Live Chat transcript

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Welcome back, regulars and welcome to first-timers.

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

JEREMY: Roses are red, violets are blue, it’s still cold outside, begin the chat without further adieu.

DUSTIN: Doing well. It’s really freaking cold again. Let’s get to it.

ANDY: Still very much winter. Still very much basketball season. Still very happy to chat.

QUESTION: 1. I thought this was a better week for IU. I thought Wisconsin’s comeback was more the result of what Wiscy did than what IU did not do in 2nd half. I thought agaisnt Minny and Nebraska IU flat out blew it but I thougnt this time Wisconsin just played better in 2nd half after a dreadful 1st half and IU was helpless. Do you agree?

 

2. How come there was less mention of IU fans in Northwestern’s gym this year? It certainly sounded like as many as usual on TV but last year the TV broadcast, your chat, multiple articles and 100’s of twitter posts make reference to it, while this year I saw maybe 10 twitter posts and no other mentions? Is it just an exhaustive storyline?

 

3. What is up with IU Baseball? Do Schwarber and Travis already have one foot out the door like Jadaveon Clowney last year because they are not hitting like they are capable off. Will they hurt there draft stock if they dont improve? I know its early but this start on offense is alarmingly bad and needs to be addressed. This would be like LAST years IU basketball team starting 2-5. If this were basketball and the team got off to this dtart with there expectations there would be massive panic in Hoosier nation and would be the local headline everywhere.

 

4. JMV referenced on the radio yesterday that if IU, Butler, Purdue and Notre Dame are all in the same place next year he thinks all those coaches will be on the hot seat and that will be major local discussion next year at this time if thats the case. He basically said (without actually saying it) he could see a scenario where if things go very south next year for all 4 teams they could all be having coaching searches in March 2015. I think thats probably drastic but I do think all 4 coaches at these schools could be in big time trouble if all these teams are in same place next year. Do you guys agree?

 

 

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

I sort of agree. Northwestern was certainly progress in terms of consistency and maturity. The first half at Wisconsin was solid, but a little fortunate that the Badgers missed some open shots. The second half, the Badgers didn’t miss, and Wisconsin is most certainly a better team than either Minnesota or Nebraska. But still Indiana not only coughed up the lead, but the Hoosiers did it just about as fast as can be done, lacking the composure or mental strength to withstand a charge that was clearly going to come at some point. Obviously, Indiana’s shown some flashes of potential throughout this year, usually a half at a time, sometimes five minutes at a time, and occasionally for almost an entire game. But what IU does not have is that next gear to take it up a notch. There seems to a ceiling for this team, be it maturity, chemistry, basketball IQ, etc. that prevents it from reaching the level necessary to be a consistent winner.

 

2. Yeah, exhaustive story line covers it pretty well. I guess the other part of it is that last year IU fans were maybe a little more enthusiastic about their team or whatever, but they were definitely well-represented as usual.

 

3. Well, maybe teams are much more aware of what those two can do, the competition’s been decent and it’s only six games. Other people aren’t hitting a lot either. Doesn’t do them any favors not to have a good season before the draft, so suggesting one foot out the door is silly. Let’s see how it’s going in a month or so.

 

4. I think things would have to go south of the equator for that to be the case. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but highly unlikely. I think Mike Brey’s long-term track record at Notre Dame buys him a bit of patience, and Crean’s contract situation at IU does the same. I think with Brandon Miller being a Butler guy, coupled with the move up in conference, he’ll get a chance to straighten things out. Matt Painter might be the guy with the most pressure, because Purdue has had the most disappointing seasons in a row, with next year sort of a make or break point in terms of at least getting back to the NCAA tourney. Now, in 2016, yeah, there could be some wholesale changes.

DUSTIN: Darren,

1. I think you’re mostly right but not entirely. Wisconsin did play a lot better and did make open shots that they had in the first half and didn’t make, but the poor defense on the dribble was still pretty bad. No, it wasn’t a complete collapse like Nebraska, Minnesota, and more to the point Penn State were and it was more of a case of Wisconsin figuring out what it had to do to win. Still, Wisconsin got Indiana scrambled up on defense with wing and baseilne drives that Indiana suddenly had no way of stopping and that’s still a problem for them.

2. I mean, let’s put it this way. I’ve seen more fans there at Northwestern the last two seasons but I’ve also seen fewer. I think you know at this point that there are Indiana fans in Chicago and I don’t know that anyone felt the need to point that out again. And I wouldn’t call it so much a storyline as it is a geographical fact. There’s no requirement for the number of Twitter posts that must be created regarding the road presence of a fan base.

3. Darren, your default setting is massive panic. Obviously, these games aren’t on TV and we don’t travel to early IU baseball games so I’m not actually watching everybody’s swing and can’t notice trends until they start playing home/drivable road games (might go to Louisville on Saturday, but it kind of depends on basketball). If there’s anything I feel pretty confident in it’s that Schwarber and Travis are not mailing it in at all. Again, obviously I haven’t been at games and there might be something I haven’t seen, but from talking to those guys at the beginning of the season, they want this really bad. Travis especially is incapable of mailing in anything. There is no competition in which he does not want to beat you and beat you badly. It should be pointed out that they have been Indiana’s two best hitters even this season. Schwarber is at .290 and Travis is at .276. That’s obviously not where they want to be, but they’re not really the problem. The fact that Scott Donley is hitting just .160 is certainly a concern for IU and so too is the fact that Dustin DeMuth doesn’t have an extra-base hit in his first seven games. Casey Smith is having a tough time getting into a groove as well. All of those guys are bigger concerns right now than Schwarber and Travis. And yes, Schwarber and Travis can hurt themselves with a bad season, but I think especially in Schwarber’s case, he’d have to really fall on his face. That power is really impressive. And really, I think you’ll see them hit their stride eventually. Team wise for Indiana, obviously the first seven games are a problem and they’ve hurt themselves significantly because February and March for northern baseball teams are the equivalent to November and December for mid-major basketball teams. That’s how you’re judged when it comes to tournament seeding because that’s when you measure yourselves against power conference teams and it hasn’t started out well in that regard for Indiana. It should be pointed out, however, that the reason there isn’t massive panic and this isn’t the big local headline everywhere (along with the fact that early-season IU baseball travel isn’t part of any local media outlet’s travel) is that what happened last season has never happened before. You can’t set that as the standard as if it’s suddenly unacceptable for an Indiana team not to go to Omaha. It’s really, really hard for a northern team to do it and there’s a reason there were 29 years between Big Ten entries in the College World Series. This is hard. Last year was magical for IU and as much as that brought on expectations, there’s no guarantee it will happen again.

