Live Chat Transcript

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat with Jeremy, Dustin and Andy. Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this July weather.

How are you today? Ready to get started?

JEREMY: I am completely on board with this July weather for as long as it lasts. Ready to roll.

DUSTIN: Doing well and enjoying my vacation back home in wild and wonderful North Huntingdon Township, Pennsylvania. Currently coming to you from my parent’s basement. Yes really. In seriousness, it’s been nice to get out of town for a few days and catchup with the hometown friends, but there will still be no skipping the chat. Let’s get to it.

ANDY: Am indeed enjoying this July weather, which isn’t true every July. It is chat-conducive.

QUESTION: Hey guys, hope all is well. I have been trying to keep up with all the new guys we are recruiting for 2015 and 2016. Coach Crean and his staff have been very busy. I hope all of the time and effort they are putting in pays off.

1) Not sure I agree with all of the recent additions to our basketball team. I understand the need to fill in the gaps, but I don’t think any of them will see a lot of playing time. Are these guys practice players or can one or two of them actually see any real playing time?

2) Our 2015 recruiting appears to be very aggressive. Lots of talent and high hopes for Indiana basketball. That 24/7 prediction site shows us as the current leader for some of them. But as we all know, these young guys are full of surprises. When we went after Noah, I never thought we had a chance get him to sign at Indiana. He did. Happy, happy Joy, joy. Thon Maker would be be off the charts for us. Do we have a legitimate chance to land him or any of the other guys in the 2015 class?

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

JEREMY: indianavelt,

I hope you have some dramamine handy for keeping up with all the IU recruiting targets, because motion sickness is guaranteed.

1. Sort of the million dollar question isn’t it? In my opinion, the one guy they really need to be able to give them 8-10 minutes a game out of the new guys is Jeremiah April. Now maybe once we see these guys on the floor, be it Hoosier Hysteria, exhibition, etc., we’ll have reason to expect more. For now, consider anything from these most recent three signees and/or the walk-ons as strictly a bonus.

2. Well, yeah, the recruiting’s aggressisve, but with the addition of Zeisloft, there’s currently only one available scholarship. Now, I have no doubt there will be attrition, be it NBA dreams or just personal preference, but it’s just almost impossible to get a clear picture of the future right now.

I’d say Thon Maker would certainly be quite the coup and a real longshot. Of course, it’s still unclear if Maker will reclassify to 2015 or stick with 2016. I also suppose how IU performs this season will go a long way to determining its viability with top players, particularly those waiting until spring to sign.

DUSTIN: Indianavelt,

1. Some of them are practice players, some of them aren’t. The ones that are practice players, or at least the ones that were picked up to be little more than that, don’t have scholarships. In that case I’m talking about Ryan Burton. Nick Zeisloft, though, is expected to play actual minutes. Not sure if signing him was the best long-term decision because he does have two years of eligibility and that ties up a scholarship for 2015, but he does give them a shooter and one who has actually had to make shots in a college game. As much emphasis as they put on that in recruiting the freshmen, they still had a combined nine made 3-pointers coming back from people not named Yogi Ferrell before they got Zeisloft, who hit 60. He’s a super-smart kid — finished a finance degree in three years — and seems like a mature dude, and considering the issues last year’s team had, they could use that. Don’t know if it was perfect strategy, but it works.

2. I can’t believe you threw a Ren and Stimpy reference in there. Anyway, it’s hard to tell with this 2015 class, because it seems like they’re sort of all over the place and they’re just going after everyone they can. I’m not sure who is realistic and who isn’t. Thon is still class of 2016 as far as I know, and it seems like Indiana is at least a legitimate part of the discussion. They’re just going to have to fight every powerhouse in the country (Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, etc.) to try to get him. So I’m not sure I like their odds, but they’ll be involved for a while.

