We’re trying something new this week, and we’ll see how it goes.
This Q&A is a joint effort between The Assembly Call and the Indiana We’re All For You group on Facebook. Questions are gathered via the Facebook group, and then we answer them right here.
If this becomes popular, we’ll try do one each week.
Q: Does IUBB have any chance of making the NCAA big dance? (Teri)
A: Based on my conversations with Andy Bottoms, I’d say it’s extremely slim. If Indiana can beat Purdue and Ohio State to close the regular season, then win a few games in the Big Ten Tournament, they probably get themselves back on the bubble. But short of that, the Hoosiers likely have to win the Big Ten Tournament to make it into the Dance.
Q: Lots of focus on Colin Hartman lately on whether he stays for another year or goes. Where do you stand on Colin’s future? Do you think the senior night ceremonies signal his departure, or would he still return for another season? (Ben)
A: I think we’d all love to have Collin come back for one more year, given his versatility and leadership, two elements that were sorely lacking this year. Tom Crean has gone out of his way to say that Collin has the option to return if he wants it. It sounds like Collin is weighing a very good job offer as he decides whether to return and begin his post-basketball life immediately. Given that he went through his Senior speech, my assumption is that he’s leaning toward leaving. But that’s just me trying to read the tea leaves. I don’t have any inside information beyond that.
Q: Do you forsee Fred Glass extending, firing or letting Crean stay for the final remaining years of his contract? (Joe)
A: I see Glass choosing one of two options: firing or extending. I don’t see him simply kicking the can down the road and doing nothing, as that would severely hurt Crean’s recruiting efforts and stifle any chance he’d have to turn things back around not just for next season, but into the future. My guess is that he lets Crean go, barring some kind of miraculous run over the next few weeks, but we’ll see. Nothing is written in stone yet.
Q: Why should amateur basketball players have to DECLARE FOR THE DRAFT? Only 64 spots right?Why is the decision the kid’s responsibility? They’re still kids. GM’s / Owners are grown adults, professionally trained and should be the people RESPONSIBLE for these decisions, not 18 — 20 year old kids possibly making a life defining decision for an entire family. College / High School players get drafted then it should be their decision to go Pro or enroll in college / stay in college. JUST 64 SPOTS and that’s including the overseas players! (Scott)
A: Interesting question Scott. Your suggestion would certainly help the players. But as long as the old men and women with all the money are in power at both the NBA and NCAA, don’t expect anyone to go out of their way to create the best possible system for college basketball players. They’ll simply make due with the system they’re given.
Q: Do you think all the talk about Coach will have any affect on the new recruits ? (Rodney)
A: It won’t effect the guys who have already signed their letters of intent, unless Crean is let go. But I’m sure it’s affecting the recruitments of other players he hopes to land in the spring. High school players commit to play for a particular coach as much as they commit to a school (as well they should), so any uncertainty around a coach’s future will affect that decision.
Q: If Crean isn’t back next year, who do you think we should target? (Brian)
A: IF Fred Glass decides to make that decision, then I think the two names at the top of the list will be Brad Stevens and Billy Donovan. I don’t think there is any chance at luring Stevens from the NBA, and I place the odds of getting Donovan very, very, very low. After those names, the ones you hear most often are successful college coaches like Chris Mack, Archie Miller, Chris Holtmann, Chris Collins, and others. (Names like Tony Bennett, Sean Miller, and Steve Alford also get tossed around, but I don’t believe there is much of a chance of any of them becoming the coach, for varying reasons.)
Q: What’s your guess of next year’s starting 5? (Jason)
A: Well, I am operating under the assumption that James, OG, and Thomas will all be leaving school to begin their professional basketball careers. (Not because of any inside info, but simply because it’s been the working assumption for everyone since before the season began.) So that leaves the following players: RoJo, Newkirk, Morgan, McSwain, McRoberts, DD, DG, CuJo, Gelon, and Priller returning, with Al Durham, Justin Smith, and Clifton Moore arriving (plus anyone else that gets added late).
I don’t believe any of these freshmen will be developed enough to play right away, so my starting 5 from the returning players would be:
G Robert Johnson
G Devonte Green
G Josh Newkirk
F Juwan Morgan
C De’Ron Davis
The X-factor for next year seems to be CuJo. Can he develop into the high level player he was recruited to be? Can his broken shot be fixed? If so, he could become a starter or a super-sub off the bench. If not, it’s going to put real pressure on one of the freshman to develop even quicker than they already need to.
Q: What are your thoughts on the reviews you have heard on the thoughts on the renovations of the gym (Matthew)
A: All of the reviews I’ve heard of the renovated Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall have been positive, and that matches my personal experience from being there for the Illinois game.
Q: What does it take to get Collin to come back for one more season along with OG and Bryant?
A: All of three of those guys would have to decide that the benefits from playing another year for IU outweigh the benefits of moving on and becoming professionals (in business, or basketball). I discussed Collin above. For OG, it would probably mean that NBA teams are scared about his surgically repaired knee, and that wouldn’t be good. For Thomas, it would probably mean that NBA teams are telling him he’d likely start his professional career in the D-League, which was not the reason he returned for his sophomore season. So I hope both OG and Thomas are in the NBA next year, because it would be a dream come true for both, but we’d all obviously welcome either guy back with open arms if he decided to stay.
Q: What’s it going to take for people (including the Assembly Call) to get involved with Women’s Basketball. They have won 20 games each of the last two years, they made to NCAA’s 2nd round last year, and have a good shot this year. (Teri)
A: I can’t speak for any other outlet, but for us it would just take one or two people who are passionate about IU women’s basketball and want to drive that content. And I think you’ll see Michael and Josh doing more IU women’s bball content on their podcast The Hoosier Life, which covers all IU sports except for men’s basketball.