Bawa Muniru to transfer

  • 06/17/2010 8:27 pm in

Some of you might be surprised and others not, but Bawa Muniru is leaving the IU basketball program. The details are in this release:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University men’s basketball coach Tom Crean has announced that center Bawa Muniru will leave the men’s basketball program and look to transfer to another institution where he can receive more playing time.  He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

He saw action in just 19 games a season ago and averaged 3.3 minutes per game.  He averaged 0.6 points and 0.7 rebounds.

“As a staff, we think the best thing for Bawa is to go to a program where he can play and continue his education,” said Crean.  “His desire for more playing time was very evident and we told him that his best opportunity to play the minutes he wanted to was likely going to have to happen somewhere else.”

Muniru will finish his summer coursework at IU.

“I feel it is in my best interests to pursue my basketball career somewhere else,” said Muniru.  “I have appreciated my time at Indiana.”

“We always want to give our players the best opportunity for growth as a player and as a person,” added Crean.  “He has worked extremely hard in the classroom and we appreciate all that he has done in representing the program.”

Tom Crean further expanded on the announcement via Twitter, saying “It is with regret that his future will not be at IU. He deserves to have an opportunity to gain the minutes that he needs to achieve his dreams. In all reality, that was more than likely not here. Selfishly we would not want him to go, but he needs minutes and a chance to grow on the court.”

“He needs to develop a feel for the game that comes through playing him a lot of minutes. Redshirting him last year was not going to help that feel develop.” Crean goes on to say his recommendation for Muniru would be junior college, to gain said significant minutes.

So there you have it. We might hear it a bit more chatter at some point this season on Muniru, but I would imagine any answer from anyone would take on this general tone. This also, of course, frees up one more scholarship for the 2011 class, but I’m sure none of you needed me to tell you that.

The one thing that strikes me about Muniru is how much apparent work went into getting him to IU, just to see him leave a year later with relatively little return. There was a protracted episode regarding his academic standing, and whether he would be cleared to play as a freshman. But he only played in 19 games and averaged just over three minutes per game. Anyway, it’s water under the proverbial bridge now. Let the scholarship debate rage once more.

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  • stonaroni

    So Etherington is suppose to wait until April 2011 to sign? Who has his back? As we all know there are no guarantees in life. What if AE suffers a terrible injury this season as a senior and won't be healthy for a year and he didn't sign in November 2010….he will be in a jam. IU will have to honor him nothing.

    I say let BAWA GO BECAUSE HE WANTS PT AND ISNT GETTING IT AT IU. Plan for the future and sign AE in November.

    AE has good people around him and I highly doubt he is going to wait to sign until April 2011.

  • marcusgresham

    In the coach's opinion, he was not going to progress enough to warrant playing time, so by being honest with him and letting him know this he gives the kid a chance to transfer now and have 3 years on the court instead of sitting 99% of yet another season, then deciding to transfer, leaving him with only 2 years to actually play. Furthermore, if he transfers this season to a JUCO, as Crean suggested as his best option, he won't have to sit out this season and can show anyone who might want him that he's worthy of a scholarship (and hopefully for Bawa, that would mean he ends up at a higher-level program than he would if he goes straight to a D-I school.)

  • marcusgresham

    If G-MM develops into a player that will suffice as Crean's evidence.

  • marsh21

    This is good news for both IU and Bawa!

  • Outoftheloop

    Yes, Etherington and his family would have to believe that under ALL circumstances, even serious injury, no matter what, that he would get a scholarship in April. Obviously IU would have to honor this commitment to have any credibility in the future. I remember Glen Gruenwald blew out a knee and limped on for 3 more years, and still contributed to IU on the floor. Then he became one of the NBA's better front office guys.

  • marcusgresham

    At several points in the year we all (or at least I did,) bemoaned Crean's decision not to redshirt Bawa if he wasn't going to put him on the court. In retrospect, I think we should all commend him for not burning Bawa's redshirt year, because he'd lose a year of eligibilty if he'd transfer after that.

  • marcusgresham

    ..and it's not the first time IU's dealt with this—–do we all forget Bob Knight ran off more young men than a fat, hairy pole dancer and that was just “part of the deal” with coming to IU. I'd be willing to be that Crean's exit interview with Bawa was much more pleasant than Uncle Bob's last conversation with Mike Giomi (and others.)
    And I'm not picking on you, I know you're in agreement with me on this; it just looked like the best place to put this as a reply.