ANDY: indianavelt:

1. Have to admit that the most recent additions strike me as more like the sort of players Coach Crean was recruting immediately after his Indiana advent — guys not necessarily highly sought by other major programs, but more taken out of real need. It certainly makes sense to add a guy such as April, let’s say, because of his height and his potential. I don’t perceive as much immediate rationale for adding a guy such as Zeisloft in a situation where he’s set to have a scholarship for two years, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t legit reasons to bring him in. Again, the coaches know a heck of a lot more about that than I do and it always best to reserve judgment until we see guys play here. Jeremy Hollowell was, say, a lot more highly regarded coming in than was, say, Will Sheehey.

2. Agree about Maker. What a player. The buzz surrounding his interest in IU maybe isn’t as overt as it was a few weeks ago, but that doesn’t mean anything one way or another. I don’t know how legit a chance the Hoosiers have with him, but they clearly were also making overtures to his 6-4 brother Malik that were well-received, too. It would be a major coup, because the competition for Thon is immense. But there are several big guys in that class IU is apparently in pretty well with, such as a pair of really good 6-9 players in T.J. Leaf (who has Indiana family ties) and De’Ron Davis from Colorado. It is also worth noting Tom Crean was reportedly the only major coach on hand when 6-9 Raymond Spalding, a 2015 guy out of Louisville, went 36-14-5 up in Indy last night.

QUESTION: OSD is in the house. Colder than blue blazes up here in NWI this morning. Is it really July? No that does not count as one of my two questions Dustin. Well on to the real questions.

First this kid from Illinois State. I realize we picked up 2 big guys this spring and have two big guy walk ons but do we really need another guard. I have read he will bring maturity and blah blah but … Yogi is a junior and the Robinson is a sophomore. This will give us 5 guards. What do you guys think about this pick up? Follow up: In regard to recruiting when does the open period begin this summer?

Second question: Have you guys talked to this new coach Chuck Martin and if so what are your impressions? Follow up: What responsibilities will he have as far as coaching and recruiting?

Well no big plans for this week except wife gone Sunday at a picnic so I guess I will have to watch my beloved Cubs and fall asleep in the process (no Andy not because they are boring but because I am old, you should understand). Can’t wait for the World Cup to be over Sunday (Jeremy I like Ann Coulter too). Pulling for the Germans. Hilarious they stomped Brazil.

As young kids say “Later Dudes” and I am outta of here!!!!!!!!!!

Old Sports Dude, Crown Point

JEREMY: OSD,

Need another guard? With Ferrell, Robinson, Johnson and Blackmon on board, probably not, but I think Zeisloft is a good insurance policy for this coming year and seems like he’d be a good locker room guy as well. Maybe the same could be said for 2015 as well, especially if any of the other guards bolt for the pros … not saying they will, but you never know. He’s a shooter, but he doesn’t appear to be exactly Matt Roth either.

The evaluation period began Wednesday night.

I watched video of the Chuck Martin press conference, since I was out of town at the time, and he seems like a good guy with a pretty good resume. You know, he’s not the first guy to struggle in his first head coaching job, so I think anybody panning him for what happened at Marist is over reaching. Sounds like he’s good as a development guy with both bigs and guards —  and I might say if he’s good with bigs, that would benefit IU and particularly Hanner Mosquera-Perea. I’m sure he’s jumping in with both feet on the recruiting front, and time will tell what benefits that brings.

You like the Cubs and dislike the World Cup … I’m struggling to find your redeeming qualities at this point. Later Dude.

DUSTIN: OSD,

1. Depending on how you look at it, they have more guards than that. I mean, I guess Hoetzel is a three, but he’s kind of a guard-ish three. And Priller is a stretch-four. You get the point. Do they need another guard? Well, they weren’t going to find another big man at this point in the game. Zeisloft was available, he wanted to come, and basically, at this point, they have to embrace being heavily guard-oriented because that’s the only chance they have. The backcourt is going to be the strength of their team, the middle is going to be the weakness, and if that’s going to be the case anyway, they might as well stock up.

I believe the summer period opened yesterday. Sorry I’m providing less coverage of that than usual. Have a wedding to attend this weekend and this worked out to be the best scenario for me to take some time off to re-connect back home.

