Mon., Nov. 30, 2015
Wed., Nov. 25, 2015
Tue., Nov. 24, 2015
Mon., Nov. 23, 2015
Mon., Nov. 23, 2015
Sat., Nov. 21, 2015
Fri., Nov. 20, 2015
QUESTION: Good morning, and welcome to our weekly IU sports chat. Thanks for being here. Busy week for everyone as the Hoosiers prepare for their third home game of the season against Bowling Green.
Gentlemen: How are you doing today? Should we start with the questions?
JEREMY: Good morning,
Just soaking in the rain and waiting for the cooler temperatures to arrive. Let’s get chatting.
DUSTIN: Doing well. Interested if I Like Soup makes an appearance today, because I’m fairly certain I met him at Nick’s on Friday night. He was extremely stealthy and mysterious. I could use some answers on that one. Anyway, let’s get to it.
ANDY: Rain, bringing with it cooler temps for what should be a glorious weekend, in terms of weather. Looking forward to the city football game Friday night and then seeing whether IU football (including the soccer variety) can bounce back a bit.
QUESTION: Fred Glass hired Amy Berbary last spring as women’s soccer coach at IU. She and her team have had a phenomenal start. Are they good enough to compete seriously in the Big Ten?
Randall Bychkov, B-town
That’s a good question, and it partly depends on what you mean by compete seriously. Do I think IU is going to challenge Penn State for conference supremacy? No. But can this team win some Big Ten games, make the Big Ten tourney and win a game there? Sure.
Just last year, the Hoosiers were 9-9-1 overall and 4-7 in the Big Ten with four one-goal losses. Lisa Nouanesengsy is a legitimate offensive talent and fellow senior Lara Ross is a talented defender in front of veteran goalkeeper Shannon Flower. Berbary’s personal history favors offense, but so far it’s been an impressive start on defense.
We’ll all get a better answer at 6 Friday night when IU hosts unbeaten St. John’s in the Hoosier Classic, their first big-time opponent of the season.
DUSTIN: I haven’t seen them play so obviously I’m going to guess here through deductive reasoning. Obviously, they’ve been dominant, having outscored their opponents 15-1. But they haven’t played anyone big yet, and the Big Ten is not an easy conference to rebuild in. Michigan and Penn State are in the top 15 nationally and Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota are all just outside the Top 25. So I don’t know if I see them in the top echelon, but it seems conceivable that they could finish in the top half of the conference and get in the Big Ten Tournament. But again, I’m just guessing.
I had heard from folks inside the athletic department before the season that Amy Berbary seemed a bit of a dynamo.
I’m certainly not well-versed on her team but it’s absolutely worth noting the 5-0-1 start. Whether that translates into B1G competitiveness remains to be seen, as they haven’t played a lot of B1G-level competition. But they’ve outscored the opposition 14-1, which is obviouslly encouraging, and I see sophomore midfielder Jessie Bujouves just got named B1G Offensive Player of the Week after last week’s wins over Eastern Michigan and Eastern Kentucky.
The Hoosiers host St. John’s tomorrow in what I would guess will be a good test, then play Central Michigan and Xavier before hosting Minnesota to open league play Sept. 21.
QUESTION: What a beyond ridiculous week for IU Soccer. To lose 3 straight games in overtime is just not acceptable. We can talk about everything we want that these games can go either way but this team lack a killer instinct. It’s still early in the season but to miss all these opportunities at winners in OT is ridiculous. I went to the West Virginia and watched UAB game and both times IU dominated but just couldn’t put the winner in only to be scored upon on counter attacks later in the periods. IU plays great in desperation when down but suddenly when tied, goals don’t go in and easy shots missed.
Now let’s talk about the defense which to me looks like the worse defense IU has fielded since I’ve been watching (still not bad but definitely the weakest I have seen played by an IU team in my time watching). Also I hope Soderlund gets better because while the West Virginia loss was far from his fault, Colin Webb looks about as raw of a goalkeeper as I have ever seen.
