Live Chat Transcript

Failed to get this on the blog yesterday. Apologies.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Hope everyone is doing well on this first day of May.

A special shout-out to Andy for being presented with the Virgil Sweet Award last week. The award, presented by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association, is for service to youth basketball in a role other than a coach. Congratulations, Andy.

How are you doing today? Ready to get started?

JEREMY: I’ll second that hearty congratulations to Andy, and with that, I’m ready to chat.

DUSTIN: Congrats to Andy. He’s getting so many lifetime achievement awards these days I can’t tell which one comes when, but he’s absolutely deserving of all of it. Anyway, let’s get to it.

ANDY: Thanks for the shout-out. Virgil Sweet, for those who don’t know, was a legendary coach at Valparaiso HS renowned as a free throw-shooting guru, among other laudable things. He returns from his retirement digs in Florida annually to present his namesake award on behalf of the IBCA. It was an honor to shake his hand. And it is always an honor, of course, to participate in H-T chat.

QUESTION: Good morning guys, I hope all is well. Thanks for the chat and for the rest of your coverage, I appreciate it. Let me start by saying that I think there should be a one-week chat “ban” for anyone who chooses to disparage the great Tijan Jobe in a question (there’s one person who should be serving their punishment this week!). Dustin, I call on you to enforce this and protect the spirit of the Liger. Now, on to less serious things…

1. When I saw that Tim Priller had committed to the Hoosiers my first reaction was, “who is that?”. I then looked up some stuff on him (grew a bunch recently, small town in Texas, not a lot of exposure, still potentially growing) and came away with a bit more understanding of why Tom Crean was interested. However, I’m not really sure what he adds that Collin Hartman and Max Hoetzel aren’t already supposed to be adding. Do you have any ideas about what the Hoosiers are hoping to get from Priller?

2. The additions of Jeremiah April and Tom Priller bring much needed size to IU and I know the staff spent the weekend jetting around the country (their travels sounded exhausting) looking at 2015 kids. Do you think they are done with the 2014 class? If you were picking two to three players to add to IU from the 2015 class, who would you pick?

3. I was mildly surprised to see IU left off of the Big Ten Network’s “prime time” football schedule because I know Fred Glass likes to have a night game or two. Do you know if Glass was pushing for a night game or did the additions of Maryland and Rutgers (I laughed a bit when I read the release from the BTN claiming that Michigan at Rutgers at 8 pm was “what the new Big Ten is all about”…ugh) make a nighttime slot for IU impossible? Or, did IU not have a desire for any Thursday night or Saturday night games?

Thanks in advance for your answers and insights, I appreciate it. Have a great rest of the week, God bless and go Hoosiers.

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,

1. That was the reaction of you and everyone else. As for what IU hopes to get from Priller, clearly they need at least 5-10 minutes a game at minimum to help fill the void. To quote Kenny Mayne, “he’s tall.” And that alone means he’s likely to see the floor some. To be honest, I think if the Hoosiers got Jeff Howard with an outside shot, they’d take it.

2. Done with 2014? Maybe, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see one more either. Now don’t ask who, because it’s pretty clear at this point I’d be lying if I said I had any clue. Keep in mind IU is still after transfer Ryan Anderson, who would have to sit next year. And there’s a guy like Xavier’s Justin Martin who is a grad transfer that could play right away still out there.

As for 2015, if I’m picking I take either Jalen Coleman or Jalen Brunson at guard with Doral Moore and Daniel Giddens in the post. But since they’re picking, please take that with a big grain of salt.

3. Football dudes �

Take care, TJ.

DUSTIN: Ha! Good point, TJ. The spirit of the Liger must be protected and I will gladly take on this responsibility.

1. Well, remember, Hartman did just tear his ACL and I haven’t heard a return date for him yet, so they might be playing a lot without him. I think he’s taller than Hoetzel as well and as I see it, his frame is more suitable to build him into a power forward eventually than Hoetzel’s is. I came away really impressed with Hoetzel’s game when I saw him at the Derby Classic, but I think – and he agrees – that he’s a small forward all the way. There’s a lot more fluidity to his game than I realized and I think that makes him more natural for that spot. Priller can be more of a four guy, and right now, Devin Davis is the only guy who really fits into that position naturally. Troy Williams will have to play there too, but Priller has a little more height and can shoot it to be a true stretch four. I have no idea if he’s good enough to play right away, but that’s what he brings in theory.

2. I think they should be done for the 2014 class because with Cunningham gone, I’m not sure there’s a high-quality player left available in the class who could make a major impact in 2014. There is obviously a lot on the board in 2015, and the Hoosiers don’t have any seniors. Certainly there’s a possibility of a transfer, and I still wouldn’t be surprised to see Peter Jurkin take a medical redshirt before the fall semester begins, but they’re going to be dealing with a limited number of scholarships in that class. Hard to say who they go after because the in-state pool for 2015 is limited. Jalen Coleman is the only available player in the top 99 from the state at No. 31. The Hoosiers have been recruiting him for a while, but I’m not sure how high the mutual interest still is. Hyron Edwards is No. 100. I like him, but I’m not sure if they still want to go point guard after getting Robert Johnson in the last class and with so many other needs on the board.Stephen Zimmerman, Daniel Giddens and Carlton Bragg are all Top 30 guys they’ve been after at some point in the past, and any of the three could help I wasn’t all that impressed by Zimmerman at the Adidas Invitational last year, but pretty much every school in America loves him, so he must be doing something right.

3. If the new Big Ten is about Michigan and Rutgers, well, I don’t know what to say about that. I didn’t really dig very deeply into that, and now that you mention it I really should. I don’t think IU was in any way against having a primetime game. I’m not sure it matters that much in football because no one’s working on Saturday anyway, but it’s something I should check into.

