Each week, I will publish a mailbag on the site on anything Indiana related. Send your questions to me in the forum, or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dyedinthewool writes: I had no idea that RJ and DR were so close. It sounds as if the families are close as well. Do you think there's much to the package deal with these two targets?
JUSTIN ALBERS writes: Good question. And I didn't know they were so close until Robert Johnson Sr. told me recently. Johnson and Devin Robinson live in the same neighborhood, went to middle school together, played AAU together, and remain "very close," according to Johnson Sr. Now, I don't think you necessarily look at them as a package deal. Like any set of friends, if one commits somewhere, it will undoubtedly be some sort of a factor -- bet it big or small -- in the other's decision. If Indiana is to get a commitment from Johnson, for example, it would help their chances to land Robinson, but wouldn't guarantee it by any stretch.
faithguy19 writes: There is alot of discussion on Robert Johnson and rightfully so. If he commits, what are the chances that Devin Robinson and/or Isaiah Whitehead follow suit? I've read that Johnson has some connections with both of these guys.
ALBERS writes: Like I mentioned above, if Johnson does commit, I think it will help Indiana's chances to land some of these other guys. Johnson and Robinson are much closer than Johnson and Whitehead are, so I would say it would definitely help the Hoosiers with Robinson. How much it would help with Whitehead would be hard to determine considering he has a large number of schools still in the running. There's no doubt, though, that Johnson is a very important prospect for Indiana at this point. Tom Crean really, really needs him.
jahel writes: As of today, which player do you feel is the most likely to be part of the 2014 class?
ALBERS writes: All along I've thought Johnson would be Indiana's first commit. North Carolina got involved and complicated the process, and now I'm not nearly as sure. I think it's huge that Indiana is getting Goodluck Okonoboh's first official visit this coming weekend, so I'll go ahead and go with Goodluck as the most likely to be part of the class.
RockMagnum writes: We have not heard much on Ahmed Hill. Is he still a possibility for IU?
ALBERS writes: A possibility? Yes. But he's not one of their primary guard targets for a variety of reasons. First of all, Johnson, Whitehead and James Blackmon Jr. are all better players. All three are listed higher on Indiana's wish list than Hill is. Second, Hill really likes Missouri and bias been tied to that program for awhile now. I think the other schools are starting to feel that are are beginning to look elsewhere as a result. If the Hoosiers miss on one or more of these other guards, however, they may begin to go harder after Hill.
smg92390 writes: If RJ ends up choosing UNC or UVA over IU......does that essentially hurt our chances with Devin Robinson or would our chances still be the same to land him?
ALBERS writes: Good question. I think it would hurt Indiana's chances with Robinson, even if just a little bit. Like we discussed before, Johnson and Robinson are tight friends, and while they won't necessarily come as a package deal, one player's decision will impact the other. Now, with that being said, if Johnson doesn't commit to Indiana, the Hoosiers will still have a solid chance to land Robinson. It won't end anything. Robinson will still be on campus for Hoosier Hysteria, and that's always a good thing.
To sum up, it wouldn't help Indiana's chances with Robinson if it misses on Johnson, but it wouldn't be devastating either, in my opinion.
jahel writes: What are the chances Lourawls Nairn commits to IU?
ALBERS writes: Hard to say. It seemed kind of unlikely he would even get to his Indiana official visit early on, but he will be on campus this weekend. He's already visited Oklahoma and Minnesota, and is down to those three schools. So I'd say it's about a 30 percent chance. Oklahoma has been recruiting him for so long, it's just hard for me to imagine he doesn't end up there. But if the Hoosiers impress him on his visit this weekend, the those chances could go up.
Right now, he's fourth on their list of guard targets. But if Indiana misses on Johnson, Tum Tum becomes much more important.