Live Chat Transcript

Sorry for forgetting this last week. Transcript from today follows.

 

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Big day and night — IU Hoosiers play ISU Sycamores at 7 tonight at Memorial Stadium in the first football game of the season.

Gentlemen: How are you today? Ready to get started?

JEREMY: Well, actually the first futbol game of the season isn’t until Friday night at Armstrong Stadium. But I’m ready to chat anyway.

DUSTIN: That we are. It’s finally game day and we’ve got real stuff to cover. Let’s get to it.

ANDY: I just hope I’m as ready to chat as @fakecoachwilson is ready to kick off the football season. His pregame speech (rant) on twitter last evening was something to behold.

QUESTION: Minions your OSD has arrived! Okay Jeremy I do not have minions but I can dream right? I mean being a Cubs fan for over 40 years you have to be a dreamer. Enough of this now onto the mighty questions.

First OSD was wrongo and RJJR did not pop for IU last weekend. But I still think he will soon, Beside once he comes to IU we can do the old comedy line “My name is Robert Johnson Jr. but you do you can call me RJJ, or you can call me RJ Jr. or you can call me ….but you doesn’t have to call me Johnson.” Andy might be the only one who remembers this.

Sounds like last weekend went well with RJJR, Whitehead and the rest. Whitehead is coming back again. So who pops first?

What up with Jr. College guy from Florida? Any chance we get him? Even playing low Div. I last year he averaged 12 & 8. Not too bad.

One of the guys on ITH made a comment about at a tourney last year that RMK dissed CTC when he tried to talk to him. did you guys know about this and if so what happened? Also did RMK re-up with ESPN or is he off the air?

Well better get busy here at work. Did visit Grandson Garrett last weekend (Class of 28) at 3 1/2 years old he is now 45 inches tall. Played baseball with him and he was smoking the Dude’s pitches plus he has a cannon for a arm. Tracy Smith better be putting in an offer soon. He might just go straight to the pro’s.

All the time for this week minions. The Dude has hit the proverbial trail…….later dudes!

Old Sports Dude, Crown Point

JEREMY: OSD,

Never stop dreaming.

As for who pops first, still think Robert Johnson makes his decision first, and I still think IU is in good shape, but no guarantee. As I’ve said before, I still think this comes down to Indiana vs. North Carolina, again. Other than that the name of the big guy you refer to is Stephen Hurt and he played at Lipscomb last season, I know next to nothing about this JUCO guy. Maybe it’s time to get caught up via YouTube.

I think the Knight thing was at the tournament in New York last year when Knight was working the IU-Georgia game for ESPN, and Crean came over to shake Knight’s hand, etc. postgame. Knight seemed to just barely tolerate the exchange, however you want to interpret that other than Knight being Knight. Reports in the spring were that ESPN was not going to renew Knight’s contract, but I’ve seen no official confirmation one way or the other.

DUSTIN: I really don’t know who pops first at this point. IU has so many visitors coming the next two months that it’s hard to keep track. Robert Johnson is going to Virginia today and North Carolina next week, so that’s not a slam dunk, but I think they’re in good shape. It sounds like the Isaiah Whitehead visit went very well and he’s coming back, Devin Robinsin is coming Oct. 5, Leron Black and Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn are both coming Sept. 20-22 and there’s of course, still James Blackmon, who you may have written off but Crean has not. Stephen Hurt, the kid from Florida, is one they’re looking at. Not sure what happens there, but I think Goodluck is a higher priority and I think you’ll see two guards and a big in this class.

If you go back in the Scoop archive you’ll see the pictures from the Legends Classic in Brooklyn in November. It’s sort of open to interpretation because no one knows what was actually said. It’s not like Knight was quoted. But Chris Howell took some excellent pictures that don’t make it look like Knight was all that excited to see Crean, and it seemed like Dan Shulman was doing what he could to keep Crean away from him. So dissed? Again, it depends on your interpretation, but check back on the Scoop in the archive around the end of November and you can make your own judgment. I don’t know what Knight’s doing on ESPN. I presume he’s still around because I haven’t heard otherwise, but I don’t get the impression he relishes the job.

I think Smith is looking for lefties in the Class of ’28. Is Garrett a Southpaw?

