So here was Tom Crean in Indianapolis, in Philadelphia, why not Georgia, and back in Indianapolis, all in the span of five days.
When you’re seeking to land another top-10 college basketball recruiting class, the frequent traveler miles add up.
The Indiana coach isn’t alone, of course. Coaches from all across America just wrapped up the first of July’s three five-day evaluation periods and there’s plenty at stake, which means every coach needs to spend lots of time sitting on uncomfortable bleachers being visible so teenagers will know they care.
Hey, earning millions of dollars a year has it’s glitches, not that we’ll ever know personally about that.
Anyway, the Hoosiers have just one committed player for the Class of 2014, and that’s guard James Blackmon, who pledged to the Cream ‘n Crimson before his high school freshman year.
They’re after a bunch of outstanding players, both in the Class of 2014, and beyond, and they are well positioned to land them.
They are taking a strong look at Michael Humphrey, a 6-10 Class of 2014 center from Phoenix (peegs.com’s Jeff Rabjohns was the first to get this). They have joined powerhouses such as Kentucky, Kansas and Louisville in offering Stephen Zimmerman, the 7-foot Las Vegas center rated No. 2 nationally in the Class of 2016.
They are pushing hard for Quentin Goodin, a Class of 2016 Kentucky guard whose family allegiance is firmly split between Louisville and Kentucky. They are after Colorado forward De’Ron Davis and Colorado guard Austin Conway, both in the Class of 2015.
And they absolutely are all over Class of 2016 guard Eron Gordon, the younger brother of Eric and Evan.
Oh, yes. How can you pass up a chance to land a 6-10 power forward with the name of Goodluck Okonoboh? Crean can’t, and has a strong chance of landing this Class of 2014 standout. It certainly doesn’t hurt that his former travel ball teammate, Noah Vonleh, is now a Hoosier freshman.
And don’t forget talented Indiana Elite 2015 guards Hyron Edwards and Jalen Coleman. They helped Indiana Elite win the 16U division at Indianapolis’ adidas Invitational.
Yes, the competition for these players is strong, but IU under Crean has proven it can more than hold its own. Figure the Hoosiers will wind up with another top-10 class.
Of course, Crean and his staff haven’t forgotten the players already on campus. The players are engaged in a typically energetic summer of strength training, conditioning, basketball skill development and playing.
That doesn’t include Will Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell, who helped the U.S. to a solid -- but not medal winning -- effort in Russia as part of the World University Games.
So how has the Cream 'n Crimson summer gone?
“It’s been amazing,” director of basketball operations Calbert Cheaney said. “We have all six of our freshmen in and also we have (Arizona transfer) Evan Gordon in. Workouts are going great. The kids are doing very well. They’ve adjusted to the educational part of it. Going to class and managing their time, so it’s been a very productive summer.”
We’ll have more on this in the next few days.
Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog. The reason -- too many projects, ranging from IU-related topics, to book writing (let’s just say it’s a challenge making the ancient Roman emperor Nero kid friendly) to sports videos to a quest to convince my son that there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom and much more.
A cynic could say, man up you lazy SOB, but who needs cynicism in a world that offers the Pittsburgh Pirates on pace to win 100 Major League baseball games.
Anyway, I will try to be more consistently from now on, although there might be a break at the end of the month when I take my annual trip to Colorado to do manly stuff such as hiking, biking, white water rafting and, of course, proving once and for all that Bigfoot is real and not a myth.