To sum it up I am glad this is happening early but IU has won exactly 2 games in OT in the Yeagley era and lost 6. Also IU has had many ties where should have been game winning goals were not converted. IU needs to work on their clutch play in OT because it seems they either miss should be easy game winners (i.e. pulling shots wide on open goals) or give up game winners (with the exception of the Notre Dame game in tourney last year). I would think IU’s OT record is among the worst in College soccer in this time frame.
Overall, while these losses are disappointing, I also have to say this looks like the weakest team IU has fielded in the 15 years I have followed them (yes I know that does not take much).
Can IU right this ship, analyze the problems and if IU misses tourney all together what happens to Yeagley’s job (not saying it’s his fault this is happening but if IU has let’s say a 7-12 season with this talent I wonder how Glass handles it)?
IU Soccer Fan, Bloomfield
JEREMY: IU Soccer Fan,
I’m guessing you’ve already resigned as president of the Todd Yeagley Fan Club, but don’t throw away that membership card just yet.
No doubt, it’s been as frustrating for the team as it has been for you to watch, but as you mention, the Hoosiers have largely dominated play in all three games. And that alone bodes well for future results.
The offense could certainly take its share of the blame in the first two losses, but four goals against West Virginia should’ve been enough. However, your point about a killer instinct is well-taken. Yeagley mentioned to me last week that what the Hoosiers needed was somebody or several somebodies committed to scoring goals, willing to do whatever was necessary to find the net. That’s the part of replacing Eriq Zavaleta that might be the toughest. But goals will come, they always do. One of IU’s best threats, Nikita Kotlov, is a notoriously slow starter and fast finisher in that department, and freshman Tommy Thompson probably just needs to see one go in before the goals come in bunches.
The defense has had its issues, which is probably why freshman Billy McConnell took a seat in favor of Dylan Lax in the second half against West Virginia. I’ll find out more about that situation at practice later today, but keep in mind too that the defense shut out UCLA in regulation, and shut out UAB for over 89 minutes before that late PK call, then the OT goal was really just unlucky.
As for weakest team in 15 years, did you go to sleep at the end of Mike Freitag’s tenure? A couple of those teams had zero scoring punch and made mental mistake after mental mistake in the back. They had some MLS-caliber talent, but as a team the pieces just did not fit.
And if you don’t believe me, how about this opinion from former Hoosier and UAB coach Mike Getman, who told me before last week’s game: “I saw some video of them from this past weekend (against SMU and UCLA), and honestly I thought they played better than last year. It’s a more dynamic team with more weapons.”
I’ll be surprised if IU doesn’t right the ship, and I can guarantee that nothing is happening to Yeagley’s job. This set up to be the toughest schedule in recent memory, and if the Hoosiers get pointed in the right direction, that will pay off big time in RPI at the end.
DUSTIN: I don’t usually weigh in on soccer obviously, but I think I can confidently weigh in on the bottom question. Todd Yeagley is not getting fired the year after he won a national championship. I don’t care if they finish 1-18. It’s not going to happen. I’d venture to say that no coach at Indiana has a longer leash at this point. Let’s just take that discussion off the table.
ANDY: IU Soccer Fan:
Your point about the current weakness in the defensive third is well-taken, but IU’s got a new keeper and new personnel back there (such as true freshman Billy McConnell), so that usually takes a little time to smooth out. Given the Yeagley track record regarding defense, I’m not overly concerned.
Weakest IU team in 15 years? That’s a pretty adventuresome claim to make about a squad that features so many veterans from a national championship team.
And sometimes, well, it’s just how soccer is. It is, as I’m sure you’re aware, a game that sometimes doesn’t quantify play very well with the final result. Sometimes that happens cyclically, where a team has a real run of luck, one way or another. If IU had gotten outplayed during the current three-game skid, I’d see a lot more signs of concern, but the Hoosiers had most of the play in all three matches (all against good opposition.) They frankly probably got hosed by the late PK award down in Birmingham.
I’m not saying they haven’t had their chances to win in crunchitime, because they most certainly have, and they need to start converting some of those chances. It’ll help when Tommy Thompson, who has done so much to orchestrate chances, comes up with a breakthrough goal. The floodgates might really open for him, then. But offense isn’t really the issue here.
