Got our wires crossed on the chat this morning/afternoon. We had football practice to cover at what would’ve been the usual time for the chat and interviews that ran into the 2 p.m. slot. So there isn’t much in the original venue, but I’ll post below the answers we did give and others to e-mailed questions. Sorry about that.
QUESTION: MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to today’s IU sports chat. Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying August. Just a word that these chats are not behind the pay wall; you can send in questions, follow along and then read the transcript on our live discussions page.
Gentlemen: How are you today? Ready to get started?
JEREMY: Good morning. August is indeed here, and we’ve hit the ground running. Let’s chat.
DUSTIN: Hey everybody, sorry about the lateness and weirdness today. Practice went from 10:15 to 1 and I just got back to the office. Much apologies for all of this. anyway, let’s get to it.
ANDY: Ready to chat, and had a nice face-to-face chat with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany when he visited Indiana football practice Tuesday in conjunction with the Big Ten Network folks. He seemed pretty optimistic about things, including reforming things within the NCAA structure, and, actually, Indiana football.
QUESTION: Much of what I have seen in the press lately is about Noah. What is going on with Luke, Devin, Colin, Troy, Stan, Hanner, Jeremy, Austin and Peter J? Have you seen or heard anything about how they are coming along?
indianavelt, Fort Wayne
You are certainly correct that Noah Vonleh is garnering a lot of the headlines. And while there’s no doubt the young man is and will be an outstanding player, I’m not sure expectations haven’t already spiraled a bit out of control. Don’t expect him to come in and average 20 & 12 every game … well, the 12 rebounds might not be far off.
Anyway, there was some insight on some of the guys at a press conference a few weeks back (I was out of town). Austin is getting better by the day it seems, ditto for Peter Jurkin, although it appears they’re taking it very slow with him, as they should, so he has a chance to be healthy come October or November. Hollowell was forced to step up his game with Will and Yogi away at the World University Games, so that’s promising.
Honestly though, figuring out those other freshmen and how they fit is really going to be the mystery of this team until things get rolling. My sense from following many of them on Twitter is that there’s good camaraderie and chemistry among the freshmen, which is as good a place to start as any. Also, there’s no doubt Devin Davis has really pushed himself to the next level over the spring and summer, working with Eric Gordon Sr. — there’s a youtube video out if you want to see for yourself.
DUSTIN: The assistant coaches talked about all of them when we met up with them before the July evaluation period, and the coaches were complimentary of all of them, but we haven’t actually seen any of them, so it’s hard to tell what’s really truth and what’s blowing smoke. Noah was written about at length because the consensus is he’s been awesome and he’s also humongous at 241 pounds heading into college. The sort of brief points on the guys you asked about � in order with my comfort in discussing of each of them follows. The coaches like what they see forming in Hollowell’s work ethic. He hasn’t always been an in-the-gym-every-day kind of guy, and they’re starting to see that along with some development in his skills. There’s been development in Hanner’s game, and they say he’s at least a lot better at catching the basketball, which is something that shouldn’t necessarily be a discussion point for a Division I athlete, but for Hanner it’s the (very large) missing piece to anotherwise unreal athletic frame. They like Stanford Robinson’s motor, Troy Williams’ passing skill, Devin Davis’s grit, Collin Hartman’s jumper and Luke Fischer’s understanding of how to win. Reading between the lines, I’d say Davis was a pleasant surprise, and the Hoosiers are less worried about the fact that he doesn’t have an obvious position than they expected to be. I actually expected to hear more about Luke Fischer than I did, so I’m not sure if more was expected from him than they got this summer or if they just didn’t say a lot about him. The coaches were raving about what Austin Etherington has done on his rehab and gave every indication that he’s stronger than ever. He seems rejuvenated in a lot of ways. Peter Jurkin has made progress, but it still sounds like he has a ways to go until he’s healthy. It will be a long time before we know what role those guys are going to have.
ANDY: indianavelt: I’ll let the basketball guys weigh in on this, though it isn’t as though any of us have had a lot of access to the baskeball folks lately, which is normal this time of year. I can note that Derek Elston said last week that the current formative IU basketball team is “crazy athletic.”
QUESTION: Dude is at the part-eee! Thanks for the applause. Another lovely morning in NW Indiana or as I like to call it, the place where cars go to rust. Now onto the questions.
First seems like Robert Johnson has come to a “Cross Roads” in his recruiting. Does he pop and commit on or near his August 24th visit? He plays for Boo Williams Team where Troy came from. Just seems logical.
How is WS ankle? Seems like media reports say it is no big deal. But the media also said Dewey beat Truman in 1948 (sorry for the media hit you know I don’t mean you guys).
If the students bought 17000+ tickets how many will be sold to the public?
Age old question will AE and PJ be ready when fall practice starts to go 100%?
Any chance DE who graduates in December goes to some school (preferably IU) in January then declares for the draft in the spring?
When will full schedule be released?
