Live chat transcript

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for being here. Remember you can always follow IU sports on The Hoosier Scoop blog and app.

How’s everyone doing today? Are we ready to get started?

JEREMY: Well, it finally feels like football weather outside, so let’s start popping the pads with this chat.

MIKE: Woke up to an overcast, chilly morning in Bloomington and my first move was to search for a hoodie. Feeling more comfortable now in the H-T offices, where I’m tying up a few loose ends before hitting the road for tomorrow’s Bowling Green game. Let’s chat.

ANDY: After the first teeth-chattering evening in quite a spell … time to chat.

QUESTION: Will IU ever put up an appropriate sign along the by-pass for Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium? I found the traffic sign by the side of the road before the iSU game saying “Go IU beat ISU” a bit tacky to say the least. With such nice facilities why don’t they have some sort of nice electronic sign announcing next game, future games etc. instead of that old traffic sign by the side of the road…

Mike, Bloomington

JEREMY: Mike,
Define appropriate.

Seriously, I see what you mean about that old traffic sign. I wonder if they might eventually put something more permanent at the corner of the bypass and Dunn now that the parking lot area remodel has been completed. I suppose the sign does serve some purpose in dealing with game day traffic though, and it’s probably not going away any time soon.

MIKE: I don’t disagree with you about the signs. They don’t look great, but I give them credit for trying. I’m not sure what purpose they truly serve, really, aside from possibly offering traffic updates in between spirit slogans, but I don’t know much about them. Not sure if there are any plans for something more permanent.

ANDY: Mike:
I think IU athletics is puttiing such signs in high-traffic places around town, not just at the Bypass, to remind folks about the game — but your basic point seems valid, and seems like something Fred Glass and the IU higher-ups might take under advisement. And, for all I know, there might already be plans afoot along those lines. Pres. McRobbie has shown a clear interest in sprucing up the various portals into campus, including the “north gate” that includes the stadium complexes. There is a limestone tower, among other things, still in the works for that portal — and maybe, also, your desired sign.

QUESTION: It seems that the Curt Miller saga leads back to Bowling Green. Hope the H-T’s industrious reporters will look into this when they’re there this weekend.

Xavier Leonard, Gosport

JEREMY: Xavier (Professor?),
So you’re saying all roads lead to Bowling Green, or something like that. Thanks for checking in.

MIKE: Thanks for checking in, Xavier. We’ll check into it.

ANDY: Xavier:
If so, I guess it would depend upon anybody with absolute and authoritative knowledge in Bowling Green being willing to say anything on the record (or even off the record, for background-sourcing purposes), unlike those few folks in and around Bloomington. But I can affirm that Mike Miller and Jeremy Price, who are heading to Bowling Green, are both industrious and intrepid.

QUESTION: A couple things. First of all I continue to be overly impressed with the defense and this may very well carry us all year to being a very good team.

On offense a switch between Andrew Oliver and Femi might be beneficial (although femi not really built as a forward) as Oliver is literally a net negative out there (slow and in a hurry) as the striker. Not sure what to do, but for this team to reach its potential and for its offense to match strong defense we need to try someone (anyone really) new at forward in the upcoming matches period.

Also I cant make it Saturday and am a bit confused. In the preview story on iuhoosiers.com it states the match against PSU this weekend is on btn plus. However, when you scroll through btn plus website for the iu soccer games this is the ONLY game at home NOT listed as being streamed. Is it being streamed on there or not as I cant make it due to family commitment at home in Greene County and would like to be able to watch it. If not is there an online radio feed? If all else fails I guess ill follow your updates on the scoop and peegs (I dont tweet or have ANY idea how to use twitter so thats out).

IU SOccer Fan, Bloomfield

JEREMY: IU soccer fan,
Let’s just say it’s not a coincidence that the last time Indiana had three consecutive shutouts was the final three games of the 2012 run to the national title.

As for offense, well, that’s definitely still a work in progress. Femi may see some time at forward, but really he’s such a beast in the midfield, that I don’t think that’s the ultimate solution. My guess is that if Oliver doesn’t break out a bit, you’re going to see more and more of freshman Jay McIntosh. He faces the typical freshman challenges, but I see flashes of real talent there, and as he gets more comfortable, he just might be the best solution right now.

