m so glad to see it! What inspired the awesome sudden change? Looks like future years are great as well with Maui etc the following year!

 

Mike, Seymour

JEREMY: Mike,

Baseball has indeed come a long way by any measure.

 

As for the basketball schedule, this is indeed an upgrade in terms of the number of elite games on the docket. And I think five high-caliber games is an appropriate number. I think there’s still some room for improvement with the remainder of the non-conference schedule, not that you need more high-major games, but a few less games against the Lamars and Samfords of the world might be more beneficial as well. Regardless, you wanted a better schedule, you got it. Now IU has to find a way to win two or three of those games to make it pay off.

DUSTIN: Mike,

Per Crean’s explanation � and this was his explanation last year � Indiana wasn’t necessarily trying to create as bad a schedule as they had last year. A big part of the reason that a lot of things didn’t work out last year was because they had to keep a lot of dates open for things they were working on this year (the Jimmy V Classic, the exempt tournament with SMU, this Georgetown thing) and that meant they couldn’t schedule just straight home-and-homes where they would’ve had a home game last year and a road game this year because they were already going to have a number of events out of Assembly Hall and they want a minimum of 20 home games in a given year for revenue purposes. It also didn’t help that the 2K Sports Classic really only produced one daunting opponent in UConn. They might have been a little more willing to take on challenges this year because they caught so much heat last year, but even at the time, Crean was saying that there was a lot going on for future seasons that created conflicts for scheduling last year.

ANDY: Mike:

 

Concur. According to CTC’s comments, some of the games scheduled so far for this upcoming season were discussed earlier but just didn’t pan out till now (he specified Louisville in that regard.) He also said that IU felt compelled to turn down the newly-arranged annual pre-conference double-header ruckus arranged for UK, UCLA, North Carolina and Ohio State (with OSU taking IU’s spot) because the dates conflicted with the Crossroads Classic, which the Hoosiers want to continue. Some might prefer the national glitz of the other tournament, which is admittedly alluring and potentially beneficial in several respects, but I also like the notion of always playing either Notre Dame or Butler, and having Purdue join in at the Classic. Call me old-fashioned, but that event gets me in touch with my Inner Hoosier, and I’m glad to hear IU wants to help preserve it. Plus I’m never automatically averse to the notion of turning down a Calipari-generated proposal.

QUESTION: I understand that IU and the Big 10 are shifting East. IU has always had a large portion of the student enrollment from NY and NJ. I just don’t understand why Crean feels he must have an East Coast assistant coach rather than having a coach that is really connected to the midwest coaches. I just feel that players from around here understand the game better and it shows in our team fundamentals that past few years. I am not that excited about the resume the new assistant we are hiring has.

 

Any chance, that instead he brings back Bernie S with his impending release? Not that I am favor of this?

 

logan, indianapolis

JEREMY: logan,

I think Crean sees diversity as part of the plan. Tim Buckley is well plugged in to Indiana and the Midwest, Steve McClain is more in touch with the Plains/Southwest area and the third guy has in the past been plugged in to the South, DMV and now, apparently, New York.

 

Unless there are still issues with the hiring of Chuck Martin, the returns of Bennie Seltzer is not going to happen. And even if the door was open, it can be kind of awkward for a guy like Seltzer to return, especially if he finds himself with a different role on the staff than before.

DUSTIN: Logan,

Well, for one thing, he didn’t even confirm the Chuck Martin thing, so I’m not sure if that’s an HR thing that they’re still waiting on approval. But I think the counter argument would be that Indiana already has the midwest covered with Tim Buckley. Tim Buckley knows everybody in the state, and everybody in the state likes Tim Buckley. So you could make the argument � and I’m sure it is Crean’s argument � that if you already have someone with in-state connections, why be redundant? Why not look for someone who brings you different connections than the ones you already have?