Thanks as always TJ>

ANDY: TJ:

What if we, even inadvertently, disparage The Liger in a response?

(Not that any of us would ever dream of such a heinous act, of course. Especially if it incurs The Wrath of Dustin.)

1. I think the “6-9 and maybe still growing” aspect is perhaps instructive regarding what they want from Priller at some juncture. I imagine they see him as a “stretch 4” prospect down the road. But he also just gives them needed frontline depth short-term. He’s aid and abet the scrimmaging in practice. Not sure how many meaningful minutes he could immediately supply, but even just a few might prove helpful this season, a campaign which may feature an “all hands on deck” approach. IU was in clear need of another tall hand or two, so to speak. And there is at least a nominal two-deep now (Ferrell/Johnson, Blackmon/Robinson, Williams/Hartman or Hoetzel, Davis/Priller, Mosquera-Perea/April.)

2. I would imagine they’re done with 2014 and will likely have at least two tenders for 2015. Who would it behoove Indiana to get? In a perfect world, I suppose, a big man in the person maybe of 7-footer Stephen Zimmerman (who plays in Arizona but recently listed IU among his final 8) or 6-9 Ohioan Carlton Bragg, coupled with 6-3 guard Jalen Coleman, just to keep the in-state home fires burning. I’ve always liked Coleman’s game and potential pretty well, going back to his Cathedral days before his shift to LaLumiere. Shooting for Zimmerman or Bragg is aiming high for the Hoosiers right now, but why not aspire?

3. I shared your surprise and sentiments there. Don’t really know why it worked out that way, but I’m pretty sure it’s not because IU was averse to the notion of Thursday or Saturday evening games. As you note, Fred Glass is on record favoring night games, and I don’t think Kevin Wilson minds them, either.

Thanks, as always, TJ. The Liger Lives.

QUESTION: OSD is in the house! Another beautiful, cold, rainy and yucky day in NW Indiana. Man this has been a bad year weather wise and well for the Hoosiers too for that matter. Enough levity now on to the questions.

First now we have Tim Priller. So what do we have here? I mean there is virtually nothing out there about him. I saw one thing that he was rated 17th in the state of Texas and that he played in the highest class in Texas. But that is about it. Do you guys know anymore?

Josh Cunningham was not a surprise. Sounds like he wants to be a big fish in small pond close to home. Who else is out there for us? Maybe a guy who has graduated with one year left?

Is this Peter Jurkin’s last year or do they cut him loose this summer? A shame but he is no more help than I would be. Actually I had a great jumper in my day.

I saw some of the tour dates for the IU tour with CTC. The one in Chicago at Joe’s Bar is on a weeknight. You know some people work. Why does he do that? Is it so there are not lots of people jawing at him on this little soiree? Just seems dumb if he is trying to gain support.

Is IU going overseas this fall to play? Seems like would be good to get some of these young guys some experience.

Well time to go. No big plans for the Dude this weekend. Maybe watch the Cubs. I know but they are my team through and through. They have to win some year don’t they?

The Dude is outta here….

Old Sports Dude, Crown Point

JEREMY: OSD,

1. What does IU have in Tim Priller? That’s a great question. There was a new YouTube highlight video of Priller posted today (google Tim Priller 6’9 Stretch 4 Richland High SChool), which perhaps helps answer that to a point. He can clearly shoot it and has a nice habit of actually following his shot to boot. Seems to understand the game in terms of using the pick and roll, flashing to open areas of the floor, using the backboard 10 feet and in, etc. Foot speed and interior toughness remain a question mark. No doubt strength and conditioning at Indiana will help some of that, but how ready he is to play B1G basketball this year, I don’t know. He does sort of look like a guy that is growing into his body, likely the result of the growth spurts that have seen him start high school at 6-2 and finish at 6-9.

2. Who else is out there? After Jeremiah April and Tim Priller, I couldn’t even pretend to know. See the transfer suggestions I gave TJ.

3. Prevailing thought is Jurkin winds up with a medical hardship, which would actually open up another scholarship in addition to the one currently left for 2014. We’ll see.

4. Don’t think IU has had much trouble with attendance on the Tailgate Tour, regardless of night, and Joe’s probably would rather drum up business mid-week than on the weekend.

5. Reports indicate a foreign trip in August, just not overseas, unless there is a massive geological shift between now and then that puts Montreal, Canada, across the sea. Nothing official on that yet though.

Later, Dude.

DUSTIN: Hey OSD,

Yeah, there’s not much out there and they did dig pretty deep for him. But supposedly, he’s a 6-foot-8 kid who can put it on the floor and shoot, so he’s what you call a stretch four. Now, how good is he at that exactly? I’m not sure. Obviously, I’ve never seen him before either and I didn’t know there was a person named Tim Priller until about 9 p.m. on Saturday. But basically, he gives them another option at that spot, which is important because there weren’t a lot of power forwards on this roster before his addition.

There’s not much else out there at this point for the Class of 2014. It is May 1 after all. and there aren’t that many high school students in general who don’t know where they’re going to college let alone basketball players. There are only six players still available in the top 150, and I can’t imagine they’ll get any of them. Three of those are guards, which they don’t need right now, and the other two are bigs from Arizona and Los Angeles respectively, and I can’t imagine they can jump in on those two and make anything happen.

When was the last chat in which you didn’t ask if Peter Jurkin was going to transfer? I don’t see him transferring, there is still a chance he takes a medical redshirt, so stay tuned on that.

Well, No. 1, Tom Crean doesn’t decide the tailgate tour schedule. No. 2, the tailgate tour stop at Joe’s Bar always coincides with Big Ten Football Media Days, which this year are on a Monday and a Tuesday. Crean usually doesn’t even make the trip, so it’s really Kevin Wilson you’re dealing with, and it makes sense because there’s no reason for Wilson to drive up to Chicago for Media Days and then drive up again later the tailgate tour event.