I think you’re right about the game not being on BTN Plus, but you can follow along via GameTracker, listen to student radio live streaming at http://wiux.org/stream/ or follow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/IUMensSoccer � no account or anything necessary. And, of course, as you note, we’ll have updates on the Scoop.

MIKE: Don’t have much to add here, but glad to see you’re feeling a little more optimistic this week, IUSF.

ANDY: IUSF:
The game is listed for BTN Plus in the IU release, as you note, and sometimes the network online listings aren’t complete in the days before a game. If it supposed to be on, I suspect it’ll be on, and you’ll be able to find it the day of the match. WIUX, the student radio station, has streamed student broadcasts of matches in past years, though I haven’t been out in the press box this fall to see if that is still the case. If so, that station offers online streaming. And I’ll be covering the game, so I’ll be tweeting and blogging.

My impression of Andrew Oliver in the past is that he’s skilled with the ball, willing to involve teammates, and has some nifty moves but, as you indicate, sometimes rushes his finish. But I’ve always felt he has the capacity to help. I think it’s pretty early in the season and most teams — the Hoosiers included — are still sorting things out in terms of personnel and playing rotation. IU is looking for some answers up front. Obviously, even with the good defensive start and the positive overall results, four goals in four matches isn’t a real good ratio. But we’re still talking a small sample size, with a lot more matches to play.

QUESTION: 1. Nice to finally have a recruit for 2015 in the fold and a top 100 at that. With that will he be playing for Coach Crean? I think either we surprise everyone and are a 20+ win team solidlty in tourney or a 10-12 win team replacing a coach. I don’t see another .500 season. Agreed? I am 50-50 on which way it goes.

2. I have a bad feeling the defense for football will be improved but I feel our recieving core is going to take a small step back (not impressed with any fo the new wide recievers but think they improve some but not enough for a year or 2) and cancel out the defensive improvement. I see us as a 5 win team like last year (wins over ISU, Bowling Green, North Texas, Rutgers, Purdue) and unfortunately I think Latimer bolting will be the difference between 7 wins and 5 wins. Hope im wrong but I really think we’re going to be saying a lot “if only we had this years defense with last years offense we’d be a 7 or 8 win team”.

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,
1. Yes, I think he’ll be playing for Tom Crean. I do agree with you that there is potential for both success and a trainwreck this season, but there’s room for another .500-ish season to slip in there as well. I suppose if things trend toward being a trainwreck, the coaching situation could get dicey, but I think ultimately the ship stays afloat for now.

2. I know what you mean about the receiving corps, and we’ll find out a lot more in the next couple of weeks. But I honestly don’t think Cody Latimer is the deciding factor between five wins and seven wins. That still falls on the defense, because even if the offense isn’t quite as good as last year, it will still be good enough to win with any kind of competent defense backing it up.

MIKE: Hi Darren,
Admittedly, I don’t want to put too, too much into what I saw in Montreal. But after those five games — watching them without Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Jeremiah April, mind you — I think this is a tournament team. James Blackmon is going to help this program a ton. Yogi looks better with Blackmon playing next to him, and it also frees him to become the player at the 1 that IU needs him to be. Add that with Troy Williams looking more comfortable and more refined, and I think IU is actually in good shape this year. Of course, a lot will also depend on what they get out of HMP and how smart he plays, but I think there’s enough for Tom Crean to work with. So, no, I don’t think this is a .500 team. There might be an unexpected loss at some point, but I believe this season is a step forward. At least right now.

I expect to see the receivers play a bigger role in IU’s game plan this week, so maybe we’ll learn a bit more about proper expectations for that group. Latimer leaving certainly hurt, but there’s enough raw talent to work with in this kind of offense. By all accounts, Nate Sudfeld is putting in a ton of extra work with the receivers. We’ll see what the payoff is tomorrow afternoon.

As far as wins, I think they get six. I agree with the five you mention above, but I also think they get one between Maryland and Penn State. Keep an eye on that Michigan game, too. I’m sticking with that preseason prediction of mine.