Also, bear in mind it’s a very long season, and a lot of these guys have been through the wars. After you’ve played for a national title, perhaps it’s a bit more difficult to acquire the proper edge for early regular-season games the following year. I think Yeagley sent a message early in that West Virginia game that he’s lost patience with that sort of thing. It isn’t often you see a coach bench his entire forward midfield.
I think this team has loads of potential. If I’m an IU soccer fan, I’m a little honked off right now. But I’m officially not worried. At all.
QUESTION: 1. Ugh about Last week’s Navy game. I know I over react sometimes and this is hypothetical but if IU back tracks to a 3-9 record does Glass make any changes (not saying Wilson goes, but maybe Doug Mallory if defense loses teams a bunch of games)?
2. Are we truly heading into a ‘golden era’ of IU sports or was last year just a great year? Basketball is an unknown, Soccer looks pretty bad so far from what I’ve seen and Baseball should have another great year next spring, but what about 2015 when everyone gets drafted after this year? The great year rested on those 3 sports last year and every other sport was pretty much as bad as ever. I think if those 3 sports sustain somewhat the level they were at last year long term I would coin it a ‘golden era’ but if they even are .500 tourney teams moving forward and other sports continue to be mediocre you are back to where you were in the mid 2000’s. How do you see the future of IU sports playing out? Is it a “Golden Era” moving forward or just mediocrity where a few sports bubble up every few years like last year?
3. Interestingly questions 1 and 2 kind of tie together. For IU to sustain or have success across the athletic department they need a respectable football team that comes close to or fills Memorial Stadium every week so they make the money they need to keep up with recruiting, facilities etc. in all sports. With that said how does Glass balance being patient with Wilson and the Football program and making sure Football is competitive enough to drive the Athletic department if IU has a couple more mediocre to bad years in Football? IU doesn’t need to be Michigan every year but to be like a Northwestern, Iowa or Purdue that makes a bowl game almost each year and hovers around .500 seems realistic.
2. Get together with IU Soccer Fan to bemoan the lost 2013 soccer season. I suppose you could consider this a potential ‘Golden Era,’ but I also think major sports like basketball and football help drive that opinion, so until basketball goes Final Four or better and football goes bowlling to go with other successes, consider that a to be determined sort of thing.
1. You overreact all the time. It’s pretty much your default setting from what I can tell, but in this case you’re not entirely off base. A little, but not entirely. First, the season has to play out. As much regression as there was from last year’s Navy game to this one, we’re talking about a young defense that was always going to be better at the end of the year than the beginning. If there’s no improvement, and like you say, there’s a 3-9 record that is clearly caused by a porous defense failing to procure even a minimal number of stops for a dominant offense, then yes, I would think that puts Doug Mallory’s job in jeopardy. It’s not on Glass to get rid of assistants, it’s on Wilson, and that’s certainly a tricky predicament to be in. Bill Mallory’s coaching tenure is the closest thing Indiana has to a golden football era since the Bo McMillin days and there are still a lot of scars from Bill’s firing that are healing in large part because Bill has been brought back into the fold as a de facto advisor. If Doug gets fired, that’s going to cause a rift there, which won’t be good for the Indiana football family in general. If the defense is bad enough, there won’t be much choice, but it’s going to be a tough call, so it would really help everyone involved if Mallory and his defense would get its act together right quick.
2. Honestly, I have no idea. My crystal ball is a little bit murky. Obviously, “Golden Era” is not a specific term and it’s a nice PR word for Fred Glass to use to drum up support. Last year was obviously a good year for the department, and I do think those three programs you mentioned are built to last. Will Indiana baseball make the College World Series every year? No, but if it’s in the NCAAs every year, that would definitely make it baseball’s golden era and the recruiting is going to pick up for them so next year’s draft isn’t going to destroy the program. I don’t know if soccer can match the Jerry Yeagley years, but this rough early start doesn’t preclude them from being good this time around. And basketball isn’t THAT MUCH of an unknown. This team is young and it’s going to have a rocky start on some level, but they’re bringing talent in. They’ll be fine. They’re all going to have some good years, swimming is going to be reliable, football has a chance to get better. Whether that qualifies as a Golden Era? Eh, in all seriousness, no one’s going to call it that if basketball doesn’t hang a banner. But I think it’s safe to say it will be a good stretch of years.