Now, there is a counterargument that says that moving East-ward at all makes the in-state coaches and players feel disrespected and therefore costs you players in the state, and that even if they like Buckley � which, again, as far as I can tell they all do � they’ll feel turned off by the general direction of the program and convince their players not to go to Indiana. I don’t know whether that’s happening or to what degree, but it is a risk you run. Plus, I’m sure the fan base would rather have a coach they know, and preferably a Bob Knight-era player. So those are considerations. But I’m sure the base point is, if you already have one coach who knows everybody in the state, why not take another assistant who knows everybody somewhere else.

Not sure whether Seltzer would be a consideration or not. I think that ended well enough that Crean would take him back, and maybe that’s why he hasn’t confirmed Martin yet. Who knows?

ANDY: logan:

 

I’m not that hung up on perceived regional strengths, though I don’t disagree that Indiana prep players tend to be well-schooled fundamentally. But I think it behooves IU to also have an East Coast footprint given current realities, including from a recruiting angle. I wouldn’t mind attracting, say, the occasional Victor Oladipo, Noah Vonleh or Troy Williams. And I would think that CTC, Tim Buckley and others would have developed enough contacts with Indiana/Midwestern high school and AAU programs that there was not necessarily a pressing need in that regard.

 

If Martin is the hire, suffice to say I’m not exactly entirely thrilled to see the advent of a Calipari accolyte if I’m an IU partisan. He was on the Memphis staff when that NCAA tournament run ended up vacated and was reportedly involved in the Derrick Rose recruitment, though I know of zero allegations of any misconduct on the part of Martin himself. But he deserves a chance to prove himself here, if he is the hire, with no prejudgments. And for the purity police among IU fans out there, I might remind them that RMK routinely hired guys such as Norm Ellenberger and Tates Locke, who had previous transgressions but then served with some distinction in a clean program when they got here. The head coach tends to set that tone and calls those shots.

 

Seltzer’s reported release at Samford is interesting in terms of timing, at least, but I don’t know that it’s germane to the IU hire.

QUESTION: I saw where Bennie Seltzer may part ways with Samford University. I know him personally and I wish him well. He was good for Indiana basketball and a class act. Here are my two questions.

 

1) Seems like assistant coaches are on a carousel. I would imagine a lot of these guys are looking for head coaching positions as well as trying to get with the better basketball programs. Would it be totally politically incorrect to (hint) rehire an assistant coach who left on good terms if the interest was there?

 

2) There are a number of women in college basketball who are very good head coaches. I watched some of them in the women’s tournament last season and they were fantastic with their game management and knowledge of the game. I am careful to ask this question because I don’t want to get political because I am not a politician. I am just a huge basketball fan who has a love for the game. Do you know if women are applying for assistant or head coaching positions in the men’s programs?

 

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

JEREMY: indianavelt,

Multiple reports say Samford and Seltzer are parting ways after just two seasons, but five of the team’s top six scorers have transferred since the end of the season and 14 overall in the two years, so not sure what’s going on there.

 

1. Assistant coaches are definitely on a carousel, which is unsurprising given the carousel head coaches are on. Everybody’s looking for a higher rung on the ladder, and/or a ship that doesn’t have a leak. As mentioned above, it would seem all the wheels are already in motion for Chuck Martin as the new assistant, so I don’t think Seltzer returning is realistic or necessarily the fit it was a few years ago.

 

2. You are right about there being some very talented women’s head coaches. But what’s interesting is that even head coaches who are women are dwindling, even in women’s basketball. In Division I, just 62.9 percent of the head coaches are women, an all-time low.

 

Given that fact, it’s not unsurprising that women are generally nowhere to be found in men’s basketball. Whether they are applying or not, I don’t know.

DUSTIN: Hey Indianavelt,

1. Definitely would not be politically incorrect, at the risk of being double negative there. Assistants go back to their old bosses a good bit, sometimes in higher positions. As a coach, you like having guys you trust. Now, not all assistants want to go back and work for the same guy again after their head coaching prospects turn south and I’m not sure going back to Indiana is the right next move for Seltzer. But there are no unwritten rules that say you aren’t supposed to do that.

