Sunday, October 31, 2010
Crean’s Recruiting Hot Streak Has Championship Possibilities
How much hotter can Tom Crean get in recruiting?
Hold on. Answer that after we hear about Cody Zeller.
In the meantime Crean just got a verbal commitment from super athletic Hanner Perea, the No. 10 player from the Class of 2012. That’s the same guy who was also interested in Baylor, until a reported text messaging mess from a Bears assistant coach caused a NCAA investigation.
Anyway, Perea took an unofficial visit to IU this weekend. He was there along with Zeller and 2011 commit Austin Etherington, and decided to not waste any more time. He likes the school and the program, but mostly he likes Crean and the way the Hoosiers want to utilize athletic, versatile big men.
Yeah, guys just like Perea.
He can jump, dunk and leap tall buildings with a single bound. Okay, that might be exaggerating things a little, but he is a human highlight film. He’s working on developing an outside game to complement his inside spectacle.
In other words, he’d like to be in a couple of years what Christian Watford is now. Look for the 6-9 Watford to have a more perimeter role this season –- assuming that he continues to rebound to Crean’s standards. Last year Watford averaged 6.0 rebounds. He’d like to be at 8.0 or 9.0 this season.
Perea, by the way, rates 10 spots higher than Zeller, although they are a year apart. Zeller is in the Class of 2011.
This continues Crean’s recruiting hot streak that started last summer. He’s also gotten Indianapolis Broad Ripple guard Ron Patterson and North Carolina forward Peter Jurkin, also from the Class of 2012. He’s gotten commitments from a pair of Class of 2014 standouts in James Blackmon of Fort Wayne Bishop Luers and Trey Lyles of Indianapolis Tech.
Crean also is in the hunt for two more Class Class of 2012 standouts in Indianapolis Park Tudor point guard Yogi Ferrell (No. 17 nationally) and Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris (No. 24). Both rated among the top 25 players in the country in that class.
Perea is IU’s third commitment in the Class of 2012. He joins Patterson (he rates No. 78 nationally) and Jurkin. They can’t sign national letters of intent until November of 2011.
Ferrell is the big one for the Class of 2012 because he’s the point guard Crean needs to run the show. Consider a frontline of 6-10 Zeller, Perea, 6-11 Jurkin and 6-9 Watford, who would be a senior for the 2012-13 season. So would 6-8 Derek Elson and 6-9 Bobby Capobianco. That’s enough size for an NBA team. You’d have a backcourt that would include Ferrell, Patterson and Jordan Hulls. Ferrell would be the super-quick point guard. Hulls would be the veteran, calming, good-shooting influence. It might make a pretty potent 1-2 point guard punch.
This remains conjecture. Zeller is deciding between IU, Butler and North Carolina. Ferrell hasn’t committed. And guys can always transfer or turn pro.
But if everything keeps falling into place, the Hoosiers could have the talent lined up to contend for Big Ten and national titles, perhaps as soon as next season if Zeller commits and the current players keep developing.
After the last two seasons of basketball misery, and the on-going football disappointment, wouldn’t that be a welcome change?