Live Chat Transcript

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Busy day with the Regionals today and tonight. Thanks for being here.

Moderator’s note: You can view all chat transcripts * for free * on our live discussion page on HTO as well as the Hoosier Scoop.

How’s everyone doing tonight? Ready to get started?

JEREMY: Busy day, busy week. High school baseball and softball in the postseason, along with the Hoosiers. Ready to dive into the IU side of things now, though.

DUSTIN: Doing well, Moddy, looking forward to a long day at the ballpark. Think the 2 p.m. game between Indiana State and Stanford is going to be especially interesting. Let’s get to it.

ANDY: Chicago. Detroit. Pittsburgh. Cincinnati. Chicago again. St. Louis. Milwaukee. That was the intinerary of my just-concluded baseball trip and, lo and behold upon my return to Bloomington, I find another heapin’ helpin’ of quality baseball upon my very doorstep with the Hoosiers hosting their NCAA regional this weekend. Pretty awesome for this baseball fan.

Since I’ve been out of the loop for the better part of two weeks, I’m not sure how many up-to-date observations I can contribute to the chat, but I will weigh in when I can.

QUESTION: I’m reading a lot of articles where many of the young men we are recruiting for basketball are being polite and saying a lot of what we want to hear. Indiana has a great program, they have tradition, coach Crean is a great coach and so on. But at the end of the day, it seems to me they want to make sure they are being politically correct with their responses. Hard to tell who is really interested in us and who is not. Enough of the rant, here are my two questions:

 

1) There is a definite need for a true center on this team. I don’t think the possibility of putting Hanner at the center position will yield the results we are looking for. Do you think April and Priller might leave the basketball program if they don’t see significant minutes this year?

 

2) We have a lot of shooters coming in this year. But I am skeptical about how effective our mid range shooting will be. Got a feeling these guys won’t get the basketball into the low post most of the time and they may end up taking a lot of long range jumpers. Do you think we will go 3 point shooting crazy this year?

 

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

JEREMY: indianavelt,

Not sure I could agree more on recruiting. It is indeed difficult to tell who is legitimately interested in Indiana and who is just providing lip service. It’s definitely a waiting game right now.

 

1. Yes, Indiana needs a true center to emerge, because the guy who should’ve been that center was Luke Fischer. Noah Vonleh was and is not a center, neither is Perea. That said, I think Perea could suffice in that position so long as somebody else steps up at the 4 spot as a rebounder and interior defender.

 

To bring it back to your question, I think Jeremiah April could be that true center in the long run. The problem is that he may not be ready to play that role more than 8-10 minutes a game this winter. One thing about Priller and April is that these aren’t guys who were so heavily recruited or even the go-to guy on their own team, so they probably don’t have illusions about coming in and being the man. I don’t think you’ll see them jump ship based on playing time this year. On top of that, IU is in a situation where both of them are likely to have to play, at least a little bit, and that should only entice them for the future.

 

2. It’s possible IU goes 3-point crazy to a degree. But that’s where a guy like Stanford Robinson is key with his ability to drive the basketball to the basket. Also, Troy Williams seemed to get a better grasp on movement off the ball late last year, and IU’s guards are guys who can penetrate as well as shoot the 3. If they go a little 3-point crazy as the result of driving and kicking, those are likely to be pretty good looks you can live with, even if it goes overboard from time to time. Might also be interesting to see how the increased perimeter shooting/spacing opens the offensive glass for a Perea, Williams and Davis.

DUSTIN: Indianavelt.

1. There’s kind of a big leap in that question. I mean, April and Priller haven’t even arrived yet and I didn’t even know they existed until they committed, so I’m not going to guess what it’s going to take for them to leave. I mean, they’ve signed at Indiana, which is more than they could have possibly imagined, say, three months ago, so I don’t know that they’re going to bail out at the first sign they don’t get what they want. All of that being said, I can’t imagine that April won’t get any minutes simply because of what you said above. If it’s not Jeremiah April then it’s all Hanner Perea all the time, and if Hanner can play 32 minutes a game well, then your problem is solved anyway. But I’m not sure I see that happening. As far as Priller, well, if he plays 10 minutes a game and hits some 3’s, maybe he’s worth it too.

