So now Indiana’s Hoosiers wait. Will Marquis Teague choose them? Will the nation’s second-ranked player in the Class of 2011 -- out of Indianapolis Pike High School, no less -- see the Cream ‘n Crimson light or will he succumb to the recruiting pitches of Kentucky, Purdue, Louisville or Cincinnati?
We’ll know soon enough.
Teague, of course, is not a big man, and IU absolutely needs a couple of good big guys, but if you get a chance to land an elite guard, even if he’s a potential one-and-done guy, you’ve got to take a shot.
And so coach Tom Crean has.
Yes, the fact Louisville coach Rick Pitino just signed a four-year extension, which keeps him there until 2017, hurts the Hoosier cause. So does the fact Teague’s father, Shawn, once played for Pitino. So does the fact that Kentucky coach John Calipari, fresh off an Elite Eight run, has a knack for signing and quickly developing guards who leave early for NBA riches. So does the fact Purdue has become a national power that in two years will need a powerhouse guard to replace E’Twaun Moore.
You could argue that Teague might not be a good fit at IU, that the leave-early-for-the-NBA attitude might be the last thing Crean needs for his rebuilding, that Teague will likely not come to Bloomington so it’s best to target others.
Crean, of course, is targeting others.
You could argue all that, but the bottom line is you can’t ignore a player this good who lives barely an hour from your campus, and Crean isn’t. Teague has the kind of skills his program needs and every program wants, and if they sometimes come with potential glitches, well, welcome to the world of big-time basketball.
Anyway, Teague will soon pick a school, and if it turns out to be the Hoosiers, it will be a huge boost for Crean’s program and recruiting. And if the odds don't favor IU, well, they didn't seem to favor Butler at the start of the season, and look where the Bulldogs are now.
End of argument.