Well need to get to work guys. You keep bringing it. Hope the football team is as good as people think it will be (tired of PU buddy making fun of us)
The Dude has left the rodeo……………………………..
Old Sports Dude, Crown Point
Glad to have you joining us from the Rust Belt.
You know, I said a couple weeks ago that I just had a gut feeling about him. Now that may have just been indigestion, but I think Indiana is a serious player with him. Not sure he pops right aways, because I think at the very least he’s going to want to visit UNC. While Virginia and maybe Georgetown are the most serious of his other finalists, my hunch is this is another IU-UNC bout, a la Theo Pinson. Of course, it’s also interesting because Johnson is a very similar player to IU’s other 2014 commit, James Blackmon. But maybe you can’t have too much of a good thing.
Think Sheehey’s ankle is pretty standard sprained ankle fare. Far better to do it now and be back at full strength at the start of practice.
Public ticket sales won’t change, just the more student tix purchased, the more those will have to be divvied up to less games per student. Not a popular format, but we’ll see how IU deals with it.
I think Etherington is on his way to full speed, but still give it a little time. He’s eight months out now. I’d say 100 percent may still be a couple months away, around December. PJ is harder to figure. You wonder if he can ever be 100 percent, but I think the goal would be for him to be healthy enough to participate when the season starts, maybe with some minor concessions in terms of certain practice drills, etc.
I don’t think Exum is going anywhere in January, and it certainly wouldn’t be IU, as there are no openings. At this point, I’d say Exum is one of those ‘cherries on top’ when it comes to recruiting. You can’t really count on him, as he’ll likely go pro, but if he chooses your school as a one and done, you’ve got a great talent for a year. Full schedule should be out in the next few weeks, I’d think.
You may have left the rodeo, but stay in the saddle Dude.
It’s conceivable that Johnson pulls the trigger then, but I’d say it will probably be at least a few weeks after that. He has a visit to Pittsburgh the following weekend, and you’ll still see him take visits to Virginia and North Carolina at least. I think he’s thinking November now, but you know how those things go.
Sheehey’s ankle is supposedly not as bad as it was a few years ago when it cost him about six games, and IU isn’t playing games right now, so I don’t think it will be an issue by the time practice opens.
Lots of tickets will still be sold to the public. They’re not giving full season ticket packages to students. They’re getting like eight games each.
Austin Etherington should be 100 percent by then. Not sure about Jurkin. Seems like it’s taking some time for him to heal.
If Dante Exum does that, it won’t be at IU. Evan Gordon took up the last available scholarship. But I don’t think he’s doing that anywhere. He might go pro or he might not. IU is looking good if he doesn’t, but he’s not coming in in January.
Full schedule usually comes out at the end of the month.
ANDY: Yip-ee-i-ky-yay, Dude (isn’t that what they say at rodeos?):
Not only is Robert Johnson perhaps at the Cross Road, he’s “trying to flag a ride.” A scholarship, that is. And I don’t think he’ll find that “everybody passed me by.”
Johnson’s cut his list of potential suitors to IU, North Carolina, Virginia, Pitt, Georgetown, Florida State and Miami and says he wants to visit all of them, in an official or unofficial capacity, but the IU visit is the only one scheduled so far. And he’s bringing his parents with him.
It’s interesting in part because the only IU commit for 2014 so far is James Blackmon, who I would think is a pretty similar player in many respects. Don’t know if Dante Exum is gonna go pro or not, and the Hoosiers are obviously a serious player in the Quentin Snider recruitment, too, though Snider is more of a point. Anyhow, it’ll be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
The student allotment at Assembly Hall is 8,000, so we’re talking a lottery for the students in which they’ll perhaps receive ducats to less than half the home games.
Sheehey’s ankle situation doesn’t sound serious.
AE sounds like he’s on track to full health. That always seems more problematic with PJ, but one can always hope.
The full schedule can always come along at any time, but tends to be released in September, I think.
Jury is obviously still out on the football team. Insufficient data at this point. But let’s put it this way: if IU’s much-maligned defense can stand up to the Hoosier offense with any consistency at all once the scrimmaging starts, that’ll be a good sign because this offense is probably gonna score a whole lotta points this fall.
QUESTION: I see IU has basketball powerhouse Kennesaw St along with up and comings North Florida and Nicholls St on the December schedule.
Last year RPI for Kennesaw was 341 out of 347. Not sure why Grambling at #347 was not scheduled. North Florida was 229 and Nicholls St was 296.