ANDY: Darren:
1. Coach Crean isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, regardless of how this coming season goes, unless some sort of unforeseen and unmitigated disaster ensues beyond the W-L record. It’s an important campaign, like most, but some IU fans need to get a grip. CTC is almost certainly going to be here to coach Juwan Morgan, and beyond. As to how the season will go, your guess is as good as ours, but my suspicion is this squad might at least somewhat exceed the rather low expectations that most people and pundits seem to have. It’ll deploy two McDonald’s All-Americans at guard (Ferrell and Blackmon), and a couple of top-40ish recruits up front (Williams and Mosquera-Perea) among other folks. It is perhaps a bit undersized, and might have some issues against teams with tall and potent front lines, but it isn’t as if it is bereft of talent. But I think just about anything is possible, including another season around .500, but I think IU will do a bit better than that.

2. It’s way too small a sample size to pronounce many judgments on the receiving corps or any other unit. The Indiana State game doesn’t provide any sort of accurate gauge. I do think Cody Latimer’s departure was a blow (especially when coupled with those of Kofi Hughes, Duwyce Wilson and Ted Bolser.) But I think there is some talent among the current receivers, including the younger guys, and so let’s see how they develop. And it isn’t as if Kevin Wilson has had too many issues orchestrating a passing game during his coaching career. I think five wins is the absolute floor for this season, barring anything unusual or unexpected, and that 7-5 is more likely than 5-7. I went with 6-6 as my official prediction and will stick with that for now, but am mindful that there is more upside than downside. And given the early results, the Hoosiers might make more hay in Big Ten play than some might currently suspect. You could be right. I’ve already heard some people say they wish this year’s team had last year’s schedule, and some might end up pining for last year’s offense, but lets see another couple of football Saturdays transpire before we start reading too much into things.

QUESTION: Happy Friday guys, I hope all is well. As always, thanks for everything you guys do and for your continued excellent coverage. The B1G was embarrassed on football fields around the country last Saturday but thankfully, the Hoosiers were nowhere near any of those ugly losses. I’ll just say that I watched the Purdue-CMU game and the Boilers look worse than any IU team in recent memory (and that’s saying something)…Darrell Hazell is in some trouble.

1. Playing on the road is never easy (although BGSU shouldn’t be a terribly hostile environment) and we don’t really know much about the Hoosiers or Falcons at this early juncture. How are you expecting things to play out tomorrow?

2. I’ve read a few different things about IU’s offense working on mastering some base formations and working on timing in the passing game and BGSU’s passing defense appears more susceptible than the running defense. Two quick questions regarding the passing game: do you think Shane Wynn will/should be moved back to the slot (seems like a better fit there, in my opinion anyway)? If the passing game has more success (I think it will), which receiver(s) has a breakout performance?

It was a good week for IU basketball as they got a commitment from someone we had actually heard of beforehand, IU soccer is off to a good start (despite IU Soccer Fan’s continued concerns) and I expect the Hoosiers to get off to a 2-0 start. Have a great week, God bless and go Hoosiers.

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,
Happy Friday indeed.

It certainly wasn’t a grand weekend for the Big Ten, but on an individual scale, I think Michigan State stands to be the class of the conference, as losing in Eugene isn’t exactly earth-shattering. It was disappointing the way it happened, but if the Spartans run the table, they just might be in the playoff conversation. As for the rest, Central Michigan beating Purdue, Ball State nearly beating Iowa and Penn State scuffling against Akron should be fair warning to Indiana of the perils of the Mid-American Conference.

1. Bowling Green was completely outclassed on the road at Western Kentucky and did the outclassing at home of VMI. All we really know is the Falcons are averaging 39.5 points per game, even without their starting quarterback, so what will the Indiana defense do? I think this game will have fits and starts by both teams, who will both score in the upper 20s. Questions will be can the Hoosiers get a stop when they really need it?

2. (a) I don’t think it matters so much where Shane Wynn lines up as it does that he gets the ball in his hands. I think he’s going to get a deep shot or two against the Falcons. (b) I’ll go Nick Stoner.

