Live Chat Transcript

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for being here.

How are you all doing today? Ready to get started?

JEREMY: If it’s 11 o’clock on Thursday morning, then I’m bouncing off the walls and ready to chat. Well, maybe just ready to chat. Let’s get to it.

DUSTIN: Good morning to you too, Moddy. That we are. Let’s get to it.

ANDY: I know basketball season in Indiana never truly ends, but was really hoping I wouldn’t have to break out the winter coat again for a while. So much for that. But ready to chat!

QUESTION: Since I have probably unfairly critisized you for IU baseball travel, I will give you big kudos for going to Louisville yesterday and providing great coverage. Due to Pacer game (didnt go to that either thankfully but watched it at home) I didnt go to iu baseball and ur coverage was great yesterday and helpful for me (and im sure other people). With that, I saw the pic of where Schwarber hit the Home Run and that’s unbelievable. How far do you think it went since there seems to be disagreement? Also I have not been to U of L’s stadium since as I have said before I didnt really get into IU baseball until last year so have not had a chance to go. Is it nicer than Bart Kaufman Field as nice or less nice? Also is IU a lock to host Super Regionals now and get a national seed?

2.

 

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: All I know is that Schwarber home run was an absolute bomb. The rest of this one is all Dustin …

DUSTIN: Ha. Thanks Darren.

I’d say Schwarber’s homer was 440 feet minimum. I think it’s really easy to overestimate those, and it’s easy to forget just how far 500 feet is. But it was an absolute bomb. It’s 402 to the sort of dead-center corner at Patterson Stadium. Schwarber’s homer got out a little bit to the left of that, so it probably cleared a wall that was about 398 feet away. That batter’s eye is about 35-40 feet high. That’s probably a conservative estimate. No one knows where it landed unless they were sitting behind the fence and I didn’t talk to any of those people. But 440 to 450 is probably a safe bet and 460-470 isn’t that crazy either.

I’d say Patterson Stadium is as nice as Bart Kaufman, but more to the point, I’d say both facilities fit their institutions and their locations pretty well. The fields are both all turf, so there’s not a lot of difference there. Louisville has a little higher capacity and a full video scoreboard in right, plus a bigger press box. It’s generally a little bigger all around. But they also don’t fill it all that much. Indiana does, and I think the more wide open concourses and all of the sort of picnic area space in the outfield fits Indiana well and just fits its particular geographic location pretty well. Also, Louisville serves alcohol. And considering that they have a AAA team in town and a lot else going on in that market, I think they kind of have to. Indiana doesn’t have any competition that’s closer than Indianapolis, so it doesn’t really have to. I’m sure it would make attendance higher, but I’m pretty sure there are Big Ten rules against that and there are all sort of other headaches that Indiana doesn’t need.

Pretty close to a lock. I’d say they’re just about a lock to host a regional. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend they lose out, but they’re almost definitely safe. And all of the national guys seem to be convinced they’re a national seed as well. There’s a little less margin for error in that regard, but I don’t think they have to win the Big Ten Tournament to make it happen either. They just can’t collapse and they should win the games they’re supposed to win. If they take two out of three from Minnesota at least and get to the conference title game and lose to Nebraska, I think they’re still safe. But who knows. A lot of baseball left.

ANDY: Darren:

 

This is all in Dustin’s bailiwick, basically, but thanks for giving due credit.

QUESTION: Good morning gentlemen, as always, thanks for the chat and for the rest of your tremendous coverage! I apologize for running afoul of the two question rule last week. I submit my questions in the morning and didn’t know about the new restrictions. Thanks for indulging me despite my rule-breaking and I will keep it to two this time around!

 

1. Completing the season sweep of Louisville is obviously a very big accomplishment for the Hoosiers. It really establishes them as the best “Northern” team in the country and I would think that barring total disaster, they are now locked in to host a Regional. What do you think they need to do in order to be named as a National Seed (and thus, host a Super Regional)? Do they have to win out, will even that be enough?

 

2. I asked last week about what programs you saw as somewhat realistic goals for IU football to strive to. Thanks for the thoughtful comparisons and I think you guys are spot-on. I would gladly take Iowa-level success (without Kirk Ferentz’s ridiculous contract though) and I think that is doable for the Hoosiers if things continue going well under Coach Wilson. Anyway, after seeing Latimer drafted in the 2nd round and a few other guys land with NFL teams, which current Hoosier upperclassmen have realistic NFL dreams heading into the 2014 season?