3. Financially, basketball and the Big Ten Network make Glass’s life a little easier on this front. Indiana isn’t bringing in the cash like Michigan and Ohio State, but there’s enough money coming from those avenues that the attendance they’re getting for football is still enough to keep the program driven. They’re doing just fine financially despite the fact that they’re not selling out every game. They’re not going to have a problem staying solvent unless the bottom falls out of football attendance, and I don’t see it getting a lot worse. Basically, we’re not talking about a dire financial equation here, so that doesn’t make the situation anymore desperate. Now, just because Wilson has a seven-year contract doesn’t mean he gets seven years to have a winner, but I think it’s fair to say he gets at least five, possibly six. A five-year deal is usually the standard, and Glass put two years on top of that for the purpose of making a statement that Indiana would try continuity and give a football coach more of a leash and more job security than Indiana had been known for. So Glass is going to stick with that for a while, and Saturday’s loss aside, I think he generally likes what he’s getting from Wilson. He’s not going to give up on Wilson before Year 5 under any circumstances, it will have to be pretty bad after 5 for him to pull the trigger and he’ll probably get at least six before there’s real discussion.
1. “Ugh” nicely sums it up from the perspective of a lot of Indiana fans and your hypothetical, if things pan out that way, isn’t far-fetched.
2. It’s just too early to tell. The situation has potential to swing either way. I’m not worried much about soccer, actually. Basketball should prove intriguing, and any team this young is likely to have a series of real ups and downs, but I think the team will develop pretty well. There is talent here. And Tom Crean can recruit, so I see him sustaining some success with his program down the road, too. I agree that Tracy Smith will have to recruit really well over the next year or so, but there is no reason to think he won’t, especially coming off what should be another outstanding season next spring. Football is obviously a big key and the jury is still very much out there.
3. You are correct in noting football’s importance to the grand scheme of things. And I agree your basic goal there seems reasonable and realistic. IU might never be Michigan, but there is no reason is can’t be an Iowa or Northwestern, a team that is pretty consistently competitive at the B1G level and occasionally challenges for a league title and/or a major bowl. Basically, the Hoosiers have no choice moving forward. If they’re going to compete at all in the rugged Big Ten East, they’re going to have to get good.
QUESTION: Who will be the surprise player for the Hoosier basketball team this season? What have you guys seen or heard? Will there be a Hoosier on the all freshman team or all BIG10 team this year?
indianavelt, Fort Wayne
There’s no doubt somebody’s going to be a surprise player this season, because there are simply a lot of unknowns heading in. If somebody doesn’t surprisingly step up, that’s not a good indicator. I really like Jeremy Hollowell to make a big jump from freshman to sophomore. He should have a better understanding and comfort level with the speed of the game, while his versatility can provide a real impact in a lot of different aspects of the game.
Same idea on the all-freshman and all-Big Ten teams. If there’s no Hoosier representation, it will have been a long winter in Bloomington. I think Vonleh is probably as close to a sure thing as there is for all-freshman, while I’d think Yogi and Will the best bets for all-conference.
DUSTIN: Hey Indianavelt,
I think there’s a lot of options for this one. I think everyone expects Yogi Ferrell, Will Sheehey and Noah Vonleh to be good. I guess when you’re dealing with six freshmen and seven newcomers, anyone else after that is a surprise. But I’d say my guess is Jeremy Hollowell or Troy Williams. Both of them are top 50 recruits, so surprise is probably a stretch of a term there, but I think both have a chance to make big impacts. The other one I’d say is Devin Davis. I’m not sure he’ll have big numbers in anyway, but he’s such a tough competitor that I think he makes something happen for somebody one way or another. Noah Vonleh has to be the favorite for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, and I think he, Ferrell and Sheehey all have a chance to be All-Big Ten picks. Wouldn’t say first time, but second or third is possible.