4. I don’t think everyone gets fired next year, but JMV does have a point. I have a hard time believing that Indiana doesn’t get better next year. Again, I don’t think that’s a national championship contender, but I think it’s an NCAA team (even without Vonleh), and I think if it is, Crean is probably safe for another year. But you’re right that if they’re just scraping over .500 at this point next year, there could be some issues and it’s sort of a 50-50 proposition and depends on quality of play and other outside factors. Painter could be in trouble if Purdue isn’t better by that point. I think Brey somehow gets it together because he’s Mike Brey and the Grant situation really hurt him this year. Butler I really can’t read because I’m not sure how much of that you can blame on Brandon Miller and how much of it was just the case of Butler not having a team that was ready for the Big East. It also didn’t help that Roosevelt Jones was out for the whole season. I’d say if you’re to rate likelihood of a firing next year it’s 1. Painter, 2. Brey 3. Crean 4. Miller. That’s where I’m putting it right now. But I’d be surprised if you see more than one firing from those four.

ANDY: Darren:

 

1. Felt the same way. Not that IU didn’t have some issues, but I thought Hoosier fans should feel better about that overall performance than some of the other games featuring lost second-half leads.

2. I guess once something is perceived as pretty much commonplace and expected, it’s less worthy of note. However, CTC and Don Fischer remarked upon it immediately in the post-game radio interview. It wasn’t like people didn’t still notice.

3. Baseball isn’t like basketball. Pitching often dictates the course of games. Even great hitters can slumps. Coach Smith doesn’t seem overly concerned.

4. Could be, I suppose, although the chances of that happening simultaneously aren’t all that great. I woulldn’t think all four programs would necessarily be in position to miss the NCAA tournament again, for one thing. And I’m not really up on how folks are feeling about, say, Bray at Notre Dame, but he’s been there a long time and, while he’s had some ups and downs, he’s pretty much a known commodity. And I would think Butler will be more patient than to pull a plug in year two of a coaching tenure. Purdue and IU are young to the point they should, on paper, be a bit better next season. And I don’t know that either coach there is really in a very tenuous postion. And there would be big buyouts to consider if they were. So we’ll see. But we do live in an instant-gratification society these days. And no doubt all four teams have had disappointing seasons, in varying degrees, this time around. I don’t think everything is really hunky-dory at IU right now, but I also remain mindful that four 1,000-point scorers departed.

QUESTION: With 2 more wins this IU team will clinch a winning season even with an early out in the Big 10 tourney. Do you see the NIT taking this team? I can’t see a crowd over 5,000 since students would have to pay full price for tickets.

 

roger, bloomington

JEREMY: roger,

I think if the numbers work out, the NIT would gladly take a name team like Indiana. However, with the format for the NIT where they have to take any regular-season conference champion that doesn’t make the NCAA, the question is how man spots are available? Because you’ve got those low to mid major teams, then the bubble teams that don’t get in before you get around to an Indiana. But if the question is an Indiana or a middle of the pack SEC team like Vanderbilt, I think the Hoosiers get the first call.

 

I think you underestimate the crowd there. Maybe not a sellout, but I think folks would show up.

DUSTIN: Roger,

One thing you have to remember here is that the parameters for the NIT changed when the NCAA bought out the tournament. It used to be the place where every major conference team got to go if it broke .500 and it didn’t make the NCAAs and drawing power was a really big factor. Now, every team in every small conference that wins the regular season title but doesn’t win the conference tournament gets in the NIT automatically, so therefore the number of spots for mediocre major conference squads is smaller and a moving target. Also, basically, the NIT wants the next best 32 teams. I don’t want to say drawing power is meaningless but it’s more about what you’ve accomplished now. I’d say this. If Indiana beats Nebraska, wins the first game in the Big Ten tournament and loses out otherwise, it’s still going to be close. If they lose out, they’re not getting in.

ANDY: Roger:

 

Sure, the NIT would take a “name” team such as Indiana. Ticket sales at Assembly Hall might be disappointing relative to a customary IU crowd, true, but your estimate seems pretty low.

QUESTION: Good morning guys, I hope all is well! As always, thanks for your hard work and all the great coverage, I appreciate it! There’s no doubt in my mind that the basketball team is in a better place this week than it was last week. I don’t mean in terms of wins/losses (although winning a close road game was nice) because that ship has sailed this season. Rather, I think they appear to have a better understanding of both each other and of the expectations of the staff. I think both the Northwestern and the Wisconsin games were positive steps forward.

 

1. Iowa is reeling a little bit and it appears to be a game that IU could certainly win at home. The Hawkeyes play the Big Ten’s fastest pace but manage to take the care of the ball decently (17.4 turnover %, 5th in the league). After 7 or 8 games this season, I was calling for IU to slow the pace down and they have finally switched to a slower pace (I’m sure it was all my doing!) to try and take care of their woeful TO% (22.1, last in the league). What pace do you think this game is played at tonight?

 

2. The skills for Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson are obvious. However, they still are extremely undisciplined defensively, Troy can’t seem to start a drive without traveling and neither one of them can shoot well enough to be a threat from anywhere besides at the basket. From what you’ve seen or heard, do you think they have the drive/work ethic/will to make a significant leap in the offseason?

 

3. Spring football is coming up (hooray! I am actually extremely excited for next season. Either a gut feeling or just some indigestion…). I know nothing can definitively be taken from spring ball but what are you going to be keeping an eye out for or what storylines do you think you will be following?

 

Thanks as always guys, you are all great and your coverage is much enjoyed! A quick update for you on my family’s winter misadventures…after a long, long 6 1/2 weeks and 2 weeks of very long hours painting, redoing cabinets, cleaning and laying down new wood flooring (not a fun DIY!)…my family will be moving back into our home tomorrow (knock on wood). Thanks for your prayers and well wishes, have a great week, God bless and go Hoosiers!

 

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,

1. Iowa certainly isn’t hitting on all cylinders right now, and Indiana is clearly a more dangerous team at home. However, the Hawkeyes still scored 74 in losing to Wisconsin and 89 in a shootout loss to Minnesota. This IU team simply does not have that kind of firepower, even if its playing the uptempo game that both the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes prefer. And that’s true assuming Indiana can play without turning the ball over, which is rather doubtful. I guess my point is the question is whether Indiana can play well enough defensively to put itself in position to win. The other concern is rebounding, because White, Woodbury, Basabe, Olaseni and Uthoff are a handful. That said, maybe that’s where IU’s plethora of 6-6, 6-7 guys finally pays off.