 

Thanks a bunch guys and keep up the great work, I really appreciate it. Have a great week, God bless and go Hoosiers!

 

TJ, Noblesville

JEREMY: TJ,

I think this two-question thing may take a bit to catch on, judging by other submissions today, so you’re all good.

 

1. I’m not sure if people really view Louisville as a “northern” team, but that’s splitting hairs. As for the rest, baseball dudes …

 

2. Football dudes …

 

Thanks, TJ.

DUSTIN: Much appreciated TJ. And the restrictions were very much a new thing, so don’t mention it.

1. Putting “Northern” in quotes is a good way of doing it. I’m not sure Louisville as a city considers itself “Northern” and I can’t imagine the state of Kentucky does. Plus, there is at least one better team than both of them that’s way more northern in Oregon State. But obviously, when we’re talking about baseball, there’s the South, there’s the West, then there’s everyone else and Indiana and Louisville fall into the everyone else category. To your question, though, they appear to be in good shape to be a national seed already. That RPI number is fantastic. According to Boyd’s World (which is kind of sort of analogous to KenPom for college baseball nerds) I think that win over Louisville put them at No 3. RPI isn’t everything, but they scheduled well, they’ve been on an absolute tear, and sweeping Louisville really legitimized so much of what they did. Point being, they don’t have to win out, and if they do they’re definitely safe in that regard. I’d say they control their own destiny. I think they can still collapse and blow it, but I think they’d have to lose at least two out of three to Minnesota for that to happen and someone you don’t expect would have to eliminate them at the Big Ten Tournament in Omaha.

2. I don’t know if anyone’s going to come out early this season, but the guys I consider definite pros right now on that roster are Tevin Coleman, Jason Spriggs and Nate Sudfeld. And I think Shane Wynn’s going to get a shot somewhere. Whether that turns into anything is largely based on whether or not he finds a place where they can use a 5-foot-7 receiver. The speed is there. It’s just that any team can only afford to keep so many small receivers. I think he can absolutely make a difference for somebody, but it’s just a question of the right opportunity coming together for him. There are several defensive seniors � Tim Bennett, Mark Murphy, Kenny Mullen, Bobby Richardson, David Cooper, Forisse Hardin � who I think will end up in somebody’s training camp, but they’re going to have to do something big to get drafted. Long term, I could see Darius Latham, Antonio Allen, maybe David Kenney, Dan Feeney and possibly some other offensive linemen getting a shot. We’ll see about the young linebackers. But right now, those first three I mentioned or the three I think look like pros. Coleman is obviously hurt by the new way running backs are viewed in the draft, but he’s got the size and the speed and I have little doubt he’ll be a 1,000-yard rusher this year. Wilson loves Spriggs and thinks he’s a pro, and I trust his judgment when it comes to that. Sudfeld is going to be hurt by the fact that he might very well share the quarterbacking role every year of his career, but he’s got a major league arm and a good head on his shoulders too.

ANDY: TJ:

 

Greetings, TJ. Figured that was the case, regarding the number of questions, and so last week’s responses were meant to be jocular.

 

 

1. I think if IU wins out it is a national seed, and maybe is even if it doesn’t win out. Dustin checked yesterday and early computations after the win at Louisville would have Indiana’s RPI back to No. 3. Dustin follows them more closely than do I, so I will defer further comments to him.

 

2. Defining the term “upperclassmen” to include both juniors and seniors to-be in terms of eligibility, some of the names that spring to mind are Jason Spriggs, Nate Sudfeld, Tevin Coleman, Shane Wynn and possibly Nick Mangieri, Bobby Richardson, Bernard Taylor, Tim Bennett and Collin Rahrig. I’m hardly a talent evaluator regarding NFL potential, but those guys would seem likely to at least get looks, and there are possibly others. I’m not yet sure what position Tre Roberson would play at the next level, but if he keeps developing as a passer, he might also draw scrutiny as a QB.

 

Thanks, as always, TJ.