No idea how playing those teams helps for the Big 10. Last year in those type games Crean was still playing the big 6 players a lot of the minutes hopefully others get more time this year but even then don’t see how playing a stiff from Kennesaw improves your play for Michigan St, Michigan, Wisconsin, or Ohio St
DUSTIN: Charles, this is obviously No. 1, a money thing, and No. 2, something that comes about because other people aren’t looking to play on the road. Schools like North Florida, Kennesaw State and Nicholls State want to take guarantee games because the money they get from teams like Indiana is a significant part of their budget. Indiana doesn’t want to leave Assembly Hall because it doesn’t want to play a lot of games that cost them gate receipts. Indiana and other big-time games don’t want to play a lot of games at each other’s gyms because it’s hard to win there and less lucrative than playing in neutral site games. And mid-majors have started making decisions based more on competitive desires than on Monday, which is the reason you won’t see VCU or someone like that taking guarantee money from Indiana. The schedule beyond Syracuse, Notre Dame in the Crossroads and the 2K Classic (which itself isn’t a Maui Invitational quality tournament) looks pretty lame for IU this year, so there will certainly be very valid criticisms of the schedule if it’s as bad as it appears it will be. But every big school takes on the Kennesaw States of the world, and the purpose is to build a foundation for the athletics budget.
QUESTION: Hey fellas,
Sorry Andy. Didn’t mean to leave you out of the bar fun. New proposal. KW, Dustin, you, and me will pregame some beer pong (DD/KW vs. Andy/Soup) then we’ll head to Nicks for some Sink the Biz. I say we team up on KW and try to force him to have to drink the bucket.
So who starts at safety? I assume all 3 (Heban, Murphy, and Allen) will play and you have depth if someone gets hurt. Has there been any inclination that Heban may move back to CB?
Any guesses on the number of sacks that leads IU in sacks?
From your favorite,
I like soup!, Bloooomington
DUSTIN: Something tells me not to attempt to defeat Wilson at any sort of game of skill, and yes I do consider Sink the Biz to be a game of skill. I have a feeling I’d lose and lose badly. But if he’s on my team for beer pong, I’m taking all comers despite being utterly useless at the game.
(DUSTIN’S NOTE TO PEOPLE OTHER THAN SOUP: This is a joke, and this is not something that will possibly happen.)
No indication of Heban moving back to CB whatsoever. That was never his best position. Personally, I think nickel back is his best spot (no Nickelback jokes, Soup.) But I think the Hoosiers are generally happy with him as one of the safeties. For Murphy to win the job over Allen, he has to step up. He’s been practicing with the ones so far, but we’ll see if that’s still the case once Allen gets his bearings. I think Murphy is the favorite, but I think Allen has a really good shot. Also, don’t sleep on Chase Dutra. he’s a heck of an athlete.
I’ll say if David Kenney figures out college football as a true freshman (and there’s at least some reason to be concerned that he won’t) He could pull 8 or 9 and should lead the team. He’s humongous now and he’s got a ton of speed. Has a chance to be the next great IU defensive end if he keeps his head screwed on right. If Kenney doesn’t figure it out, IU will be lucky if it has someone with six sacks. Replogle had five to lead the team last year and no defensive end had more than 3. So that could happen again.
QUESTION: Hey folks! We often have a multiple players in the recruiting pipeline that play the same or similar positions. Currently, I’m thinking about Dante Exum, Quentin Snider, and Robert Johnson (others?). Does the coaching staff do anything to attempt to manage the timing of the commitment of recruits? In other words, do they do something to communicate to a recruit that he should hold off his commitment until a more preferred player decides? Or, is it truly first-come first-served when it comes to outstanding offers?
DUSTIN: I don’t get the impression that they do something directly. I’m not the most in-touch recruiting reporter out there, but I rarely hear from players who aren’t committed about other players Indiana is recruiting. I’ve heard football players in the past say they were given the impression they needed to commit early because otherwise the team would take another safety or corner or whatever. But I’ve never heard a basketball player said he thought he had to commit, because if not, IU would take another point guard. I’m not sure it’s truly first-come, first-served, because I think they slow-play in some circumstances and tone down their communication. But I don’t get the impression they’ve ever told a player “we only want you if this guy doesn’t commit. You have an offer, but it’s off the table if he comes first.” I get the impression they just keep their mouths shut on that and hope for the best.
QUESTION: MODERATOR: Looks like that’s all we’ve got for today. Football practice has started. Tell us what else is coming up before you guys go.
JEREMY: While Dustin and Andy are all over the football, I’m hitting futbol hard. Should have a story on former Hoosier Will Bruin and his Gold Cup experience in a few days, heading out this afternoon to see first-year IU women’s soccer coach Amy Berbary and squad, and by this time next week, the defending national champion men’s soccer team will have had their first official practice or two.
DUSTIN: Ah, this was a significant screw up on our parts, mostly mine. I’ll answer some other questions on the scoop. But yeah, football camp. Lots of stuff. Stick with us.
ANDY: We’ll get a chance to talk with Kevin Wilson after Friday’s practice, at which time we may also get access to the quarterbacks vying for the starting job. And while I don’t expect any clear answers to that pressing question as yet, it’ll be interesting to see what their observations are after a week of practice, for which the full pads came on Tuesday. Wednesday was the first two-a-day session. So some of the position battles are fully-joined now. Thanks to those who chatted and/or checked in.