2. I don’t know, actually, and I just read Seth Davis’s story on the hiring of Jimmy Dykes to coach the women’s basketballl team at Arkansas, which says that women are upset that too many of the jobs in the women’s game are now going to men, which is limiting opportunities for women. I imagine women do apply, but I don’t imagine they get very far at the moment. A lot of barriers would still have to be broken in that regard. It does happen in high schools from time to time. When I was in high school in western Pa., a woman named Carol Gelet took over as head coach at a small school called Clairton, and I think she led them to a WPIAL title. So it’s happened at that level. I imagine you’d see it happen at a Division III school first and Division I eventually, but it’s going to be a gradual thing.

ANDY: indianavelt:

 

Agree on Bennie Seltzer. Always seemed like a good guy.

 

1. Don’t disagree with the notion at all. I don’t mind some continuity and familiarity.

 

2. Interesting question and I don’t know the answer. I’d be surprised if it isn’t happening in terms of applications, at least to some degree, and it should happen. But right now I’m not sure if enough female coaches are surfacing and/or getting hired even in the women’s game. IU grad and legendary Stanford mentor Tara VanDerveer knows and likes former Kentucky men’s assistant and ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes, but still termed his recent hiring as the Arkansas women’s coach “depressing.” Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis recently cited a study by Brooklyn College professors stipulating that in 1972, the year Title IX was signed into law, more than 90 percent of women’s college teams were coached by women. Six years later, that number had shrunk to 58.2 percent. And between 2000 and 2012, when there were more than 2,000 coaching jobs created in women’s athletics, nearly two-thirds were filled by men.

QUESTION: Good morning guys, I hope all is well. I won’t pretend to be a devoted fan of IU baseball but I did watch some games the past couple of seasons and followed your excellent coverage and it seemed like a really good bunch of guys that was easy to root for. I know they are disappointed with the ending but it was a pair of seasons to be proud of. My questions didn’t make the cut last week but I had some stats on Tevin Coleman’s ability and I think he is extremely under-appreciated by pretty much everyone outside of Bloomington. I think he is the most explosive RB in the conference and I am looking to him having an outstanding season. Anyway, on to the questions…

 

1. Scheduling a neutral site game against Georgetown makes a lot of sense and it should be a good contest between two potential bubble teams. The game is just one more opportunity to do something IU is apparently very interested in, gaining exposure in New York. With the supposed hire of Chuck Martin, the games against Louisville and Georgetown in the Garden and previous trips to New York, it’s clear that Tom Crean is very interested in gaining a strong foothold in NYC. Do you think it’s wise to spend so many resources (games, time, effort) in that market?

 

2. About 3 or 4 months ago, some photos of a few more IU football helmet designs circulated on Twitter. They were never confirmed to actually from IU Athletics or to be a part of the already large rotation of uniform options for IU Football. Has anything else been said about those additional designs and do you know if IU plans to continue with the multiple helmet/uniform combinations they had last season?

 

Thanks for your great baseball coverage and I hope you are able to take a week or two and relax before football ramps up, it’s been a great year of coverage and you guys have earned it. God bless and go Hoosiers.

 

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,

1. Well, regardless of the recruiting exposure of playing in New York, any game played at Madison Square Garden means national televison, and that’s exposure that can’t be beat, especially between Christmas and New Year’s when the number of quality games is usually rather low. So the Georgetown game is coup on all fronts, as far as that goes.

 

And with the Big Ten also expanding its influence into the New York market, it only makes sense to follow that up to a certain extent. If IU is indeed to regain a place among college basketball’s elite, it is going to be hunting for elite talent, some of which is found in the New York/New Jersey area.

 

2. Football dudes …

DUSTIN: TJ,

1. Maybe, maybe not. It’s one of those things we might not know the true effect of for years. Obviously, if you’re going to recruit that area � and there’s a lot of talent there � you have to do things like that that help you secure players. Players want their families to be able to see them play at least a few times in their four-year period in college, and if you can tell parents of East Coast kids � not just New York � that you try to play at Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center whenever you can, that plays well. Even for the D.C. kids, it’s not a very long train ride or car trip. The counter argument, as I said earlier, is that if you put in a lot of resources out East, the Indiana coaches and the Indiana kids feel disrespected and you lose those guys. Now, I don’t know if that’s happened at all, and I certainly don’t think it’s happened in the 2013 or 2014 classes, because the Indiana kids they didn’t get from there (Zak Irvin, Trey Lyles, Trevon Bluiett, Jaquan Lyle, etc.) didn’t go to IU for reasons entirely unrelated to that. But it could cost them somebody in the long run. It is, though, a very fertile recruiting ground, and if you’re not going to invest in it, you’re just as well not recruiting there at all.

