Tom Crean via Twitter: Bawa Muniru is eligible

  • 11/05/2009 2:06 pm in

Rejoice, Hoosier nation. This man is now eligible to play basketball for IU this season:


A few minutes ago, Tom Crean dropped this on his Twitter account:

Moments ago we just learned that Bawa is completely eligible. If you see his smile as wide as it has ever been you will know why.

So yes: the NCAA has decreed Bawa’s lingering high school coursework is in shipshape, and he’ll be able to participate in game action now. Anyone else interested to see how his game fits in with Crean’s more up-tempo style of play this season?

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  • GFDave

    Congratulations Bawa. Good luck to you this year and beyond.

    I wanted to say that last night I thought the Hoosiers looked a little heavy legged from their 2 a-days and I asked Korman about that in today's chat and he had that impression too. I agree with his assessment that playing through this orchestrated fatigue is part of Crean's plan for having the team deal with adversity as it learns how to win.

    I want to congratulate Grace on how well they played, especially in the first half. Their transition game was very, very quick and effective. They just didn't have the horses down the stretch and had no one with the tools to deal with Watford.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I think this is a major bonus for Bawa because he can play in our next exhibition game. Crean will be much more likely to give him some meaningful action in an exhibition game. If he's going to contribute, he'll need that valuable experience.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Those guys could shoot it. There's not much you can do though when you're just outsized. Grace should have another nice season.

  • Hardwood83

    I'm quite interested to see him in action. I don't (want to) believe he's a slightly improved Jobe. I have high hopes for Bawa as the 2nd coming of Dikembe Mutumbo!

  • BaseballBuc

    With Tom Crean saying how far behind he is compared to the rest of the guys, and that his high school didn't do anything to make him better last year. What do you guys think of him possibly being redshirted. I'm not saying I would support it, but he could use another year of development.

  • Sallad

    I'm so excited! Look at that handsome devil!

  • CreamandCrimson

    Glad the NCAA finally got around to clearing him. Congrats Bawa, can't wait to see you in a Hoosier uniform!

  • hoosierodi

    I agree with the idea of him being red shirted. I dont think he will be making a huge impact early so i say deffinately red shirt him. Plus we got Jobe to take his place. Haha.

  • MillaRed

    I don't think they redshirt Bawa. He's a project as it is and if the project doesn't work out you have gobbled up a 5th scholarship year. I'm thinking IU will be in a position to grab a recruit that is more polished in CTC's 3rd-4th recruiting season whereas Bawa is kind of a reach for a top program (in the making).

    I do believe Bawa will be a contributor in a year or two. If there is a 12th man on the bench, better him than Tijan moving forward! Glad this drama is over. Good like bawa!

  • hoosierboy

    What I don't get is why so many good schools offered him a scholorship? I thought this guy was a project. He had offers from Auburn, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Louisville, UAB. Why in the world would Louisville and Oklahoma offer him when they are landing top 50 guys left and right.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Very true. He had a lot of scholarships from very good programs. However, he is not a polished product. I think his size and physique made him very intriguing for coaches looking for a defensive force in the paint. I hope he turns into a solid rotation player by the end of the year.

    By the way, Oklahoma is not landing top 50 players left and right. Their 2010 class is ranked 25th but they only have two top 100 recruits. A good program but ALMOST everyone can use a kid with Bawa's size, even if he is a project.

  • BaseballBuc

    Tom Crean knows Bawa better than all of us. And if he thinks he will develop into a star, I wouln't lose sleep over another schollie 4 years down the road where a lot of things can happen with transfers/NBA etc. I do see your point, but i can't see a 7 footer that is built like a tank not develop as a solid contributor (at worst) as a senior.

  • hoosierboy

    Oklahoma has had 4 top 50 guy in the last 3 recruiting classes. And a 5 star in each of their 2007, 2008, and 2009 class. Thats pretty damn good. Their 2009 class was rated higher than ours.

  • MillaRed

    I have followed Bawa as much as the world has allowed us to, which hasn't been much. All I see at this stage is is a dunker. An occasional shot changer, but not so much a blocker. What he does have is a great body and attitude.