Think they’re leaving the country, but don’t think they’re going overseas. By that I mean the two possibilities I’ve heard (Canada and Brazil) are in the Western Hemisphere. And I think it’s going to be Canada. One way or the other, they could use it. I don’t know if this team has chemistry problems per se, but I don’t think it has good chemistry, and there’s going to be a lot of turnover. So this is a good time for this.

Thanks OSD.

ANDY: Dude:

I figure since Priller was born in Dyer, you might consider him a homeboy. Then again, I don’t imagine Crown Point people automatically endorse guys from the Lake Central district.

Honestly, not sure what the Hoosiers have here. Have watched the available highlight films. Priller looks a bit unorthodox, but not necessarily ineffective, as a shooter. The 51 percent accuracy mark from 3-point range this season testifies to that. He’ll need to get quicker and stronger to make much of an impact anytime soon, but he looks like a legit 6-9 (and may still be growing), so he qualifies as a potential “stretch 4” down the road. Again, I’m neither a scout nor a coach, and all I’ve seen are highlight tapes. So take all the above with a large grain of salt. At the very least, he adds some frontcourt depth where there was an obvious immediate need.

Cunningham’s decision, as you note, was not a surprise by the end.

Who else is out there? Who knows? I can’t claim to have heard of either April or Priller before they committed to IU, and I wouldn’t necessarily expect to know whomever else the Hoosiers may be looking at for 2014 (if anybody.) My guess is the Hoosiers are probably done with this class unless they get a shot at somebody really good who could help right away. Otherwise, they’ll bank the scholarship (especially given they currently have no seniors on the roster) for 2015.

I always liked Peter Jurkin’s potential, but Hoosier fans never really got to see it, and I don’t know that they ever will. If his health issues remain as they are, I would expect IU to offer him a Hardship schollie at some point soon, allowing him to complete his education here without playing further, if he should choose to stay, or giving him his release if he wishes to try playing elsewhere. His shins just haven’t held up, from what I gather.

I remember my basketball coach back in 1973 interrupting a phys ed-class weight-lifting session I was doing and saying, “Graham, stop it. Lifting weights will screw up your jump shot.” I replied: “Coach, I have no jump shot to screw up.”

Not sure about why the Joe’s date is apparently on a Monday evening. The last couple of times I’ve been up at Joe’s, it was in conjunction with the Big Ten Football Kickoff activities (and, I think, usually held the Thursday evening of that week.) But the stuff you’d be interested in, with Glass and the coaches talking, occurs pretty early on. And I would think it defeats the basic rationale if they scheduled these things to purposefully avoid crowds, even if some haranguing might be in store.

The Cubs don’t have to win. Ever. The club’s management has known that for years. Wrigley will still draw. Not that I don’t think the currently management isn’t trying to build a winner, but I’m mostly refering to past management. They depended upon and abused the loyalty of fans such as OSD.

QUESTION: I understand that there may be a few players out there who are very good and were under the radar. I get that and I understand that improving basketball skills is an ongoing process. But to me, it is more of a crap shoot going after these guys. Especially when a player is unknown, has very few offers and not recruited by major division one schools. Three questions for you today.

1) We need guys with skills to be immediate starters this season. Do you see any of the recent ‘bigs’ we have recruited filling that need?

2) I don’t think there is any major concern with Yogi and Stan getting busted at Kilroy’s. I can’t imagine either one of them with any glaring character issues or anything like that. Besides, contrary to what was said about me during my wonder bread years in Bloomington, I wasn’t exactly squeaky clean either. I actually got a free meal or two at Wilkie Quad. Sorry, I’m not proud of that. Do you guys have any idea as to what the consequences will be for Yogi and Stan?

3) Who do you think is the top candidate to replace Kenny Johnson? And will this person be an ‘X and ‘O’s guy in addition to a big time recruiter? I think we could use a guy like that. Any buzz as to who is being mentioned as the next assistant basketball coach at Indiana?

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

JEREMY: indianavelt,

1. Short answer, no. Longer answer, not really. Seriously, I think both April and Priller are intriguing prospects with potential, but that potential is far more likely to be recognized in two or three years than in one. They may be able to provide some minutes — they have to — but to in any way rely on them seems a reach. April is more intriguing to me, as he comes across as a true center, something that is rather rare these days. If he can find the mindset to match his physical gifts, he could be a real difference-maker.

2. As a one-off, the incident isn’t the end of the world. It’s not like they stole crab legs or something. But the troubling part is that there’s a pattern of less than stellar decision-making on and off the court with this IU team. Yogi was supposed to be a team leader last year and even more so this coming year. Yet it’s he and his close friends like Hanner Perea and now Stan Robinson that are finding trouble. If that’s your leader, you’re following him to nowhere. Bad guys? No. Bad choices? Yes.

3. Sort of like recruiting, I have no idea about specific names. When Crean’s hiring, I don’t think he’s thinking in terms of ‘X and O’ guy or ‘recruiting’ guy. He’s looking for somebody with high character, high basketball IQ and good at building relationships, which sort of covers both categories.

DUSTIN: Hey Indianavelt,

1. It is more of a crap shoot, but it is also kind of a desperate situation. Simply put, if Luke Fischer, Jeremy Hollowell and Austin Etherington don’t transfer out, Indiana isn’t looking for big men in April with the absolute necessity of adding somebody — ANYBODY — to fill those voids. Banking all the scholarships was not an option. They had to get players and they did. They don’t have to work out long term to be worth hit. They just have to provide five fouls. Anything you get more than that is a bonus. Do I those two guys being immediate starters? No. Well, maybe April, but if you’re telling me now that April starts in November, then I’m also guessing that Perea will have not developed. But again, this was a situation in which you had to settle. Too much happened that could not have been planned for and by the time it all went down, thee weren’t blue-chippers hanging around to fix it.