 

2. Undisciplined is probably the word, because you just never know what those guys are going to do. But like you, I see a world of potential in both. Robinson, by all accounts, is a bit of a gym rat known to question how Victor Oladipo did this or that, what his records were and so on. I think if he maintains or builds on that approach, it will benefit both him and Williams, who are pretty close, along with Devin Davis. So the thought of those three guys putting in work in the offseason, and ideally bringing their teammates with them, is an optimistic one for you.

 

3. Football dudes �

 

Good luck getting back in the old digs.

DUSTIN: TJ,

1. Indiana will try to slow it down. Iowa will try not to let them, and Indiana will have a really hard time making Iowa play its pace because the Hawkeyes have the depth to keep running. That’s the biggest difference in this Iowa team from previous years. They go 11 deep in guys that play at least 10 minutes a game and all of those guys can play and give you something. I don’t see Indiana keeping Iowa under 70, so the Hoosiers are going to have to score to win this one. They’re going to slow it up and try to take the air out of the ball on some level, but Nebraska is the only team that has held Iowa under 70 points all Big Ten season. i don’t know that Indiana has the discipline to change that.

2. I think Robinson does for sure. Everything I’ve heard is that he lives in the gym and he and Vonleh have been on the Hulls/Oladipo/Sheehey every day schedule as far as being in the gym on their own. He can make a leap, but he obviously has some inefficiencies that are a problem (read: shooting). Williams I’m less sure of. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a work ethic, and I’m not saying he can’t build a better one. But I haven’t head that it’s at that level right now. But maybe it can be if he realizes there’s a lot more he can get out of himself because there absolutely is. If we’re to presume that Vonleh is leaving (and I am) then Williams has the highest ceiling of any of the other freshmen and maybe of any returning player. But it won’t matter if he doesn’t learn to handle the ball without turning it over, shoot and defend the dribble better, because he can’t do the first two really well at all and he’s been good and really bad at the third.

3. The big three storylines for me are 1) the introduction of Knorr’s 3-4 defense 2) the never-ending quarterback battle and 3) the wide receiver position. Very interested to see how the team reshapes to fit Knorr’s philosophies and there will be a lot still unanswered in mid-April when spring practice ends. The quarterback discussion goes without saying and if Indiana is to maintain it’s scoring capacity, it needs to have guys step up into the positions of the departed Kofi Hughes and Cody Latimer. That’s a lot of production that has to be made up and we’ll see ho does it

Good to hear, TJ. Man, what a rough winter to be going through all of that. Glad to hear you’re getting back home. Thanks as always.

ANDY: Yo, TJ:

 

1. I think it’ll be a fast-paced game that IU will have difficulty winning. I think the young Hoosiers will have trouble resisting running with the Hawkeyes. I really like Iowa’s team, recent struggles to close out games with Ws notwithstanding. The Hawkeyes really need to win this one. They’re deeper, more experienced, have more shooters, have more height, are better-balanced. Not a good scenario for the home team. I do think the Hoosiers played better this past week that they had in the previous couple of weeks. But they’ll still have to play a lot better tonight, and will have to score in bucketloads while avoiding their usual rate of turnovers.

2. No reason to doubt their drive or work-ethic, so far as I know. And I think Stan, while not yet a great on-ball defender, is better at that than Troy is. I think Troy probably has more potential to develop as a jump-shooter. Both guys, I think, can and will get a lot better with reasonable application. The upside is pretty high in both cases.

3. New defensive schemes/coaches. Quarterbacks. Development of the redshirt-freshmen we didn’t see on the field last fall. How the six January enrollees are settling in. And more. Lots of good story-lines, methinks. Don’t know how much access to practice we’ll get, and CKW tends not to show too much of his hand during the spring game, but I’m still going to be really interested in whatever perceptions one can glean.

Very happy to hear you’ll hopefully get to call home “home” again starting tomorrow after what has had to have been a pretty nightmarish experience. And just FYI, however much I might have tried, I would have been pretty useless regarding the DYI stuff you’ve had to do. I’m thoroughly domesticated in many ways, but am not good at those sorts of handy-man assignments around the house. Hammer meet thumb.

QUESTION: If you really think about the preseason expectations during Creans tenure, couldn’t you argue that he’s only overachieved one year out of the six he’s been here?

 

I’ve never seen fan expectations spoken about more than at Indiana this year. Fans should have high expectations, who cares if they do? Big money, big expectations, that’s just life. People not only see this as a disappointment due to the NIT or worse, but as a wasted year with a lottery pick in Vonleh who is most likely gone now.

 

Bill, Chicago

JEREMY: Bill,

I guess maybe you’re right. I’m not sure there were expectations of any kind the first year or two. I think year 3 was a disappointment and year 4 was overachieving. Last year fell short because they didn’t reach the Final Four, but as you say expectations are largely fan-driven. In that sense, no doubt this year is a disappointment.

 

But on a different scale, I think it’s a disappointment because this team hasn’t played to its potential and hasn’t shown the level of progress expected not externally, but internally. I guess we’ll wait and see on Vonleh, but it doesn’t matter of it’s a “wasted year” for him, because it’s also wasted for a senior like Will Sheehey or Evan Gordon. Guess that’s why basketball is a team game. If you don’t have the right parts, doesn’t matter how many lottery picks you have.

DUSTIN: Bill,

You absolutely could argue that and it’s valid. Now, when I “evaluate,” what Crean’s done so far (I put evaluate in quotes because 1) I’m not Fred Glass and I don’t get to decide Crean’s fate 2) If I was Fred Glass I would not listen to the opinion of a sports writer who wasn’t close to making his junior high team and probably couldn’t coach Pee-Wee basketball, which are my basketball expertise credentials) I don’t think it’s fair to look at the 2012-13 season as a failure or an underachievement. The beauty of the NCAA Tournament is the randomness and cruelty that comes with single-elimination, but that makes it sort of an unfair measurement of the body of work of a team. The end of last season for Indiana was a disappointment, but I think if you’re an athletic director and you’re trying to look at Crean’s entire body of work to determine whether or not you want to retain him, you have to give him credit for the fact that that team won the Big Ten at a time when the league was as strong as it’s ever been at that for most of the season it was playing the best basketball as anyone in the college game. So I do put both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons in the plus category for him. That being said, I absolutely put this season in the negative category and I also note that last year’s team ran out of steam at the end. I don’t know if it’s his fault for overworking them or for not recognizing earlier that they were overworking themselves. One way or another, the Hoosiers were physically and emotionally exhausted by the time they hit the NCAA Tournament last season, and that’s something Crean has to answer for regardless as to whether or not it was his doing. And yeah, fans are allowed to have whatever expectations they want. An athletic director does have to consider those, but not be entirely beholden to them either. You don’t let the mob run your department.