2. We did meet Chuck for his press conference. Seems like a nice and generally intelligent guy. Seems like he got better for having had a tough time as a head coach. Get the impression that everyone likes the guy and that should help him in recruiting. Also think the time in the NBA as a draft scout could make him a better talent evaluator. Don’t know if it’s the best possible pick-up but seems like a good one. As for coaching and recruiting, his responsibilities will be to coach and recruit. But seriously, he’s apparently equally talented with dealing with guards and big men, so he’ll work with both, and he’ll obviously have his recruiting centered on the East Coast because he’s from New York City.

Ok, you can’t complain about the World Cup if you’re actually rooting for someone in the final. Ann Coulter, huh? No response. No response at all.

ANDY: Dude:

1. A lot of folks are pondering the move, myself included, but at the very least it provides a bit of insurance against injury, and does so in the person of a guy who brings experience and, as you note, maturity. That latter word might have more to do with this than some might think. I think it’s reasonably clear that among the areas in which coaches wanted to see the program progress this off-season was overall maturation in terms of the players and the team culture. On the court, it would be nice if he approximated a Matt Roth-style shooting threat, but I don’t know if he’s quite at that level in terms of bombardiering. This week’s eval period started Wednesday and I believe went to 5 p.m. but continues all day Saturday and then till 5 p.m. again Sunday.

2. I haven’t spoken with him, but he spent Wednesday in Philly and one would presume he’ll be taking advantage of his east coast connections.

(And the less said about Ann Coulter the better.)

2.

QUESTION: Hello gentlemen, I hope all is well. Thanks for the chat and for the rest of your coverage. I really appreciate it.

1. I am confused by the addition of Nick Zeisloft. I welcome him to Bloomington and I really hope he ends up being a terrific and meaningful two-year player but I am not seeing the logic behind adding another 6’4″ guard (particularly one that will presumably be on the squad for two years). I know he took care of the ball well and according to Synergy Sports, he shot very well coming off screens (43.8%) and in transition situations (41%) so, he does have some strengths. I have no idea how he defends and it certainly wasn’t a position of need. Do you think this late addition raises red flags about personnel or leadership concerns or is this just Tom Crean not wanting to have two empty scholarships and he’ll worry about room for the 2015 class after next season?

2. I know that, as a whole, the football team’s defense is always the largest concern for fans and coaches. However, what one position group do you think the IU coaches feel most concerned about heading into the season and which players with “potential” could step up and ease those concerns by playing better than expected?

I know it’s the “dog days” of the offseason and I hope that means you guys get a bit of breathing time before football camp starts and you have to re-enter the grind. A quick side note directed towards Andy and any non-Cubs fans…I think that maybe, just maybe, your time to beat up on the Cubs might be coming to an end soon. With the addition of Addison Russell, the Cubs have the best farm system in baseball and they should be at least mediocre in the next couple of seasons with the potential to actually be good (surely they can’t all flame out or get hurt…right?). Anyway, I appreciate your time and answers on the chat, have a great week, God bless and go Hoosiers.

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,

1. The Zeisloft addition isn’t so much confusing as it is a mixed bag. For this year, it makes perfect sense to add somebody that can shoot and might be a bit of a leader, or at least a good role model. To do so for two years, well, it’s not exactly ideal, but then again maybe the IU staff sees him as a more productive member of the team than you or I do at this point.

Let’s be honest, there’s aren’t a bunch of 6-foot-11 guys just hanging around out there to be had at this point, so getting a big man just wasn’t in the cards. Instead, IU opted to shore up a position of relative strength and continued to strengthen what was a significant weakness last year � shooting.

And, yes, Crean has never worried too much about the numbers for any individual class. As he says, these things work themselves out, so don’t be surprised to see an oversign or three for 2015.

2. Football dudes …

At the risk of sounding cold, Cubs fans having been saying such things for over a century, so take the time-honored approach of believing it when you see it.

DUSTIN: Hey TJ,

1. I think they certainly did have leadership concerns, so I don’t know if that raises red flags because those flags had already been raised. He also clearly isn’t worrying about scholarship room for 2015 (because he apparently never does that.) Maybe he thinks Yogi will go pro. Maybe he thinks James Blackmon will go one and done. Maybe he expects one or two of the freshmen to leave after a year. I have no idea really. And in fairness, Crean is not in a position where he can take for granted that he’ll be around for 2015-16, so leaving talent on the table is not an option. As far as it not being a position of need, well, they have to realize that their only chance is to be smaller, faster, quicker and better shooters because they’re simply not winning in the middle, and depth isn’t a bad idea in that regard.