QUESTION: OSD is in the house for the part-eeee. Well another beautiful day here in the land God forgot. Pouring rain and driving wind along with 50 degree temps. But the Dude is ready to rock. On to the questions.

 

First you boys got to meet April and Priller on their visits. What impressions did you get of these young men who will wear the candy stripes next year? Are they as thin as they look in the pictures?

My weekly question on PJ (so as not to disappoint Dustin). Is he healthy and can he work out now? Is he on track to graduate in 3 years so this might be his last?

Is the team working out even informally now? If so can you watch them?

When does work start on Skodjt(sp.)-Simon Hall? What all are they going to do?

Lots of activity with 2015 and 2016 classes lately by CTC. Will he fill last scholly or hold it for next year?

Any word on who will get the coaching opening? Also I hear CTC is pushing McClain for the Oregon State job. If he gets it then we will have 2 openings close to the crucial summer period. Not good!

Well OSD has to go make some money. You boys take care. My Cubs play Andy�s Cards today in the rubber game of the series. Hoping we can win. Seems like the Cards are the only team we can beat this year.

 

OSD has hit the trail and is outta of here���������..

 

Old Sports Dude, Crown Point

JEREMY: OSD,

Where to begin? First, I think you just blew the newly adopted two-question limit out of the water, but we’ll work on that.

 

Second, we did not meet Jeremiah April and Tim Priller on their visits. Surprisingly enough, the golf cart tour did not extend down Walnut Street to the H-T offices, but maybe that should change.

 

I don’t know that Peter Jurkin is healthy or ever will be, at least not as in practice seven days a week healthy. I would not be surprised if he is on track to graduate early, but if IU winds up getting him a medical grant that ends his career but keeps him on scholarship without counting against the limit, then it doesn’t really matter.

 

I imagine there are informal workouts between now and the start of summer school, then some slightly more formal workouts will likely start both on court and with strength and conditioning.

 

Work starts on Simon-Skojdt Assembly Hall after next season … Still might fill last scholly with a grad transfer which would keep it open for 2015, too … no word on new assistant or departure of current ones.

 

Think that covers it. Happy trails.

DUSTIN: Sounds wonderful, OSD.

We did not get to meet April and Priller on their visits. Not sure where you got that impression. I guess we could have gone out of our ways to try to run into them, but IU isn’t allowed to make a point for that to happen, as it’s against NCAA rules. But no, we didn’t make a point to chase any golf carts with tall dudes around campus.

As for Jurkin, don’t think he can work out. Heard he might be having surgery after the school year, but not entirely certain of the details on that. I don’t know if he’s on track to graduate in three years, but I doubt it. Man, do you ever want to get rid of him.

I’m sure the team is working out. No, we can’t watch them.

Believe work is going to start after the 2014-15 season and will go on throughout the 2015-16 season. They’re going to re-do the atrium in the South Lobby, build a sort of luxury suite there, and also do a lot of infrastructure work which really needs to be done. There will also be a big video scoreboard. Those are the basics. They’re trying not to change a whole lot.

I’m betting they bank the last scholarship. There really isn’t a lot left out there.

Don’t know who’s getting the new coaching opening. Don’t think McClain gets the Oregon State job. Don’t think losing McClain would be nearly as much of a problem as losing Johnson and don’t think losing either is as much of a problem as losing Buckley would be. But that’s just my read.

Thanks as always, OSD>

ANDY: OSD:

 

1. Don’t think those guys were made available to the media, so don’t know if Dustin and Jeremy can address your questiion. Whatever interviews were done were phoners, after the visits, I believe.

 

2. Don’t know if PJ is healthy enough to work out. I think the team is always working out “informally,” so to speak, but don’t know if they are currently open to scrutiny.

 

3. As to the Simon-Skjodt Assembly Hall, renovation work is due for completion by 2016, here is some info from the official IU release from last Dec. 19:

 

The renaming will take effect upon the completion of the renovations and improvements, which is anticipated to occur as early as 2016. The multi-year project will not interfere with basketball, commencement or other major activities that take place in the building.

 

Refurbishments of Assembly Hall will focus on improving amenities to enhance the fan experience while preserving the current seat configuration and seating capacity. The south lobby will be restructured with a new entryway and dramatic atrium. Escalators will replace ramps in the south lobby. Throughout the arena, new branding and graphics will be updated to celebrate the tradition and success of IU basketball.