2. Yeah, the ball probably isn’t going to see the low post very much. That’s not to say they won’t score in close, but that will probably be off the dribble-drive as opposed to the post-up. This is going to be a guard-heavy team, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be all 3’s all the time, but it’s going to be all guards all the time. But the best thing they can do is embrace that now. The bigs just simply aren’t there and instead of lamenting that fact, they’re better off just going straight Villanova. They’ve got shooters on the wings and Ferrell, Johnson and Robinson who can get the ball to the rim. The bigs don’t have to score out of the post up that much, and if they can just score on the pick and roll, the Hoosiers can be difficult to defend. This isn’t a Big Ten title contender and it sure isn’t a national title contender, but the goal here is to get back in the tournament and I think the Hoosiers can do it that way.

ANDY: indianavelt:

 

It is indeed difficult to devine what is mere lip-service and what is actual interest, when prospective recruits are talking, but that’s pretty much par for the course every year, not just this year. Not saying you’re wrong. I’ve sort of sensed the same thing. But it really isn’t much different from what we pretty much always see and hear.

 

1. So we’re running April and Priller out of town before they’ve even really arrived? Let’s at least let them suit up before that sort of speculation starts. And to answer your question, no, I don’t really think it’s all that probable they’ll leave if they don’t get significant minutes as true freshmen. My guess is both kids probably understand that there iare potential roles for them this upcoming season, but also understand that they both probably must progress some as players before expectations of “significant minutes” are realized. I do think both will see the court some, and that both will work for long-term development that will create more playing time down the road.

 

2. Effective mid-range shooting isn’t prevelent at all levels of basketball these days but the 2014-15 Hoosiers seem better equipped to shoot from just about anyplace than a lot of teams. I know this question is related to your first, based upon a lack of confidence that Mosquera-Perea or anybody else will constitute enough of a post threat to draw enough defensive attention to free up shooters elsewhere. I get that. But I’m not sure that’s how things will pan out. I think Hanner made some strides last season and may make more. And I think even if this team does take an inordinant amount of long-range jumpers, it might hit a lot of those. I don’t necessarily expect a ‘3-point crazy’ but I do expect effective perimeter shooting much of the time.

QUESTION: Well the Dude is back. Remember Dustin please post discussion as the Dude cannot view during the day. Well summer has finally arrived in this barren smoke filled land they call NW Indiana. You can see almost an 1/8th of a mile on a good day. Well on to the questions (I know only 2 but what about follow up?).

 

#1 Any rumors on who is going to fill Kenny Johnson’s shoes? Follow up: If no how about candidate names?

 

#2 Is CTC going to sit on the last scholly or give it out? Follow up: If he is giving it out who are the candidates for it?

 

Well got to say I hate this 2 question limit but hate going to doctor too. But have to once each 6 months. Last check up doc said my heart rate, pulse, oxygen level (not sure what that is) and blood pressure were great plus I had dropped good amount of weight. Mrs. OSD might have to put up with me for a while longer.

 

You boys keep on gathering the news and thanks for the coverage of baseball too. Being a Cubs fan I rarely get to see my baseball team win.

 

OSD is gone like the proverbial wind…………………………….

 

Old Sports Dude, Crown Point

JEREMY: OSD,

Pretty sure that’s four questions, but we’ll accept them since they are easy answers.

 

1. No. Follow up: No idea.

 

2. Likely sit on it. Follow up: Only real candidate left out there to my knowledge is Andre Adams, a 6-8 or 6-9 (depending on who you ask) lefty out of Arizona, who had some academic issues to square away in order to avoid the JUCO route.

 

Probably would be better for your health not to watch the Cubs. Just sayin’.

DUSTIN: Hey OSD,

1. Only name I’ve heard is Tony Barbee, but I haven’t heard much of anything in a while. Crean obviously taking his time with this one. Couldn’t really guess on anyone else.