2. Don’t know what Tom is going to do to them, but I imagine there will be some punishment because he was clearly unhappy about it. Not sure if that leads to a one-game suspension when the season starts or not. As far as legal ramifications, well, it could have been over and done with if they had gone to Little 500 court instead of sending a lawyer. Everyone who gets an excise ticket over Little 500 week can go to court on that Sunday morning and help clean up the town, pay a fine and that’s the end of it. Which by the way, I think is a genius move on Bloomington’s part. I had an underage drinking citation once upon a time myself and I would have gladly spent a morning cleaning up State College rather than having my license suspended for 90 days. But I guess they didn’t want pictures of them on excise clean-up duty, so that will drag out the process some and I’m not sure how that’s going to end. I don’t think they have major character issues per se in the sense that I don’t think drinking in college before you’re 21 makes you a bad person (because if it does then I was a bad person.) But I thought Crean’s comments about immaturity were telling. It’s one thing that Ferrell and Robinson were allegedly drinking during Little 500. It’s another thing that on Little 500 weekend when every bar in town is crawling with excise police, they allegedly took their very recognizable faces and fake ID’s to the biggest bar in town where they’ve been on the big screen for half the year. And it adds on to the Hanner Mosquera-Perea arrest in which he was not only charged with OWI, but charged the day after the Penn State loss and the night before they were going to take a bus to West Lafayette for the Purdue game. Collectively, as Crean put it, the decision making is concerning. I’m not naive enough to think that the 2011-12 and 2012-13 teams were all choir boys and angels and that none of them ever partook in the trappings of college life in the course of four years. But those guys did it at least responsibly enough not to get arrested and these guys are obviously having a hard time with that. As Crean put it, that suggests issues with decision making.

ANDY: Yo, indianavelt:

Well, the Hoosiers needed a couple of big bodies that were at least semi-ambulatory. And it was late April (pun intended.) It was what it was.

1. No, and the chance of recruiting a big man “immediate starter” was never going to be all that great once IU missed out on Lee and a couple of other prospects earlier. Good big men are hard to find at any time and especially in the late spring. At the very least, IU needed to find some frontcourt depth. It did. And, just from watching a few snippets of film, I’d guess Jeremiah April is the more likey of the two to play some meaningful minutes this upcoming season. I wouldn’t project him to start in front of Mosquera-Perea, but I think he might well provide some needed five-minute stretches.

2. The consequences will presumably be pre-trial diversion, community service, and nothing permanent on their record (unless they choose to lawyer-up and fight it, which on the surface wouldn’t seem overly wise to me.) Like you, I would feel somewhat hypocritical if I called their infraction a big deal, but some may perceive it as symptomatic of larger cultural issues and, in that context, it is perhaps of some concern. I liked CTC’s statement. Now, I don’t want to sound like a killjoy. I certainly want kids to have fun while they’re in college, and that also goes for IU basketball players. But one can have fun in a responsible manner. And I would think Yogi, especially, needs to behave in a manner befitting a team leader.

3. Have no real idea. Have heard a few names, but nothing that sounded convincing. I think recruiting ability will obviously come into play for the hire.

QUESTION: 1. OK taking Tim Priller was a bad idea I think. I understand one marginal player (particularly a center). But 2? This is kind of recruiting that got Coach Jack in trouble. Bank the scholorship if you cant use it. How much do you want a bet that he transfers after this year?

2. Dustin you are a great great reporter and very busy im sure but surely if Terry Hutchens can make the trip to Illinois and Miami (OH) so can you for Baseball. Im not saying the whole series last weekend but just one of the games with Illinois and surely a day trip to Oxford is possible? By the way took my family 2 hrs across SR44 to Oxford yesterday from Martinsville and I have to say Tracy Smith you can tell definetely built both stadiums (or at least had a major hand) as their stadium looks like a smaller version of Bart Kaufman Field. Hope team keeps rolling and we see them in Bloomington all the way to Omaha!

3. With that, IU needs to pay Tracy Smith whatever it costs to keep him long term. Miami’s program is still reeling from losing him and thats where IU would head without him. The guy is special.

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

1. You may be right, but Indiana didn’t have a whole lot of choice. I suppose, if nothing else, they could have waited to offer Priller or told him they wouldn’t take his commitment until the end of May, but the Hoosiers had to have some bigs, so this is what they came up with. April was going to land somewhere in a major conference, so I don’t think IU was reaching so much on him. Priller is a little harder to figure. Anyway, what got Coach Jack in trouble, among other things, was too many players that couldn’t shoot and too few that could read the game.

2. and 3. Dustin …

DUSTIN: Darren,

1. Doesn’t matter if he transfers in a year. They need bodies right now. Without calling this a do-or-die season for Crean, I think we can fairly say he has reasons for a sense of urgency. I don’t know that he needed Tim Priller, but they didn’t have any depth at power forward, and a body that isn’t the most talented is still better than no one in this situation. They have to win and they have to win immediately and they had to approach the spring that way. Again, I don’t know if he’s going to be great or good at all, but if he gives you anything, I get why Crean goes after him.