MIKE: Hey TJ,
I think the Bowling Green game will be closer than expected. I’ve read some of things coming from their media contingent predicting that IU will roll. I’m not that confident. I think IU wins, but I don’t think this is a gimme. Aside from showing just how good Tevin Coleman is (And D’Angelo Roberts, to a degree, I suppose), Indiana proved nothing against Indiana State. That game didn’t tell us anything on the surface. So, until I see the defense stop a team with offensive talent — which BG has — and until I see the passing game look like something fans are used to around here, I’m not going to give this team the benefit of the doubt. I’ll be interested to see what the defense does against the BG backfield. Travis Greene is a good, shifty back, as is Fred Coppet, who turned down an IU offer to attend BG. With James Knapke still learning Dino Babers’ no-huddle offense, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of Greene and Coppet.

Good question about Wynn. Yeah, I think he’s a better fit, pound for pound, in the slot, but I think they can make it work with him on the outside. He’s agile and talented enough to create separation wherever you put him, perhaps especially against a team like Bowling Green, which likely has comparable overall talent to that of IU. Like I said, it’s a good question and we’ll see over the next few games. But I also believe he’s going to get open wherever you put him, and that’s all that matters.

Breakout performance? Hmmmm. Can I pick two? OK. Nick Stoner and/or J-Shun Harris.

ANDY: TJ:
Yes, at least IU is absolved of any responsibility for what was a bleak Big Ten football Saturday.

1. I think it’ll be a challenge, and will probably feature some swings in momentum (for one thing, Doyt Perry Stadium is apparently a wind tunnel of sorts, which may affect things), but I see the Hoosiers prevailing rather handily by the end. Again, it’s too early is the season to have come to many conclusions, so “expectations” are merely guesses.

2. I would think Indiana’s passing game will be showcased more, certainly, than it was against ISU. I have thought about Wynn potentially moving back to the slot at times, as well (great minds think alike, right?). I think the staff really wants to play Harris, but it isn’t as if they couldn’t deploy some double-slot formations. But, again, we’re talking early returns here. Shane might do just fine out wide tomorrow. Let’s allow things to play out a bit. As for a “breakout performance” Saturday, I think Cobbs or the aforementioned Harris seem good potential candidates.

Agree that IU’s athletic autumn has gotten off to a reasonably successful start.

All best, TJ.

QUESTION: I never realized this until I read about it for something unrelated, but under a law called “The Freedom of Information Act” IU has to tell you what really happened with Curt Miller. Have you pursued this and if not will you? If you have pursued it and IU refuses to give you anything you have legal gounds against them. As fans we have a right to know what really happened and I hope you guys are pursuing this avenue to get it (I am sure you are).

Jose, Franklin

JEREMY: Jose,
Well, FOIA requests are a tremendous tool for journalists, but it doesn’t mean IU has to tell anybody everything. There are plenty of other legal clauses they can cite for withholding certain information. Thanks for the question.

MIKE: Hi Jose,
We are pursuing multiple avenues and we’ll continue to ask questions. If and when we find anything to report, we’ll certainly do so.

ANDY: Jose:
Don’t want to conduct a seminar on it, but suffice to say the FOIA has some legal limitations to it. And I’m not going to get into specifics about how we’re going after the story. But we are indeed going after it.

QUESTION: I remeber hearing something about IU building a new U Gym recently but the talk has recently died down. In light of the air condition and power failure there last weekend I hope this is still in the cards for the next couple years. U Gym is the last atrocious facility left at IU and for IU to build volleyball and wrestling to being competitive this needs to be the next facility rebuilt.

Mike, Seymour

JEREMY: Mike,
The plans are still in place for a new volleyball/wrestling facility, and my understanding is that ideally the timetable for completion would be about the same as the Assembly Hall renovation so that this year’s freshmen would compete in the new place before they leave. But we’ve yet to see specifics, so stay tuned.

MIKE: Hey Mike,
I’ve actually never been inside U Gym, but I understand from those who know the building well that the time has come to replace it. I’ve heard from a few people inside the department that there are plans to build a new facility. But, as you said, I haven’t heard much talk recently. Keep an eye on that to change soon. Perhaps we’ll learn more about this project once IU begins renovations on Assembly Hall. All indications are a new facility will be built near Assembly Hall — think Cook Hall, with its underground hallway that allows for easy access to the event floor and upstairs offices. Of course, nothing official. But we’ll check in on this down the road.