2. Pretty sure at this point he sits on it. Can’t imagine there’s anything else you’d want out there in the beginning of June. Have been way out of the recruiting loop while covering baseball, but haven’t heard of any 2014 class kids in a while.

Keep up the good health, OSD. Hope you’re doing well.

ANDY: Dude:

 

Just saw the Yankees play in both Wrigley and US Cellular and the weather was pristine both days. Took the Tollway and the Skyway in, with beautiful downtown Gary glistening in the sunlight. We could indeed see at least 1/8 of a mile, as you note.

 

1. As previously stated, I’ve been out of town and haven’t heard anything recent, so I’ll let Dustin and Jeremy handle this one.

 

2. My thought is IU will bank that last currently-available scholarship. I just don’t know of many remaining candidates CTC would feel absolutey compelled to bequeath it to, while there are a lot of guys in the 2015 and 2016 classes who would definitely merit it.

 

Contrary to anecdotal observation, scientific research has revealed no demonstrablly overt link between Cub fandom and early demise.

QUESTION: 1. I really hope Tracy Smith uses Korte or Stadler (or another bullpen guy) against Youngstown St tonight. What a brilliant strategy it would be to use your number 3 starter against (lets be frank) an awful Youngstown St team. Than use Denato against ISU or Stanford’s no .2 followed by Morris against other teams no. 4 assuming IU stays in the winners bracket. Sounds like a brilliant strategy to me that gives you a maximum edge. Do you agree?

2. How in the world is one to handle Sunday Night if IU is going for a regional championship at the same time pacers are playing game 7 (big IF, if pacers win tonight)?. I have all session tickets and certainly plan on going next 2 nights and obviously Sunday if no pacer game but if Pacers play that night it could be rough with games over lapping. I cant afford game 7 pacer tickets so I may go to IU and then get home by 930 for 2nd half but if one has tickets to both ouch. How in the world is a local sports fan suppose to choose between IU going for regional championship and Pacers going for NBA Finals?

 

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

1. While I don’t disagree that Youngstown State is the weak link in the regional, it’s still a gamble if you save both DeNato and Morris, because a loss in the opener puts IU behind an 8-ball that is difficult to overcome. I would guess Evan Bell gets the start and maybe it’s a bullpen game with Belcher, Effross and Kelzer from there. Sounds like Korte isn’t completely healthy, so I would guess the plan would be to save him for a relief stint later in the weekend or possibly rest him for the Super Regional if possible. Regardless, if Indiana can ice the Penguins with DeNato and Morris waiting in the wings, the Hoosiers will definitely be in the catbird seat for the rest of the weekend.

 

2. Life is filled with difficult choices. Deciding how to spend six hours watching sports probably isn’t one to fret over.

DUSTIN: Darren,

1. This sounds obvious, but it’s only brilliant strategy if you win Game 1, which is why a lot of coaches don’t do it. There’s a hubris to not going with your No. 1 starter in the first game of any playoff scenario and if you get burned that way, you’ll never forgive yourself as a coach or manager. I remember when I was a high school player, we didn’t make the playoffs but a team in our section that did tried to save its ace for the second round and got eliminated before it could. Obviously, there’s a safety net with double elimination here, but it’s still brutal to have to go through the losers’ bracket. All the numbers suggest that Youngstown State is awful, but the Penguins have obviously figured something out because they didn’t just win the Horizon League tournament, they dominated it. Baseball isn’t like basketball where you can overwhelm an inferior opponent with sheer size and athleticism, as evidenced by Valpo hanging tight with IU last year. You can make the case that because Youngstown dominated the tournament so thoroughly, they’re playing as good of baseball right now as Valpo was last year, and if IU played that Valpo team again, there’s no way Tracy Smith wouldn’t pitch DeNato.