 

Existing bathrooms and concession stands will be remodeled and new bathrooms will be added. A large state-of-the-art video scoreboard will replace the current bifurcated scoreboard, improving fan experience for all fans in Assembly Hall, especially those sitting in the balcony. Box-seat-style seating will be added above the south baseline bleachers and will generate revenue to pay for this seating and to help fund ongoing upkeep of Assembly Hall.

 

Behind the scenes, Assembly Hall�s HVAC and other infrastructure systems will be updated and a state-of-the-art broadcast technology center will be added to enhance IU Athletics video production and game day broadcasts.

 

4. I think CTC will bank that scholarship unless some particularly tasty possibility arises.

 

5. You heard correctly regarding McClain.

 

6. I have to admit that diving up 17 runs to the Cubs in a single game at Busch was somewhat new to my experience.

 

 

 

 

 

3.

QUESTION: Still not too excited about the upcoming basketball season. Would like to get your take on the following:

 

1) I think our team lacked leadership and chemistry last season. Do you think our guys have improved and matured enough on and off the court to take it to the next level?

 

2) Not heavily recruited and basically unknown, do you think April and Priller will surprise us or are they being viewed as projects with an upside like Bawa and Jobe?

 

3) Are we about to lose coach Buckley? Also, any rumblings about who we are looking at bringing in to replace KJ?

 

4) What will this season hold for coach Crean? I know the wins and losses will determine that, but is the honeymoon over regardless of what happens this season?

 

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

JEREMY: indianavelt,

Two plus two equals four questions, but we’ll cut you some slack anyway.

 

I think you have good reason to temper your enthusiasm, as there are a lot of unknowns at this point.

 

1. Right now, judging by recent events, I don’t think there has been the maturation necessary to fill the leadership void. It’s probably too soon to judge chemistry with the incoming freshmen not arriving for another month on campus. I think it’s possible for this summer to be a turning point and help on both counts, but it’s very much a wait and see kind of deal.

 

2. Well, a large part of their recruitment has to be based on upside, which I think they both have. But I also think they are to an extent projects whose best payoff is certainly a few years down the road. That said, IU has to find a way to get a little something out of them now. Personal opinion, I think April could be a pleasant surprise in the now. Priller, not so sure.

 

3. Not sure about Tim Buckley, but Steve McClain’s name has been thrown about regarding the Oregon State job. No rumblings on KJ’s replacement.

 

4. I think the honeymoon is over now. Fans appreciate what Crean did in bringing the program back on the court and in the classroom. But fans aren’t going to give free passes three years after the last of those struggling seasons. They want to see where it goes from here. They still want Final Fours and national titles, not 17-15.

DUSTIN: Indianavelt,

1. I haven’t seen a single one of the guys since the season ended, so I don’t have a really good answer there. My bet is no. As of now, I can’t imagine they have, but they better. And it’s May, and they have a lot of time to make that happen. To me, Yogi Ferrell is the key to all of that. Sheehey’s gone. Vonleh is gone. Even Etherington is gone. Ferrell is the guy everyone looks up to now, and that false ID/underage arrest wasn’t a good start for him. But if he gets it together, if he recognizes that he’s the guy everyone’s watching and he has to hold himself to an impeccable standard, I think you’ll see the other guys follow. But he has to be the guy who makes sure everyone is in the gym all the time and that no one screws up off the court. He’s had an excellent career on the floor already, but this is the year he has to start acting like a professional.

2. I mean, Bawa and Tijan were kind of extreme examples of projects. You’re talking about guys who had barely touched a basketball by the time they got to Bloomington. As I’ve said in the past. April and Priller might surprise you or they might not, but they serve purposes. April is big enough to take up space, set picks, rebound, block the occasional shot.For that alone, he was worth the scholarship. He seems to have a nice turnaround jump shot too, so that helps. And Priller is a tall dude who can really shoot. They each have a skill you can point to. They are not Noah Vonleh. They are not Cody Zeller, they are not even Christian Watford. But for the situation they were in, they are guys they needed. Don’t go in expecting too much. You’re just asking for serviceable here.

