Special Edition Episode: Offseason Q&A … Plus Our All-Time #IUBB Starting 5’s

Troy Williams turned in one of the best performances of his career in IU's 82-73 victory over Butler. (Image credit: @IndianaMBB)
Last season, Troy Williams turned in one of the best performances of his career in IU’s 82-73 victory over Butler. (Image credit: @IndianaMBB)

On Monday morning, we asked you for your questions, and you delivered.

So we spent an hour on Monday night answering them during our latest every-other-week special edition episode of The Assembly Call.

Among the questions:

  • Give us a clue who the special guest will be on next week’s show! (Okay! We do!)
  • What’s up with the final assistant coach position?
  • How hot is Tom Crean’s set heading into the season?
  • Is Indiana’s undisciplined style of offense and indictment of Crean’s coaching style?
  • How will Indiana improve its defense this year?
  • Is it realistic to expect Indiana to compete for a National Championship this season?
  • Can Troy Williams play the 3 or the 4? (And what does he need to do to improve on defense?)
  • Which Big Ten team will be Indiana’s biggest challenge this season?
  • What is the backup and future plan for Yogi at the point guard spot?

And more …

Then we have a little fun digging into IU hoops history, and each of us give our ultimate all-time IU starting lineups (at about the 1:05:00 mark).

There is one name that appears in all of our starting 5s … can you guess who it is? :-)

Also, once you listen, use the comment section to tell us what your ultimate IU lineup is. We’d love to see what you think as well.

Get caught up on our latest show right here:

Special Edition: DocLibby on What Life is Like as Yogi’s Mom

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Heading into his fourth and final season in Bloomington, Yogi Ferrell has put himself in a position to leave Indiana as one of the greatest four-year players in school history.

It will take a combination of stellar individual play and and banner-worthy team success to solidify Yogi’s status, but neither seems out of the question as we peer into the future.

But wait.

Why am I looking so far ahead into the future?

The team is just now getting into the swing of offseason workouts, and any individual or team success will happen only because of a day-by-day-by-day commitment to improvement by Yogi and his teammates.

I know this because a source close to Yogi Ferrell told me this.

You probably know her.

Dr. Lydia Ferrell … a.k.a. DocLibby … a.k.a. Yogi’s mom.

She was our guest on the latest offseason episode of The Assembly Call, and we discussed a wide and entertaining variety of subjects during our hour-long conversation:

  • Why has Yogi now chosen to Indiana twice — once as a high school recruit, and again after his junior year?
  • How has Dr. Ferrell dealt with the roller coaster of success and frustration that Yogi’s three years in an Indiana uniform have delivered?
  • How does she balance supporting Yogi’s athletic career with also being there for her three other super athletes?
  • What is it like being the mom of a high profile college athlete in the age of social media? And how does she view the responsibility that comes with her platform?
  • Her thoughts on this year’s team — including who she has already pegged as the X-factor who’s ready for a true breakout season
  • What is her favorite/least favorite opposing Big Ten gym to visit?
  • Her thoughts on Coach Crean, Assembly Hall, Yogi’s impending senior night, when she knew he was a special player, how he got the name “Yogi,” and much, much more …

When we launched The Assembly Call four-plus years ago, we never imagined we’d have the opportunity to interview someone like Dr. Ferrell. We have really appreciated her support of the show over the last couple of seasons, and we were thrilled when she agreed join us for this episode.

I hope you enjoy watching/listening to this episode as much we enjoyed participating in it.

Oh, and thanks for tuning in Stephen Bardo … ;-)

Get caught up on the latest episode of The Assembly Call right here:

Listen to the mp3:

Or watch the replay below:

Special Edition: Big Ten Preview and Max Bielfeldt Scouting Report

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In our latest special edition episode, we welcome Ed Feng from The Power Rank to take a look ahead at what everybody believes will be a stacked Big Ten in 2015-16.

Ed, a Michigan fan, also provides his scouting report on Max Bielfeldt and what Indiana fans can expect next season.

And Andy is here to sprinkle in his comments — on Bielfeldt, on how he sees the Big Ten shaping up next season, and on our apparent new policy of not taking any listener questions about Purdue.

Note: here is the link I mention from Inside the Hall breaking down how the unbalanced schedule may influence the Big Ten race next season.

