Monday, May 3, 2010

Indiana Basketball Faces BIG Recruiting Week

It’s a potential big week for Indiana basketball –- literally.

Kevin Noreen, all 6-10 and 220 pounds of him, is set to visit IU this weekend. He has the kind of high school numbers to suggest instant impact, which is EXACTLY what the Hoosiers need inside.

High school stats, of course, guarantee nothing, especially when they come from the Class A level in Minnesota. Still, they suggest potential.

Noreen averaged 38.2 points and 16 rebounds while leading his high school team to the state title this past season. He set state records with 4,086 career points (by comparison, Damon Bailey has the Indiana high school record at 3,134) and 1,899 career rebounds. He’s smart (a 4.0 student), in demand (Northwestern, Marquette, Providence, Oklahoma, Colorado, Boston College, St. Louis, Washington State, UTEP and Virginia Commonwealth have offered scholarships) and loves puppies.

Check that. We don’t know about the puppies, but we do know Noreen has the potential to boost the inside game.

Also still in the mix is junior college big man Guy-Marc Michel. He’s a 7-1, 265-pound project with a 7-6 wingspan and only about three years of experience in basketball. He used to play soccer.

The fact coach Tom Crean already has had two international projects (Africans Tijan Jobe and Bawa Muniru) in his first two seasons would suggest he doesn’t need a third (Michel is from the Caribbean island of Martinique), but it’s not about suggesting as it is producing. And if Michel can produce, he’ll be worth the gamble.

All of this is part of the process in restoring the program. It starts with getting better players and includes developing them. Crean insists he and his staff are well versed in getting players to reach their full potential. For most recruits, that means a shot at the NBA.

“I want to swing a stick that’s realistic around here,” Crean said. “Realistic means we can get you to that (playing in the NBA). We have one of the great traditions of all time here. Look what happens after you leave this program. The only school that can rival it is North Carolina.”

That is, of course, a very public pitch to recruits –- play at IU, get better, get drafted, get rich, get generous. Is it enough to lure the program-changing recruits?

We’ll know more in a couple of weeks.


  1. This jwill be a MAJOR year for Crean, he is in his third summer of recruiting and he has yet to sign or even get close to landing a bonafied BIG man. Zeller looks like a make or break for him, he is the ONLY big man on the radar with major potential and he is from Indiana. Zeller is a must sign to give Crean and future credability.

  2. That was the problem with Crean at Marquette - no bigs. My buddy from Wisconsin said 'You better enjoy watching four 6'4" guards play with a 6'7" center because that is what you're getting'...and it has turned out to be true. That doesn't get it done in the Big 10.

  3. Michigan's Phil Hubbard and Indiana's own Darrell Thomas (sic maybe?) were both pretty damned good Big 10 Centers at 6 foot 7!