ANDY: Do I qualify for minion status?

All basketball-related queries on the day IU football season kicks off? Dude!

I’ll let the basketball guys wax eloquent, but I’ll toss in a few quick observations. Rivals’ Jerry Meyer has switched his prediction for Johnson to UNC, but suffice to say I don’t always subscribe to Meyer’s point of view. National or even regional commentators aren’t necessarily really in the loop. I was watching the BTN Leaders Division football preview last night and both Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith guessed Cam Coffman would start at quarterback for IU tonight. Can’t say I agree with that, either.

It did sound as if Whitehead and Johnson both had good visits, and I can personally attest that when one of them being was driven down Third Street by Tom Crean, with Tim Buckley and Steve McClain aboard, on the official IU golf cart, everybody seemed to be having a good time. But I haven’t heard anything about any imminent verbals as yet.

RMK didn’t look all that interested in engaging with CTC after doing color for that game in Brooklyn last season (with just a quick handshake and no apparent inclination to hang out for much in the way of conversation), though he certainly wasn’t averse to praising IU’s team during the game, fixating on plaudits for Jordy Hulls (whose grandad used to be on RMK’s staff.) I think I read somewhere that espn and RMK hadn’t re-upped for this coming season.

QUESTION: 1. I don’t want to say “I told you so” but I asked you last January when I watched Michelle Gardner’s softball videos if she was a control freak or a shady character basically. Now many months later we find out about the situation with how she treated players and was reprimanded. Is this going to be an ongoing problem with her? She just seems like someone who is a major pain and feels like she owns her team based on her video’s?

2. I’ve had enough of the Big Ten with their basketball scheduling. To have IU and Purdue play once is already a problem (which Glass is going to try to rectify it sounds like) but to schedule an elite game like IU Michigan St as a home opener for IU in Big Ten play when students are gone is almost as big a problem. Can the Big Ten as well as protecting rivalry’s try to make sure they are waiting on elite matchups till classes are back in session? Also OSU-MSU is while students are away still which is just as bad. Why can’t the BIg Ten wait until Mid-January to schedule teams picked to finish top 5 in conference against each other for when students are back so it can maximize the atmosphere (IU OSU was a VERY good atmosphere a couple yrs ago but could have been even better with students around and it’s also really not fair to the students to MISS these type of matchups)? Glass can talk about protecting home and home series with rivalries but scheduling elite games over break!

is an EQUALLY big problem that he and other athletic department directors need to get rectified.

3. Predict IU’s record based on their schedule being out now?

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

1. I remember when you brought that up, and I’m still not sure where you got such a negative impression, but maybe you were on to something. Ongoing problem? If it is, she won’t be around very long on the heels of that investigation and reprimand. You know, it’s my general experience that getting in people’s face to tell them in no uncertain terms how terrible they are is rarely helpful in any way. But if combine that with the lack of wins, and it’s the coach who might be getting a personal message from the boss sooner rather than later, perhaps with a pink slip to boot.

2. I see what you’re seeing, but I don’t see the Big Ten worrying about it too much. I mean, any game a team like Indiana or Michigan State plays on the road is going to be an elite game for the place hosting. Take the IU at Iowa game last year, that was a huge deal for Iowa, and they had no problem packing the place on New Year’s Eve.

3. The schedule looks like 10-3 at worst for the non-conference, then I think the Big Ten record is around .500 give or take a game. So I’d go with 21-10 or 20-11 entering the Big Ten Tournament.

DUSTIN: Darren,

1. You do want to say I told you so, and I guess you have a right. The IU athletic department seems satisfied that she won’t be a problem, and frankly I don’t know. I’ve never covered a single softball game.

2. Because TV. Somebody has to play during the semester break, and ESPN and CBS are not going to take BS games the entire first week of January. This just in, money is what drives this whole thing, and IU-MSU is going to sell out whether with students or with alumni. You will not see less than 17,472 listed for that game I promise, so IU is going to clear the same amount they would anyway. ESPN and CBS are not going to deal with having every good team play every bad team in the first week when the casual sports fan is truly transitioning from football to college basketball. And frankly, the Big Ten needs to have a big game that first weekend of January to take that spot before the NFL wild card playoffs. That’s a pretty hot commodity, really, so the league has to give the network something that will draw unless it wants to give that exposure to Kentucky. That’s what that IU-Michigan State game is, by the way, the warm-up act for the playoffs. It’s a seriously good spot, and Tom Crean wouldn’t trade it I promise.