  • Outoftheloop

    You have a contradiction. If he needs work and practice to get better before he will contribute on the floor, then the JUCO route is not good. Bawa will lose 1 of his 3 more years of eligibility. Bawa would be better off with a year of training without playing as a transfer or as a red-shirt. Then he would have 3 years left of competition. Yes, I know that this is the coach's opinion. What I do not know is what changed in this opinion from when we aggressively recruited Bawa until today when we no longer think that he has any potential to play at IU. Why not just red-shirt him for this year and see how he progresses? Then he would have 2 years experience in the Indiana system with 3 more years of eligibility. In every other respect of being a good student-athlete Bawa is A+. Others besides me thought that he had real ability when they ranked him #111 by Rivals. I do not see the need to give up before really trying to develop his talents.

  • El_REY

    the person is former strength and conditioning coach Jeff Watkinson. he recently accepted a job to become Eric Gordon's personal trainer.

  • Outoftheloop

    Both Thomas and his AAU coach say that he has an offer from IU. No one has ever mentioned any academic issue for Thomas.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Yes, he was rated highly, but that doesn't mean he was going to attain it. He was clearly rated on potential–and not possessed–talent. Crean must have seen that Bawa wasn't going to attain his potential without masses of playing time, and he wasn't going to get that at IU… at least not without being a detriment to the team. And a redshirt year means NO playing time, so i don't think that would've benefited him. When you think about Guy, Pritchard, Capo, and Howard, they're all there next year, so where's Bawa's playing time?

    Bawa's gone man. Time to move on.

  • jgongora86

    I'm sorry but I didn't work three jobs to help pay for my out of state tuition to go to some dinky college. Indiana University is one of the best schools in the nation. It matters where someone gets his or her degree and I would be upset to see such a smart individual forced to attend a no name institution.
    But I'm dropping the issue. I guess all we can do is agree to disagree. But Kelin, you know I like you bro, the difference between Story, Williams, Shaw, and Allen was that they never gave crap about their education. This kid is smart and I when I met him N.C. I had the impression that he was equally excited to go to a great academic institution as well as great basketball school. I'll leave it at that, and wish him nothing but the best.
    Kelin

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    We already have a kid that will sit on the bench far more than they play (Moore), and will likely be there for all four years. We're also bringing in another kid (Howard) that will likely do the same (avg. less than 10 min/gm).

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Does it sound to you like Bawa wasn't treated with respect? Everything I've read seems to indicate that this was mutual and also on friendly terms… which sounds respectful to me. If Bawa wasn't going to get the minutes to develop into a starter at IU, then it's better for him to go elsewhere. So, in helping him to understand that he's probably not going to get the minutes, but that he desperately needs them to advance his skills, that's not only insightful, it's also respectful.

  • Outoftheloop

    I already have moved on. I think that you are wrong, the rankings are based on talent, not on current basketball skills, especially for 7' Centers. You play every day in practice as a red-shirt, and every day out of season against the best on your team, so I disagree on your point that Bawa would not develop as a red-shirt. Neither Pritchard nor Capo, both 6'9, showed me anything last season that was significantly better than Bawa, I have sited the numbers on previous posts. Howard is 6'8 not 7'0, so he does not compete with Bawa, just as Pritchard and Capo do not really compete with Bawa (except on a team without any 7' Centers). We just lost 5 fouls when we play big teams, not a smart move. Didn't we spend all spring screaming for a “BIG GUY”? We got a 7' GUY from JUCO, and I liked the signing. But we have a 7' guy ranked #111, that we could develop for 2 full years and then play for 3 more years! That sounded like a good plan to me. The bigger issue is this non-sense about “we dpn't want any projects”. Most big guys are projects, or they are one-and -dones! Further if you never really dig in as a coaching staff and develop a big guy with talent into an NBA draft pick, like Thebeet or Hibbert, then what 7' talented prospect is EVER going to pick IU? They will always pick U Conn or Georgetown (or MN or WI) for development, and Kentucky (or Memphis) for the hop to the Pros. Coach Crean has NEVER developed a 7' Center. Think about that! IU should always have one 7' prospect red-shirting and one playing. That still leaves 11 scholarships. Zoubeck won the Championship for Duke and he was a 2 1/2 year “project”!

  • Kelin Blab

    Get use to hearing the name BJ Young bantered around…who is ranked higher than both. He was at the elite camp too and has been tearing up the NBA top 100. Speaks highly of IU….

