Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Crean's Rule To Recruit By
Okay, so we know Tom Crean needs big guys, big guys who can play right away, big guys who can thrive from the moment they hit campus. They don’t have to be Greg Oden, although that would be a huge plus, but they do need to rebound and defend and provide some kind of offensive threat.
Projects need to stay far, far, far away.
Maybe it will be somebody like Moses Abraham or Will Yeguette or even John Wilkins, a forward from Belgium who just happens to be the son for former NBA player Jeff Wilkins. Maybe it will be a junior college player, somebody with a little more maturity to handle Big Ten battles. If Indiana is to get this thing turned around, it needs inside muscle and, yes, nastiness.
So even as Crean prepares his Hoosiers for Thursday’s Big Ten tourney opener against Northwestern, he’s working the recruiting angles. And as he works, he stays true to his recruiting nature.
That leads to one of Crean’s rules to recruit by:
“If it takes a kid a long time to say yes, he isn’t worth the yes. There are always signs.”
Coaches can sometimes be seduced by a player’s talent and forget about whether that player is a good fit with the school, the program, the other players. They'll see the potential and ignore whether a player has the passion for the program necessary for elite success.
“When you stop trusting your instincts,” Crean said. “When you start worrying about when is the right time for that player to make a decision and then making the decision, you leave yourself open to a lot of potholes.”
Crean, of course, doesn’t need potholes. He needs guys who can help him win now by doing things the right way on and off the court.
“You need skilled, tough guys in this league,” he said.
Identifying need is one thing. Landing that need, satisfying that need? That is the challenge.