2. I went back and forth about the Illinois series and I was kind of discussing it with my sports editor. I didn’t push it and I kind of wish I went but am kind of glad I didn’t in hindsight. Obviously, spent all day on Friday chasing the Yogi Ferrell and Stan Robinson story, so by the time that all came down, it was about 6 p.m. and I couldn’t have made first pitch. And when i woke up Sunday morning, I saw a jail booking list with a Tevin Coleman on it with an OWI charge. It took me most of Sunday to figure out that it wasn’t the same Tevin Coleman who plays running back for Indiana. Plus I used a lot of Sunday writing that Dustin DeMuth feature. I’m not going to say I couldn’t have done it, but it would’ve been a $200-some dollar investment in the weekend and it’s not a bad idea to start saving up the budget for the NCAA’s. As for yesterday, well, I don’t know that we have to drive two hours to see them pound a MAC team. Also, considering that I dedicate pretty much every weekend from September to March through this job and most of the weekends from March through June, I do have to remind myself every once in a while that I have a life outside of the job.

3. I don’t know that IU would head that far down if Smith left, but you’re right. He’s done a heck of a job.

ANDY: Darren:

1. You could be right, but I’d say it’s too early to gauge. It does seem a bit of a stretch at this point, but maybe the kid is still growing, and maybe we should see how he looks once he actually gets on campus and suits up before making too many pronouncements.

2. If you were willing to drive the stretch of 44 between Martinsville and Franklin, you are a braver man than I. But I would never, ever question Dustin’s dedication to IU baseball coverage. Dustin could be the hardest-working dude I’ve ever seen. He’s downright Hammelesque in that regard.

3. Agree on all counts.

QUESTION: Are you guys not convinced yet that this team (IU Soccer) is getting progressivly less talented each year? I went to all spring matches besides Notre Dame and the team looks lower and lower on talent each year. Colin Webb is an amazing goalie but the rest of the team is very average outside of Femi and defense is worst I have seen yet. Do you guys not see this? Big 10 has 5 teams ranked in top 25 I saw preseason and IU is NOT one of them. Problem here much? I give Todd Yeagley 2 years but when IU misses tourney each of next 2 years (very liekly unless team plays beyond what its capable off) problems will happen and he is gone.

Its to bad because I think x’s and o’s wise Todd’s terrific, but recruting is a MAJOR issue for him. Complete opposite of Freitag who recruited great but had no mangement on field. Can we get someone to recruit and then we’d be ok but short of that this is headed for disaster.

IU Soccer Fan, Bloomfield

JEREMY: IU Soccer Fan,

Maybe you’re right, but I’m not taking too much from spring soccer. Keep in mind Indiana played most of the spring without Andrew Oliver and Kerel Bradford, both of whom stand to be starters. I thought Derek Creviston did reasonably well filling in on the back line for Bradford, considering he basically hasn’t played in his IU career until this spring. I was also impressed with the potential of January enrollees Jack Griffith, also in the back, and Michael Riedford at midfield/forward.

Also, there are at least two freshmen coming in this fall to keep on eye on for significant contributions — Chicago defender Grant Lillard and Corydon forward Cory Thomas. And Akron transfer Matt Foldesy showed some flashes, although I believe he was a little nicked up as well.

I assume maybe you are referring to the recruiting class rankings by College Soccer News. There are four Big Ten teams, including newcomer Maryland, in the top 25 and Indiana comes in at No. 32.

Anyway, let’s see what happens this fall.

DUSTIN: Sir Price.

ANDY: IU Soccer Fan:

Progessively less talented every year? They won the national championship. The season before last. Remember that?

Last season was a strangely snake-bitten campaign, with a talented team enduring the first losing season in program history but eventually proving its worth by then winning the Big Ten tournament title and giving eventualy national champ Notre Dame a real scare on it home turf.

IU’s squad this coming season might not be quite as talented as last season’s but, if the soccer gods balance the table a bit after all of last fall’s luckless overtime losses, might well end up with a better record.

Do I see inevitable, irreversable decline in IU’s soccer program? No. Here is what I do see:

You are the harbinger of doom. You tend to accentuate the negative. You tend to over-react. You tend to bad-mouth. Todd Yeagley is always on his way out, in your mind. Everything always seems to be “the worst I have seen yet” or “headed for disaster.” Maybe try to look at the bright side every now and again. Take a chill pill. I appreciate your dedication to IU soccer and to this chat, but sometimes the constant negativity just gets old.

One thing I can say definitely for you is that you actually go to the games. That’s being a loyal fan. And you obviously care. But if you want to bet that IU soccer won’t maintain elite national status, long-term, well, I’ll take that bet.

QUESTION: Crean finally figured out how to stop his critics from complaining we don’t get the ball into post enough. Unfortunately, it is because we won’t have anyone who can score with their back to the basket.

Is it possible Jeremiah April and Tim Priller are diamonds in the rough? How do a 7 footer and 6’9″ player shooting 51% from three go without offers in 2014? It is not as though Steve McClain found these guys playing in a driveway in Timbuktu. Other schools were looking at them and were not cramming their mailboxes with offers. Is it possible that I am wrong and every other school in the country whiffed on these guys?

OLD

Overton’s Limo Driver, Bloomington

JEREMY: OLD,

It’s possible they are diamonds in the rough. It’s also possible they’re not. Clearly both are on the late bloomer plan and apparently have kept growing throughout high school. When it comes to these kind of guys, recruiting is sometimes more about needs than what a school actually sees in them. And Indiana clearly had more cache than anybody else giving these fellas a look, so when the offer came, presto.

There are driveways in Timbuktu?

DUSTIN: Well, both of them were starting to get offers in the spring from major conference schools. Maybe not huge ones, but major conference schools. But again, you need perspective for these. If you’re looking for big men in April, you have to accept that you’re not looking for game-changing, you’re looking for serviceable. I think, for this year, these guys are serviceable. Jeremiah April probably isn’t going to be Noah Vonleh and Tim Priller probably isn’t going to be Christian Watford. But IU wasn’t going to win with Hanner Mosquera-Perea as its only center option and it was going to be hard for them to win with Devin Davis as the only player on the roster who really operates like a power forward. If Jeremiah April is exactly Tom Pritchard or Derek Elston, he’s worth a scholarship right now. Kind of same with Priller. They needed guys just to make this team capable of winning because they’re going to be in big trouble if they miss the NCAA’s again.