ANDY: Bill:

 

I don’t think there was much in regard to expectations during Crean’s first three years at IU. I think that was pretty much moot. People were patient and supportive, given the circumstances, and should have been.

So, really, you’re talking the last three years. And we’ve seen reasonable expectations exceeded, then sky-high expectations met for much of a season but ultimately not met at tournament time, and then this season. It’s tough on any fan base to have its team ranked No. 1 for 10 weeks one season and then not have it in the NCAA tournament picture the next, even in the wake of four 1,000-point scorers departing.

So I do think that while most people gave Crean a pass for first couple or three seasons, which I think was pretty much justified, there is a fair amount of impatience and unhappiness right now, which I also think it understandable. Your point about Vonleh is well-taken. Just one more shooter might have really helped this team, but things just didn’t work out that way. CTC does the recruiting, so ultimately that’s his responsibility.

Basically — and I think this can happen to great coaches and great programs — it is difficult to weather circumstances when a foundational recruiting class doesn’t pan out well. By foundational, I mean a class that includes at least four or more scholarships expended. Yogi is the only guy in the 2013 class who has met expectations. And the jury is still out on the 2014 class, which I think always had the better chance to blossom overall, but Fischer has already left (a huge blow that will continue to reverberate in many ways, even small ones, such as Devin Davis trying to guard Frank Kaminsky the other night) and Vonleh is probably exiting (obviously an even bigger blow.)

QUESTION: We talk about how Crean and Painter have sealed the borders but both Michigan and Michigan State’s best players are Indiana kids. If Crean and Painter were doing there job Gary Harris and Mitch McGary would be at IU and Spike Albrecht, Zak Irvin and Brendan Dawson would be at Purdue. Also Trey Lyles wouldn’t be lost to Kentucky after committing to IU and Eron Harris would not of left for West Va of all places.

I am just saying for all the recruiting hype it seems Painter and Crean have not done a good job of keeping the best talent home and to many players are still getting away and if some of those Michigan team guys were at IU both teams would be in Big Ten title contention

 

Harry, Indianapolis

JEREMY: Harry,

I don’t know that there’s any such thing as sealing the borders in today’s college basketball. The trick for a team like Indiana is to correctly identify the best guys and grab as many as can fit the needs of your team. For the Hoosiers, that hasn’t necessarily gone as well as hoped recently. I mean, Albrecht’s only scholarship offers were Michigan and Appalachian State.

 

Similar with Eron Harris, whose only other big-time offer as far as I know was Wisconsin. The rest were mid-majors.

 

Not sure I’d put what happened with Trey Lyles on Crean, and Mitch McGary went to prep school a year to improve both his game and his grades, so you’ll forgive some coaches if they had their doubts on both sides of the ledger.

 

Anyway, point is recruiting is an inexact science, with a lot more than geography involved.

DUSTIN: Harry,

You’re not wrong here, but you are oversimplifying the discussion some. First, the idea of truly “sealing the borders,” is pretty much impossible in basketball no matter where you are. Teams only have 13 scholarships, and if five or six of those are open in a given class, that’s close to half your team and that’s a really big class. And in good years in Indiana, there are a lot more than five or six good players in the class so one or two schools can’t take all of them. That explains a lot of what happened here. In 2012, Indiana initially signed five guys in the class and all of them were guys who had at least played their AAU ball in-state (Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Ron Patterson, Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin.) That class actually ended up too big, remember, because Patterson didn’t make it through the summer and was let go. If it wasn’t him, then someone else on that team was either going to have to go or become a walk-on because the Hoosiers were over-signed all the way up until the end of August. So the idea of just throwing Gary Harris and Mitch McGary onto that class on top of what they had was pretty much impossible. When it came to 2013, Indiana had already gotten commitments from a bunch of wingish players � Patterson, Hollowell, Davis, and Hartman � when Irvin was close to making his decision, so he had no reason to believe he was going to come into playing time quickly. Purdue obviously wanted Dawson really bad, but plainly and simply, Purdue isn’t Michigan State. Izzo just won that battle. Spike Albrecht, I mean, come on, don’t act like that was an obvious call there. Nobody even heard of Eron Harris until the Adidas Invitational in July of 2011, by which point Indiana had already pretty much put together its class and Harris blew up playing on the same AAU team as Ferrell, Perea and Hollowell. And Trey Lyles, well, that’s a whole different ball game there. Don’t know if we’ll ever have all of the details there, but there was a lot of interpersonal conflict that led to that one. I don’t think it’s fair at all to say that Crean or Painter haven’t “done their job,” when it comes to recruiting the state.

Now, to turn this argument around, you can absolutely say that Crean has cast his line on the wrong in-state players. Patterson was one of the first commitments he got for the Class of 2012 and he’s at Syracuse now. Hollowell hasn’t panned out yet nor has Mosquera-Perea. Jurkin has been dealing with injuries, and even when been healthy, he hasn’t shown any signs of being a Big Ten-level post player. Collin Hartman has barely played, Devin Davis has shown some flashes but only so many. Obviously, take those players out of the recruiting classes and give Indiana Gary and Eron Harris, Zak Irvin, and Mitch McGary, well obviously, Indiana’s in better position. Hindsight is 20-20 there. But each of those recruiting situations was different. Indiana and Purdue were both in on Gary Harris until the end, but Michigan State just won out in part because it was the Spartans had an immediate opening for a starting shooting guard and Indiana didn’t. I don’t know what happened entirely with McGary but I imagine Zeller’s presence made him less interested in Indiana. Again, Eron Harris came out of nowhere and Irvin was a Michigan-lean from the beginning. Also, no one was disagreeing with Indiana taking the players they took when they did, especially while the Hoosiers were still rebuilding, so it’s easy to bash Crean for it later. Point being, there’s a lot to all of this. You can’t say Crean made all the right moves in recruiting because he’s obviously had some swings and misses, but you can’t say he hasn’t done his job either.

ANDY: Harry:

 

I think you’re pretty off-base, actually. Can’t speak to Purdue’s situation that much, though I do think they thought Dawson was coming, but as to the guys you say “would be” at IU:

Gary Harris was wrapped up for MSU a lot earlier than most people think. Izzo was in on him waaaaay early. Everybody else was always playing catch-up. IU tried really hard. Mitch McGary had issues with grades due, reportedly, to a learning disorder he has now largely dealt with. IU was understandably cautious there, before he left Chesterton for prep school. And the Trey Lyles situation was not CTC’s doing, let’s put it that way. That had everything to do with Lyle’s dad, and not with Trey or CTC. Trey Lyles committed to Indiana and I believe genuinely wanted to attend Indiana. He’s going to Kentucky. Draw your own conclusions.