  • FWHoosier

    I am sure Dane Fife would love to have him at IPFW. He could still earn his IU degree while taking the Mastodons to thier first ever NCAA tournament!

  • Kelin Blab

    Here is a link…..

    http://jodydemling.courier-journal.com/

    Sounds like a solid find for Crean and apparently Painter is after him too…..don't think BJ will like that 1/2 style matty runs….

  • marcusgresham

    Oh, Mike was just the first transfer who came to mind.

  • Q95

    bawa appears to be a great guy. my guess is he's very articulate, a solid student with a lot of potential…off the court. what struck me most about this kid in his limited appearances was his complete inability to catch, grasp and control the basketball. as tc said, “he needs minutes and a chance to grow on the court”. that was not going to happen here since he is not major college material…plain and simple.

    as for the recent post regarding in-state talent, let me first say this. for a state that prides itself on basketball, kentucky must feel very embarressed by the tail kicking it receives every year against the indiana all-star squad. besides holding a huge win advantage in the overall series, in the last 15 years (30 games) indiana has swept the series 10 times with a record of 25 and 5. despite some efforts on the part of kentucky to improve the situation, this series is no longer competitive.

    as for abundance of talent in this state, i have always felt good about not having to go outside the state to build a competitive program. i feel this is one of the many things tc likes about the iu job. it just comes done to landing a few in the next couple years and i believe things will really open up after that. believe me, that last thing i want to see is us following in kentucky's footsteps by having to rely solely on imported talent.

  • wbellamy

    Spiderman, he (Bawa) is gone. Let's move on. He got a lot of “fair” opportunities. Life is not necessarily fair anyway, is it? Bawa will be better for this move and so will IU. Been an IU fan since I was almost 10, and it is great to see the like-minded folks who are IU fans. A lot of common sense approaches here. Someone mentioned, Collier, Recker,earlier; what about Funderburk some of that did not seem “fair” but it happened.

    Will this free up scholarship for this year?

  • illinoishoosier

    I don't remember calling you an idiot. I just said that it was a negative post you made and I commented on that. I hope you accept my humble apology for disagreeing with you and throwing digs at you.

  • wbellamy

    Spiderman, with all due respect to you, being perplexed, and things not being fair to you, are you implying that we IU fans would cut a tree down as it “pops up”? We would not do it as we know it is not the trees fault BTW great job Blackhawks, and IU is going to have a super year. This one.

  • Outoftheloop

    Can you give any more details: size, position, Rivals rank, etc. Thanks for the info.

  • Outoftheloop

    Thanks.

  • Uncle Kerfuffle

    Marcus:

    I really liked Giomi but several merchants in Bloomington told me that they had problems with him. As I understand it, that was the core of the reason for Knight to send him packing. No one who has an understanding of basketball could complain about Mike's on court performance.

    I suspect Knight read him the riot act for not representing the team appropriately in the community.

  • El_REY

    the person is former strength and conditioning coach Jeff Watkinson. he recently accepted a job to become Eric Gordon's personal trainer.

  • Kelin Blab

    Thanks Gus…..The thing that has jumped out to me about him is…..
    + I read he is marquis teague without being marquis teague
    + IU would be better off with him over Thomas or Davis
    + He is a top 50 talent but needs to get over some grade and personal issues that cost him last year. Hopefully he will…..
    + He and his AAU coach talked at length about IU on the way home from the Elite Camp. Apparently Cook hall is helping.

  • spiderman0551

    Amen!!!! Finally someone that agrees with me. I blame Crean as well, although it seems everybody is getting what they want. Although, 1 year ago Crean wanted Bawa and Bawa wanted to play for and attend IU. Poor/lack of performance on the floor in his first year should not trump the commitment both made.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know about landing Jurkin as a motivation for Crean to dump Muniru, but Crean did Sorely need to trim some dead wood from this roster. This is not a time for projects. Muniru has the talent, but would have never been more than a bench player at any team aiming for the NCAA tournament.

    IU needs to recruit height in 2011, we don’t particularly need anymore shooting guards, like Thomas or Davis. So dumping Muniru opens up the right roster spot and a scholarship for a Zeller or a Center in 2011.