That being said, IU obviously has the benefit of a very deep bullpen this year, and I there’s obviously a good chance they could get away with it which would set them up nicely to win the whole tournament. But there’s also the argument to be made that they’ll be just fine using Korte and the bullpen in Game 3 if they win the first two games. Either way, I think they’ll be in good shape. In the end, I think he does roll the dice and hold DeNato, but it’s not as easy or as brilliant of a call as it seems to be.

2. Yeah, keep in mind that big if of the Pacers winning in Miami. Then cross that bridge when you come to it.

ANDY: Darren:

 

1. Well, after enduring an admittedly lousy regular-season, Youngstown State’s Penguins just outscored the opposition in the Horizon League tournament 30-13, inclouding a 7-3 win over defending champ Valparaiso (you remember, the team that so very nearly ended IU’s tournament run before it began at last year’s regional.) Baseball is a much more volatile sport than most regarding single-game outcomes, and pitching is the primary determinant. Having said all that, yes, I do think it makes some sense to save DeNato and Morris. But it’s risky, too, especially when going up against a hot club.

 

2. Hey, that’s what DVRs are for. And StubHub. Besides, the Heat might render some of your concerns moot. I don’t imagine all that many folks would have both IU baseball and Pacer playoff tickets and, if some do, it’s kind of a nice problem to have. It’s pretty amazing that IU’s baseball rise has created that sort of situation for a few local fans. And pretty impressive.

QUESTION: Victor Oladipo made a huge jump from his sophomore to junior season at IU. Which freshman is more likely to possibly make a similar leap before his sophomore season — Stanford Robinson or Troy Williams?

 

Larry, Kouts, Ind.

JEREMY: Larry,

I think both are distinct possibilities, and both much-needed. However, at this point I’m going to say Troy Williams. I suppose part of that is the way Williams finished last season. But it’s also because you see so much potential in Williams beyond the physical ability and athleticism if he understands his strengths and weaknesses as well as the game in general. Plus, Williams is a guy who was essentially the starting 2 guard much of last year, but is capable and likely to play the 3 and 4 this year, which are a better fit for him and give him a better chance to exploit mismatches. Also heard Williams was spending some time working with John Lucas down in Houston this summer, which can’t hurt.

DUSTIN: Good question. Williams has more growth potential just in terms of his physical abilities and the degree to which his skill set is not entirely developed, but I’ve also heard that Robinson has the better work ethic. I don’t get the impression that either one of them wants it as bad as Oladipo did � it’s going to be a lot harder to recreate what he did than anyone realizes, that’s a special human being right there � so I don’t know that I’d bank on that, but they could both make leaps. This year neither one of them could shoot at all and both showed defensive potential but neither really knew what he was doing on that end. If they both become reliable defenders, that will go a long way in itself. We’ll see. If it clicks for both of them, look out.

ANDY: Larry:

 

Good speculative question, but a tough one to gauge. I’m not privy to how hard either kid is working out over the off-season, and hard work is the key. Having said that, I think some kids also benefit from taking some strategic time off, to get away from basketball for a bit and re-charge batteries. I think both the guys you mention are capable of making some siginificant strides. If I had to guess between the two, I suppose I’d go with Williams, who really seemed to come on well down the stretch run of the season. He looked like he was figuring some things out. But I’ve always been a big Robinson fan and remain so. I think both will contribute more siginicantly as sophomores, but in Robinson’s case there is significant competition for backcourt playing time arriving with the incoming freshmen.

QUESTION: Any word on NBA workouts for Will Sheehey?

 

MN Tom, Plymouth

JEREMY: Tom,

To my knowledge, the only NBA workout Sheehey has had so far was with the Clippers at a two-day mini combine. Here’s a link to Sheehey’s DraftExpress profile page with the predraft measurements from that workout: http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Will-Sheehey-19375/.

 

Other than that, pretty quiet. I would think Sheehey’s best hope is to land a spot on a Summer League roster after the draft and try to impress somebody.