ANDY: OLD:

It’s true that Mosquera-Perea or somebody else will have to pose enough of a post threat that opposing defenses have to acknowledge it. Will that happen? The jury obviously remains out. Given the brief film clips I’ve seen, I do think it’s not necessarily beyond the realm of possibility for Jeremiah April, especially, to perhaps help a bit in that regard, even as early as next season. He and Priller may well have untapped potential. But let’s face it, IU had to get some big bodies of some sort, and it was well into the spring. It is what it is. Both are probably projects.

I heard UCLA was looking at April, and perhaps interested enough to offer, but generally these guys weren’t coveted by elite programs. And you’re not going to find many coveted big guys available at this time of year.

I do think Indiana’s perimeter shooting next season will unclog the lane a bit. Will IU have frontliners who can take appropriate advantage of that? Stay tuned.

QUESTION: Morning Guys, Recently Coach Wilson hired a slew(5)replacement staff members. I know we lost 1 staffer(have forgotten his name) who was an ex-Meatchicken receiver years ago to EMU but I wonder about the other folks who were in the other 4 positions recently filled. Do you have any info on the new men added as GA’s, quality control and recruiting positions? I’ve read where they came from but nothing else. Also at all FB games and practices who is the chap working in the background wearing the Australian outback hat and sporting the pointed beard? He always exudes enormous energy and support.

Hoosier Clarion, Sonshineville

JEREMY: HC,

I give you … the football dudes.

DUSTIN: HC,

Don’t know much about who’s new and who isn’t in those staff positions. I know only one of the new GA’s is new and he’s an Indiana kid that was a student assistant and is now graduated. Know Jeff Sims who was at IU then went to Florida Atlantic and came back is one of the other staff guys. Most of them haven’t been officially announced yet and I haven’t really met them. Apologies.

The guy with the hat and the beard is Rick Danison, who is one of the strength and conditioning guys. (Of course he is.) And yeah, he’s one of the strongest, most energetic and also nicest guys I’ve ever been around. Danison was one of the guys who put together Push For Tom, one of the fund-raisers for IU strength and conditioning coach Tom Morris who suffered a spinal chord injury two years ago. Huge hearted man, and always fun to watch down there.

ANDY: HC:

Can’t tell you much about the new guys, but the chap wearing the chapeau to whom you allude is inimitable Rick Danison, who is on Mark Hill’s stength and conditioning staff. And Rick indeed is, as you note, a guy who consistently exudes “enormous energy and support.” That’s an apt description.

QUESTION: Bottom line, your prediction:

Does IU end up hosting a super regional in baseball?

Mark, Indianapolis

JEREMY: Baseball dudes …

DUSTIN: Yes. I keep thinking that RPI number is going to slip and I still think it will over the next month because they have three series against teams outside the Top 100. But also think they’re going to win all three of those series. So we’ll see, but I’m leaning yes right now.

ANDY: Mark:

I’m gonna go ahead and say yes. Everything has to fall into place, obviously, and any number of things could go awry, but the current trends seem good. IU has seen its pitching staff — Korte, Morris and others — reallly step up well to fill the injury voids. And if the Hoosiers keep winning at their current rate, they’ll be in line for a national seed, which means they’d host a super-regional if they win their regional. This is already a tournament-tested team. At this point, I’m not going to bet against them.

QUESTION: For the past 3-4 years or so, Tom Crean has chosen to wear his religion on his sleeve — quoting scripture on Twitter, quoting Joyce Meyer, etc. For some people, that works; yet for others, it can be a turn-off. My question: Can that be a detriment to recruiting and his coaching? I only ask because I’ve heard through the grapevine that one player who recently completed his eligibility was really weirded out by Tom’s transformation and it might have even made him a little uncomfortable. And I’m guessing it could have the same effect on others.

Tom, Hobart, Ind.

JEREMY: Tom,

The thing is that you and I aren’t flies on the wall in the locker room or on the practice court or the bus/plane and so on, so how much what you read on Twitter filters into day-to-day activities is hard to say.

That said, to whatever extent it does carry over, and it surely does, I suppose it could be a detriment for some, just as it would be considered a plus by others.

Again, I’m not in the huddle during time outs, but let me put it this way, I’d be surprised if 17-15 had anything to do with John 3:16.

DUSTIN: I’d say you win some and you lose some with it. It’s sort of how the general population is. There are some people who want to be surrounded by people who vocally and whole-heartedly agree with their religious views and they don’t want to be around people who don’t. There are other people who think religion should be kept to one’s self and they don’t tend to hang around people who are constantly talking religion. Same goes with recruits. For instance, Jeremiah April’s family is very religious. So is Victor Oladipo’s, so is Cody Zeller’s, so is Jordan Hulls’s, so is Noah Vonleh’s. In those cases, I think Crean’s on-his-sleeve religion helped him at least in recruiting. Some players who are less religious or might have different views on religion than Crean might be turned off by it. I imagine at some point it has cost him players, but the overwhelming majority of college basketball players are Christian, so I wouldn’t think it cost him too many. Now, how he handles it day to day might be a wholly different issue and he could either help or hurt his cause that way. If he’s too over-the-top he can turn off even the Christian players who agree with him. If he’s open but not heavy-handed about it, he can endear himself to the players who don’t agree with his religious views. We don’t get too go to practice, so I don’t know which category he actually falls in.

ANDY: Tom:

I haven’t heard anything direct about CTC’s faith specifically affecting his approach to coaching or overall interation with players, but I’m hardly privy to the day-to-day inner workings of the program. From what I’ve seen he actually rarely references it while speaking in public but, as you note, it is certainly prevelent on his Twitter account.