    Crean should not be criticized for doing such a thing. We should be thankful that we have a Coach that has the stuff it takes to do this. I’m sure that he didn’t like doing it. But the point is that he is building a program from scratch; and, he doesn’t have the luxury to make too many recruiting mistakes. Muniru should never have been ranked so high by the “expert scouting” organizations.
    His recruitment turned out to be a mistake. (only in a basketball sense) . So let’s quit moaning about it and talk about what the current roster looks like, etc.

  • marcusgresham

    I'd be happy to see him wind up at USI! There hasn't been a kick-ass African-born center there since Ilo Mutombo graduated.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    Bawa wasn't going to be good enough to beat out 6'8″ and 6'9″ guys for minutes, or else he wouldn't have transferred. Pritchard (and Howard) will play ahead of him this year, and probably next. And yes, I know a red shirt year gives him another year of practice time, but what he needs are game minutes where it actually matters. And you can't tell me that Bawa's #111 rating was based on actual, currently-possessed talent. If that was the case, than they wouldn't have signed Guy. That ranking was a potential-based number… he couldn't even beat out an unranked Tijan Jobe for minutes… that's the key to the whole mystery right there.

    We'll land Jurkin and Crean will have his first marquee 7-footer. Based on the video I've seen, Jurkin is more college-ready right now than Bawa… and I don't know if another 2 years would've been enough for him to be anything more than a kinder, gentler Tijan Jobe. Crean swung and missed. It happens to the best of 'em. And best of luck to Bawa. I liked his attitude and I know he'll succeed in life, even if it's not on the court.

  • marcusgresham

    I'm with you. It's wonderful to be a supportive parent, but if your kid burns macaroni & cheese it's in his best interest for you to steer him away from culinary school.
    I don't think Crean did anything more that present the facts, leave the ultimate decision to Bawa, and offer to be of service regardless of which direction the decision led him.

  • NotandIdiotFan

    Actually, Larry was ran off. Benson made sure of it. As for the “WE DO THINGS RIGHT” folks, get a life!!!!! Creans job is to WIN GAMES! That means putting the best players on the floor. Bawa was going to be last in the big man rotation. If he is anywhere near as smart as you people in the know say and if he really wanted to play, then I am sure that he saw that he would have to leave in order to play. This was NOT an academic scholarship, this was an athletic scholarship, which means you have to produce. I am tired of running a welfare system just to satisfy you liberals.

  • marcusgresham

    Oh, Mike was just the first transfer who came to mind.

  • marcusgresham

    Yahoo Sports lists that he has offers from Southern Illinois and Missouri State, and also has IU, Arizona, Illinois State, Missouri, and St. Louis on his list.
    He's 6'4″ 170 according to this site. Here's the link to it.
    http://rivals.yahoo.com/mosports/basketball/rec

  • marcusgresham

    Trust me, they think they have some kind of monopoly on “basketball tradition” in high school, and it just elates me to beat them every year. Those same boneheads have a high school football series with Tennessee, and they fare even worse there than they do against us in basketball. I just wish we could close the damn bridges when it comes to them recruiting Indiana.

  • Outoftheloop

    I just could not disagree with you more. Neither you nor I has any way of knowing how good Bawa was/is going to be, Just based on his play last year Bawa was clearly better than TJ (I have previously posted the statistics for this). Why Crean gave TJ the minutes is a mystery. No 6'9 or 6'8 player on the IU roster for next year was/is as good as Bawa for defense, rebounding, intimidation around the basket or shot blocking. Talent is potential, and yes, Bawa's talent was the basis for the #111 ranking, just as Moses Abraham's #96 ranking is for talent, not current basketball skills. Crean signed Guy and released Bawa because he does not believe that he, Coach Crean, could really develop the Big Man talent of Bawa. Michel is more “polished”. We have no Big Man coach, and Coach Crean is not good at this segment of coaching. He has NEVER done it. Why do you think that Jurkin, whom I really want, will go to IU when, under Crean, they have no history or program to develop 7' Centers. Pritchard's negative progression from freshman to sophomore year is very alarming in this regard. TJ had no talent. But he was a fine person. But, as you say, it is done now.

  • illinoishoosier

    You are putting words in my mouth and in CTC's. “If they choose to leave, then so be it, but to pull a scholarship, more or less, on a kid who had the guts to commit to a school that is in serious trouble I think deserves some respect on should be shown the same level of commitment.”