3. I’m gonna say 22-9 through the regular season. I figure they’re the fifth best team in the league. I went through presuming they’d lose each game to Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State and figured they’d lose at the Carrier Dome against Syracuse. That put them at 23-8 and I think they lose one more they’re not supposed to lose. Honestly, I think they drop more than one they’re not supposed to lose (Iowa looks pretty dangerous) but they’ll probably also win one they’re not supposed to win. I predict a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but don’t be shocked if they pull an upset and reach either the Sweet 16 or the Elite 8. (I don’t see a Final Four with this group). Point being, though, I think this team will be a lot better in March than it is in January. They might get absolutely smacked by Syracuse because they won’t know what they’re doing yet, but I think it’s an intelligent athletic group that will just need some time to figure out college basketball.

ANDY: Darren:

I’ve checked into this a bit and I think you’re off-base about Michelle Gardner, who seems to be well-liked and respected within the athletic department, all the way up to the top. I’ve been told quite plainly by people who absolutely should know that she is more like a mom away from home to her players than anything else. She admittedly read them the riot act after a particularly disappointing game, then apologized for it. She didn’t lay her hands on anybody. She did yell at them in a way that some tender souls might consider over the top for a bit, and profanity was most certainly involved, but she didn’t do or say anything that any of my high school coaches didn’t say or do, let’s put it that way. The vast majority of her players had no issue with it. A few got their feelings hurt. Michelle Gardner’s a coach. A tough coach at times. She’s an authority figure for her players. Does that make her a control freak? And I think the Star article was more a reflection on our society today than it was on Michelle Gardner. Of course that won’t stop opposing coaches from using it as recruiting ammunition against her, or stop people from drawing erroneous conclusions.

Agree with you about the B1G basketball scheduling, up to a point, but don’t know that the league can always schedule marquee games based precisely on each university’s holiday break schedule while still maintaining balance and practicality. That doesn’t mean the league shouldn’t try, though.

Counting tournament play, let’s say 22-13.

QUESTION: I’m back for my weekly soccer questions after the off season.

1. How much does the national championship increase the attendance and buzz around the program this yr?

2. Does IU go goals by committee (Kotlov, Mares, Thompson, Femi) this year instead of playing everything through one player like Zavaleta? If so I feel IU will be more dangerous this year, if their offense is more unpredictable when it comes to who scores. Do you guys agree?

3. Based on the preseason games is IU the best team in the country?

4. Predict the teams final record and if it repeats as national champions?

IU Soccer Fan, Bloomfield

JEREMY: IU soccer fan,

1. That’s a good question. I think the buzz is definitely there and has been all off-season. More radio shows, TV shows, web interviews, podcasts, etc. for Todd Yeagley and company. And of course you’ve got the #FilltheBill promotion for Sunday in an attempt to break the attendance record against UCLA. But in spite of all that, whether that attendance spike lasts may be more dependent on the current team continuing to win. There’s no reason to think they won’t, but the schedule is not easy, probably the toughest I can recall in the six years I’ve been on the beat.

2. Yes, I think the scoring will be and has to be more balanced. The athleticism and quickness of the attacking players with Tommy Thompson stepping in for Eriq Zavaleta, plus the addition of Louisville transfer Dylan Mares will make IU more dangerous. Thompson will get his goals, but I rather expect to see Kotlov lead the team in finding the net.

3. Well, I’m not going to put a lot of stock in preseason games to determine the best team in the country. IU played practically everybody in coughing up a two-goal lead against Marquette, then lost a 1-0 game playing primarily the starters against UNC. But the point for all the teams was getting ready for the season and ultimately building toward November and December. If the question is would I vote Indiana No. 1 in the polls if I had such a vote, then the answer is yes. But I think teams like Maryland, UNC and last year’s runner-up, Georgetown, are right there.

4. Wow, that’s tough. I’ll go 13-3-2 regular season. Repeat as national champ? I don’t know. How about I say the Hoosiers return to the College Cup (in Philadelphia this year) and see what happens from there.