The guy we hear most about, who would seem to be the most likely candidate amoung the freshmen to play a major role and make the most consistent impression, is Noah Vonleh. One would think he’s a good possibility for All-Freshman honors in the league. I really like Troy Williams’ talent and energy. I really like Luke Fischer’s height and skill set. I think Stan Robinson may be a bit “one handed” right now, but his overall package seems very good (he likes to D guys up, from what I hear.) One guy I think might surprise some folks, given his recruiting ranking, is Devin Davis. His total game made a lot of strides over the last year or so, from what I could tell. And he’s got a motor. I could see him being a spark.
QUESTION: OSD Here but abbreviated today.
Who was hired to replace CC on the staff?
RJ is at the Crossroads. Where does he go?
How about any others?
Do not want that short guard with funny name. Narims? Do we get him?
Have a good day and thanks guys.
OSD is gone…………………………….
Old Sports Dude, Crown Point
We’ve known CC’s replacement for a month now, just haven’t told anybody. Just kidding. Nothing new on director of operations yet.
I have to say Robert Johnson is turning out to be very difficult to read. I still think it’s UNC or Indiana, but I’m not ruling out Virginia or Georgetown just yet. He’s being very thorough in the process, which is admirable.
Lourawls Nairn, what’s not to like about Tum Tum? Well, we may never know, as I kind of think he’s headed to Oklahoma. I’ve got to believe Indiana would rather have Johnson and/or Whitehead, even Blackmon, over Nairn, but stranger things have happened.
No hire on the Ops job yet. Not sure about RJ. Going to be tough to get him out of the Mid-Atlantic. I think they’ve got a good shot with Okonoboh and Robinson and Nairns as well. And I think you’ll like Nairns more than you think if they get him. Shortness is not that bad of an affliction. They’re still in on Whitehead too. It’s going to be interesting to see it play out.
You show remarkable restraint today.
The Director of Operations spot remains unfilled for now.
Most folks seem to think its between UNC and IU for Johnson, with Virginia remaining a option closer to home, and most think the Tar Heels have an edge without at all counting the Hoosiers out. There has been a bit of talk about Johnson and Devin Robinson (pals since middle school) might want to attend the same school, which would seem an exciting prospect for Hoosier fans, indeed.
Don’t necessarily see IU taking Nairns.
I find it intriguing Kentucky keeps getting verbals from guards not named James Blackmon, Jr.
QUESTION: The defensive execution was disappointing against Navy. If they don’t improve, I don’t see us beating any of the top half of the Big Ten. My question to you is do you think the performance was more of a result of a strong Navy option offense or a weaker IU defense that failed to adjust? Also, do you still see IU pulling an upset during the Big Ten season?
JQ, Muncie, IN
It was both. The Navy option was really good, Reynolds is outstanding as a trigger man, the cut blocks were really tough to deal with and they have a ton of speed at the slots, which makes them tough to deal with. They’re going to be really, really good by Navy standards so there’s not THAT much shame in that loss, but Indiana’s defense definitely made Navy look better than it is. They weren’t as disciplined as they need to be and weren’t as good at getting off blocks as they needed to be. So yeah, they take ownership of that. They were significantly worse against it this year than last year, so it’s certainly a big part of their problem.
It’s possible. Penn State certainly has some level of vulnerability with its lack of depth because of the sanctions and that game is at PSU. Michigan State might actually be beatable. The Spartans have an outstanding defense, but arguably the worst offense in the league and one of the worst in the FBS. I certainly don’t see them beating Michigan, Ohio State or Wisconsin, but just about everyone else is on the table. But like you said, they’ve got to play some defense.
Reasonable observations all, methinks.’
Navy played option offense last Saturday about as well as any team I’ve seen in recent years. The cut blocking off the edge was truly remarkable and it was stunning to see how consistently IU defenders ended up on the ground. And Keenan Reynolds was truly superb with his reads and ball-handling. No question the defense was acutely disappointing, but I think Navy would have given a lot of teams fits that day.
I do think this might be the sort of Indiana team that loses a couple people might not expect (which has already happened once) and wins a couple people don’t expect. I see potential at least one “upset” in B1G play. But, as you note, that is predicated on some IU defensive improvement. The game at Michigan State, just to cite one, seems intriguing because, on paper, it’s a case of strong defense against strong offense and weak offense against weak defense. Something will have to give in that one.