2. Very good question, and it’s a tough one because I’m not sure there’s one defensive position they’re more concerned about than the other. As bad as the defense was last year, they have players with some level of talent at every spot. Linebackers had a pretty rough season, but they obviously still have David Cooper and all of those freshmen (T.J. Simmons, Marcus Oliver, Clyde Newton) returning and David Kenney and Nick Mangieri seem well suited for the stand-up rush linebacker hybrid D-End spot. The D-LIne looks pretty set with Darius Latham, Bobby Richardson, Ralph Green and some others. Tim Bennett and Michael Hunter are back at corner and Antonio Allen is healthy at safety. If Mark Murphy doesn’t get back to full strength, there are a lot of other options (Chase Dutra and several incoming recruits) who could step in there. So all of that actually leads me to the wide receiver spot, which has been a traditional strength in recent years. Latimer, Hughes and Duwyce Wilson were obviously big losses and that leaves Shane Wynn as the only experienced playmaker. I think you’ll see strong contributions from seniors Nick Stoner and Isaiah Roundtree, but they’ll need young, unproven guys to step up. That means Caleb Cornett, Ricky Jones, Dominique Booth, Simmie Cobb, J-Shun Harris, Isaac Griffith if he’s healthy and several others need to step up and be playmakers.

Good point about the Cubs, TJ, Kris Bryant looks awesome. Schwarber has obviously been killing the ball, and Russell is a great get. A couple years, who knows.

ANDY: TJ:

1. As per usual, your thoughts tend to mirror mine. I think the coaches must like what he can add over the next season or two on and off the court, with the off-court element perhaps a key, and that CTC always seems to have a plan when an apparent “oversign” possibility looms. There is now just one 2015 scholarship remaining available, but it would surprise me if IU ends up adding just one more guy for 2015. I expect it to work out, one way or another.

2. I think the secondary probably remains the biggest area of overall concern, but it isn’t as if the linebackers and guys up front don’t have to prove themselves, too. Everybody on that side of the ball has everything to prove, everything to gain. But there is now more precocious talent everywhere over there than Doug Mallory ever had available, too. I’ve been telling folks I think the Hoosiers are still perhaps a year away from full potency because so many of the most talented guys on defense are still sophs and frosh. I do think the secondary has a chance to get better pretty quickly because there is more competition across the board. One never knows what a coaching change will do, one way or another, but there is more depth and more talented depth at both corner and safety. Rashard Fant looked great in the spring game, I thought. He and Noel Padmore look ready to step up and compete with Bennett and Hunter. A healthy Antonio Allen and an emerging Chase Dutra improve the situation at safety, where Mark Murphy returns to provide senior leadership, and there are a host of newcomers who seem to have potential there. And the situation at linebacker is going to be fascinating, too. There are returning starters such as Cooper, Simmons and Hardin, and I thought Newton and Oliver showed some signs last year, and obviously guys such as Mangieri and Kenney could technically be linebackers in the 3-4 now, but some of the incoming freshmen are very highly regarded.

Futility Thy Name is Cubs until proven otherwise. I have always supposed Theo knows what he is doing, and goodness knows he is compiling an impressive array of sticks down on the farm (Schwarber very much included) but I still don’t see anywhere near enough pitching. One of the reasons for amassing prospects, however, is to be able to trade for pitching. So we’ll see. Perhaps the toughest thing for the Cubs, other than overcoming history, is that they’ll have to leap-frog so many teams to get where they want to get. It isn’t as if the Cardinals, Reds, Pirates and Brewers are going anywhere. They’re not exactly waning. The Cubs have to climb over all of them. But having said all that, perhaps Cubs fans still have more reason for hope now than they’ve had for a while, as you say.

Thanks as always, TJ.