All of this and more on the latest episode of The Assembly Call.

Listen to the mp3:

Or watch the replay below:

From the Archive: Reliving the Wat Shot — IU-Kentucky Postgame Show from 2011

I think this is a game where we’ll all remember where we were.

These were among my final words to close out the IU-Kentucky postgame show back in 2011. I was really just stating the obvious. Time will most certainly prove me right.

Since we’ve been doing The Assembly Call over the last four years, no single moment has felt more like a Banner Moment than this one.

The Wat Shot. The win over #1 Kentucky. The feeling of a program that was “back” and ready to reclaim its rightful perch among college basketball’s elite.

We know that hasn’t quite happened.

There have been good times since this game. Proud times. A few really good times.

But literally everything seemed possible after Christian Watford’s shot swished through to beat Kentucky.

It was joy. It was victory. It was catharsis. Every single loss and bad feeling from Tom Crean’s first three years, and the wreckage that preceded it, had been vanquished in an instant.

You had to be there to understand it. Not there in Assembly Hall necessarily, but there through all the losses and rough times that set the stage for this truly unique sports moment. Because remember: there wasn’t just a special feeling in Assembly Hall after the game. There was a special feeling on campus, and in and around the arena, all day long.

Something epic was in the air. The Wat Shot was its final on-court manifestation.

73-72.

What a win.

And tonight, after spending at least a year looking, and coming so close to giving up and just accepting that I’d never find it, I finally found the postgame show from the single biggest IU moment since we started producing The Assembly Call.

I had to post it. And I hope you enjoy it.

I had to edit it a bit at the beginning. There are parts that are totally incoherent as I try to gather myself and form cogent thoughts. But there are other parts that are filled with the kind of detailed analysis you’ve hopefully come to expect from us, even back in our early days.

And in addition to the palpable excitement and enthusiasm, which permeates the entire show and that you’ll surely be able to relate to, there are a few other pleasant memories and surprises I’d forgotten:

  • Andy calling in … after not being able to watch the game live! He had to listen to Fisch’s call. (His anecdote about what he said to his wife is great.)
  • Tyler Juranovich, our original producer who helped us screen calls, getting a few mentions.
  • And oh yeah … callers! We used to take live calls back in the early days, and after listening to the show I miss doing that.
  • Nick Banich (@Nick_Banich), one of our all-time most loyal listeners, calling in … and then me imploring him to drive to Bloomington and party.
  • Chronic Hoosier (@ChronicHoosier) calling in and providing excellent perspective from Assembly Hall … before heading off to enjoy his Pappy Van Winkle. Chronic had a great quote: “My expectations are measured in banners. At Indiana University we play for championships.” Everything seemed possible after that game …
  • Megan Mahaffey (@taxmegan), another of our all-time most loyal listeners, called in … and delivered this great line when the topic of “The Movement” (remember that?) came up: “Screw waiting for next year. We’re going to get the ball rolling RIGHT … NOW.”

Oh, and Ryan couldn’t be there, because … well … just listen and find out. I call him out for it. But at least he was listening to the show live. :-)

December 10, 2011 was a uniquely special moment to be an Indiana basketball fan. My hope in posting the postgame show from that night is that listening to it helps you tap back into those incredible feelings that we all had right after the buzzer sounded and in the Wat Shot’s immediate afterglow.

As I said then, this game reminded me of why I watched sports in the first place.

It still does.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy. :-)

Yogi’s Back, So Are We … Now Let’s Look Ahead to 2015-16

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Image credit: @IndianaMBB

When Yogi Ferrell announced his intentions to return to Indiana for his senior season this past weekend, it solidified an Indiana roster that many people now think is a top-15, possibly top-10 team.

Combine Yogi’s return with the returns of Troy Williams and James Blackmon Jr., plus the addition of top-20 big man Thomas Bryant, an optimism is rightly running rampant about what the 2015-16 season could bring.

But red flags remain.

  • Will this team defend?
  • Will this team be able to navigate through adversity?
  • Given the roller coaster that the Crean Era has been, is it possible that success this season could actually be a negative for the long-term interests of the program?

We address these red flags, discuss what the starting lineup and rotation is likely to look like, and of course revel in the optimism that has everyone so excited about what next year could bring.

All on the latest episode of The Assembly Call.