Live chat transcript: Stan Robinson, Jeremiah April and more

QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Thanks for being here. Busy January weekend here on the IU sports beat.

How are you doing today, Mike, Andy and Jeremy? Are you ready to get started?

JEREMY: Doing as well as can be expected in mid-January, for what it’s worth. And always ready to chat. Let’s get to it.

MIKE: Good morning, everybody. Some good news for fans of good writing and Indiana basketball: to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Sports Illustrated recently republished “The Rabbit Hunter,” Frank DeFord’s 1981 story on Bob Knight. It’s widely considered one of the greatest profiles in the magazine’s history and it’s certainly a great read today. You can find it by clicking here.

OK, let’s chat.

ANDY: Sunshine. Temps is the 30s seem almost balmy. Life is good. Time to chat.

QUESTION: How come no one has mentioned that the IU Maryland game is on ESPNU and its totallty illogical? That could very well be a huge draw of a primetime game between 2 ranked teams if IU wins this week. Any chance it gets moved to ESPN or ESPN2? I understand ESPNU is decent in distribution now but its to big a game for that network. Ohio St Northwestern is on ESPN that night at 7pm which is a MUCH worse game and snowboarding is at 9pm on ESPN while IU is on ESPNU. 2 simple options here: one is swap iu to 7pm on espn and move northwestern to 9pm on ESPNU which is better anyways for them so you are not starting a game at 6pm local time in Chicago. Other option is simply not showing the snowboarding and letting all 5 x-games fans live without television for that event or put it on ESPNU as this isnt exactly a marquee thing.

I understand this is a much bigger game than thought at 1st but seeing as it is an easy adjustment why cant it change? I could call ESPN but nothing would happen. If u guys as media run a story on it and embarass espn a bit and give it a little press it may change. This situation really stinks

Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,

Nobody’s mentioned it, because it’s not that big of a deal and because we rarely look at who’s broadcasting the game until the days leading up to said game.

First off, ESPN isn’t going to be upset that an attractive game is on ESPNU, because it raises awareness of the channel and might tip a few people to go up a tier on their satellite or cable package to get it.

Second, ESPN has a contract to show the X Games on the mothership all week � it essentially created the X Games � which is probably more beneficial financially than any college basketball game.

And for what it’s worth, all the remaining IU games after Maryland are on BTN, CBS or ESPN/ESPN2.

MIKE: Hey Darren,

Quite honestly, I didn’t know this until you brought it up. I don’t really keep up with the TV assignments until we put together our info box for the gameday advance. I feel your frustration because I don’t have ESPNU as part of my television package at home. But you’re right that this TV assignment was set in early September, long before anyone knew Maryland would be any good. I’m really not sure what goes into making a switch like that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something happens between now and then.

ANDY: Darren:

You could call ESPN and nothing would happen, true. You could also ask us about it on chat and nothing will happen. We could write a story and nothing will happen. Who knows and/or understands the vagaries of TV executives philosophies? (Other than to say that money is always at the root of the thought process.)

I guess I would say that ESPN is always going to want a few marquee games for ESPN to make it seem more desirable to cable providers because fans such as yourself will grouse if they can’t watch their team.

Take the start time of the inaugural college football playoff championship game. Sure, it was prime time for the west coast, but there are still tons more TVs east of the Mississippi, and the game stretched past midnight there. Honestly, it seems to test common-sense credulity to have kickoff that late. But I’m sure the TV execs have the numbers (and dollar signs) to show their approach maximizes ratings and profits.

QUESTION: Hi guys. You all do great work. You guys have the best IUBB coverage there is, and my question is in regards to that team…Have we found Stanford Robinson? And is the possibility of playing Jeremiah April/Vanilla Prilla just not a thing?

JD, Indianapolis

JEREMY: JD,

Thanks for the kind words.

So to your question, have we found Stanford Robinson? Is yes and no too non-committal?

I think we’ve found what Robinson is capable of doing in terms of being a pest defensively, attacking offensively and generally providing a spark. For so long this season, he simply looked lost and like he was trying way too hard to contribute and make up for the four-game suspension. He has started to look like himself recently, and as Tom Crean mentioned the other night, he’s only playing a minute less per game than he was last season at this time (not that playing 11 or 12 minutes is enough for any player’s liking).

That said, what Robinson lacks � and given his limited playing time, it’s somewhat inevitable � is consistency. One game you get 12 points and good defense on D.J. Newbill, another you get four turnovers and three fouls. Part of that is improving the decision-making at both ends of the floor, something that was mostly good against Penn State, although he still had a couple wild forays to the basket. Still, Robinson has a unique skill set, especially among the players on this team, and against a team like Illinois coming up on Sunday, IU needs him to be less lost and more found.

Last we saw Jeremiah April in any kind of meaningful game situation, it was that unexpected appearance against Louisville. Even though it didn’t turn out so well, it at least told me that the coaching staff wants him to contribute. However, I’m not sure they trust him enough to put him out there. Still, with five days between Penn State and Illinois, there will be time to prepare for situations where he might be able to give the Hoosiers a two-minute stint. In the long run, I think April has some real upside, but not sure that isn’t a year or maybe two away.

As for Priller, I guess if Indiana wants a trailer on the break or pick and pop guy, he could fill a niche offensively. But defensively he’s a huge risk unless you hide him in a zone, and then he’s got find a way to block out and rebound. I just don’t see the foot speed or footwork to make him a viable option at all right now.

MIKE: Hey JD,

First, thanks for the kind words. That means a lot and we appreciate it.