DUSTIN: I’m going to leave this to the soccer guys. I do have to get to a game this year, though.

ANDY: 1. I think last season certainly re-engaged some folk’s attention. One would think that might bump attendance a bit.

2. I do think IU will have less a “target” striker and that the midfield looks tremendously deep and potent. And I agree with your observations about the offense.

3. Not based on the pre-season games, I guess. But those games don’t mean much of anything. Coaches experiment with lineups, play lots of reserves, etc.

4. The record will be terrific. It is really hard to repeat as national champions, especially in today’s college soccer world, and I wouldn’t bet IU against the field, but IU could have as good a chance as any other single team.

QUESTION: What do you think our style of play will be this year as far as our basketball team goes? The blueprint to beat us last year was to slow it down and play half court basketball. I think with the athleticism we have this year, we should be able to hold our own. Also, who can we count on for consistent perimeter shooting and how good will we be defensively?

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

JEREMY: indianavelt,

I think the blueprint will still be to slow Indiana down, but that’s the case with almost any major program with talent, whether it’s Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, etc. The key to successful halfcourt offense is two-fold in my opinion: ball movement and post scoring. If Noah Vonleh or Luke Fischer show the ability to score on the block, combined with Yogi’s penetration and Sheehey’s movement off the ball, this team will be fine in the halfcourt. If not, ehh …

Defensively, I think this team has the tools in terms of length and athleticism to be better than last year’s team in the long run. But in the short term there’s a lot to learn in terms of defending ball screens, rotations, switching and general communication. Some days will be better than others in that regard.

Consistent perimeter shooting just may be the biggest question mark out there. We know Sheehey and Yogi are capable shooters, but not consistent. I think you might say the same for Williams, Robinson and Vonleh, even Hollowell for that matter. Etherington and Hartman are the guys with the most potential to play the shooter role, but can they do the other things necessary to see extended time on the floor? Let’s file this one in the wait and see folder.

DUSTIN: Hey Indianavelt,

The goal will certainly be to slow them down again. There will be ways that will be harder and ways that will be easier. They’re going to be more athletic across the board, but that doesn’t make them necessarily better on the break and they also won’t start out nearly as good in the half court. Indiana wasn’t the best halfcourt offense in the country, but it was still pretty good. You’re talking about the second most efficient offense overall in the nation. This team is going to want to cause turnovers and run and score easy baskets, but it doesn’t have established shooters yet, and I think it will be a while before they get their bearings in terms of spacing and execution. And defensively, the raw material is good to make them a strong defensive team, but there is an adjustment even for good high school defenders in college. It took Oladipo more than a year to become more than just a long athletic guy who gambled too much. There’s discipline involved and that needs to develop. Ferrell and Sheehey give them a foundation in this regard as does Gordon, but they’ll need guys like Williams, Robinson, Vonleh and Fischer to step up quickly. Again, the raw material is definitely there with the length and strength and athleticism. It might be a while before they all have their minds right.

Consistent perimeter shooting? I don’t have any idea and I don’t think anyone else does either. Austin Etherington and Collin Hartman could be good catch-and-shoot guys off the bench if they regain their respective high school forms, but they’re not going to be out there all the time. Sheehey and Ferrell are OK in that regard, but neither has been great from beyond the arc so far. Hollowell showed the potential in high school, but there’s no one you can look at right now and feel extremely comfortable with. A lot of those players can be that guy, but it’s hard to tell right now who actually will.

ANDY: indianavelt:

I think IU will still try to run as much as possible and generate as much offense off its defense as it can. With so many young and/or new players likely in the rotation, I don’t think halfcourt offense will necessarily be the Hoosiers’ forte’, especially early in the season. So I think the “blueprint” for opponents you cite probably won’t change much. People will try to slow the Hoosiers down. But I, like you, like IU’s athleticism a lot.

Perimeter shooting strikes me as a real question-mark, especially compared to recent seasons, but I think the overall athleticism should help this team develop into a pretty good defensive unit.

QUESTION: Gentlemen,

First off, thank you to Jeremy for giving me a name for the starting QB position last week. Dustin, has Wilson threatened to stop appearing on your radio show if you state an opinion on the starting QB battle (i know you don’t have a radio show, but you get the point!)?