ANDY: Mike:
Plans for the new $20 million volleyball/wrestling venue are proceeding apace, but I can’t tell you at exactly what pace. Fred Glass said this past May that IU was moving forward on the facility and that while they are currently in the conception and fund-raising stages, the plan was to have athletes currently at IU be able to utilize it. So I figure that means he was thinking it would be constructed within four years if not sooner. The planned location, I believe, is at or near the corner of 17th and Fee.

QUESTION: So, what’s your take on Saturday’s game? BGSU is predicted to be at the top of their division in the MAC but have already taken a beating in their first game. I don’t expect a blowout like last year’s game, but do expect an IU win. I’m not heading to Vegas with a pile to drop on the Hoosiers, but hope always springs eternal at this point in the season in Btown. Predictions?

Birdman, Gorham, ME

JEREMY: Birdman,
I’m going to officially go with IU, 29-24. I expect a dogfight, although I imagine the Falcons might be fragile if the Hoosiers could get out of the gate quickly.

MIKE: Hey Birdman,
I feel just about the same as you regarding tomorrow’s game. How about a score prediction? I say IU wins it 34-27, or something like that. I’m guessing we’ll see some points scored on both sides. I hope (and expect) to see more out of Indiana’s passing game this week. We didn’t learn much of anything about the receivers — young and old — against Indiana State. That includes Shane Wynn on the outside, which we touched on above. Bowling Green is a good program with a talented offense. Its defense, however, looks like it might be in the same boat as Indiana. The Falcons lost seven defensive starters from last year’s MAC Championship team, so look for Indiana to attack some of those holes on the corners. But, as always, we’ll see. I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to not watching, thinking or talking about the Indiana State game again.

ANDY: Birdman:
I predict an Indiana win in a game that figures to have some ups and downs. I think Bowling Green has legit personnel and is playing at home, but still is adjusting to a new coaching staff and new schemes. Indiana’s defense should be reasonably well-versed when facing BG’s new ultra-uptempo attack, since the Hoosiers see something pretty similar most days in practice. And the BG quarterback will be making just his second career start. The Indiana State game didn’t really tell us much about the current Hoosier contingent. Saturday’s game, more of a challenge and on the road, should be more revealing. I think IU fans will like most of what they see.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for being here. Remember you can follow IU sports news on The Hoosier Scoop blog and app.

Appreciate the time, Mike, Andy and Jeremy. What else should we know as we head into a busy September weekend?

JEREMY: Just a little switcheroo, as I will be filling Andy’s seat at Bowling Green and he mine at IU soccer Saturday. If that’s not enough football/futbol, IU women’s soccer will be home Friday and Sunday with free admission, plus Sunday’s game is Bark in the Park if you care to bring a canine friend. Thanks for chatting and hope everybody has a great weekend.

MIKE: We’re going to be heading over to Bowling Green in just a little bit, so we’ll have you covered from Doyt Perry Stadium — of, as they say, The Doyt — in the morning. And, of course, we’ll have plenty to give you on the Scoop and on heraldtimesonline.com after the game. Hang with us. Thanks for checking in, everybody. See you next week.

ANDY: After afternoon football Saturday, IU fans can watch some “footy” as my British relatives might say. IU men’s soccer starts Big Ten play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Armstrong Stadium with what figures to be a good game against Penn State, which matches the Hoosiers 3-0-1 record coming in and is a perennially solid contender in league play. Thanks to all who chatted and/or checked in and hope everybody is headed toward an enjoyable weekend.

4 comments

  1. Mighty perplexed as to why Vegas odds still has the Hoosiers only single digit over BGSU. I don’t think their looking very closely. The Falcons lost 7 D starters from last year. Since then have lost a starting LB and a starting DL. Not counting the loss of their starting QB and since then have lost their starting RB and starting WR. I think I’ll attempt to take a pile $ from those boys.

  2. Mike,

    You realize the one team we have actually stopped recently, was Bowling Green last year, right? And that was with their starting QB and one of their top 2 RBs playing (both out this weekend).

  3. Not to mention that IU’s O-line outweighs BG’s D-line by an average of about 40 lbs per man. Coleman could have another record-breaking game. But I’d rather see Sudfeld and IU’s defense have a record-breaking game.

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