That whole 2013 in-state class was unusual, actually, in terms of high-profile decommitments. Remember when Bluiett was headed to UCLA and JaQuan Lyle was going to Louisville?

Indiana isn’t going to get every Indiana kid. But if James Blackmon, Jr., wins Indiana Mr. Basketball (though Lyles and Blueitt might well have something to say about that,) that will have meant IU has signed three of the last five Mr. Basketballs. I think that is pretty reasonable, from most IU fans’ perspective.

Not saying that IU or Purdue having Gary Harris wouldn’t make a big difference for those teams … but, as I said earlier, I think Izzo nailed that situation down early (and, like everything Izzo does, did so legitimately.)

QUESTION: Who are the top five high school basketball players by position in the state of Indiana for 2015 and 2016? Is Indiana in the mix or is it too early to tell?

 

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

JEREMY: indianavelt,

Indiana is in the mix for LaLumiere guard Jalen Coleman, who’s probably the hottest commodity for 2015. The 6-foot-3 combo guard has offers from most of the Big Ten, as well as UCLA and Arizona among others. Then there’s 5-11 point guard Hyron Edwards of East Chicago who’s had an offer for a while, but probably some questions as he’s not grown a lot physically since his freshman year

 

As for 2016, Lawrence Central shooter Kyle Guy has an IU offer, as does 6-9 Fort Wayne big man Caleb Swanigan. Southport’s 6-10 Joey Brunk is an intriguing prospect, then there’s that Eron Gordon fellow and Vijay Blackmon, whose older brother will be at IU next year.

DUSTIN: There isn’t a ton of talent in the state in 2015. Highest rated player in the state in 2015 is Jalen Coleman, formerly of Cathedral and now at La Lumiere, and Indiana has had an offer in to him since he was a freshman. He’s got a teammate who is a 6-7, 200-pound wing named Joseph Toye and Indiana is apparently interested but hasn’t offered. Next highest rated player is East Chicago point guard Hyron Edwards, and Indiana has had an offer in to him since he was a freshman, but I got the impression that IU cooled on him a little bit because he’s still short and skinny. After that, it’s K.J. Walton at Brownsburg who has come on strong and I know IU is interested but I’m not sure how much. Davon Dillard at Bowman Academy in Gary is the last guy in the top 150 by Rivals from Indiana. He’s 6-5, 205 and IU is apparently interested. But I have no idea how high they are on any of these guys. I know they want Coleman, but I’m not sure after that. As for 2016, I know Caleb Swanigan has an offer. he’s a really big dude, and that’s all I can tell you. Recruiting is very different for IU right now and there’s going to be a lot to follow here.

ANDY: indianavelt:

Excellent question. And off the top of my head, I’d say IU is more heavily involved among the in-state sophomores than the in-state juniors.

Jalen Coleman, a junior guard who left Cathedral to play at LaLumiere this season, is probably IU’s biggest in-state 2015 target and is highly sought by major programs. He is a physical, talented kid. And I think the Hoosiers have also looked at guys such as Corydon frontliner Bronson Kessinger and Brownsburg guard K.J. Walton.

The sophomore class features a couple of big men who I think already have IU offers in Homestead’s 6-8 Caleb Swanigan and Southport’s 6-10 Joey Brunk. Purdue, I’ve heard, is in heavily on Brunk. There are also several soph guards IU is in on, including a couple of guys with familiar surnames in Indianapolis North Central’s Eron Gordon and Marion’s Vijay Blackmon. Lawrence Central sharp-shooter Kyle Guy has definite IU interest and Merrillville’s D.J. Wilkins is also maybe in the mix.

There are almost certainly more, but those are some guys who come readily to my aging mind.

QUESTION: Is Crean’s inability to work the ball effectively through Big man like Zeller and Vonleah (not to mention develop them well) as often as needed going to hurt his long term recruiting prospects with elite big men in future?

 

Mike, Seymour

JEREMY: Mike,

I don’t know that I see an issue yet. While it would be nice to get those guys more touches sometimes, Zeller was still an All-American and top 5 draft pick. And Vonleh is headed the same direction. Vonleh’s also shown the 3-point shot Zeller was rumored to have, and Crean has shown he’s not afraid to let a big guy step out and take that shot, so that’s actually a plus. I also think that if IU has shooters like Blackmon and Johnson, that would make the situation more attractive to a big guy who knows defense can’t collapse as much.

 

I guess when you say develop, I think of big guys who need a little work for two or three years in order to become effective. I suppose that’s much more the case with a Hanner-Mosquera Perea than the two guys you mentioned. And to be honest, I’ve seen marked improvement from Perea from last year to this in terms of being an offensive threat, catching the ball and even defensive positioning, even if his footwork is still an issue. So I’m not sure that things are as negative or perceived to be as negative by the recruits as you seem to think.

DUSTIN: Well, it kind of depends on whether or not recruits really view it that way. Obviously, fans want to see the ball get in the middle every single time and they never think the big guy gets the ball enough. Cody Zeller spent two years at Indiana, left as an All-American and was the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft. He led the Hoosiers with 354 field goal attempts last year, just short of 10 per game. No big man in the Big Ten got more attempts last season. And that’s especially impressive on a team that had six guys with at least 220 attempts. If you’re a fan and you yell at the TV every single time a shot goes up without a post touch, you are inclined to think he never gets the ball, but the numbers show he did get the ball a lot. Now, it’s obviously been tougher to get the ball to Vonleh because it’s been easier for opponents to hone in on him without any shooters on the wings and that’s an issue. But I don’t know that you can definitively say that Crean can’t develop bigs and he can’t get them the ball. Fans obviously think that, but I don’t know that a recruit who sees two Indiana players who play the center position go in the top 10 of the NBA Draft in back-to-back years are going to look at Crean’s track record and say he can’t develop big men.

ANDY: Mike:

 

Well, Zeller develped into the No. 4 pick in the draft.

And I think Vonleh has developed really, really well this season. That’s been one of IU’s bright spots.