    You said it exactly how I see it too, but you don't know that is what happened. You said more or less. You don't know that. How do you know? If that were to happen wouldn't it make more sense to tell him in April or May so that he could possible have some better options? I believe CTC has more dignity than that. I believe Bawa made that decision after he saw Guy come in.

  • illinoishoosier

    I don't remember calling you an idiot. I just said that it was a negative post you made and I commented on that. I hope you accept my humble apology for disagreeing with you and throwing digs at you.

  • illinoishoosier

    What has he done to not show integrity and dignity. I am just saying that possibly CTC did not throw him to the bus. I do expect more out of IU than UK or UL. I think he has shown tremendous respect to the kids and has spoken nothing but kind words about Bawa. I remember several interviews that he said very nice things that were on this site.

  • illinoishoosier

    That is low. The Kentucky part, not the I don't think part. That “I don't think” part was kind of funny. Call me stupid but don't call me a UK fan!

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    CTC on the scholarship situation before Bawa transferred: “Damn, we're in a tight spot here.”

  • marcusgresham

    So are you implying Bawa was “R-U-N-N-O-F-T”?

  • marcusgresham

    I'd always been told Larry was homesick and kind of dumbstruck by the enormity of the campus

  • aceman07

    Sorry, it's 2:25 in the morning and I'm up watching a storm so apparently I hit the wrong button on the post below. I meant to reply to you Outoftheloop, not like the post because I obviously don't.

    BAWA and CTC know way more than us. You stated neither you nor PhD knows how good BAWA will be in 2-3 years and that is correct. But I think that BAWA and his coach probably have a pretty good idea of those odds, don't you? Why do we spend so much time questioning a mutual decision, out of the kid's mouth himself, instead of wish him luck at a JUCO and move one? Don't you have an inkling that BAWA and CTC and the other players and coaches probably know more about his development and potential than all of us, and I liked BAWA and was actually counting on him to develop and produce in a couple years. I just trust the guys who do this for a living over all of us!

  • Taskmaster75

    But how do you know? What makes you think that Crean wasn't just putting out good-vibes for Bawa rather than an actual representation of his skills, and that he recruited him only because he was a smart 7ft. athlete with great tools? Maybe Crean was incredibly desperate at the time (6-win seasons do that to people)?

    Think about it, few recruits in the top 150, let alone the top 50, would want to come to the bomb crater that was the 6-win team of Indiana basketball. He was looking for a diamond in the rough, and came up short, simple as that.

    I wish Bawa very well in his endeavors, and I think he will end up a very successful man due to his intelligence, but if the guy wanted to play basketball elsewhere at perhaps an equal or better academic institution, why does it always have to be the coach's fault?

  • Taskmaster75

    Larry wasn't run off for the record. He had always lived in a small town, and IU's big campus and the seemingly uncomforting Knight made him transfer.

  • NotandIdiotFan

    For the record, if you are going to say that Bawa was run off, then you must absolutly say that Larry was run off. Knight was indifferent to him and Benson beat the hell out of him. It is now called hazing! To be fair, Larry was not ready for a large school at that time. He was painfully backward and Knight could not find the touch to guide him through it. Our loss, ISU's gain. Going to ISU allowed Larry to gain his full potential, that more then likely would not have happened at IU. Maybe Bawa will be someone elses gain. Hope so.

  • spiderman0551

    Smart 7 foot athlete with great tools….followed up by Crean was desperate……You people aren't making any sense about this. If the kid was everything you said, Crean should have been able to turn the kid into a decent player right? Is a year enough time to gauge his success? No. Crean realized the kid was going to be a 3 or 4 year project, realized that he is out of scholarships, saw the upcoming classes and told Bawa that if he wanted to play, it wasn't going to happen at IU. That is the Coaches fault, but I know it happens all the time too, doesn't make it right. Listen, nobody on here is going to change my mind about taking a good kid and showing him the door, so to speak, because of the Coaches inability to plan or on the Coaches inability to turn this kid into a good ball player. I see a bunch of guys on here wanting a few others to be pushed out. WHy? The were recruited and chose to come here. Ok, they didn't average 15 points and 8 rebounds as a freshman or sophmore, so give them the boot? This is an education that were talking about and last I checked, IU gave a pretty damn good one. Our tradition is one of the best of all time in basketball, but we can't be so arrogant to start getting picky and splitting hairs with kids that came here with the shape our program is in right now. Most of these kids that came here had everybody drooling to see them play, 1 year down the road, telling coach to let them go. I will never understand that.