To my question, give me the top three NFL draft prospects on the IU football team. I will get you started and say 1. Spriggs 2. Coleman 3. Latham

I hope you guys enjoyed your summer vacations because this is going to be a very interesting year!

Best,

OLD

Overton’s Limo Driver, Bloomington

JEREMY: OLD,

First off, that was Dustin who gave you a name. I kept my wisecracks to myself for once.

I’d say best pro prospects might be Spriggs, Coleman and Latimer. Possibly guys like Latham and Kenney down the line.

DUSTIN: Overton,

Maybe I’m confused. You asked me what I think will happen. I think he’s going to play three quarterbacks tonight. You want my opinion on who it should be? I’m starting to lean toward Sudfeld. Roberson’s obviously and impressive athlete and the quarterback run game is important and he’s a respected leader, good dude, etc. But you just have to see Sudfeld throw the ball.

I’ll second Spriggs as No. 1 just because I think he’s going to be a monster in two years, and Wilson knows what NFL talent looks like at left tackle. I say Cody Latimer No. 2. I give him the edge over Coleman just because I’ve seen enough to be sure he’s going to be a pro. Coleman still has to actually show it on the field even though he looks good, but Latimer is the prototype at wide receiver. He’s not a freak, because at 6-3 he’s probably average for an NFL wideout and not bigger, but he’s pretty much a machine and the vertical evens it all out. I see him going about as high as Tandon Doss did. I’ll go Coleman No. 3, Dan Feeney No. 4, Stephen Houston No. 5, Kofi Hughes No. 6 Ted Bolser No. 7. Does Latham have a shot? Sure, but he hasn’t played a down of college football yet. Neither has Antonio Allen or David Kenney or T.J. Simmons or Laray Smith. I could see any of them going wild at IU and going pro, but I’m not going to put them on that list until they actually play.

ANDY: OLD:

Dude, everybody outside the program is still guessing about the starting quarterback (except perhaps IU’s coaching staff and the players directly involved), even at this hour on game day. Do you want us to give you a name when we have no real conviction about it? What’s the point? OK, I think it’ll be Tre. (And in my heart of hearts I think maybe it should be Nate. And the BTN guys think it’ll be Cam.) Does that help?

But, hey, at least you asked a football-related question, the first on this chat, which is appreciated in this quarter. I would agree with your list of three regarding pro prospects except I’d probably put Latimer on it instead of Latham, since the latter has yet to play a college game. But Latham, pretty obviously, has pro potential.

QUESTION: What’s up guys??

Ready for the Hoosiers to put on a dazzling aerial show at The Rock (and I am not talking about the Flying Elvi)? We know the team has done okay in recent years offensively, but you cannot win a game even by scoring 40 points if you give up 50!

What are you looking for on D this year? Will guys like Griffen Dahlstrom and Greg Heban step it up as seniors this season?

10-2, 8-4, 6-6, 3-9? Where do we end up?

Go Hoosiers!

First Down Hoosiers!, B-town

JEREMY: B-town,

I’ll leave the finer points to the football dudes, but I’ll weigh in at 6-6 this season in a Detroit bowl game where there may or may not be Flying Elvi.

DUSTIN: I’ve been saying 6-6 and it’s because I still haven’t seen anything from the defense that tells me that they’ll be a lot better. I think there’s more overall athleticism on that side of the ball and the competition was better over there than it’s ever been. There are some solid players, but most of them are the same guys I thought of as solid in previous seasons and they were the worst defense in the Big Ten the last two years. I haven’t seen anybody that I could say definitively that he’ll dominate at his position. The young kids at defensive tackle look good, but they’re not going to be Adam Replogle and Larry Black right out of the gate. Nick Mangieri looks like he’s got some potential, but I don’t see them having the monster end that no one can block on the edge. Linebackers are OK but not spectacular. Same with the secondary. Waiting to see what happens there. But all it takes for 6-6 is wins over Indiana State, Navy, Bowling Green, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue. I don’t think that’s a stretch at all.

