Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bad Day for IU Basketball Recruiting

So Indiana basketball had a bad recruiting day. It happens. But did it have to happen to a program so badly in need of a big-time boost?

Sometimes, you don’t get a choice.

The Hoosiers lost the big man they had made a full-court press to get. They lost the verbal commitment they seemed to have locked in for good.

So who’s left? John Wilkins? Will Yeguete? Is that going to be enough?

Hold that thought.

First, 6-9 forward Moses Abraham is going to Georgetown. At least, he is right now based on his verbal commitment. He’ll be able to sign next month. Abraham had a good two-day visit to IU this week. Coach Tom Crean made a big push and got to the brink of a big commitment before Abraham chose the Hoyas, who are closer to his Washington DC home and who are not in a major rebuilding mode.

Then, guard Matt Carlino backed off his commitment and reopened his recruiting. This is big because Carlino moved from Arizona to Indiana and Bloomington South. The proximity to IU’s program was not a coincidence. He averaged 13.3 points and 4.3 assists as a junior for the Panthers, who were undefeated until losing to Jeffersonville in the regional finals. Rivals.com rated Carlino as the nation’s No. 122 recruit.

This is a double blow for the Hoosiers, whose incoming class of Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey excites few except, perhaps, their families. Abraham could have been a shot-blocking force next season. Actually, he almost certainly will be. Just not for the Hoosiers. Carlino is a versatile athlete who understands the game. You can’t get enough of such players in your program.

Wilkins and Yeguete are decent players, but unlikely to make the kind of major impact IU needs next season.

Here’s the bottom line. For Crean to start having consistent big-time recruiting success, he has to get in-state players. They are more likely to appreciate Hoosier tradition. But Crean is in a big recruiting hole because of the huge in-state push by Purdue coach Matt Painter, who exploited the Hoosiers poor coaching decisions (Mike Davis beget Kelvin Sampson beget players who refused to do what was right on or off the court) to build one of the nation’s top programs. It will take years for Crean to undo all that damage.

Can he? Absolutely. Crean made his reputation on being a dynamic recruiter as an assistant coach at Michigan State and as the head coach at Marquette. He can do the same thing at IU. First, though, he’s got to get through this disappointment. He’s got to land more strong recruits (remember the current group of Hoosier freshmen were considered one of the nation’s best groups). He’s got to ensure all the key returning players will actually return. He’s got to start producing winning records.

It’s a lot to ask for, but then, nobody said restoring a program to glory would be easy.

21 comments:

  1. Its sad but I've noticed on national sports boards- ESPN, CBSportsline IU fans are absent. Kids read this stuff and other school's fans talk up their colleges but not us. Soon IU's glory days will be things dad's talk about - just like the first man on the moon, the 60's etc. IU fans should come out more but most are content to keep their comments instate.

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  2. big daddy d of southern indianaMarch 26, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    i think it is a shame that are in state players dont have the pride it takes to bring IU basketball back to were it should be. all it takes is looking at those banners in assembly hall to raise the pride in your hearts.

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  3. I"m not even sure IU even wanted Carlino. I've seen him play in person, and wasn't impressed. I could easily see a situation where IU told him they didn't have room becase they need the scholarships for other 2011 and 2012 players.

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  4. Kentucky was a mess and couldn't make the tournament, and overnight they are the best team in the country, and reloaded for next year through additional successful recruiting, so I'm not really big on excuses. We are entering three years under the Crean, and we have players who do not have D-1 skills, who don't appear well coached on the floor and lack fundamentals, and who appeared to quit in several games. Down 28 in the first half against Wisc. The most discouraging aspect is the total failure in recruiting, with no meaningful help coming in, so there is no reason for optimism next year, and based on commitments/de-commitments, the year after. Our best player is a two guard, and we have two two guards coming in, neither of which is a top 130 player in the country, and nothing else. Total and absolute failure in getting the job done recruiting. We are in dire need of front line help, and we have two 7 footers sitting on the bench. If they can't play, why did they get scholarships? Two years of being the worst team in the Big Ten, and no reason to believe next year and the year after will be meaningfully better, if better at all. Heartbreaking.

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  5. Well go post something there now!

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  6. I'm an IU grad and a huge fan of IU athletics. So, I'm extremely disappointed when I see what is going on with our BBal program. However, I have one question...What good does firing Tom Crean do for us like I keep hearing from other posters? He's a proven coach and inherited an almost ridiculous job of trying to rebuild a program from scratch. Who do these brilliant basketball minds think we can get to do a better job than Crean?

