Thursday, July 1, 2010
'Edgy' Crean Needs A Big Month
It’s time for Tom Crean to kick some recruiting … well … rump, and land some in-state studs.
Does that sound too harsh?
Of course not.
Recruiting is not for the meek, who might inherit the earth, but won’t get a sniff at, say, Cody Zeller or Branden Dawson.
So with a big month of evaluating coming up -– coaches get to watch, but not talk to, players competing in events from Indianapolis to Orlando to Las Vegas to Los Angeles –- it’s time for Crean to get his recruiting edge.
It seems he already has. We know this based on a couple of tweets that were not so sweet. Opposing coaches apparently are not playing nice in the recruiting game -- imagine that!! -- and Crean has had it.
“Frankly, some of the assistants we go against I wouldn’t let valet my car. They either would lose the keys or drive away with it,” Crean wrote.
“In all honesty there are some head coaches that would be the same way. The ones that wake up on third base and think they hit a triple kill me.”
This last one is a little cryptic, but it makes the point that Crean is mad as heck and he’s not gonna take it.
If this were reality TV, Crean and some of those unnamed coaches would get in front of a camera and go all MMA on each other. Because this is college sports and decorum has to be followed, we miss that in-the-gutter entertainment for this bottom-line truth:
Crean’s anger needs to translate into big-time recruits, say a dynamic point guard and a rock-the-rim big man.
Crean’s reputation –- based on an impressive recruiting display as a Michigan State assistant combined with his Final Four run at Marquette -– suggests good times are coming.
The sooner the better given the total of 16 wins over the last two seasons.
Last year’s class of Maurice Creek, Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls, Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco was very good. Bawa Muniru didn’t work out, but that happens.
This year’s newcomers -– guards Will Sheehey and Victor Oladipo, and center Guy Marc-Michel -- aren’t as heralded. It’s uncertain how much impact they’ll make, but it needs to be extensive, especially from the 7-1 Michel.
That brings us to the upcoming Classes of 2011 and 2012. As the world knows, the in-state high school talent is win-a-national-championship good.
There’s still-available guys like Dawson, Zeller, Michael Chandler, Jeremiah Davis and Mitch McGary for the Class of 2011. The Class of 2012 has Gary Harris, D’Vauntes Smith Rivera, Jeremy Hollowell, A.J. Hammons, Ron Patterson, Yogi Ferrell, DeJuan Marrero and Glenn Robinson.
They’ll all be in action this month.
What will Crean and the rest of his coaching brethren be doing?
Sitting, watching and being seen. Showing that they care. Proving that they’re willing to put in the time and miles it takes to land special players.
NCAA rules prohibits basically everything else.
Along the way maybe Crean can find a diamond in the rough, somebody who isn’t on every major team’s radar, but who has what it takes to make a college difference. Those guys are out there, and if Crean can land some of them, as well as the superstars, all that talk about restoring Indiana’s glory will have substance.
It will, in fact, become reality.
In the end, that’s what it’s all about.