Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Intrigue, Insight and Indiana Basketball

Ah, yes, a little Indiana basketball scheduling intrigue.

Hey, a high school junior big man pays the Hoosiers an unofficial visit.

Oh, a little more insight into why coach Tom Crean likes his two-man recruiting Class of 2010.

Let’s start first with IU’s two signed players for this coming fall, a pair of three-star (out of five) shooting guards in Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey. Oladipo is from Maryland. Sheehey is from Florida.

“One of the reasons why I like the guys we signed,” Crean said, “is they come from good high school programs, good summer programs, teams that won.”

One of the ways, to build a winning program is to have a bunch of guys from winning programs in it. The more winners you have, the more losing becomes unacceptable, and the more winning you do.

It sounds easy, doesn’t it?

“You’d better put a premium on winning,” Crean said. “It’s not like they change when they get to college and put that premium on.

“When you go out of state you don’t want to find kids who are part of a good team, but of a good program.”

Of course, Crean also wants that from in-state players.

“There are so many good players in this state and they’ve been so well coached,” Crean said. “One of the keys this state has is it has so many good coaches and good programs. They take it really seriously. Kids get a chance to get their games advanced.”

Crean and his staff continue to watch that advancement while building relationships that, ideally, produce signed players who lead to championships.

“We’ve got balance issues to work through (with the returning players) so we can recruit properly,” he said. “That will happen as we go down the line.

“Recruiting is non-stop. You’re always learning about somebody new. Talent is in all corners of the state. It’s not locked into one area. That’s a great thing.”

As far as out-of-state talent, consider Jarrod Uthoff, a 6-8 junior forward from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who took an unofficial visit to Indiana on Wednesday. He’s also stopped by Butler, Illinois and Notre Dame.

And just in case you need an intrigue fix, IU is set to play in the Las Vegas Classic just before Christmas. The field reportedly includes New Mexico, which is coached by Steve Alford, the former Hoosier All-America who really, really wanted the Indiana job after Mike Davis moved on.

IU passed on Alford, took Kelvin Sampson and ended up in NCAA misery. Alford left Iowa, arrived in New Mexico and turned the Lobos into a NCAA tourney team.

Go figure.

If you believe the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, and who doesn’t, the field also will include Colorado and Northern Iowa. Two games would be held at Assembly Hall. Two more would be played in Las Vegas.


  1. I wanted Alford as well. But I am delighted with Tom Crean.

  2. Thank god we didn't hire Alford. Liked him in the IU Jersey, didn't like him at Manchester, didn't like him at Iowa, especially after the Luke Recker incident, and still don't like him in New Mexico where basketball use to be a club sport.

  3. it all sounds good 'i guess'. still just wanting creek to battle like he was doing. the rest will come with more experience. addin v.o, and w.s. is a plus. but what is really burning me alive is, i didn't know alford wanted the indiana job, and he wasn't 'alford' a shot? tryin to make a joke. he is well known in indiana. and all the talent here in indiana, scary thought to what might have been!!!! GO HOOSIERS

  4. I know I will be hated for saying this: IU should have given Alford a shot.
    He has put NM on the map in a non basketball area. Lickliter's failure at Iowa only proves that you cannot coach or recruit in that state. Alford would have locked up the instate talent and we would have been in the dance by year 2. CTC will not be going to the dance for at least another year..maybe longer.....years of mediocrity is all I see at this point....

  5. Why has Coach Cream lost out on all the big guys he tried to recruit? Who is doing the recruiting?

  6. Are you related to Alford? You mention him in a lot of your articles. What about all the other coaches we passed on 5 years ago? Please move on. PLEASE.

  7. I would take Stevens over Alford.

  8. New Mexico was already a basketball school way before Steve Alford. Remember Dave Bliss (One of Bob Knight's assistant)? He had winning seasons and NCAA tourneys for years. He was very successul there playing at "The Pit" Also, Pacer Danny Granger is an alum.