ANDY: FDH:

The D pretty much has to be better than it was late last season, but it’s all a matter of degree. Will it improve enough? I think it has more depth and even more youth, so I think it’ll take a while to start playing a bit better, but has a better chance to sustain better play down the stretch of the season.

Dahlstrom and Heban have always brought great heart, effort and smarts to the their play. My only question with either, especially Dahlstrom, is speed. I think Heban will have a terrific season. Dahlstrom might, but he’ll also have to fend off younger, faster guys for PT.

I’ve been saying 7-5 all along, so I’ll stick to that.

QUESTION: Dustin – Who is the real fake Coach Wilson?! Jokes aside, what do you see as the most improved aspect of our defense heading into the season?

Phil, Park city

DUSTIN: I’d say the overall athleticism is better. The competition is better, every spot is a little better than it was a year ago. I’m just waiting to see if that’s good enough. There was so much separating Indiana from being a good defense the last two years, that you have to realize that just some improvement still doesn’t get them to the middle of the pack. I think they’ll be more stout against the run on the perimeter. I think they’ll be able to play three linebackers more with Flo Hardin as a guy who can cover as well as step up in the run game. I think there’s more depth overall. I don’t see a reliable pass rush yet, and I can’t tell for sure how well they’ll be able to cover. Its’ going to be very interesting to see.

ANDY: Phil:

We must naturally respect @fakecoachwilson’s anonymity, but suffice to say he is quite a guy.

Eventually, I think we’ll see better speed, more guys getting to the ball, on defense.

QUESTION: Do you expect to see some rotation on the line in Feeney’s spot (Reed,Kaminski, Bailey, Evans)? Or is Kaminski going to be the full time guy?

Tyler, Chicago

DUSTIN: I imagine they’ll pick a guy and stick with him. Maybe a couple of guys get a look tonight, but I’d bet they’d settle afterward. I’m guessing either Reed or Kaminski. Reed’s been working as the backup center, but Wilson seemed to be pretty thrilled with him. They’ve got a lot of solid options there, so it’s not going to be devastating, but I think Feeney was shaping up to be a game-changing linemen, and that’s what they’ll be missing.

ANDY: Tyler:

Good question. As an aside, I’ll not that I met Dan’s dad, who was dropping his son off at the North Endzone Complex last week, and the dad seemed just as nice and personable as does the son. We all obviously hope Dan has a full and fast recovery. Kaminsky has had a good camp, but I’ve always kind of thought they might well play Reed there some, because I think the coaches think Jake might be one of the team’s top five linemen.

QUESTION: Hey fellas,

I’m with Andy. 6-6. We get through the first 3 games and hopefully the Mizzou game has an electric environment.

While I like more fireworks and a cannon, I have to wonder about some of these new traditions. Putting up an X for a defensive stop? How many games do you think IU only ends up with 3 stops?

From your favorite,

I like soup!, Bloooomington

JEREMY: Soup,

Let’s just say you might rather have O’s than X’s at most games.

DUSTIN: I should’ve known, of course Soup is down for the fireworks. I’m starting to believe Glass is one of those guys who stops at every single fireworks store at every state border he drives past. Fred’s house on Fourth of July has to be a trip.

Yeah, the stop thing could be an issue. But it’s like K’s for a pitcher. Sometimes, you have a guy who pitches to contact. We’ll see. I think they’ll be better. And also, the games when they’ll really have a hard time stopping people this year will be on the road anyway.

ANDY: Soup!

(Actually, I didn’t have soup for lunch today, but rather indulged in Bar-be-que Train goodness from Shortstop Food Mart, courtesy of my son Alex.)

I’m not sure I fully subscribe to each one of the 40 new items regarding the gameday experience that IU is going to deploy at Memorial Stadium this fall, but I endorse the overall effort. I like the X for the defensive stop, actually. Gotta start somewhere. Though, as you say, there might well be games where a paucity of Xs seems pretty glaring.

QUESTION: worst case scenario, johnson stays on the east coast, whitehead goes to “Ville, and blackmon goes where we all know where he will end up. Does IU turn to Mcintosh, what other late options are in play at the guard spots?

b, chicago

JEREMY: b,

You’d still have LouRawls Nairn, who is making an official visit in September, the still undecided Dante Exum (50-50 on going pro/going to college), Ahmed Hill is back in the picture, and Wisconsin guard Riley LaChance is still considering IU despite the lack of an offer so far. I think there’s a couple more, but you get the idea. That doesn’t include wing targets like Leron Black, Trevon Bluiett and Devin Robinson or the big men IU is chasing. So considering the scholarships available, one or two guards would be sufficient.

