A few thoughts on recruiting the state of Indiana

  • 06/17/2010 7:43 am in

In Tuesday’s edition of The Indianapolis Star, Bob Kravitz penned a column (link) expressing concern over Tom Crean’s ability to recruit the state of Indiana. The headline: “Crean needs to start getting in-state talent.”

The overall tone of the column was hardly vicious, but there was quite a bit of discussion surrounding the 2010 class and the lack of IU flavor on the Indiana All-Star team.

If you’ve been following the program since Crean took over in the spring of 2008, he’s been transparent about the tremendous ground the program needed to make up in the 2010 recruiting class. And after landing a top 10 class in 2009, the Hoosiers will welcome a less-heralded three-man class this fall.

But back to the Indiana All-Star team. Kravitz mentioned three Purdue recruits — Terone Johnson, Donnie Hale and Travis Carroll — as well as Butler’s Erik Fromm and Chrishawn Hopkins and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas. I’ve watched all six players and two stood out as clear-cut Big Ten level guys: Thomas, Mr. Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American and Johnson, who will be a high level player in West Lafayette.

And while it’s easy to type a line like, “Take a quick look at the roster for the Indiana All-Stars boys basketball team. On second thought, if you’re an Indiana University fan, don’t bother. It’s too depressing,” that statement is also a little misleading.

The reality, as Kravitz mentions, is the recruiting work on Thomas and Johnson was all but completed before Crean ever stepped foot in Bloomington. The other four — Carroll, Fromm, Hale and Hopkins — could potentially fill roles at their respective schools, but are not worth losing much, if any, sleep over.

The real litmus test on IU’s ability to recruit Indiana talent will come in the next three classes.

In 2011, IU is in a battle for Washington’s Cody Zeller and is also pursuing Muncie Central’s Jeremiah Davis.

In 2012, the Hoosiers are being mentioned favorably with in-state talent like Broad Ripple’s Ron Patterson, North Central’s D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Carmel’s A.J. Hammons, Park Tudor’s Yogi Ferrell and Lawrence Central’s Jeremy Hollowell.

And in 2013, Indiana has already offered scholarships to four of the state’s best: Cathedral’s Collin Hartman, Hamilton Southeastern’s Zak Irvin, Heritage Christian’s Basil Smotherman and Warren Central’s Devin Davis.

Land a couple of these guys and all of the chatter about recruiting the state is silenced.

But before you buy into the belief that IU must lock down the Indiana borders to return to prominence, remember that its top three returning scorers — Maurice Creek, Verdell Jones and Christian Watford — all hail from outside of the state.

Ultimately, the best players in the country want to play at winning programs.

As IU continues on its rebuilding path with more wins in 2010-2011, some of the names mentioned above — or players like Aaron Thomas, B.J. Young, Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin — will take notice and make a pledge to become a part of something special.

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  • marcusgresham

    Wow, even I shot 35%. Unfortunately I was a beast of a power forward who topped out at 5' 7 3/4″.

  • marcusgresham

    Then we've found your new name—-Kelin Dakich for that Dan-like defensive performance!

  • marcusgresham

    The only regular season IU game I've ever had the chance to see was the one at Freedom Hall when Cheaney, Nover, Mashburn, and Ford each scored 29. Damon Bailey missed a 30-foot 3 at the buzzer and IU lost 76-73. Have I mentioned I hate Kentucky?

  • marcusgresham

    Dick Lugar

  • marcusgresham

    But, they're sending Hale and not one of the other recruits! I didn't see anyone say it was for academics (but I may have missed it,) I think we all said it was ability.

  • Kelin Blab

    Wow…that is a strong 2011 season candidate Kelin Dakich or Nover.
    A 5'7 power forward…..two things never typed in the same sentence. Nice. You must have played for a coach like I did, that measured ALL of his players barefoot and wanted real height for the sports program. I told everyone I was 6'2, he measured me at 6'0 3/4…I was so so pissed.

  • Guess what…

    I doubt Fromm is losing any sleep over not getting an offer from IU. Just sayin…..

  • guess what…

    He gets a pass because he has a winning team.

  • marcusgresham

    No, I just quit playing after my freshman year (granted, I was the point guard by that time, but was still the 3rd leading rebounder on the team–not one game in double figures that whole season, though, and we basically had 8 players. lol) Sad thing was at that height I played on an 8th grade team with 5 6-footers.