DUSTIN: I think I saw the same thing you did, which was the Pistons and the Clippers. Tried calling his high school coach and haven’t heard back, but I’ll keep checking in with him to see where that goes. If Sheehey wants it bad enough � and obviously he loves the game but there’s a difference between that and scrapping for five years in Europe when you can just as easily make six figures as an attorney in the states as he can � he can play somewhere for a long time and I think he can eventually crack into the league. No way he gets drafted, but there’s a place on a roster for guys like him.

ANDY: Again, I’ve been on vacation and out of the loop for several days, and haven’t heard anything regarding the planned workouts under the auspices of the Clippers and Pistons, or what might have happened subsequently. But I was gratified to see Will was at least getting a shot to show what he can do.

QUESTION: Im very excited to see Hoosier fans so excited for this weekend. With that said IU should have better anticipated the demand. When you tried to call this morning for single game tickets the 1-866 number was so jammed you couldn’t get through (it hung up saying ‘call could not be completed as dialed) so I called the Local number 855 number from my office in Seymour and still had to wait 20 min to get through which was annoying when I’m trying to do my job. IU did not anticipate this well at all or provide extra operators it seems.

 

Now to my question: How well does IU do this weekend and can they get through this weekend undefeated?

 

Mike, Seymour

JEREMY: Mike,

IU may or may not have underestimated the interest in tickets, but they also have to keep the ticket situation under control and not sell seats that aren’t available. My understanding is that there weren’t all that many seats left over from the pre-sale. Regardless, it’s a good problem to have if you’re Indiana. Not such a good problem if it was one of your customers, though.

 

If the Hoosiers can get through this opener with DeNato and Morris still available, you have to like their chances to go unbeaten, because other teams are going to use up their pitching staff just trying to stay alive. And I imagine the IU offense is going to enjoy hitting in its own yard a lot more after a week in Omaha.

DUSTIN: I think they can and probably will. They’re a legit national seed and Baseball America called theirs the friendliest region for the host. That being said, I think Stanford presents the most difficult challenge. The Cardinal have legit starting pitching and two hitters in the middle of the lineup who will go in the top five or six rounds in the draft. It is not an easy lineup to navigate, and if Stanford beats Indiana State � which I think it will � Indiana will get a really good lefty in John Hochstatter, who was 10-1 in the Pac 12. Indiana doesn’t do great against lefties. So we’ll see how that goes. I think they win the thing, but I think that game especially will be competitive.

ANDY: Mike:

 

It’s really still sort of astonishing to think that IU’s ticket office would get overwhelmed by IU baseball-related traffic. How the Bloomington baseball world has changed in just a couple of years. It’s unfortunate if a lot of fans had the sort of experience you did in trying to order tickets but from IU’s perspective I would say at least it’s a good problem to have.

 

Indiana is the regional favorite, not just the host, but I have an abiding respect for Stanford (and the Pac 12 as a baseball league) and for Indiana State, a perennially powerful MVC program that already owns a win over the Hoosiers this season. And Youngstown State, for all its lame overall numbers, had a heck of a Horizon League tournament and comes in hot. Pitching is the key, as it is for baseball on all levels, and it isn’t as if the Hoosiers are the only club in the regional with quality starters. I think IU wins, but it’s also entirely possible the Hoosiers either don’t make it through unscathed or don’t survive the weekend at all. I think Indiana has a legitimate shot to reach Omaha again, but that is far easier said than done. I would think making the Final Eight is every bit as difficult in this 64-team field as it is in the NCAA basketball tournament. There are no guarantees.

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

 

What else should we know before we say goodbye? Thanks for your time.

JEREMY: We’ve got the baseball regional covered like a blanket, and that’s the main thing for now. If anything else happens, we’ll let you know. Thanks for joining us.

DUSTIN: That’s about it. Long day of coverage about to start. I’ll be over there for both games, so we’ll have a lot going on in the paper and on the blog. Check out the four-page wrap in today’s H-T. on the regional. Thanks everybody.

ANDY: I am surprised Tracy Smith and/or his players didn’t find a way to photo-bomb this chat.

 

Thanks, everybody. Hope a lot of you get a chance to make it out to Bart Kaufman Field this weekend.