2. Haven’t heard anything about the helmets, and really wouldn’t be surprised at anything from them at this point. We’ll check into that, though.

Thanks as always TJ.

ANDY: TJ:

 

The guys who run the excellent ESPN blog on B1G football share your take on Coleman. I think he’s made an impression at the league level, if not yet nationally.

 

1. I think that is the direction (literally) the league is heading and, yes, I believe it bohooves the Hoosiers to have a footprint there. IU already has a major alumni presence on the east coast, with plenty of current students also hailing from that area, and it obviously constitutes a rich recruiting market, though an extremely competitive one. I think the Hoosiers will always have an Indiana/Midwestern recruiting base, but augmenting that with periodic Oladipos, Vonlehs, Williamses, Johnsons, etc., seems a good development to me.

 

2. Pretty sure those were just mock-ups and were not, at that point anyhow, official IU helmet options. That isn’t saying Indiana won’t tweak its helmet options further at some point, or won’t ever incorporate some of those ideas. But when I checked on it, at that point a few months back, those were just idea-stage designs that were not yet designated for use. As for uniform options, other than the helmets IU hasn’t altered its basic sets. And, frankly, I wish the Hoosiers would a bit (and, in a perpetual lament, I wish adidas would supply IU football with jerseys and trim that is the actual school color — crimson. Alabama and Oklahoma, Nike schools, don’t seem to have an issue getting the right color for their jerseys.)

 

Dustin’s baseball coverage? He’s the best IU beat writer we’ve ever had. Just sayin’.

 

Thanks, TJ.

QUESTION: OSD is back in the house. It has been a little cold up here in the land God forgot. I had to turn on the furnace at the palatial OSD estate last night. Geez! Well onto the two questions for this week.

 

First what do you boys know about this jasper they hired as the assistant coach? I mean (this is part of same question) is he any good, can he recruit, what up as the youngens� say.

 

Question 2- So do you agree that CTC is not in top 50 in X�s and O�s in country like poll found. I mean for the love of God Tubby Smith is #40 and Archie (I am still in diapers) Miller with only 2 years� experience is #26. If CTC is not in top 50 and I don�t think he is then we are in pitiful shape. Heck Knight could come back and be in top 50.

 

Well no more questions but I did see that PJ is still not healthy. Not sayin anything else but……

 

The Dude is packing it in for another week. But do hate the 2 question limit. You boys have a good weekend. The Dude and the Mrs. Are going back to God�s Country (Logansport/Lake Cicott, IN) this week to visit best friend from high school (Purdue, White Sox & Bears Fan, but otherwise okay) his wife and my sister. Always nice to be back home.

The Dude is off with a hearty hi-o IU!

 

 

Old Sports Dude, Crown Point

JEREMY: OSD,

1. Well, I’m hardly a Chuck Martin expert, but all indications are he is well-known in recruiting circles and well-liked to boot. Beyond that, we’ll see.

 

2. A little clarification first. ESPN’s ranking of the top 50 coaches was not on X’s and O’s. It was just a ranking of coaches. Now, I have not gone through the list with a fine tooth comb, but the fact Crean is not on the list is not a complete shock. There are basically two things that get you on that list � what you’ve done lately and what your long-term resume/respect factor is. That explains a Tubby Smith and Archie Miller. Is Smith in the top 50 now? I don’t think so.

 

But back to Crean. His high-water mark was the Final Four with Marquette over a decade ago. And his most recent season was less than stellar. That said, he’s had as much if not more success than some of the other coaches that did make the cut. All that said, I think you could make a case for and against, but not sure it really matters either way.