QUESTION: Good morning guys, I hope all is well. As always, thanks for the great work on this chat and on the Scoop. I am 26 years old and I have rooted for both IU football and basketball for as long as I can remember (and probably longer). Losses like the one last Saturday make me briefly question why I ever allow myself to believe in IU football. Right around Navy running for their 3rd rushing touchdown, I started to ask myself out loud, “Why do I ever think it’s going to be different? They’re never going to break through and Saturday’s will always be a kick to the groin.” But, sure enough, by the next morning, I was already looking forward to the Bowling Green game because for some reason, I think this year is going to be different. I think Navy was an anomaly and so unconventional that we won’t see that kind of performance again this season (I think Coach Wilson agrees). That either makes me really stupid or just a fan. I guess we’ll see soon enough.
1. I shall never mention the Navy game again so….on to the Falcons. I saw Bowling Green play against Kent State this past Saturday and they looked pretty good. However, I don’t think the Flashes are anywhere close to as good as they were last season and they were missing Dri Archer (by far their best weapon). What problems do you think Bowling Green will present the Hoosiers?
2. I don’t particularly think it matters whether Sudfeld or Roberson is the QB and I think the coaches are being truthful when they say they will continue to play both of them. The offense is in good hands either way. It’s very clear the defense is the issue (despite what many people will probably be focusing on during this chat) moving forward. Do you think they can step up this week and achieve something close to mediocrity (one stop a quarter is all the Hoosiers need! Just one!)?
3. What do you think happens on Saturday? I think IU plays well and gets a 10-point win, 41-31. The offense keeps clicking and the defense does just enough. Of course, as I wrote above, I may be deluded past the point of objectivity so I’m interested in what you guys think.
Thanks as always and keep up the great work. God bless and go Hoosiers!
I’ll leave football to the football guys for the most part, but I’ll simply say that this game against Bowling Green and the following week against Missouri will be far more telling of what this season might become for Indiana than the Navy or Indiana State games.
DUSTIN: Hey TJ, as a 31-year-old Pittsburgh-area native who just saw the Pirates clinch a winning record for the first time since I was 10 years old, let me just say it gets better.
1. Bowling Green was already an outstanding defensive team and now they can score some points. Matt Johnson can beat them in the air and on the ground and Tavaris Green is a pretty outstanding tailback as well. They’re more “conventional” than Navy, I suppose you could say, so that element isn’t part of the equation, but they’re one of the best teams in the MAC. They’re a problem across the board.
2. It’s possible. I don’t want to say it’s definitely going to happen, but they absolutely fell apart last week, so the Indiana defense isn’t something I’d want to bet money on. At the very least, they got slightly better as the game went on, so there was some sign of improvement. I’d say it’s conceivable they get better, but I still think they’re going to give up some points.
3. I’d say if Indiana wins it’s closer to 31-24. Hanging 40 on that defense is not going to be easy. Indiana’s offense is really good, but this will be the best defensive they’ve seen. I’d say if they score 40, they probably do win, though. So many probably’s. I do need to see this team against Bowling Green before I feel like I have any real handle on them going forward.
I think a lot of IU fans would echo your thoughts regarding last Saturday’s football game and what the future may or may not hold. Well-stated on your part.
1. I think Bowling Green is really, really good. A top 35 or so team. I think the Hoosiers will have all they can handle Saturday. Not only do the Falcons return 19 starters (21 if counting kicker and punter) but they have a senior quarterback who came into the season with 35 career starts, 50 TD passes and over 7,500 yards passing, and he was BEATEN OUT by Matt Johnson, the sophomore. Which tells us how good Johnson probably is. I think BG’s defense is still pretty potent, too, even without Dri Archer testing it.
2. The defense will doubtless have even more of a chip on its collective shoulder this week, but I still think it’s a young unit that will take some time to mature. There is some reason to hope it can at least approach mediocrity this season, because there is actually a bit more talent and speed, a bit more depth. But we’re talking small steps here.
3. I think Saturday is a nail-biter all the way, the Bowling Green a definite threat to win. Indiana is going to have to play really well to prevail, and that includes the defense stepping up at least some of the time.
Thanks, as always, TJ.
