Tom Crean talks 2009 recruiting class

  • 11/13/2008 9:28 pm in

IU Media Relations sent along the following release earlier this evening after the school received a National Letter of Intent from Bawa Muniru:

“Our coaching staff of Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer and the recent addition of Roshown McLeod, along with the rest of our staff, show what can happen when you believe in something and are not afraid to work hard to make it better even when you are hamstrung with restrictions.  Our coaches worked extremely hard to build on relationships that we already had and to build new ones and continue to show people why Indiana was a perennial power year-in and year-out.  The tradition of Indiana and the opportunity to play right away, the Big Ten conference, the national television schedule we have is only replaced by the fact that young students can come in here and get a world-class education.  Our coaches did a tremendous job of showing that and we wouldn’t be anywhere near having this kind of class without the hard work of these gentlemen that represent Indiana.”

“Bobby is someone that we’ve know for some time.  We saw him in the Indiana Elite program and then saw him at Loveland (Ohio) High School and it became clear to us, even back at Marquette that we wanted to offer him a scholarship.  He personifies toughness.  He can rebound the basketball and score inside.  I love the fact that he has developed into a guy that is a reliable jump shooter from the perimeter and loves to play.  One of the things that really stands out about Bobby is how much he loves Indiana and we are excited to have him.”

“With Maurice Creek we were very fortunate to get on him at an early age.  (Assistant Coach) Bennie Seltzer was the first one to see him back when we were at Marquette and we offered him a scholarship as a 10th grader.  We recruited him like he was a senior the last few years.  He was someone that, when we got to Indiana, he showed great faith in us as coaches and in our style of play.  He chose to commit to Indiana with us before he had ever seen the campus.  He’s  a prolific shooter and he can get to the rim.  He’s developing a pull-up game and as his ball-handling catches up with his ability to shoot the basketball, he will be an outstanding guard.  He’s a long and athletic guard and we feel he will be able to create a lot of havoc defensively.  He is someone that loves the game and has been well schooled and well taught and we feel excited to have him.”

“Derek deserves a lot of credit because he stayed loyal to Indiana through all the turmoil.  As everyone knows, he committed to the previous staff and shortly after we got the job he came up to see us.  He’s the unsung hero of this class because people around the country have forgotten how good he is because they haven’t had a chance to see him.  We fully believe that if he had been on the summer circuit his rankings would have gone through the roof like Maurice (Creek) and Jordan (Hulls) did.  He is tough and can rebound the basketball in addition to playing multiple positions on the front line.  He has developed range and as he returns to full strength from the injury he should have an outstanding year during his senior year.”

“Jordan is someone that has taken the steps necessary to make himself, not only a Division I player but a high-major player.  It was a no-brainer there and (assistant coach) Tim Buckley deserves the credit for seeing him in Pittsburgh and coming back and being adamant.  And after the way he felt about players at Marquette like Dwayne Wade and Travis Diener, there was no doubt that I wasn’t going to doubt anything Tim said about Jordan.  We brought him over for an unofficial before I had ever had a chance to see him play.  But after seeing him once and seeing numerous tapes, there was no question that we wanted to have him in the program.  He can shoot the ball with deep range and he understands the game at a very high level as well as making everyone else around him better.  We feel he will be very good in the pick and roll and he comes from a great program, not only at Bloomington South High School and J.R. Holmes, but the Indiana Elite program as well.”


“Bawa is someone that brings great size and presence to our front line right off the bat.  We are impressed with his work ethic and desire to get better.  And what stands out when you meet him is his great personality.  He is a fun-loving young man who, when he gets on the court, plays to win.  His upside is a huge plus for us, and all Indiana fans, because they are going to get a chance to watch him grow and develop as time goes on.”

“Christian, along with Maurice, showed the nation that Indiana never really went anywhere when it comes to getting national-level players from different parts of the country.  Bennie Seltzer did a tremendous job of keeping up with Christian when we were at Marquette and we did feel like we had much of a chance (with him).  And we all worked diligently to show Christian that he would be a very valuable part of our rebuilding process at Indiana.  He has the ability to get to the rim and he can play on the perimeter.  He is a matchup nightmare because if you go small on him he can take you down low and if you go big he can take you to the rim.  He can be an excellent rebounder and what I feel, along with the other members of this class, is that he will be able to hold his own defensively for many years to come inside our program.  We are really excited to have a player of Christian’s caliber coming into Indiana.”

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