With or without Harris, 2012 class should be special

  • 10/21/2011 11:22 am in

As Tom Crean addressed a near capacity Hoosier Hysteria crowd on Saturday night at Assembly Hall, the chants were impossible to ignore.

“GA-RY HARR-IS. GA-RY HARR-IS. GA-RY HARR-IS.”

Over. And over. And over again.

A solid 30 seconds from 16,100 screaming fans. Harris, wearing a red hoodie in the north end bleachers, smiled. Had Crean not interrupted and continued speaking, it may have gone on all night.

In today’s landscape, interest in recruiting has exploded. Twitter, Facebook, message boards, web sites (like this one) and the expansion of player rankings have made it easier than ever to follow.

Want video of a player? Head over to YouTube. Want to know the schools he’s considering? Check out his profile on Scout.com. Want to know the visits he’s got planned? ESPN may have you covered. Want to observe a recruit interacting with friends? Follow him on Twitter or become a friend on Facebook.

It’s all there, easier to access than ever before. All of this coverage, however, tends to quickly shift the focus onto the next big thing in recruiting.

Once Cody Zeller committed and signed last November, it was on to Yogi Ferrell. Once Ferrell pledged, attention moved to Jeremy Hollowell. With Hollowell on board, all eyes shifted to Harris. And after Harris decides, another name will surface as the next “must-have” player.

It’s a cycle that’s repeating at programs across the country.

As signing day approaches, it’s as good a time as any to develop a greater appreciation for the group that many feel will bring Indiana back to national prominence. Despite three consecutive rebuilding seasons, Tom Crean has assembled a class currently ranked No. 1 in the country by Rivals.com and Scout.com.

All five players made pledges when the program was still reeling from the damage Kelvin Sampson did in 2007. They want to be Hoosiers.

Led by a trio of top 40 recruits in Ferrrell, Hollowell and Hanner Perea, Indiana’s 2012 class will be among the nation’s best whether Harris chooses Indiana or not.

Would his addition be welcome? Certainly. He’s an elite player that should one day become a pro. Is it necessary for Indiana to compete for Big Ten and national championships? Absolutely not.

The currently assembled class, coined “The Movement” by fans, is already an outstanding blend of talent.

Ferrell, a point guard that can dish or score, dictates the pace of the game like few can. Hollowell, a big wing, can fill it up from outside or get into the lane. Ron Patterson, underrated by most national scouts, is a bulldog on defense. Perea is an elite athlete with limitless potential. And Peter Jurkin, a 7-footer that can seriously impact shots on the defensive end, will need time to grow into a role.

So as the Hamilton Southeastern guard wraps up his official visits and heads to the finish line of his recruitment, remember this: “The Movement” is coming to Bloomington. With or without Gary Harris.

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  • Anonymous

    So we are taking the team from Hulls his Senior year coach? I would take Yogi over any player in the 2012 class, but to just make a blanket statement that he is taking over the team from day 1 is discounting the fight a 3 year starter, team captain, and oh yeah Indiana Mr. Basketball might decide to put up first……..

  • Anonymous

    Ha, no we aren’t cousins, and no the point I was making had nothing to do with Harris or comparing him to those players, the poster just asked for some examples where one guy determined a team’s success……..I have said before, I think Yogi is clearly the most needed player in a championship run, but I am greedy, and want us to field the most talented team possible, if and when Harris chooses some other school, I will begin the “Will and VO are better anyway” talk……..

  • Anonymous

     Need? A pure scorer from the 2 guard spot.  We have some guys that we hope will develop into that, but I think John Calipari and Tom Izzo, and Matt Painter, and Tom Crean might all be on to some thing, he might be kind of good, and not the kind of good that will sit on the bench for 2 years behind Oladipo and Sheehey, again, IF he chooses another school, THEN let’s all talk about how our guys are better, but come on, it is as if you have just given up and moved on to 2013. Of course we need a big man, but Zeller is one of the best in the country, for 2012 we have him and the best pg around in Yogi, and an incredible talent in Hanner, plus great guys coming back, so wether he is the final piece or just gravy as some would say l’m going all out in support of getting him bc 2012 will already be special why not make it more so? Is it so bad to be greedy after the last 3 years we have had?