 

Later, Dude.

DUSTIN: OSD,

1. From what I can tell he’s a pretty good recruiter. Obviously didn’t win as a head coach at Marist. Has connections to John Calipari, which I can’t imagine you’d be thrilled about. That’s about all I know.

2. I mean, I really don’t know. I don’t know what the criteria was, and I’m not around the top 50 coaches enough to know what they do better than he does. It was a poll. The poll didn’t “find” anything. It expressed the opinions of 100 people. It’s not like one of those polls like “who will you vote for in the upcoming election” that has a real functional purpose. But it’s interesting to see how he’s viewed nationally and obviously, it’s not that great. Would point out that he was in the top 75, however.

ANDY: Dude:

 

Thou Continueth to Abideth.

 

Don’t know much about Coach Martin, other than things didn’t work out at Marist after he’d served for several seasons as a John Calipari assistant and that he seems to be well-liked among his peers. Can he recruit? Does he have good recruiting connections, especially out East? One would presume so, if CTC is willing to offer him this particular gig.

 

I am, as a mere scribe, hardly in position to determine who the Top 50 “Xs and Os” guys in college basketball are, and am not really interested in some bogus list folks called the “espn forecase panel” posted on the internet.

 

Going to Logansport? Give my best to Felix the Cat.

QUESTION: Where do you think Kyle Schwarber will be drafted tonight in the MLB draft? Have you heard any rumors from the Indiana side of things as to what teams are interested in him? Do you think he will be able to play catcher or left field at the major league level?

 

 

Jeff, Columbus

JEREMY: Jeff,

Reports I’ve seen would indicate Schwarber goes in the top 10. Dustin probably has studied the details a little more.

 

In my opinion, Schwarber winds up in left field. That’s in part because he has the athletic ability to do so and also because his bat is probably not that far from major league ready. His catching, on the other hand, probably has a bit more work to do, not that it’s out of the question. If a team wants his bat in the majors sooner than later, left field is probably the spot, though having a big bat at the catcher position is a luxury any team would love to have. Just my two cents.

DUSTIN: Talked to a scout about that this week. He works for an American League club with a pick near the bottom of the draft and he doesn’t expect Schwarber to be available when his team picks. CBS Sports.com actually has him going to the Chicago Cubs at No. 4. USA Today has him going No. 23 to the Tigers. I’ve seen him going to the Pittsburgh Pirates at No. 24 and a lot of other places in between. He might be the best college bat in the draft, although I don’t think he’ll go higher than Michael Conforto of Oregon State because Conforto is the better all-around player. he definitely won’t slip out of the first round.

I don’t know if he’ll be able to catch or not. Scouts are kind of 50-50 on that. Based on what I’m hearing, teams will let him at least try to catch when he starts his professional career, and if they decide from what they see then that he can’t do it then they’ll make a move. His bat is such that they’ll find a place for him. Left field is kind of an option � though he isn’t great there � but he could play first base as well. But have heard indications that he will at least have the chance to be a major league catcher.

ANDY: Jeff:

 

Saw a report last night that had Kyle projected at No. 4 to the Cubs (a fate I wouldn’t wish on anybody), but have seen him anywhere from there to around 20th, with most guesses around the 15-17 range. He’s pretty much a certain first-round pick, it seems, and I would certainly think that is fully merited. And it seems major league scouts are pretty evenly split as to whether or not he’ll catch or play outfield (or even end up at first base.)

QUESTION: I keep reading and hearing that Kyle Schwarber in the first round is a no-brainer. (One mock draft even had him as high as No. 4 to my Cubbies — I don’t see that, but would be cool). What are Sam Travis’ draft prospects?

 

 

Troy, Chicago

JEREMY: Troy,

Again, Dustin has probably studied the details, but sounds like Travis is a late first-round, early second-round pick.

DUSTIN: Sounds like Travis could go anywhere from the first compensatory round between the first and second rounds and the third round. Don’t see him lasting past there. He’s the no. 56 draft prospect according to Baseball America. His power doesn’t project to the same degree that Schwarber’s does and as great as he was at first base this year, clubs like their first basemen to be a little taller, but they love his approach at the plate and his toughness. He won’t last very long.