3. Haven’t heard much of anything about possible replacements for KJ, which might just mean I’ve been focused on too many other things. Buckley was up for some other jobs, and I heard he really wanted the Jacksonville job that ended up going to IPFW’s Tony Jasick, but nothing’s worked out for him yet. Not sure what might open up. Frankly, though, he deserves a head coaching job. He’s earned it.

4. Well, the honeymoon’s been over. The fanship is pretty unhappy. I don’t think the administration is necessarily unhappy, but it isn’t trying to put together a lifetime contract either. As I’ve said before, Fred Glass wants this to work out. There are a lot of things he really likes about Tom Crean, especially his impeccable academic record. He thinks Crean deserves a lot more credit than he gets for building the program back from the ashes. He’s said a lot of things publicly about the amazing job Crean has done. But he also recognizes that things have taken a negative turn, and he’s not going to let Crean coach out his contract if he thinks the program is going to be run into the ground. So at the end of the day, yeah, he has to win. I don’t know how many, and I’m not going to say he’s definitely going to be fired if the fans deem this season unsatisfactory. But this thing has to turn around for him. The patience of the fans and the administration is nowhere near infinite.

ANDY: indianavelt:

 

1. Too early to make that call, methinks.

 

2. Also too early to make that call, at least for me. I haven’t yet seen these guys play in person, and brief snippets from highlight tapes don’t really present any resembling a fully-formed indication of their capacity as players.

 

3. It seems most of the recent speculation pertained to Coach McClain and Oregon State, but I think Coach Buckley is always a prime candidate for a head-coaching post. Still haven’t heard anything I’d consider concrete regarding KJ’s replacement.

 

4. Not sure there ever was any honeymoon, depending upon your definition. His first three rebuilding seasons in Bloomington were pretty brutal on the court, through no particular fault of his own, and probably tougher on him than anybody. Then with some foundation set, he helped the program reach some impressive peaks pretty quickly only to see a lot of people apparently turn on him last season. Not sure I perceive a “honeymoon” in there. I do think Indiana fans showed admirable (and appropriate) patience and understanding for three seasons, given the unique circumstances, then showed great support during the quick rise of the program, but then a sizable chunk of fans devolved into instant-gratification-or-lack-thereof mode this past season, driven in part by our increasingly internet/social media culture, with its anonymity aspects tending to bring out the baser passions. This isn’t to say CTC and the program didn’t deserve some fairly harsh critiques at times last season, but I think some people over-reacted, as is typical of our culture these days. It’s rarely as good or bad as it seems, in the given moment, and we all should take a longer view. That’s my basic take on it, anyhow.

QUESTION: Can you give us a calendar breakdown of what the summer looks like for the football and basketball teams? Are the players on campus throughout the summer? What can they do? What can they not do? What coaches can work with them? Etc.

 

Thanks! -OLD

 

Overton’s Limo Driver, Bloomington

JEREMY: OLD,

I believe the first session of summer school starts June 8 and most, if not all, of the basketball players should be on campus then. From there, NCAA rules allow coaches to do two hours of workouts a week in addition to six hours of organized strength and conditioning. Of course, there are the informal scrimmages, workouts, etc. that the players will do as well. And if the rumored foreign trip comes to fruition, that will allow a few more weeks of organized activity in August.

DUSTIN: Well, the full 12-week term of summer school runs from May 13 to Aug. 1. I imagine you’d see a bunch of the basketball players here throughout that period. During that time, I believe the coaches can work with them on the floor for like 2-4 hours a week. There’s more that they can do in strength and conditioning, and certainly they can do a lot of work on their own. But they can actually have full teams on the floor for that. But that’s been a big deal for them in recent years that they’ve added summer work. Guys can obviously leave during that period, such as Ferrell and Sheehey did when they played for Team USA in the World University Games. Not sure if there’s anything on tap for anyone with that this summer. From Aug. 1 to Aug. 25, which is when the fall semester starts, they usually take some time to go home. though I’m pretty sure they’re allowed to stay if need be.

As far as football is concerned, Wilson said he usually gives them the firs half of summer session off, which puts them at about June 20. After that, they come back. I don’t think Wilson is allowed to work with them, but I don’t know if that’s changed. They can work with strength and conditioning staff, including Mark Hill, but any football work has to be on their own.

Pretty sure all of that’s right. The rules change all the time on that.