As to not getting Vonleh the ball enough, fair point, but I think that has more to do with a lack of perimeter threat than anything else. Yogi is the primary 3-point shooter, but also is the primary ball-handler. Defenses are collapsing, making drives and entry passes more difficult. Do I think IU could do more things to get Vonleh the ball more consistently? Yes, and I think the Hoosiers are trying. Vonleh got off 15 shots from the field at Wisconsin and 11 in a very balanced attack at Northwestern. I think that’s a good sign.

QUESTION: Great coverage as always, fellas! Much appreciated. The season is all but lost on an NCAA tournament bid unless IU wins the B1G tournament. Stan Robinson has been regressing a bit, but I like how Troy Williams played against NW. He was under control and attacked the rim well. Looking forward, now with expectations for a trip to the dance non-existent, I look for our freshman to really grow over these final 4 games and the conference tournament and build for next year. How do you see this team competing next year, assuming Vonleh is drafted. Also, who do u think may transfer at the end of the year. I realize this is all speculation.

 

JQ, Muncie, IN

JEREMY: JQ,

I think both guys have shown some growth over this season, but it’s just not been as consistent or perhaps significant as many would’ve hoped. Robinson really burst onto the season at the beginning of Big Ten play, but then people scouted him, got to know his tendencies and adjusted. Now it’s on him to make the counter and show patience where before he might have just surprised folks. Troy is still finding his niche, some games better than others. Obviously he needs to work on his outside shot, but I think it will be much improved by next year. Defensively, he could be a monster with his length and athleticism, he just had to understand how to anticipate things a little better and be more proactive than reactive.

 

I have no idea who will transfer. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were one or two, but hard to say. I keep saying that it seems like there are chemistry issues, but I can’t tell if that’s just an on-court thing or what, because I can’t point to anything that says this guy and this guy just don’t like each other. My guess is whatever happens, you just might be surprised by who stays and who actually goes.

DUSTIN: I think next year’s team will be decent but still flawed. The Luke Fischer transfer will haunt them for a long time, because whoever they get to step in at center is going to be a drop-off. They just need to get someone functional, but they won’t have a center they can play through. James Blackmon is going to help a ton and I think he’ll start right away just because they don’t have any shooting. A lineup with Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon, Stanford Robinson, Troy Williams and either Hanner Perea or another new functional center looks like an NCAA Tournament team to me, but it definitely doesn’t look like a national title contender. There’s a lot of length on the roster, but not quite enough bulk and that’s going to be an issue.

Somebody’s going to transfer, but right now I have no idea who. In previous years, I just didn’t like throwing my guesses out there because I don’t know that it was fair to the kids if I didn’t have any actual sourcing. This year it’s because I truly have no idea. I can’t get a read on the chemistry on this team right now. You could tell me everyone’s thrilled to be there and it’s just not clicking yet, or that everyone wants out and I couldn’t argue either way.

ANDY: JQ:

 

Thanks and, as you say, everything is pretty speculative regarding next season at this juncture because we don’t yet know how the personnel situation is going to shake out. But it’s a pretty safe bet it’ll be a better-shooting team, which would obviously help.

IU is trying to recruit some frontline guys here this spring, and next season’s scenario is at least partly dependent upon what happens there, especially presuming Vonleh departs. If forwards Marvin Clark or Josh Cunningham or a couple of pivotmen sign up, that would obviously alter one’s perspective a bit. As I’ve said before, the Fischer exit hurt in any number of ways, and the Hoosiers will need some time to adjust accordingly. They were thinking, rightly, of Fischer as a four-year fixture up front.

I think the continued development of the present freshmen (and sophomores, for that matter) as this season winds down is crucial. Is the team too beaten down by the losses? Or is it still hungry? The answers to those questions matter for next season, and for the future development of the program. If your optimistic forecast is realized, that would help this team heading into next season and beyond a lot.

I do imagine we’ll see a transfer or two, though don’t know whether we’ll see more than is really expected for almost any program in this day and age. Might be a couple. Might be three or four. From what I gather lately, at least one guy I thought would likely go is now likely staying. But I think it’s fair to say this hasn’t been an easy season for most folks involved and I wouldn’t expect everybody, in such a case, to be a happy camper.

QUESTION: BUBBLE WATCH! What will it take for our Hoosiers to make the NIT? Also, how awesome would it be if IU got hot and won the B1G tourney?

 

HoosierInChapelHill, Chapel Hill, NC

JEREMY: Chapel Hill,

I assume it’s a nice morning on Franklin Street after knocking off the Wolfpack last night. I’d say IU needs at least two and probably three more wins to reach the NIT, including the Big Ten Tournament. But I’d say 2-2 in these final four games with maybe a Big Ten tourney win would lock it up.

 

It would be as awesome as that Chris Farley skit with Paul McCartney when he says, ‘Remember that one time when you did such and such? That was awesome.’

DUSTIN: I think they have two win three more games to get in the NIT counting the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament. Maybe two does it. On the second thing, well, you can answer your own question with how awesome it would be, but it would be pretty impressive because as of right now if the season ended today, IU would be the No. 8 seed. Winning the Big Ten would mean beating the No. 9 seed then the No. 1 (which would be either Michigan or Michigan State), then either the No. 4 or No. 5 seed (right now either Ohio State or Iowa) and then the winner of the other side of the bracket (Probably either Michigan or Michigan State or also maybe Wisconsin) so yeah, that would be nuts.

ANDY: HICH:

 

I just think IU needs to finish someplace north of .500 for a NIT bid. That’s not a sure thing at this point, though.

 

As to your B1G tourney fantasizing well, yeah, most IU fans would think that’d be pretty awesome. Given the fact that even really good Indiana teams haven’t fared well in that tournament, it would be ironic if this team did. Stranger things have happened, I guess, and it isn’t as if this team is bereft of talent. But one would think they’d have to have at least a couple of guys (Sheehey? Gordon? Etherington?) get really hot from the perimeter to really make a run.

 

And these last three home-games against excellent league opponents, starting tonight, should tell us whether this team is ready to make some sort of splash or to pack it in.

QUESTION: Let me wipe away the tears for just a minute. Ok, I’m ready. When you guys watch other (men’s basketball) teams play, like Michigan St, Michigan or Wisconsin, and think, “Wow. Every player on their team is ready to shoot and they look confident when they shoot. Gee, why don’t I feel the same way about my Hoosiers?”

 

I watch IU play and it seems like nearly every player is hesitant or scared to shoot the ball. Why do they play someone like Etherington who’s a 3 pt shooter but doesn’t even look to take 3 pt shots? If the defender is 2-3 steps back, please take the shot. Is Crean dictating who should take the shot on each possession? Or does the player pass up the shot because Crean will take them out after they make a good play (you know what I mean)?