ANDY: Troy:

 

Saw that report about the top Cubbie pick, too, though Fergie Jenkins was on Olbermann last night and speculated that the Cubs should perhaps go pitching with that first pick. But, then again, he’s a pitcher. Dustin reported today that Baseball America has Sam Travis rated as the No. 56-best pick, which would put him in the middle of Round 2.

QUESTION: As an admittedly casual IU baseball fan, I was wondering how this team was built. Specifically did Tracy Smith change his recruiting approach in some way or did he just recruit a group of Oladipo-types (underrated HS athletes with great work ethic that blossomed into something more)?

 

Kelvin Sampson, Houston

JEREMY: Baseball dudes …

DUSTIN: If you were to draw a parallel between basketball and baseball recruiting that explains Smith’s philosophy, it’s that he generally looks for upside � guys who might not be complete products when they graduate high school, but have high ceilings because of their bodies. That’s why he recruits so many tall pitchers (Aaron Slegers, Evan Bell, Jake Kelzer, Ryan Halstead, Luke Harrison Christian Morris and Kyle Hart are all 6-4 or taller). He usually gets them skinny, but knows if they can put their mechanics together and put weight on, they can get it eventually. He likes to get a player with at least one “tool” that projects as major league quality. When it comes to position players, the five tools are power, the ability to hit for average, base running speed, defensive ability and arm strength. Even if a player might be deficient at four of the five, he’ll take a chance at a player who has one of them.

That’s how Smith was operating already. With this group, it just came together and he had a lot of luck. Specifically, his assistant coach Ty Neal guessed right in a lot of other occasions when others guessed wrong. Sam Travis almost committed to Central Michigan and was dealing with mostly offers from that level at the end of his junior year. Neal convinced him to take a visit to IU and he blew up as a senior to the point where he was drafted in the 40th round by the Cincinnati Reds. Kyle Schwarber didn’t get much attention and Smith might never have seen him if Fred Nori didn’t happen to live in Middletown, Ohio. Joey DeNato came through Smith’s San Diego friend Dom Johnson, and Smith needed to be convinced to take the 5-11 left-hander. Luke Harrison was about to commit to play soccer at DePauw, but Neal offered him a walk-on spot. Christian Morris lost all of his national attention when he blew out his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery, but Neal stuck with him. So a lot of things came together at once that wouldn’t be easy to duplicate.

ANDY: Your nom de plume needs revamping:

 

Good question, though. I don’t think Skip altered his approach. I think it’s more along the lines of your Oladipo-type scenario. Methinks he has a good eye for such prospects.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the questions we have time for today. Remember to keep up with the latest IU sports news on the Hoosier Scoop and Hoosier Scoop app, as well as following the HT staff on Twitter. Anything else to keep an eye on, guys?

JEREMY: The MLB Draft is tonight, tomorrow and Saturday, so plenty of IU guys should be finding new homes in the next couple of days. And the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games featuring James Blackmon Jr. are coming up. We’ll be on top of that, too. Thanks for joining us.

DUSTIN: Well, no IU games to cover for a while, and it’s a really weird feeling. But obviously, the Major League draft starts tonight. We’ll have that covered and we’ll also keep an eye on the NCAA Track Championships next week with five athletes going. Plus, we’ll see if this Chuck martin thing is really going to happen. Thanks everybody.

ANDY: Big in-state football commitment for IU’s 2015 class from Decatur Central quarterback Tommy Stevens. He is well-known by and well-connected with other prime Indianapolis-area prospects. A big get for Kevin Wilson and his staff. With camp season coming up shortly, we could well see more football commitments soon.

 

Enjoy the weather the next couple of days, guys. Thanks to all who chatted and/or checked in.

One comment

  1. Jooai juu not let recrute plajers from Sud America too plai, and not onlee Indiana jas good basqitbol plajers whu can be jeros like Haner Mosquito-Perea. An juai chanye besibol, eif juu bat last ju bat secon it is.

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