  • Anonymous

    I agree.  IMO, Will and VO will have breakout seasons.  Much more than frosh can bring in fresh out of highschool.

  • HoosierDavey

    Maybe this thread’s been beat to death already, but I have one more thing running through my mind.  I’m starting to wonder if my desire for GH has more to do with winning a battle with UK, PU, and MSU than it does with IU absolutely needing him.  Yes, we need all the talent we can get, but there ARE possible unwanted implications (as discussed earlier) if we get him.  But, I think we are all hungry to beat those 3 somehow and to be seen as a major player again.  Anybody else thinking this?

  • Kelin Blab

    Agreed, that is playing a factor. We want PU to continue to take a beat down in recruiting so bad that we want everyone.

  • Anonymous

    Ohio State also had Daequan Cook, another freshman who went to the NBA early (And flamed out). Derrick Rose wasn’t alone, he also had Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey, two more NBA players. Beasley also had Bill Walker, yet another NBA prospect. And John Wall by himself made Kentucky a top 5 time, how about (And this number isn’t an exaggeration) the 5 other NBA first round picks he played with. Did they make a difference perhaps? Duke only fell because they literally did not have another PG to play the position, they had to put Scheyer there just to get by, it wasn’t because Irving was so great (Although he had a ton of talent).

    Don’t get me wrong, I want Harris, and freshman can be valuable, but they aren’t the sole indicator of success.

  • IUball

    No extra info. I was just at the scrimmage and saw both Will and Victor much improved shooting, ball-handling, awareness, defensive footwork and making good decisive decisions.
    And it isn’t their “talent” that jumps year to year. They have the talent. It is experience, technique and maturity that improve year to year.Oh, and to be completely “clear,” I don’t think about what the “#2” shooting guard is considering in picking a school. I know any guard considering IU isn’t going have an easy time getting minutes.I do know how Yogi made his decision about school. He made sure he was going to play with Hanner and Cody. And that is the wisest decision a kid could ever make.

  • IUball

    I love Hulls. He will fight hard and he will still have lots of minutes off the bench, providing lots of leadership. But Jordan isn’t going to start running a LOT faster and jumping a LOT higher all of a sudden.

    Crean wants his point guard to not just attack the basket in the half court but also in transition, especially since we will have Cody and Hanner running the floor together.
    By Christmas next year, they will be talking about IU as one of the most exciting college teams ever with our team speed and transition game.

  • IUball

    I love Hulls, trust me. But he just doesn’t have the potential to pressure the ball like Yogi. And I think as Crean gets the talent, you will see his ball-hawking defense take shape.

    Nor does Hulls have the same potential to push the ball in transition.

    If Yogi were not so mature mentally, I could see Hulls outplaying him. But Yogi is special.But I expect Hulls to see lots of minutes from the bench. He can come in fresh and just fire away. Also Hulls will be instrumental in helping Yogi along through practice.Either way, the Big Ten will be ours

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Except that one time Tom Pritchard’s mom (AKA JerryCT’s one and only) showed up here…

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    If the other schools he was considering were, say, UCLA, Pitt, and Texas, I think we’d be a little more okay with him going elsewhere.  But everybody hates PUke and pUKe, while MSU has been the strongest team in the B1G for the past decade (a position IU wants to reclaim).  It would be a little easier to watch him pick teams that we wouldn’t face … or have to hear about it from their annoying fanbase.

  • Kelin Blab

    We had NO shot at getting any of those guys, especially teague and McGary

  • 888

    thats my point.Were friggin IU and we have no shot at gettn the best players inb our state. Thats a huge problem. I cant remember UK, UNC having this problem. John Wall is the exception. We really must not be thought of on these programs levels ifwe have no shot at getting this type of player. Thats why we need to start winning the BIG ones. Gary will send a message like Cody did if we win the battle. If we lose it who else down the line will think gary went to UK and made it to the NBA when most of us know he would do the same at IU.