If it was an overt part of his approach to coaching and to his players, I suppose it could cut both ways. As you note, different people might react differently. It might bind some guys closer to the program and might prompt a sense of alienation in others. But that is strictly speculative because, at this juncture, I don’t know how overt it is or isn’t, in terms of actual application to the program itself.

It’s an interesting topic. I just don’t know how germane it is, in terms of the program’s current reality and structure. I certainly don’t want to sit in judgment regarding somebody else’s faith. CTC obviously has every right to his personal faith and the coaching profession is filled with fervent believers. But do I think a state institution could, and should, grow uncomfortable if faith becomes some sort of unofficial litmus test for participation in a basketball program. I have seen and heard nothing to make me think such a litmus test is arising at IU. I do think the fervency of CTC’s faith has caught people’s attention, particularly in the past 3 or 4 years, but I don’t know that it has affected the program in any sort of inappropriate way.

QUESTION: Dustin, any ideas on what direction IU might take on their final basketball scholarship?

Jeremy S, aurora, in

JEREMY: Yeah, Dustin. Pull a name out of a hat.

DUSTIN: I think they bank it, just because they don’t have any seniors, and I don’t think anyone they add this late in the game gets them any closer to being a top-level program in 2015-16. They needed bodies just to make them viable in 2014-15, but they need some big-time players in the class of 2015, and I don’t think they could bank on transfers to open up to make that happen. So I guess they bank it.

ANDY: Jeremy:

Not Dustin, but I think IU banks it.

QUESTION: How ’bout limiting everyone to one question. I hate the posts with multiple questions. After each of you answers, 15 minutes have passed and you don’t get to more questions by doing that.

Tom, noblesville

* MODERATOR’s NOTE: I’d be happy to set a limit on the questions. Jeremy, Andy, Dustin: What do you think? *

JEREMY: Tom,

Since I’m a nice guy, I’d even grant everyone two questions. But otherwise, I concur that the five-question questions make things a bit laborious for both the chatter and chattee.

DUSTIN: Taken under advisement.

ANDY: Tom:

This topic has already arisen amidst our newsroom. We obviously want a free-and-easy chat. The longer and more nuanced multiple-question entries do tend to bog things down a bit, as they require more time for a reasonably thoughtful response.

I don’t think I’d want to limit folks to one question. Maybe two or three. But even then, folks will digress within a single question to the point that four or five separate topics are raised. I’m not sure how we’d police that. I guess I might just ask for guidelines that encourage streamlined inquires, and only two or three at most, per poster. I’d encourage everybody to just ask what they consider to be their most pressing question, or the most pressing couple of questions. Just as coaches “bank” scholarships, perhaps posters can “bank” a question or two for the following week’s chat.

It would behoove us to have a faster-moving chat, and I’m perfectly willing to entertain format changes, but I don’t want to discourage folks from participating, either. Some of our best regulars are multi-question folks.

QUESTION: Hi guys. Thanks for all your coverage. Just one quick question. Is it really a good idea to use a scholarship on a guy like Tim Priller? He sounds like, with all due respect, the kind of guy who fits more of a walk-on role. Just seems like that scholly would’ve been more useful in 2015. What do you think?

Dan, Bloomington

JEREMY: Dan,

Is it a good idea? That’s a question best answered down the road.

However, would the scholarship have been more useful in 2015? It might have gone to a higher-ranked player in 2015, but I would argue that the use of the scholarship in 2014 is much more critical for an IU program at a crossroads. The Hoosiers need to bounce back and win in ’14 to regain momentum or ’15 isn’t going to be that big of a deal. So signing Priller was a move for now, and as Crean always says about these things, they’ll work themselves out later.

DUSTIN: Well, I don’t know if it’s a good idea for Indiana, but it’s definitely a good idea for Tom Crean. He has to win now. Even if he can survive a second straight season without an NCAA Tournament bid in terms of keeping his job, it would cost him a lot in recruiting if he’s stuck in the NIT or outside of the postseason all together. He has to fill needs with what’s left. Maybe Priller is a lot better than we think, but he doesn’t have to be to be valuable for this team. They need size and depth in the frontcourt if they’re even going to be viable. Priller was less of a necessity than April, who was a dire necessity, but he serves a purpose for a team that can’t wait for help.

ANDY: Dan:

You could be right, in terms of the longer view, but IU needed to get some frontline depth short-term. Tim Priller may or may not ever play a lot of meaningful minutes at Indiana, but the Hoosiers were in need of another big body for 2014-15, and perhaps Priller has some upside moving forward. The immediate need for another big body was pretty clear. And the scholarship numbers always seem to work out, down the road.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for joining us and be sure to follow IU sports on the Hoosier Scoop blog and/or app.

What else should we know before we say goodbye?

JEREMY: We’ve got coverage of the track and field meet at IU coming, as well as IU-Purdue baseball and IU water polo at home in the NCAA Tournament Saturday, so keep with us on the Scoop andHeraldTimesOnline.com for all the gory details. Thanks to everybody who stopped in today. See you next week.

DUSTIN: Big baseball series this weekend with Indiana against Purdue. The Hoosiers haven’t played the Boilermakers since 2012 when they got in a massive brawl in the Big Ten Tournament. Also, interesting event coming up tomorrow night at the Billy Hayes Track. Lolo Jones and several former Indiana track stars including Molly Beckwith and others will be competing in a meet that’s part of the new American Track League. Will have preview stories on both of those in tomorrow’s paper.

Thanks as always everyone.

ANDY: Purdue visits IU for a big weekend baseball series. The Hoosiers have a lot at stake, not the least of which are the Governor’s Cup standings (Purdue currently leads by a point.) And what happenend the last time IU and Purdue faced off on a baseball diamond? Well … let’s just say that it’s still on YouTube.