Regarding Stan Robinson, that’s a good question. I wrote the other day that Stan is still trying to find himself, but that it’s really good for him to have some positive production that he can build from. Perhaps finally settling on using his left hand benefits him the rest of the way, but he still doesn’t have a jump shot. His game is attacking the basket and he’s still very much in the middle of that learning process. I think, as long as he’s still finding himself offensively, he can still be a presence as a defender. Beyond Yogi Ferrell, he’s Indiana’s best guard at on-ball defense. He’s trying to carve a niche for himself, and that may be the best way to do it right now.

As for the freshmen frontcourt duo, that’s a great question. I think Indiana has to find a way to get April up to speed. Tom Crean said Monday on his weekly radio show that he needs to work harder in practice, that he needs to be more in tune with getting up and down the court and into position. I think the ankle injury he suffered over the summer — the one that kept him off the floor in Canada and lingered into the preseason — clearly has had a negative part in his lack of progress. But Indiana needs big bodies right now, so I think at some point you have to throw April out there and let him figure it out. We’ve only seem him for 14 combined minutes this season — and not since Dec. 9 — but he hasn’t looked awful, just a little green. With Priller, I’m skeptical about his ability to contribute at this level. He doesn’t move well and I’m not sure what he gives you other than a trailer who can hit the open 3. He’s usually out of position when he’s on the floor and I don’t think he’s a real option for Indiana right now.

ANDY: JD:

Thanks on behalf of H-T IU hoops guys Mike and Jeremy for your kind words about coverage.

Stan seems to be surfacing a bit, and it seems he’s settled on a hand with which he should primarily shoot. He still attacks a trifle too recklessly for some tastes, methinks, but that really is the only way he’s going to contribute much in the way of scoring because he’s still not much of a jump shooter. I still don’t know how much he’s going to contribute, overall, given he’s toward the back-end of a five-guard rotation. But it shouldn’t be overlooked that Stan is inclined to be, and can be, one of IU’s better defensive guards. That role alone could earn him some increased PT.

Having no access to practice makes it difficult to evaluate the April/Priller thing. Maybe they’re just not ready. But in April’s case, especially, I’ve always thought he moves well and there is actually something resembling a skill set. And he remains a very tall human being. So I wouldn’t be adverse to giving him a chance, just looking on the surface of things, especially given the current circumstances.

QUESTION: 1. I saw two freshmen soccer players have joined the Hoosiers early this year, but since there have been no announcements, is it safe to say there have been no players transfer in, a la AJ Corrado, Matt Foldesy and others? And a note, great seeing Tommy Thompson doing well with the USMNT U20s (although the team itself isn’t doing so hot).

2. Getting very excited for baseball season and think the Hoosiers will have a VERY good staff, assuming the injured return to form. Any notes from the fall that would hold this Hoosier fan over for a few more weeks until I freeze my donkey off at The Bart?

Snarky Hoosier, Snark Vegas, Indiana

JEREMY: Snarky,

1. I would think a transfer would be unlikely at this point, although I do recall that IU picked up Akron transfer Phil Fives in June last year, so there could be something at the end of the semester. For those that missed it, IU announced this week that it picked up early enrollees in goalkeeper Cody Jewett of Pullayup, Wash., and Austin Panchot of St. Louis. Panchot is highly regarded, and I would expect him to make an early impact at IU.

And Tommy Thompson is doing well the U20s, including a goal scored in an 8-0 win over Aruba on Wednesday. The U.S. is 1-1-1 so far in the CONCACAF Championships, with games against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago remaining.

2. Mike?

MIKE: Hey Snarky,

Andy and Jeremy are our resident soccer experts, so I’ll let them take the first part.

As for baseball, you’re right about the pitching. I really like what IU has coming back, especially with a healthy Kyle Hart. Haven’t checked in with him since the fall, but Hart told me then that he was on schedule and should be ready to go for February. Don’t have a whole lot to pass on from the fall. I just remember Chris Lemonis and a couple players telling me that they were basically working on some situational plays during that fall period — that and familiarizing themselves with one another. The program announced a couple days ago that it has added former Illinois player and Detroit Tigers farmhand Shawn Roof to the coaching staff. On a personal level, that was kind of neat to see. I remember watching Roof play in the minors when he was with Double-A Erie for a few seasons. Anyway, the season is less than a month away so we’ll start churning out the baseball coverage in the next few weeks.

ANDY: Your Royal Snarkiness:

1. Given that second semester has started, your take on transfers (or lack thereof this term) seems valid.

Saw that bit about Tommy, too. Really nice kid. I’ve heard that aftermath leaving IU was really tough for him. It’s nice to see him accruing some career momentum.

2. Agree, on paper. And baseball fans at any level know that pitching probably counts more than any other single factor. Can’t say I have any notes from the autumn, other than recruiting seems to continue apace. Which is a very good sign. And, yes, April dates at The Bart are not for the meek or faint of heart regarding meteorological matters.

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

JEREMY: Indiana visits Illinois at 1 o’clock Sunday. We’ll have you covered from Champaign, while IU women’s basketball visits Minnesota for the Hoosiers’ first Big Ten Network appearance of the season. Thanks for chatting.

MIKE: Jeremy and I — and photojournalist extraordinaire Chris Howell — are waking up super early Sunday morning to drive to Champaign for Sunday’s IU-Illinois game. We’ll have you covered over the next few days on HeraldTimesOnline.com and the Scoop, so stick with us. Thanks for checking in, everybody. See you next week.

ANDY: Merci beaucoup. Je suis Charlie. Moi aussi.

One comment

  1. Thanks for providing the link to the Frank Deford article re: RMK. I’ve always thought about how I would try to engage him in a conversation if I were ever to have a chance encounter w/ him. For the moment I think I would try out, “Steve Eyl was one of my all time favorites.”

Comments are closed.