QUESTION: What’s going to be our basketball team’s biggest strength and weakness this year? Also, obviously Vonleh has NBA talent, but do you see anyone else on the team at this point capable of being a first round pick?
I think IU’s strength will be its athleticism and versatility, while inexperience is the clear weakness, with a big question mark on outside shooting. Hoosiers will have to hope that athleticism translates into some easy points off of defense, while the offense gets itself sorted out.
A first-round pick this year? Maybe Vonleh. First-round pick down the road? Vonleh, maybe a Jeremy Hollowell, Troy Williams or Luke Fischer, who knows? We’ll have a better idea after this season perhaps. Think Yogi could get drafted but difficult for a smaller point guard like that to go in the first round.
This is going to sound overly basic, but it’s true. Biggest strength is going to be athleticism. Biggest weakness is going to be youth, which is going to be an issue across the board. There is the raw material for this to be an outstanding defensive team because there’s a lot of length and athleticism, but you’re talking mostly about players that have never had to understand defensive concepts at the college level, so there’s going to be an adjustment there. There will be a number of players who can get the ball in the rim and score, but I’m not sure the spacing is going to be there early and right now, you can’t identify a 3-point shooter you can count on. Austin Etherington and Collin Hartman certainly both have it in them to be catch-and-shoot guys and Jeremy Hollowell was an outstanding outside shooter in high school, but none of them have proven their proficiency at the college level yet. So basically, they’re going to get by and causing turnovers and getting easy baskets early. It’s going to be a while before they’re efficient on offense.
Troy Williams has the potential, I think, down the road. He’s very talented. If he works at it like anything like Victor did, I would think he has a shot. And Luke Fischer has the height, if he develops. Yogi will have to further develop, in terms of his shooting and other aspects, and it’s just harder for a 6-foot guard to achieve first-round status.
QUESTION: Gentlemen –
Thanks for your time. My question focuses on the 2014 recruiting saga for basketball. Obviously nobody knows at this point, but my gut says Robert Johnson stays closer to home and picks UNC or UVA. I think distance will be a deciding factor. If that happens, who else do you see being a viable option for a top level shooting guard. We have a lot of talent, but our deep threats for this year and next currently has to be a concern. We all know how important it is to an offense to have threats from the perimeter.
I think your concern regarding the guard spot is the reason IU has guys like Johnson, Nairn, Whitehead, Blackmon and even Ahmed Hill still on the radar. Plus there’s Dante Exum, but I think that’s just wishful thinking at this point. I’d be surprised if he didn’t go pro. Basically, a lot of irons in the fire, but none that are burning hot for IU at the moment.
Indiana is in a position where it’s in good with a lot of players but not a lock to get any of them. They’re still in with Isaiah Whitehead and despite his de-commitment, James Blackmon Jr. is still a real possibility for IU. Ahmed Hill is not entirely out of the question either and could be something of a backup plan. All of those are conceivable and Lourawls Nairn as a point guard is a target as well. There are a lot of guys they’re still in on, and I honestly don’t know who they get.
Your hunch regarding Johnson could be spot-on. We’ll know on the 20th, if word doesn’t leak out before. I also agree with your perspective regarding the need for shooting. Believe it or not, Blackmon remains an option. I know people refuse to credit that, but it is still a possibility. And obviously Isaiah Whitehead is a stud shooting-guard. I don’t think it’s likely that Dante Exum will play college ball but, if he does, he would certainly be a great get for IU, even if it’s just for a year.
QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’s all the time we have for today’s chat. Thanks for joining us and be sure to follow the games live on The Hoosier Scoop and the new and improved (free) Hoosier Scoop app.
Gentlemen: What else should we know before we say goodbye? Thanks, as always, for your time.
JEREMY: I’ll be at Armstrong Stadium Friday night to see of the futbolHoosiers can snap their skid, then Dustin and Andy have American football for you on Saturday, with a weekend capper back on the pitch Sunday. Thanks to all and take care.
DUSTIN: We’ve got two more days of coverage for the Bowling Green game and then we’ll have the usual info then. Stick with us.
ANDY: Many thanks, folks. Enjoy what should be a pretty great weekend in terms of weather by getting outside and supporting a worthy team near you!
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