    He did have scholly offers and as you mentioned with a body like this it is worth a flyer. How many 7 footers are coming out on an annual basis? Not many. But is wasn't based on performance at the high school level because there was very little.

    I really hope we are not recruiting kids in hopes they are contributors as seniors. I think our goals are more lofty than that.

    Don't get me wrong guys. I'm happy he is eligible and here. But the rawness and late eligibility leave me with lower expectations in the next few years. In no way am I dissappointed he's a Hoosier. IMHO Bawa is the very definition of a project at this stage of the game. Watford, Creek, Hulls…..not so much.

  • aerialM

    this is good news. i'm sure bawa is a project, but he's going to develop quicker, and be better, that jobe. but really, i'm not expecting much this year. he was offered by some good schools, so the potential is there, but he's behind and is raw. maybe by the time the b-10 season gets halfway done, he's a role guy: playing some d, changing a shot now and then, allowing us some line-up flexibilty. is that optimistic? anyway – congrats bawa!

  • CreamandCrimson

    I agree with you. Capel has done a very good job at Oklahoma and their recruiting has been good. I just wouldn't put them and Louisville at the same level. You're right, they are a good program and a force in the Big 12 (second best conference this season).

  • cooper

    He should definitely redshirt. You don't have many 7 footers come around and he is going to be on the bench most of the year. We can use him in the coming years especially with Crean going after so many little guys. Its strange he is a project. ESPN ranked him a 93/100 (whatever that means) and second only to Watford at IU. (Info is still up I just checked, have to be an insider though) I don't get in to recruiting much and this is why. No one really knows anything about these players til they play. Though it seems like with most big men they are either good and dominate from the start or it never happens. I can't remember many projects becoming great players.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Why is he BEHIND all the other freshmen?

    Other than NOT playing in our first exhibition game, what has Bawa missed?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but to my knowledge, he's been on campus all year, worked out with the team, been able to participate in the practices.

    I'm not saying he's going to jump in and be a contributor, but he's been actively involved with the team leading up to his eligibility.

  • HoosierSmitty

    Obviously he's a raw talent so he comes in with less experience, but in terms of what he's been able to participate in since he's been on campus, he's basically on par with the other players.

  • The only thing he missed was being in Bloomington over the summer. But so did Creek. Other than that, he's been able to participate in workouts and practices.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I believe Tom Crean has said that he didn't get much help from the coaching staff at his last high school. He is behind because of a lack of experience and evidently, a lack of great coaching in high school.

  • HoosierSmitty

    My Christmas wish list includes the following:

    This year I want to see Bawa or Jobe throw down a monster dunk that a.) bounces off someone's head or b.) the sheer force of the impact sends the defender flying to the ground.

    Is that too much to ask? Come on Santa…

  • Andrew

    I understand both sides of the for/against redshirting Bawa argument, but I can’t for the life of me understand how some people here think he will contribute this year. Did anyone see him and Jobe in the Tom Crean-created “dunk off” (and I use that term very loosely) at Hoosier Hysteria? It was impossible to tell the two apart. Bawa couldn’t even get his steps down to dunk, with no defenders anywhere. I know that’s a small sample size, but you can tell with big guys right away, based on their movements. At first blush, Bawa makes Eli Holman look polished.

    Anyone who follows college basketball knows that teams only play 8, and at the most, 9 guys consistent minutes by the time January or February rolls around. 5 of ours will be guards, with 3 on the floor at virtually all times (Rivers, Hulls, Dumes, Jones, and Creek, with Roth likely the odd man out). That leaves Watford, Elston, Pritchard and Capobianco to share 80 minutes a game. Which one of those bigs is Bawa going to steal minutes from? No chance. Let’s just hope he can contribute at some point at IU.

  • Diesel

    Bawa did arrive late to campus like Creek did. He is “behind” for several reasons which many have listed but mostly for being late to campus and what sounds like a wasted senior season. Most bigs do take a while to catch up with their bodies. It's is interesting to hear about Plumlee and Zeller as they are developing, you still hear a little bit about that in terms of footwork, coordination, etc.