  • marcusgresham

    and I hope he does well at Butler.

  • IUMIKE1

    Guess what, IU isn't losing any sleep over him not wearing an IU jersey either. Just sayin…..

  • IUMIKE1

    Good one !! I guess maybe you have to live in our part of the state and follow politics at least somewhat to fully appreciate how good that two word response was.

  • Swagger

    PU had 3 ships available but over recruited by one..HALE. if someone had left the team Hale would slip in. PU didnt sign 4 then decide Hale was the worst and send him to prep school. PU would love to have him this year and he would love to play with Hummel but he understands the numbers game and accpeted the prep school route.

  • aceman07

    Correct:

    IU's undefeated 1976 NCAA championship team under RMK:

    Buckner – Illinois kid
    Valavicius – Indiana kid
    Wilkerson – Indiana kid
    Wisman – Illinois kid
    Radford – Indiana kid
    Crews – I think he was from Indiana
    Abernethy – Indiana kid
    Benson – Indiana kid
    May – Ohio kid (and two time player of the year in the Big 10)

    I've listened to my dad talk about this team a billion times and although there are a ton of Indiana guys on this team, they would not have won squat without Buckner and especially May so there is something to be said about recruiting outside of the state.

    Isaiah Thomas was a Chicago player and I think Kirk Haston was from Tennessee and he was one of my favorite IU players under Knight. AJ Guyton I believe was an Illinois kid and the list goes on and on.

    I'm not saying CTC shouldn't recruit in Indiana because it is typically a rich pool of talent because he state is a basketball powerhouse (still can't believe ESPN left them off the top 5 list for basketball states – what a terrible oversight) but recruiting a mix of instate and out of state players is obviously a must for every program!

  • aceman07

    I agree. Davis basically ignored Indiana kids, ala Harangody and Connolly. He lost out of Oden because he refused to offer Connolly a scholly. Are you kidding me? I think CTC would offer his 1 legged cousin a scholly before losing out on a Greg Oden!!!

    2011 is a solid class. 2012 is an outstanding class. And 2013 looks to be a very good class. That's where CTC should and is concentrating his efforts, especially within the state! And he's offering anyone who even looks like they could develop into Big 10 talent so no one can claim he's ignoring solid Indiana players to take chances on the sure things out-a-state because he's not.

    Good point eph and I think the poster above is either a PUke fan or not paying close attention to what CTC is doing on the recruiting trail!

    Also, many of the out-a-state players he's recruiting (Perea, Jurkin, Thomas) play for Indiana Elite and make visits to Bloomington each summer so they have Indiana ties and CTC has a chance to recruit out of state talent while seeing them instate!

  • stonaroni

    Very True. He has to write an article daily and was looking for a topic. He is far from an expert and truly adds nothing to the recruitment of players at either Iu or purdue.

  • aceman07

    Correct:

    IU's undefeated 1976 NCAA championship team under RMK:

    Buckner – Illinois kid
    Valavicius – Indiana kid
    Wilkerson – Indiana kid
    Wisman – Illinois kid
    Radford – Indiana kid
    Crews – I think he was from Indiana
    Abernethy – Indiana kid
    Benson – Indiana kid
    May – Ohio kid (and two time player of the year in the Big 10)

    I've listened to my dad talk about this team a billion times and although there are a ton of Indiana guys on this team, they would not have won squat without Buckner and especially May so there is something to be said about recruiting outside of the state.

    Isaiah Thomas was a Chicago player and I think Kirk Haston was from Tennessee and he was one of my favorite IU players under Knight. AJ Guyton I believe was an Illinois kid and the list goes on and on.

    I'm not saying CTC shouldn't recruit in Indiana because it is typically a rich pool of talent because he state is a basketball powerhouse (still can't believe ESPN left them off the top 5 list for basketball states – what a terrible oversight) but recruiting a mix of instate and out of state players is obviously a must for every program!

  • eph521

    Yeah that's odd about Davis only wanting Oden… based on their “careers” in the NBA and at Ohio State, I would suggest Conley was the guy you wanted. He was the difference maker while at OSU, it literally appeared that Oden was riding his coattails.