QUESTION: 1. I saw IU hired a new pitching coach to go along with Cheeseborough but the story hasn’t really picked up yet? I assume IU will hire a 3rd assistant also as that is what Smith had and they are making the same commitment to Lemonis? Any idea who this will be? Is Rodeaheaver still there as director of Ops? Also any updates on recruits and draft picks? Seems current players are staying from what I’ve read but have not seen anything on if all recruits and draft picks (besides Ockimey) are still coming with coaching change?

2. Explain the Illinois St guy coming to IU? If he averaged 6 points a game there is he really going to contribute at IU? Moreover we are down to one scholarship again for next year which means a couple transfers probably again after this year. Does this move not reek of desperation?

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

1. Baseball dude …

2. Well, Nick Zeisloft graduated from Illinois State in three years, has two years of eligibility and will use them at Indiana. That’s the explanation. Is he going to contribute at IU? Probably more off the court than on it. As long as everybody’s healthy, hard to see where he makes more than a Jonny Marlin cameo in most games.

I don’t know that it’s desperation, but with April, Priller and Zeisloft, it seems like Indiana is back to recruiting like it did five years ago, which doesn’t seem good. But again, I think once we see these guys on the floor, we’ll have a better feel of realistic and fair expectations.

DUSTIN: Darren,

Hadn’t seen anything about a pitching coach hire. Have been on vacation, so I may have missed it, but just checked Chris Webb’s blog and he tends to know about these things before anyone. Cheeseborough is a done deal, and yes, I’d presume they’ll hire a third assistant. Rodeheaver remains the director of ops as far as I know. It’s my presumption that they’ll keep all the draft picks, but I have to check on that.

2. I don’t know about reek of desperation. Obviously, it puts the present ahead of the future a little bit, and it could be pointed out that Crean is not guaranteed a future after this year. Still, that’s how he’s always operated anyway, presuming that any scholarship issues would always work themselves out. Therefore, this isn’t anything new necessarily. Zeisloft gives them another shooter and some leadership and maturity, which they are pretty low on. Is it the best possible use of that scholarship? Who knows. But I think he can serve a purpose as another catch-and-shoot outside guy. Considering they’re going to have to win by being more guard-oriented than the other team, it’s not a horrible idea to stockpile.

ANDY: Darren:

1. This is all really Dustin’s bailiwick, so I’ll let him address it. He knows far more than I. But I can say that some folks I know in the department seem mightily impressed with Lemonis early, and that so far it does seem the current and incoming players still plan on being in Bloomington aside from Josh Ockimey.

2. Can’t really explain it other than to speculate it might have as much to do with off-court culture and maturity as it does with on-court performance. I don’t think it necessarily portends a couple of transfers after this season, but it might. One thing I’ve learned about potential “oversign” situations with CTC is that things always seem to work out. Not sure it either reeks or is desperation.

QUESTION: in the past, you have provided a listing of key BB recruits playing in the Indy games this weekend. The players, the teams they play on, etc. Are you doing that this week as well? Was trying to see about making some games over the weekend

Thanks

charles, indianapolis

JEREMY: charles,

We didn’t really do that this week. It seems that some scheduling conflicts have made this year’s adidas Invitational in Indy a little less of a national tournament. But there are still some guys worth checking out, including Louisville’s Ray Spaulding, who is playing for The Ville. I haven’t been up yet, but Lawrence Central’s Kyle Guy is supposed to be playing up with the Indiana Elite team that includes Hyron Edwards, Chandler White and Josh Speidel. Those teams are in the 17u group.

Also, Bloomington South’s Tucker Blackwell and Merrillville’s D.J. Wilkins, who is gaining a lot of interest, are to be with the Indiana Elite 2016 team, while Southport big man Joey Brunk, also picking up steam, is with UA Grind in 16u.

A lot of young talent with the Grind Indy Hoosiers team of HSE’s Zach Gunn, North Central’s Kris Wilkes, Southports’ Paul Scruggs and Pike’s Justin Roberts in 15u.

You can check the full schedule at www.usayouthhoops.com.

I’m hoping to get up for a few games on Friday myself.