    I'm not one to redshirt normaly, but I think it may be indicated here. If Bawa and Jobe are on the same level currently, then redshirt him because we certainly don't need 2 guys performing the role of Jobe. Guess we'll no more after Monday night.

  • stevealford

    Well it’s not rocket science. Go back and look at database. you will see you are wrong.

  • stevealford

    Why would anybody want him to redshirt and waste a scholarship for one more year? We need scholarships for Zeller and Plumlee. Big guys who can play the game.

  • BFowler

    I find it interesting that Coach Crean has said he did not improve in his last year of high school and alludes (if not directly indicts) his high school coaching at the prep school he attended. Usually these prep schools are pretty good on the coaching level because they can pay more than most public schools due to the tuition they draw. However, wasn't it Coach Crean who said they recruit a program as much as a player? That seems odd then that Bawa was not put into a situation to excel athletically when the “program” was recruited. I understand that Bawa transferred after his previous year, but doesn't the university have some say in the institution to which the athlete transferrs (if not directly, at least by suggestion)? It seems like some previous prep school scholarship athletes were all “suggested” to attend a certain academy (see: Coverdale, Tom; Vaden, Robert). Why was Bawa “directed” to an institution that would not develop him athletically as well as academically? I am in no way saying Coach Crean or Indiana University were derelict in their duties, or that they absolutely directed Bawa to this institution, but it just strikes me as odd…..

  • HoosierSmitty

    Has Crean indicated he's “the same as Jobe” at any time? Just curious. He seems a bit more athletic and able to contribute, but who knows. That'd be a bummer if he is just another Jobe (no offense Tijan).

    Other big schools made a run at him, let's see what he can do on Monday.

    If I'm not mistaken guys like Haseem Thabeet (UConn) and Nazr Mohammad (Kentucky) were considered “projects” as well. Maybe we'll get lucky with Bawa.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I see what you are saying and the university usually has their prep schools of preference. However, I believe that Bawa was already in his senior year of high school when he committed of high school. He was the last commitment. Again, I am not sure, but I think he was already going to this prep school when he committed and IU didn't have a chance to point him in a different direction.

  • Diesel

    Giving him a redshirt would not affect the scholarship situation until 2013-14. Zeller and Plumlee are in the 11-12 class I believe.

  • Diesel

    I think people are saying that Jobe is better, obviously that doesn't mean he is a contributor. And all we are hearing about Bawa is that he is behind. Good points about Thabeet and Nazr. It just takes these big guys time.

  • stevealford

    Thabeet was a very highly regarded 4 star recruit, not quite the same

  • Diesel

    to clarify, by better I meant Jobe is better than last season, not better the Bawa

  • BFowler

    I was not trying to rebut any points you were making, I just posted there because your comment made me think. I do not remember the exact timeline, and it seemed like he was originally gong to a prep that was not accredited or something (I am trying to go from memory here). It seems like he (or a handler or some sort) chose one school then another.

    But my bigger point is it seems like he could have found a better situation with help from people at Indiana who recruit “the program” as well as the player.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I think we can all agree we're just glad the enigma that is Bawa Muniru is going to be a little less of a puzzle after Monday.

  • Taskmaster75

    I can't see how he was highly regarded. He barely played basketball at all before going to UConn. He was the quintessential definition of a project that happened to work out.

  • MillaRed

    Mission accomplished Alex, I have opened up controversy! It's kinda funny actually. We've reached a point where Bawa is finally eligible, yet we question his future.

    The fact is, his future is a question mark. He is TOTALLY worth a flyer. But I feel very strongly that redshirting him is a mistake. IU'sreaching a point where every scholarship is worth gold. This is a good place to be people!

    So I ask you Alex…..what are your short term and long term expectations?We're all on the same people. We all want a Thabeet, Mutumbo. Hell, I'll take a Jeff Newton!

    Don't kill the messenger folks. The guy has question marks at this stage.

  • His long term upside is obviously there, but to expect much from him this season would be a stretch.

    The good news is his attitude and physical attributes are both outstanding. I think the best thing for Bawa would be to get a little “meaner” on the court and I think that's something you will see over time. He can become a presence over time, but he'll need to improve his hands and ability to finish around the basket more consistently.