ANDY: OLD:

 

These are interesting questions, and I think Dustin and Jeremy might be better-versed on them than am I. I do think most of the players in both those sports are on campus over the summer. I think there have been some recent alterations regarding what coaches can do during the off-season, but I think basicallly the players still work out on their own with only strength and conditioning staff available for monitoring purposes. The football guys will do seven-on-seven stuff, without coaches present, for example. And I think most of the kids are in summer-session classes, including the incoming freshmen. Again, my knowledge of this stuff is pretty rudimentary and hazy. Dustin and Jeremy can perhaps be more precise.

QUESTION: A few follow-ups on IU recruits.

1. IU had its best recruiting class in 2013, however Taj Williams was a 4 star, and Maurice Swain a 3 star that never made it to campus. He was going to go the JUCO route but I haven’t seen anything on him. Any idea what happened to them?

2. Daryl Chestnut, a 3 star, also a member of this class appears to be at a JUCO school now. When did he leave IU? For academic issues?

3. Are any 2014 recruits that will not make it to IU in the summer/fall?

Thanks

 

Chicago Hoosier , Barrington Ill

JEREMY: Chicago Hoosier,

I refer you to Andy and Dustin, otherwise known as football dudes …

DUSTIN: I know Swain went JUCO. Not sure what happened to Taj Williams. Swain’s grades apparently weren’t close to qualifying. Williams’ were close but apparently not close enough. Chestnut never arrived at IU either, also grades. But apparently he still wants to go to Indiana when he gets through with JUCO.

3. Don’t know that yet. We usually find that out around August. Obviously, these kids are still in school.

ANDY: CH:

 

1. Haven’t heard that it’s likely either Swain or Williams will end up at IU, though it’s not out of the question. Swain is at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and I’m not sure where Williams is playing. I’ve gotten the impression that Swain might still be a possibility for IU

 

2. Chesnut never enrolled. I believe he is at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. Last I heard, he still hoped to make it to IU and the Hoosiers were still interested in recruiting him, but that’s been a while.

 

3. Haven’t yet heard of any, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. I know at least a couple of guys were probably a bit borderline, and there are guys who still hope to make it into the class who aren’t currently listed, depending upon how their final grades come out. IU might still add a guy or two.

QUESTION: 1. Pertaining to IU’s football schedule…….COULD we see the ISU game moved to Thursday? And COULD that be a night game still, even if it stays on Saturday?

 

2. What position did the new WBB hire fill? Did they spend the whole season down an assistant coach?

 

3. Might Jake Kelzer be the best ‘closer’ option right now? Efross seems to have struggled in his last 3 outings. Glad to have both of them either way. Also, did I interpret a tweet from Ryan Halstead correctly in that he will be back next year? any news on that? I assumed he might still get drafted again this year, but I suppose he’s too much of a risk for that to happen and he’ll use a redshirt year to return for 2015?

 

4. Kudos on having the B1G Baseball standings and schedule in the paper a few times recently. I think it would be cool if that became a regular thing and with a few more sports, even if it only ran 1x or 2x per week.

 

Nice job by all.

 

Snarky Hoosier, Bloomington

JEREMY: Snarky,

1. Football dudes …

 

2. Former grad assistant Jimmy Colloton was bumped up from his video coordinator position to be an assistant coach last season when Chris Day left for Penn. Colloton now returns to video coordinator as Cutis Loyd joins the staff.

 

3. Imagine IU will need both Efross and Kelzer, and Efross’ experience might be preferred in a pressure situation, whether it’s the seventh, eighth or ninth inning.

 

4. Thanks, and with the current plan to expand the print product this fall, perhaps we’ll have room for standings, stats and the like more often.

DUSTIN: Snarky,

1. I mean, I guess in theory. The move to Thursday last year was a late one. I haven’t heard any indication that it will be though, and since IU has a bye week the following week, there isn’t so much an impetus to do it. The reason it was done last year was Wilson wanted more time to prepare for Navy. Navy’s not on the schedule and again, they’re going to have two weeks between games already, so not sure they’d want to add to that.