 

If you read the comments section of your articles, you’ll see the name “Mike Davis” appear throughout most of the recent threads. For those who don’t spend your days in the comment section, the comment refers to how Crean’s offense is beginning to resemble Mike Davis’ hold the ball for 25-30 seconds around half court, then take a low percentage desperation shot. I guess my next question is…Do you guys notice the resemblance?

 

Last question. Do you know if Coach Crean reads your articles and/or the comments in the articles? Also, do you think he’d join you guys for a Live Discussion one week and answer questions from the HTO crowd?

 

Thanks!

 

Marc Sadness, NITville

JEREMY: Marc,

I think the reason there’s some hesitation is two-fold (quick aside, regardless the reason, Etherington is far too hesitant for somebody who has the ability to actually be the shooter IU needs). One, most of them are not very good shooters, so it’s not a high-percentage shot unless you’re really wide open and sometimes not even then. Second, there’s little doubt that it’s been pounded into them by this point to attack the basket, don’t settle for jump shots. And especially when you’re dealing with freshmen, they tend to take things to heart a little to the extreme at times. Although for this team, that might be better than bombing away.

 

I suppose there are some similarities to the Mike Davis days, at least this year any way. I’m not sure that’s truly indicative of what Crean wants out of his offense based on what I’d seen the last couple of years, though. I mean, Will Sheehey is one of the best off the ball cutters you’ll ever see in college basketball, and at times he’s stymied this year by the fact there just isn’t the spacing, due to lack of offensive threats, or the understanding of basketball to create the open opportunities.

 

I think Crean reads some articles, maybe not all, but some. I would doubt he reads the comments, unless he’s a glutton for punishment. And pretty sure he’d pass on a live discussion with the HTO folks, too. In general, don’t get the impression he’s looking to deal with the media more than the bare minimum.

DUSTIN: Marc,

Let me start at the end there. I know Crean reads some articles. I’m not sure if he reads all of them. He says he doesn’t read “the obvious ones.” I’ve actually heard more from him about stories I’ve written about football or baseball than his own team. I don’t know if that means he’s annoyed at what I wrote and just doesn’t want to talk about it or of he tries to ignore it. Does he read the comment sections? If he does, he’s insane. I can’t think of a better way to mess with your own head and tick yourself off than to read the comment sections. I read comments on my own stories and sometimes I think I shouldn’t. If I were a player or coach the last thing I would do is read the comments and I don’t think I’d read the papers. If you try to find out what everyone is saying about you, there’s a really good chance you’ll start questioning yourself too much. Do I think he’d do a live chat? Nope. Zero chance of that happening. He does the radio show because he gets paid to do it. He takes on other media responsibilities because he has to. He does not enjoy them so far as I can tell. There is literally no chance he would do something like that.

I don’t think Crean does dictate who should take the shot on every possession. I think he wants Etherington to shoot more and I think it’s two things. One, players are constantly dealing with contradictory commands, and this isn’t just at Indiana it’s everywhere. You’re supposed to take shots when they’re open but you’re also supposed to make the extra pass and find the open man and you have to make that decision in a split second. It’s a harder decision when you’re not shooting well and Etherington isn’t shooting well He’s 4-for-17 from three this year. But it’s not like there’s someone on the bench who’s so much better. Evan Gordon is 16-for-49, Jeremy Hollowell is 7-for-30, Collin Hartman is 0-for-3, Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams are a combined 6-for-38. So if you’re not going to play Etherington, who are you going to play?

ANDY: Marc:

 

To answer your last query first: I think CTC will steer well clear of the HTO crowd, thank you very much.

 

These team has perimeter shooting issues. Those were perceived even before the season began and have certainly manifested. I don’t think CTC dictates who shoots and win any more or less than most coaches do, but I just don’t thnik this team has many confident shooters because, frankly, most of them are questionable shooters. I also think CTC wants a lot more player and ball movement than he’s getting sometimes with this team, but that also partly results from the lack of a perimeter threat beyond the primary ball-handler. Defenses are clogging the lane. There isn’t much room for IU to move either people or the ball through the lane. Hence, you see a lot of perimter passing to see if ball-reversal can’t create some cracks in the lane.

 

I might not be totally sanguine at all times regarding CTC’s approach to halfcourt offense but can say with almost complete conviction (or at least as much conviction as a mere sportswriter can muster) that it’s better than that of Mike Davis (and that I flat-out hated Sampson’s approach to offense, too. Yuck.)

QUESTION: Valid or not, I have grown tired of the constant coach criticisms. Are we at the point in our society where coaches will always be on the hot seat for high profile programs?

 

MN Tom, Plymouth

JEREMY: MN Tom,

Short answer, yes. That’s true at both the college and professional level these days, where the simplest fix to whatever ails a team is to fire the coach. And part of that stems from the money the coaches are making, as people feel there’s no reason to pay exorbitant sums for sub-par results. Usually, about the time a coach reaches the point where he’s established beyond criticisms, like a Coach K or the like, then the chatter starts about how old they are and how soon they’ll retire and so on.

 

Of course, I suppose the seat heats up even faster these days with social media and the ability for everyone to have a voice and to have a voice that is just safely anonymous to share any opinion.

DUSTIN: In the minds of fans, yes. If you’re a fan and you’re unhappy with the direction of the program, the only guy you can get rid of is the coach. It’s not like you can make trades or go get free agents. Fans want their teams to win all of the time, and when they don’t, there’s only one guy they can really blame it on, so they do.

I do think athletic directors have more patience than fans, but they have less than they used to because they’re paying these guys more money. If you’re paying a guy $3 million a year plus investing a lot of other money in his program for assistant coaches, facilities, travel, recruiting, etc., well, you expect results. You’re not going to want to wait that long for them and if you figure out early in the process that he’s not your guy, you’re not going to want to keep him that long just to make sure. You can make all the complaints you want about “instant gratification society,” and what not and some of that’s fair, but just as big of a part of that is investment-return. And no, you don’t feel nearly as bad letting a guy go after four years if you’ve paid him $12 million in that time.

ANDY: MN Tom:

 

I share your sentiment. The advent of social media, and internet anonimity, has created a real cesspool of a fan context in and around college athletics. Some people have gotten accustomed to spewing their basest feelings without any filter at all. And not just about coaches. Check out the recent goings-on regarding Zach McCabe and elements of the Iowa fan base. It’s happening everywhere and it stinks.

 

It used to be that many fans of a program supported their guys through thick or thin, and would try to render even more support if things weren’t going well. Those days are long gone. And it’s too bad they are.

