Tom Crean pleaded for patience and promised it would be awarded. By their fingernails, Indiana fans hung on. Now comes the payoff. The Hoosiers’ climb out of the Kelvin Sampson sinkhole appears to have finally reached the end. The state, of course, awaits with breathless anticipation the debut of Cody Zeller. The McDonald’s All-American is easily the most critical recruit in the Crean era and a legitimate program-changer. Paired alongside Christian Watford in the frontcourt, Zeller could be especially formidable. The equally good news is that Maurice Creek could finally be healthy. Sensational as a freshman — he dropped 31 on Kentucky — Creek has been sidelined in each of the past two seasons with knee problems. If he remains healthy, this group has tourney hopes.
Filed to: 2011-2012 season preview