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  7. carlino=way to slow, mo a=bench rider a project.we lost nothing. we need starter players not bench players. how bout recruiting teague, hammons, j davis, zellar, etc. y go anywhere else. all we need is dem hoosier boyz.
    GO HOOSIERS, and by tha way, how bout them butler bulldogs!!!! butler, purdue all indiana has left in tourney as of now.

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  8. Crean will get us back to being a top program without a doubt and i will laugh in your face when he does and you will jump on the bandwagon you doosh

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  9. I've never heard so much belly aching and whining in my life this year. IU will be better next year and will soon start getting the recruits needed to turn this thing around.

    Real fans understand that. Until that happens, deal with it or root for someone else.

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  10. the key is to keep recruiting indiana kids. We have the best talent in the nation. Why do you think all these other programs keep coming to Indiana to recruit. Look how it has helped Purdue and Butler!

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  11. Where's the bandwagon??? DIII coach...DIII talent...anyone getting the theme here...our coach is at Butler...can we please get him here and send Crean and his clapping A** outta here!!!
    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!!!

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  12. Steve Alford.....Bruce Pearl.....Scott Drew....I don't know!!

    But hopefully Crean will get it figured out. Just thought it would happen sooner rather than later. How many #120 ranked 2-guards does a team need? Get some bigs!! And get the Indiana kids. You can put together a national champion with the Indiana kids coming up alone!

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  13. I heard through the grapevine that IU may have two Zellers in 2011. The one at UNC is supposedly transfering to IU(anouncement coming soon)when the younger Zeller commits.

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  14. building a program from scratch is a long, arduous process. it doesn't happen overnight. kentucky wasn't barren when calipari got there, plus we all know his recruiting method isn't exactly the model IU wants to be following. i think as this freshmen class gets older (and most importantly stronger and smarter with age), and some role players fill in, we'll be ok. duke doesn't have any really strong inside players, and they're in the elite 8 right now. creek, watford, hulls, and elston... when these guys are juniors and they have had two years of experience and some growth spurts and added strength and IU still isn't competing for the big dance... then i'll be worried. until then, i just have to learn a little patience.

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  15. I would look at the level of improvement at IU next season. If it's not sufficient, time to consider Scott Drew or Brad Stevens.

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  16. I also heard that about the Zeller boys Crean Knows what he is doing 2 YEARS into a program that didnt just have problems with players but with every level within year two has a top ten class thats pretty impressive to sell a program after all it just went through.I personally give crean a standing ovation and will do the same when we hang number 6 and more Crean is the coach for IU now and the years to come!!!!!!

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  17. As an alum of both IU and MSU, I am a little biased. Crean is the reason MSU was able to build into what it is today. He was responsible for recruiting flint and Saginaw. That was a tough class to recruit. UM had owned the state of Michigan. Izzo was a new coach. Crean is considered one of the top 5 assessors of talent. That class was not full of top recruits. UM blew up as a program and now MSU owns Michigan recruiting

    crean needs to build his relationship with the high school coaches the problem is that there are 7schools with strong ties with Indiana (iu pu msu osu butler duke unc). That in itself is a big problem for crean as a newer coach. Crean has recruited the same kids as these others. I think this has led him to look at other states to get kids. He needs to ensure that he tours the state and visits schools to get these kids back on the bandwagon for iu. Focus recruiting on local states and get in with the kids at a younger age. Beilen has faced this challenge at UM and made strides in Michigan. Crean will make strides, but it will be tough. Too many teams with strong recruiting ties to Indiana. If Stevens stays at butler, it will now be even tougher

    remember ,msu has only had top recruiting classes every few years. Izzo recruited top players and it cost him a national championship when zach Randolph and Marcus Taylor bolted early. He now focuses on 3-4 year players. The top 10 players can be 1-2 and done. Teams are built with 3-4 year players.

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  18. How could you even compare the situation Kentucky was in with the IU situation? Crean has been given the job of building a team literally from scratch. Calipari had a few solid pieces and his severe lack of morals to help him build his team this year, but he'll be gone in three years and Kentucky will have NCAA sanctions on them in four when it comes out that John Wall's family was probably paid pretty well to get him to come there. A coach like Calipari is what put us in the situation to begin with. Crean is doing things the IU way and a true fan of the term "IU tradition" which they like to use so freely in conversation would truly appreciate what has been done thus far and what is soon to come.

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  19. Bottom Line....A team from Indiana is in the title game! Oh and lest we forget the gym they play in Hinkle FH is where the movie "Hoosiers" was filmed and where High School Hoosier Hysteria was built! The player that got them in the Championship game is from Indiana. So for IU to get back to the Title game is recruit the young men of Indiana in order to keep the great tradition of basketball in the great State of Indiana. Go Hoosiers!!!!

    Semper Fidelis

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  20. Years to restore huh?

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