2. I could look this up, but I’ll just let Price handle it.

3. Potentially. One interesting thing about Indiana’s big top of the ninth on Tuesday night was that it sort of robbed Kelzer of an opportunity to prove himself on a big stage. He got a ground out to get out of the eighth on one pitch, but by the time he got back out in the bottom of the ninth, he had a five-run lead. It would’ve been interesting to see him pitch a full inning under pressure against a top 10 opponent and that would’ve probably told you if he can be a closer in the postseason. Smith said he’s not concerned with Effross, and he made a point that Effross’s MO is to get ground balls, and those ground balls just happened to get through on Tuesday night. But he hasn’t been missing as many bats recently, and Kelzer has become the guy you go to if anything less than a strikeout won’t do.

As for Halstead, obviously it all depends on the draft, and I wouldn’t say that’s definitive one way or the other until that goes by. If he isn’t taken, he’s coming back. He’ll have a medical redshirt, so that’s not even an issue. I mean, if somebody takes him in the 45th round and throws him like a $3,000 signing bonus, I think he comes back. But he just turned 22 this week, so sticking around another year means not starting his pro career until age 23. If someone gives him a real opportunity and gives him a signing bonus that isn’t insulting, I can’t see how he passes that up either. So I would say you won’t really know until after that passes.

4. There’s only so many sports it works for as there are only so many sports that have standings, and also, putting up those stats requires more manual labor than you might think. But still. You make a good point. Something we should look at.

ANDY: SH:

 

1. I suppose so, in both cases, but haven’t heard anything to that effect as yet.

 

2. In a sense, apparently. Curtis Loyd just came in as assistant head coach, a position in which Jimmy Colloton served on an interim basis this past season, with Colloton now shifting back to his previous position as video coordinator.

 

3. It’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out. I gather Coach Smith considers both Effross and Kelzer both capable of closing, which is obviously a good thing. I don’t know that Kelzer is the “best” option, for all his obvious upside, as Effross is also talented and has been through the wars. Each guy will naturally have some ups and downs, relatively speaking, but both have been pretty doggone good. Effross has perhaps struggled a bit lately but still has a 1.64 ERA, and Kelzer’s is now down to 2.78. I think coach Smith feels Effross is still throwing well, and has said as much. Obviously, hoping for the best for Halstead, who had such a tough break, whether he resumes his Hoosier career or next pitches as a pro.

 

4. Will pass along your thanks to The Powers That Be.

QUESTION: With his reclassification to the 2015 class, what do you think the chances are that IU, who obviously desperately needs a big man, can land Caleb Swanigan?

 

Which player is going to be the biggest surprise this basketball season?

 

Yes, Bloomington

JEREMY: Yes,

I think the answer to that may be whether Swanigan wants to decide by November or wait until next spring. By next spring, we’ll have a clearer picture of where Indiana stands as a program in terms of national relevance. But I think the Hoosiers are going to have their hands full, as many of the nation’s top programs are going to pursue Swanigan.

 

Biggest surprise next season? I’m thinking maybe Devin Davis. Reports are he’s grown an inch taller. Add that to another offseason of work in the gym and the weight room with plenty of available minutes, and that’s a recipe for a newfound level of success in my opinion. Hanner Mosquera-Perea could also be a surprise, and I think Troy Williams just might be on the verge of blowing up, as the kids say.

DUSTIN: Yes,

Good question. He’s an in-state kid, but everybody wants him. I don’t know Swanigan well enough to really have a good idea there. I couldn’t put odds on him, but Swanigan will have his pick of schools.

I’ll say Max Hoetzel, just because I think you know what you’re getting in the five healthy returners. I think Williams, Robinson, Davis and Perea all have a chance to get better, but I haven’t seen them since March so I can’t tell you if they have yet. You know James Blackmon is good. You probably figure Robert Johnson Jr is good, and you don’t know much at all about Jeremiah April or Tim Priller, but neither do I. But just watching him at the Derby Classic, Hoetzel impressed me with his fluidity and his confidence. He’s totally physically immature right now, but he’s a shot maker and he has the athleticism to get to the rim every once in a while too.

ANDY: Yes:

 

IU has obviously gone all-out for Swanigan and will continue to do so, but I’m not sure the Hoosiers would be considered the favorite to land him at this juncture. It’ll be a battle all the way. And, in any case, he’s a kid who has clearly indicated he wants to make the NBA as soon as humanly possible, so even if Indiana should get him, it’ll likely be for one season. But he’s a player worth getting. Dude can play. I think the Jared Sullinger comparisons are perhaps pretty apt.