DUSTIN: There are still a few more names on the list before IU goes to McIntosh. They’re still in with Ahmed Hill from Georgia, Quentin Snider and Lourawls Nairn, and if they’re dealing with a nuclear scenario, they can wait until November, see who’s still left and jump in on whatever they can find. Don’t get me wrong, McIntosh is good and had a brilliant summer. He was unreal against Stephen Zimmerman’s Dream Vision team at the Adidas Invitational. I don’t think IU is sold on him yet, though, and I also think the offers he’s getting are such that he’s sort of moved on without the Hoosiers. If they jumped back in now, I think he’d see through that. There was a significant amount of time when they weren’t really involved. At least that’s the impression I get, and it’s possible there might have been some low-level contact. Point being, I think he ends up signing with Purdue or Northwestern or someone of the like by November anyway, and if the Hoosiers strike out with this group they’ll have to move elsewhere. But I don’t think they strike out.

ANDY: b:

The Blackmon sitaution might well end up as you suspect, and odds are he maybe doesn’t end up in Bloomington, but anybody who thinks that IU isn’t in the picture there or that Blackmon isn’t still interested in IU is just plain wrong.

That said, if the scenario unfolds as you describe, IU could do a lot worse than ending up with McIntosh. I like that kid’s game a lot, and have since I first saw him play a couple of seasons ago. He’s not necessarily going to be a national-level guy like the others you name, but he is a tough dude who knows how to run a team and how to embrace the big moment. But Dante Exum is still a possibility, and the Hoosiers have obviously checked into Lourawls Nairn and Quentin Snider and a host of others.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for joining us and be sure to follow live game updates, tweets, photos and more on Hoosier Scoop and its newly revamped free app for iPhones.

QUESTION: How good can this IU defense be? The word is the offense has been tweaked to slow things down a little more to allow the defense time to rest on the sideline. Will the freshmen (Kenney, Latham, Allen) play significant minutes? I get the feeling Littrell and Wilson have a few packages for Tre similar to what NW succeeded with last year with Kain Coulter.

16guards, Salem

DUSTIN: Let’s take these questions one by one.

How good can this defense be? I’d say it can be decent, but I don’t see it coming close to leading the league in anything. I think everyone on the defense that returns is better than they were a year ago, and the freshmen and JUCO transfers are good. But again, you’re talking about a canyon between what last year’s defense was and anything approaching good. They allowed 54 points a game in the last three contests. The 463.5 yards per game they gave up last season was worst in the Big Ten by almost 50 yards a game. Michigan State, the best defense in the league in terms of total yardage, gave up 274.4 yards per game. We’re talking almost 200 yards per game of difference between IU and the league’s best defense. That’s humongous. You don’t get that much better in a year.

The offense is still going to work tempo. What’s been different in the preseason is that they’ve been trying to run the ball more to toughen themselves up and to toughen the defense up. They’ve been doing the passing work on the side to keep the tempo thing in line, but they haven’t forced that on the defense so much because getting better against the run is priority No. 1. Wilson has always been OK with adjusting tempo, but I think there’s a chance you still see them among the leaders in offensive plays.

Antonio Allen is the third safety at worst behind Greg Heban and Mark Murphy, so he’s going to get plenty of time. More than any other freshman, he’s a sure thing. Darius Latham is pretty much a lock too. Wilson said he expected to play 8-10 defensive linemen, and he was in the two-deep at tackle, so he’ll be out there. The Hoosiers will also play two, maybe three true freshman linebackers. T.J. Simmons, an early enrollee, is the backup middle linebacker right now. Clyde Newton and Marcus Oliver are also backups on the outsides. Not sure if both of them play, but I think you’ll see at least one. As for Kenney, I think it’s going to be a week or two. He had some minor injuries in the preseason that cost him time, he put on a little weight that wasn’t the most useful sort of weight, and he apparently had some freshman moments. I think they’re going to need him, because they really don’t have an edge rusher like him, but you might not see him out there tonight. Doesn’t mean you won’t see him later, but I think he’s going to have to earn it.