DUSTIN: Apologies Charles, but if we haven’t yet this week, we probably won’t. As I said earlier, I’ve been out of town, and I know Jeremy was swamped. I was actually surprised that I couldn’t find that info on Peegs, because he’s usually on point with that. I do know from reading them that Raymond Spalding has become a target for IU and he’s with The Ville’s 2015 team. Check the Indiana Elite website and you should be able to find a schedule for his games.

ANDY: Charles:

Dustin is on vacation and Jeremy just got back from vacation, so I don’t know that is in the offing, but I do think Jeremy was planning on heading up to Indy. Again, this is more their shindig, so I’ll step aside and let them weigh in.

QUESTION: Beautiful day, enjoy.

Any info available yet on 2014 FB season ticket activity?

What are the salaries of each on Wilson’s staff?

Any info as to where are and what are Doug Mallory and Jon Fabris doing?

Sorry about abusing the 2 Q’s limit but I did not ask any last week. Is that Hoyle?

Hoosier Clarion, Sonshineville

JEREMY: Hoosier Clarion,

I think over questioning is illegal, but we won’t report you to the NCAA this time.

DUSTIN: Haven’t seen anything on season ticket activity. Don’t have updated numbers on IU’s assistant coaches, but this is what we have for 2013 on the current members of the staff. Kevin Johns was at $260,000, but I’m sure that’s gone up substantially with his promotion. Greg Frey was at $230,000, though I imagine he’s received a raise as well. William Inge was at $275,000. Brandon Shelby was at $156,000 and James Patton was at $177,000. Mallory was let go after making $312,000 in 2013, so I imagine Knorr is making above that.

Had seen Doug Mallory at an IU baseball game in the spring. Imagine he’s still in the area, and haven’t heard anything about him being hired yet. Did see him at the AFCA meeting back in the winter. Know Fabris got an interview for a job at Georgia but was not hired. Haven’t heard anything else about him.

ANDY: Hoosier Clarion:

Sorry, but haven’t checked on the status of football ticket sales and it’s a good question. I’ll try to get to that. I also don’t know all the assistants’ salaries off the top of my head, but I can say that level has seen some upgrades, and I think Fred Glass has worked hard to give Kevin Wilson what he wants and needs in that regard. My impression is that while IU’s football salary structure isn’t as robust as the Big Ten’s big-wigs, it is much more competitive than it was before Wilson’s arrival. Haven’t heard anything about where coaches Mallory and Fabris might go, but that’s another good question to follow up on.

And I don’t hear Hoyle objecting.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for joining us. Keep up with IU sports news and more on The Hoosier Scoop blog and app.

Thanks for your time, everyone. What else should we know before saying goodbye?

JEREMY: When we have news, it will be on the Scoop. Football season is just around the corner. Thanks for chatting, everybody.

DUSTIN: Not much. I’ll be back in town sometime Monday. Andy and Jeremy will be holding down the fort until then. Thanks everybody.

ANDY: Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon and sundry associated festivities now just 18 days away, and the IU football season opener arrives in just 51 days. The mind boggles. Thanks, as always, to all the chattees and perusers.

2 comments

  1. I realize recruiting better talent is key to improving the defensive unit. I am optimistic that a coaching change (Coach Knorr) will make a huge difference in how IU plays defense this year. Maybe I’m just stubborn but I refuse to believe that IU defensive players are that bad. To me it comes down to teaching how to play the game, especially in making the proper reads. So many times IU would make plays then get beat on the next play. Not just beaten, but i mean beaten badly on critical plays. Either the players are not executing, not making the proper reads, or the coaching staff in the press box is not seeing trends or communicating more appropriate defensive set ups or schemes. I really think it is teaching to make proper reads. Here’s hoping IU Coach Knorr and staff have simplified the teaching, improved the communications and are ready for a great fall practice season. All in all I’m optimistic about IU football. Go Hoosiers!

  2. Emphatically agree with Wolfem’s comment and would add that fundamentals, specifically tackling, also need improvement. Building strong defenses is no easy task even with excellent talent. We don’t yet have excellent talent but we now have adequate talent and with better coaching, I think we’ll see a lot more success.

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