Many thanks to all of our chatters and checker-inners (if I may be permitted to make up such a term.)

4 comments

  1. IU Soccer Fan/Bloomfield- I am really glad that Andy answered you. He did so in a much more polite, tolerant manner and tone that I would have.

    I believe your comments are personal and anti-Todd Yeagley completely unrelated to soccer. After nearly 70 years of playing, watching, writing about and coaching the game, many (nearly 20) in South America I am glad the game has evolved from the days when the US was not a respected soccer country, and was a non-factor at the world level. That it evolved is a testament to the development of players and minds like Todd Yeagley, who not only played it and represent us well; but who obviously have studied it and are now the force that helps us catch up to the rest of the world, tactically and strategically.

    You are more than wrong, you are obsessed and your comments do nothing to help IU soccer continue its growth.

    Andy Graham is right. Your pursuit of Coach Yeagley ignores what Coach Yeagley has already accomplished. He took over a very unbalanced team at IU when he got here and, with a few but very key adjustments, took them to a totally unexpected national championship. Last year’s team played nearly as well; but, with a visit from the ‘bad’ soccer gods that suddenly ‘move the sticks’ on shots crashing them into the posts, or or blow ‘puffs of breeze’ that ‘lift those headed to the corners (of the goal)’.

    It happens in soccer and it happens to the best. It happened to Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, it’s been happening to England since the 1966 World Cup. it happened to Pele, Garrincha, Carlos Alberto; it has happened to Messi (four years ago all of Argentina was questioning: “will ‘Lio’ ever score for the national team); it happened to Maradona, to Gerd Muller, Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Niskens, Tarantini, Pasarella (how many corners did he head over the bar)…so the fact that it happened to the Hoosiers and Todd Yeagley would never put a knowledgeable, loyal (two words that your resume lacks) soccer fan out of sorts.

    My suggestion…take up golf; you can throw the club in the lake and blame the groundskeeper for the quality of the sand trap. Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy Todd Yeagley’s teams for years to come.

  2. Downing’s 5th
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 – 2:01 PM EDT

    Note: originally posted this on Basketblog almost nine months ago..January ’09. Good free throw shooting technique can be taught.

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+

    There was a man, many years ago(right here in the great basketball state of Indiana), that defined his basketball career by his teachings and his devotion to the sinking of the 15′ shot from the line. He religiously taught a method he had solely developed for achieving the best percentage success rate for this very important fundamental of the game: the free throw. His players would perfect and shoot free throws under his exacting guidance and strictly adhered to technique for hours and hours of practice…When an opponent would face his team, it was certain that his squad would not shoot themselves in the charity stripe foot…Believe me, I don’t make this stuff up….Those guys he put on the floor could sink the 15′ standing-still freebie with their eyes shut!
    He coached varsity basketball at Valparaiso H.S. (I think it was back in the 60′s and early 70′s…before the days of the Drew’s: Homer Drew, Bryce Drew, and Drew Barrymore..(I threw the Hollywood actress in just to make sure you were paying attention)in the Duneland Athletic Conference(The DAC is in Northwest Indiana…Where Korman still thinks there’s “no talent” to be found on a basketball court)…Sweet amassed many victories at Valpo high school and I believe had some pretty good runs in the state tournament(especially for a relatively small school)during his career… He was a local legend…His methods for free throw shooting(sequential steps broken down into many singular elements) is what he is most remembered for…I’m sure Hummel(Purdue)and Martin(ND) and any kid that still comes out of the Valparaiso high school basketball program are likely employing some elements of his free throw methodology… I am providing a link to one article I found on the web…If you enjoy story telling and maybe traveling down some small town country imaginary roads where Indiana basketball still has some unknown hidden treasure troves that tuck away an old obsession with this game, then maybe this is one of the few times I’ve given you something of interest…If not, oh well.
    If our free throw shooting continues to struggle, maybe Tom Crean could take a little three-hour drive up to Valparaiso, and learn of the legendary, Virgil Sweet.

    Virgil Sweet was mentioned many times on the Scoop by the invisible man.

    Andy- Congrats. Never forget the butch-style haircuts Virgil made all his players receive. They looked like green and white clones before they talked of clones. Couldn’t hardly tell them damn guys apart. Methodical. Disciplined. Regimented…Repetition..Control..Exacting Fundamentals…Pureness in Measured Perfection found in every free throw stance with standardized operating procedures to go with every cocked elbow and eyes-over-ball release.

    Us Chesterton boys were of tainted basketball breed…Free spirits. We were the weed-smoking hippies with long hair. We lived closer to the Dunes and upon a toke of a reefer would crave Macaroons while entering the Viking gym in our gold and maroons….We were the Trojans!…And yes, Valpo was the home of the private detectives.

    Our cheerleaders would sing the cry of Trojans upon entering the ‘Land of the Square’ in a Valparaiso Viking gym: “We’ll make Alpo out of Valpo!…We’ll make Alpo out of Valpo!…We’ll make Alpo out of Valpo!”

  3. And the Valpo cheerleaders would fire back….

    What’s the smell!? Cheesetown!
    What’s the smell!? Cheesetown!
    What’s the smell!? Cheesetown!

    Oh, and ‘Voodoo Night’…I must someday tell you of Voodoo Nights when on the eve before the big game we would drive through the streets of Valpo…We would lean out the car seats and scream midnight profanities at their light poles and empty streets…Tires would screech while mixed into AM radio tunes and wild laughter as we scoped our intended targets of their foolish hometown pride displayed on painted business windows and signs in green gaudy cheers and anti-Chesterton jeers…Heave upon the Valpo with our version of Alpo as we threw Fergie Jenkins fastballs of eggs and rotten tomatoes! What wonderful times…

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