  • Brklynhoosier

    Um, first of all, neither Teague nor Dawson was Mr. Basketball last year.  In the last 2 yrs, we’ve gotten not one, not two, but 3 clear IN all-Americans in Cody, Yogi, and Hanner, with a good shot at sneaking Hollowell onto an all-American team, too.  Oh, and picked up a couple clear-cut 2014 IN all-Americans, plus 2 top-100 IN kids for 2013, with a good shot at a couple more.  We can’t get EVERY Indiana all-American — it’s a basic math problem:  the state produces too damn many.  We have the #1 2012 recruiting class, with a good shot at top-10 classes in 2013 and 2014.  I can understand being down on our record the last couple years, being down on the defense, the substitutions, the dribble-drive — where I can’t see the negativity is the recruiting, of all places.

    Oh, and fwiw, we GOT the best IN player in 2012 — his name is YOGI.  The only reason for all this brouhaha over Gary Harris is he’s still uncommitted.  Sheesh…

  • MillaRed

    We all support Coach Crean. And he is going hard after Gary Harris. Therefore, we the fans, the same fans you have been going back and forth with all week, are agreeing he would look great in an IU uniform.

    I just don’t think we all agree on 2012 being that more special with him than you do. And since his arrival means the roster will be affected, coupled with the possibility he is one and done, that puts me in a situation where if does not choose IU I think the program will be just fine.

    IMO you are overrating the 2012 possibilities of the Indiana Hoosiers with GH. And after three dismal seasons seasons, CTC is doing everything he can to get the best players on a year to year basis. And I understand that too.

  • MillaRed

    I’m beginning to wish he would have chosen football at Arizona State.

  • MillaRed

    Are you forgetting what our situation was 2 off-seasons ago? You’re acting like the violations/restrictions never occurred. Landing Zeller was a recruiting miracle with an assist from an angel named Austin Etherington.

    We are going to land these type of players moving forward. And are incredibly blessed on what we have accomplished in the last year.

    And by the way, IU didn’t want DSR, and I didn’t either.

  • MillaRed

    Sheesh indeed

  • Anonymous

    You beat me to those keystrokes about DSR. If memory serves me right CTC was the one that backed off of McGary and not the other way around for whatever reason. I really feel like he would have came to IU if CTC had not backed off but he did and only time will tell if that was the right thing to do and even then there could have been other things that none of us knew about that influenced his decision to back off of him. We just have to trust Crean on stuff like that.

  • Kelin Blab

    I think we have won some big time recruits, Zeller, Ferrell, Creek, Hollowell, Perea were all recruited and ranked at a national level. And we won them all. Trey Lyles, James Blackmon…win and win…

    I also predict Devin Davis will climb the rankings in the next two season, that kid is a beast. We are winning just can’t win them all 888…by the way are you related to 999? (ez joke, had to do it)

  • HoosierDavey

    Or maybe we could use him more on IU’s football team.  Though I’m beginning to wonder if anything can help that program….

  • Anonymous

    except for the fact that Zeller at the 4 isn’t competing for Elston’s time at the 5.

  • Anonymous

    Calm down guys. There’s room for Yogi at the point, Jordy as the dead-eye shooting #2, choose your poison at the wing, Cody at the 4, and I could see Hanner playing in the paint a lot at the 4.5 spot (or PJ at the #5..but i like a lineup with a 4.5 instead of a true center nowdays).

    Everyone knows Jordy can still dish, so it’ll sorta be like having two PGs on the floor and one of them can DRILL from 3pt range. I’m not worried about how this pans out.

    And BTW, Gary will make some other team’s fan base very happy..probably not going to be IU. And that’s okay.

  • Anonymous

    And didn’t Yogi’s mom post on here about that nerdturd who stole the thunder of Yogi’s announcement before his committment was “officially” made?

  • Anonymous

    McGary had made comments basically sayign he would of liked playing here but we stopped coming after him.