QUESTION: Good frosty morning Gentlemen (and HOW I long for the day we can all start using a greeting that didn’t use a term for ice). Short, simple question for you ‘non-fans’: In your opinions, has this basketball team underachieved, over achieved (?!?) or done just about what you expected? I know where we fans come down on this, but we’re not exactly reliably objective.

 

kurk81, Battle Grouind

JEREMY: kurk81,

I think IU has definitely underachieved. However, the margin of error is rather thin on that front. I thought IU would probably be a bubble team, but likely finish somewhere around 20-11, maybe 19-12 for the regular season. I guess 19-12 is still possible if the Hoosiers win out, but that seems rather unlikely. Still, they had leads, even double-digit leads, in enough games to have been three or four games better than what they are record-wise. And if they were, the bride-jumping wouldn’t be as prevalent.

 

That said, it also just hasn’t been as good as I might have thought in some areas and hasn’t improved as much as I thought from early in the year. The game against UConn seemed like a good jumping off point, but the Hoosiers don’t seem a whole lot different now than then other than the absence of Luke Fischer.

DUSTIN: It’s underachieved. Obviously, this season has served as a reminder of how difficult it is to get young players to put it together, but I still think this team was good enough on pure raw talent to be better than it is. This was not a Final Four team and it wasn’t even a Sweet 16 team, but it should have been good enough to get in. I voted them Top 25 at the beginning of the season and with two McDonald’s All-Americans matching expectations and an experienced, gritty senior captain in Sheehey I don’t know that that was a crazy idea and I don’t think it was asking too much for this team to finish sixth in the Big Ten behind UM, MSU, OSU, UW and Iowa. There are a list of players who haven’t developed as could have been expected and haven’t contributed as much as they were capable of. I don’t think it’s as much of a disaster as fans think, but there was enough talent for this team to be better.

ANDY: kurk81:

 

I think it’s under-achieved a bit, but I don’t think reasonable or rational folks expected achievements of real magnitude this season — not in the wake of personnel losses like Oladipo, Zeller, Watford, Hulls and Elston. Things could have gone better than they have, and as I’ve mentioned before I think the Fischer departure really hurt and will continue to reverberate, but this team was always going to have shooting problems among other issues. And the B1G is nasty. There perhaps aren’t many truly elite teams in this league, but there are no bad ones. There are zero easy games, and it’s quite a gauntlet for a team this young and inexperienced to run.

 

Noah Vonleh certainly hasn’t disappointed. Yogi Ferrell clearly worked hard to develop his outside-shooting game. It hasn’t been an abject disaster on all fronts as some people seem to want to paint it. But things, overall, haven’t gone particularly well and winnable games have been lost. I young team has looked young most of the way.

QUESTION: Morning from wet NorCal for a change. Let me state up front that for a variety of reasons, we will have our current coach for several more campaigns. I believe the shortest path to getting back to a consistent team is to bring in a defensive guru as an assistant. Since Coach Crean has been at IU, the defense has been mediocre. I think Cody hid a lot of problems with his unusual skills but generally I see a team that really lacks a defensive identity. We are not very good at defending the ball or stopping driving. We are not very good at defending the 3. We are not a good zone or man to man defensive team. So do you believe that Coach Crean would be open to bringing in some help to shore up our defensive approach?

 

 

 

Wine Country, Sonoma

JEREMY: Wine,

Bringing in a defensive guru would mean getting rid of somebody that exists, and I don’t see that happening unless one of the assistants gets a head coaching job. I’m honestly not sure what new director of operations Rob Judson might have to offer that way.

 

I’m also not sure the defense is nearly as bad as you suggest. And at times this year, it’s been pretty good, just inconsistent like everything else.

 

My only suggestion is that with enough depth and length, adding some pressing, halfcourt trapping defense to this team from the beginning next year might help to create some easy baskets and take a little of the pressure off the halfcourt offense. I think there are some ingredients for a strong defensive team, some of which will improve with simple maturation.

DUSTIN: I don’t know that I’d agree with all of that and I think it’s easy to say that if you have a problem just bring in an assistant who can fix it. For one thing, I’m not sure there’s any assistant coach in college basketball that anyone would refer to as a defensive guru. For another, they’ve got three guys, someone has to leave for there to be an opening. Indiana hasn’t necessarily been a great defensive team, but it’s been better than you think. They’re 33rd nationally in defensive efficiency this season, which is not bad for this young and otherwise dysfunctional of a team. Last year, they were 28th, which wasn’t that bad either. I would say this. Crean doesn’t need a new defensive assistant. Tim Buckley is good enough at putting together a defensive game plan. If there’s any one thing he can do from a coaching perspective to make the defense better, it’s give more power to Buckley.

ANDY: WC:

 

I actually think this team has shown some signs of defensive improvement, or at least was doing so around mid-season. And I don’t think Cody was a great low-post defender. I felt, actually, that was one of the few deficiencies in his game (compared to, say, a guy like Jared Jeffries, who was brilliant down low defensively.) I think Oladipo is the guy they really miss defensively. He could usually take the opposition’s best perimeter guy out of play.

 

It’s hard to watch a good athlete like Troy Williams let a guy like Bronson Koenig drive right around him. Don’t get me wrong. Some of the freshmen came in with pretty poor defensive fundamentals, though I think Stan Robinson is a pretty capable and willing defender. Yogi can be pretty good on the ball at times, too (ask Keith Appling.) Overall, while the defense hasn’t been great and, as you say, I’m not sure IU has a real defensive “identity,” I think the over-riding issues with this team have been turnovers and lack of perimeter shooting.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for being here Remember you can follow IU sports 24/7 on The Hoosier Scoop blog and free app.

 

Gentlemen: Thanks for your time today. What else should we know?

JEREMY: Another day, another game. Iowa at Assembly Hall tonight, and Ohio State comes to town on Sunday. In the meantime, stay warm.

DUSTIN: Plenty going on this week. We’ve got basketball at 9 p.m. tonight plus, we’ll be meeting with Fred Glass and Tom Morrison for a discussion on what was done to fix Assembly Hall. Indiana baseball has an important game at Louisville on Saturday, then IU basketball gets Ohio State on Sunday. So lots going on.

ANDY: Thanks, as always.

Watch out tonight. Iowa comes in really hungry. The Hoosiers, and their fans in the stands, had better come in the same way.

 

2 comments

  1. One other thing when considering the defensive efficiency numbers. A turnover in the open court just kills that stat because obviously it’s an easy two(or three) points on the possession for the opponent. If a team has 3-4 of those per game, that’s going to skew the numbers.

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