 

As to “surprises” this coming season, I’d say watch out for Devin Davis among the returnees and for Robert Johnson among the newcomers. Davis is reportedly up to nearly 6-8 after coming in closer to 6-6 as a freshman. And while most everybody around these parts is aware of how good James Blackmon, Jr., is, I think they’re going to like Robert Johnson, too.

QUESTION: A couple of sort of humorous questions:

1. What does it say that Purdue, Rutgers and Temple are the only BCS Public schools to make no reference to the geography to where they are located? I.E. Indiana University references the state, Auburn and Clemson reference the city. All BCS state schools are like that besides those 3.

2. How ironic and sad would it be if Kevin WIlson’s refusal to scholarship kickers ends with a 5-7 record because of 1 game where we lose on a chip shot field goal due to inadequate kicking? What I’m trying to say is this is one area where WIlson is wrong and could cost him dearly if enough kicks are missed.

 

Mike, Seymour

JEREMY: Mike,

1. Well, in Auburn and Clemson’s case, the city probably references the university more than the other way around.

 

2. I’m sure the football dudes can further pontificate on this, but it’s sort of a Catch 22. If you do spend a scholarship on a kicker, it’s only going to be one, and there’s a decent chance that scholarship kicker is beat out for the spot by a walk-on. Then you could’ve used the scholarship for a more pressing need on defense or the offensive line. But if you rely on walk-ons and do lose a game or two, as you suggest, on a miss, then you look like a chump for not spending the scholarship.

DUSTIN: 1. Well, Rutgers was named after a Revolutionary War colonel, Temple got its name because its founder, Russell Conwell, taught classes in the basement of his Baptist temple, and Purdue is named after John Purdue, a Lafayette businessman who donated necessary land and money for the construction of the school. Temple is a state associated school, but it was founded privately and was not originally one of the schools built through the Morill Act that created land grant institutions. Rutgers and Purdue were obviously developed that way, but had some differences in terms of origin than the rest of the land grant schools and chose to honor other people. So I guess if you ask what it says, it’s that those schools have stories that you might call unique. Also, thanks Wikipedia.

2. Fair. I mean, most teams don’t give out kicking scholarships. I think Del Grosso is going to be OK even if he’s not Ewald. But we’ll see.

ANDY: Mike:

 

1. Interesting. Not sure what it says, other than it might make Purdue folks a bit prickly to have it pointed out. People in, say, California, might only know rather vaguely that Purdue is somewhere in the Midwest, and may or may not be aware that Rutgers is the state university of New Jersey. Or that Bill Cosby is a Temple grad. I’ve been to Clemson, South Carolina, by the way. Picturesque spot, but dinky. A really small town.

 

2. Actually, CKW reportedly offered a scholarship to Austin Seibert, a kid from Belleville (Ill.) considered by some the top kicker/punter combo guy nationally in the class of 2015.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That will do it for today’s chat. Reminder to our chatters that we are now requesting a limit of two questions per submission. As always, keep up with the latest IU sports news on the Hoosier Scoop. Anything else we need to know heading into the weekend, guys?

JEREMY: Dustin has the final series of the baseball season covered at Bart Kaufman Field. If anything else breaks, we’ll be on it. Thanks to everyone who joined in today. Let’s do it again next week.

DUSTIN: I’ll be covering the IU-Minnesota series starting tonight, then heading to Omaha next week for the Big Ten Tournament, so lots of baseball coverage coming up. Watching the NBA combine at the moment, so Noah Vonleh will probably be coming up here shortly. We’ll keep following stuff. Thanks everybody.

ANDY: Yes, the two-question gambit might take some time to take hold, it seems. That’s only to be expected.

 

Hopefully the weather will moderate a bit (it’s supposed to be pretty nice, though with highs only in the 60s, by Saturday) and folks can avail themselves of the chance to see this special Indiana baseball team play its final regular-season home set of games tonight, Friday and Saturday, with a pretty good Minnesota team in town. Tracy Smith obviously really has it going, but I’m not sure we’re ever going to again see quite the likes of this Hoosier squad.

 

Thanks to all who chatted and/or checked in.