As for Roberson…eh, maybe. We certainly haven’t seen it, but then, he wouldn’t show something like that to us. A couple of things to keep in mind here. No. 1, remember, Kain Colter actually was a wide receiver before last year. It wasn’t like they just came up with that gimmick because they had two quarterbacks and weren’t sure what to do with them. Colter had already been one of their best guys out there. Roberson has never played the position, and Wilson has never seemed entirely on board with that idea. For one thing, he’s got good guys at running back at wide receiver. Everyone talks about putting him in the slot. Well, Shane Wynn is a pretty good slot receiver. So is Isaiah Roundtree and so is Ricky Jones. Roberson has some value there for fear of the unknown because there’s that possibility of a double pass or a reverse pass, but there’s no way you’re going to make him a better straight up slot wideout than the guys you already have. Again, Wilson’s an offensive mastermind, and i’m sure if Roberson doesn’t straight win the job, they’ll find a way to use his athleticism, but it won’t be like with Colter where he will go from being quarterback to top receiver from series to series.

Thanks.

ANDY: 16guards:

I think IU’s offense might alter its pace more, but will still try to dictate pace. And I think the defense has more depth, so in-game rest is less of an issue. The three freshmen you cite will play significant minutes, though it might take a while longer for Kenney to get into the rotation. T.J. Simmons might well start at linebacker and certainly will play a lot. And I think either Newton and/or Oliver will also play. And I’ve said all along that a quarterback approach akin to what Northwestern did last season makes a certain amount of sense for this IU team, though I don’t know that Tre would spend as much time as a wideout or wingback as Colter did.

QUESTION: Does Kevin Wilson know about Fake Coach Wilson? If so, does he appreciate it for what it is? Seems like after reading about all the changes to the game experience and promotional ideas, the programs best marketing tool for certain niche groups is a Twitter parody. I mean that not to disparage any promotional efforts, but whoever is running Fake Coach Wilson is doing a great job stirring up excitement. Did you see his pregame speech last night? It was legendary. Also very endearing.

IUfan1977, Btown

DUSTIN: Wilson definitely knows about Fake Coach Wilson. Does he appreciate it? That’s an answer I don’t know. I can tell you that he didn’t used to. Of course, when the account started, it wasn’t long after the McNutt incident, and the whole thing was a little less flattering. The impression I got from people in the department was that there was an effort to shut it down. I’m not sure if he’s changed his mind, but I think he has reason to. As you’ve seen the program evolve, I think you’ve seen the account evolve and it’s really become more supportive of Wilson and the program in general. Last night’s rant was hysterical, but having been to a bunch of tailgate tour events, I can tell you that Wilson says stuff like that all the time, just with a lot less profanity. Fake Coach Wilson has really found the real coach Wilson’s voice, and it’s starting to seem like everything Wilson wishes he could say in public, Fake Coach Wilson is saying. It’s a pretty remarkable study in 21st century media, and I think it’s been more than a net positive for the program. I don’t know if Wilson realizes that, but he should.

ANDY: IUfan1977:

Yes, I referenced @fakecoachwilson’s musings in my first response today, and I concur with your take (though the IU athletics administration is also getting very aggressive in its own marketing through social media.) I do think CKW knows about FCW, though I don’t know how he feels about it. My guess would be that he was miffed at first but might well appreciate it now.

Gentlemen: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. What else should we know before we say goodbye?

JEREMY: Glad to be here as usual, and thanks to my football compadres for doing the heavy lifting. I’ll have updates on IU soccer Friday night if the football game didn’t exhaust you. Thanks to all.

DUSTIN: We’ll be rolling tonight and trying to do as much social media stuff as we can. We’ll be running the Cover-It-Live as usual and we’ll be on Twitter. Thanks as always everybody.

ANDY: Six hours and 20 minutes to kickoff as I type this. Looking forward to it. I think Indiana State might hang around and play IU tough longer than some people might suspect, as was certainly the case last season, but we’ll see. Thanks as always to everybody who chatted and/or checked in.