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.


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.

Filed to:

  • Plane1972

    There’s only one ball on the court with a lot of guys who will want touches if GH comes. Harris is strong and any program would be happy to have him; but given all the needs we fill with the 5 already committed, I think if GH commits elsewhere it will be addition by subtraction for IU. UNC and other programs have suffered when there were too many superstars on one team.

    I’ll be happy either way is all I’m saying. 

  • LTTelamon

    I think the nerve you touched here, Alex, as is evident by many of the below comments (with the exception of some names I recognize), is proof positive of the need for just the message you were trying to deliver. It just seems like a lot of folks aren’t ready to hear it yet.

  • Conover209

    “Second, it’s a good thing you aren’t Crean, because if you screen journalists out just for writing an article you don’t like, you aren’t going to get far.”
    Isn’t that what Bob Knight did?

    “ask Butler if they needed surefire NBA talent to get to the final game.”

    I don’t think Barry said the players have to be surefire NBA stars, just NBA caliber –which Butler most definitely DID have.

  • jaywiz

    competition breeds champions. I say screw seniority or hype. Start and play the guys who work hardest in practice and push others to do the same. May the best man win.

  • jaywiz

    I disagree with you, Alex.

    With or without Harris, 2012 class WILL be special.

  • Anonymous

    after the most recent gunner kiel news, i REALLY can’t wait for bball season. With or without a GH commitment

  • Anonymous

    The bad news for Gary Harris then is that NONE of the programs “need” him. They will each go on and achieve something with or without him. That something may or may not be a winning season, but it’ll be something. And life will go on.

  • Kelin Blab

    Not sure where this entire thing with Jurkin to prep school comes from given he is as needed as Harris, if not more. Harris can’t play the post nor can he defend the post. Got plenty of wing players.

    Not really concerned with the parents reading a message board about their kids, probably not a good idea and given, there is nothing bad said about Harris not sure why they would be upset.

    Who is Austin recruiting?
    Remy is a solid player we need, no way he comes with a promise of being booted next year if Harris commits, no parent would let there kid take that deal.

    Patterson is a far far better player than you give him credit for and Harris would not run circles around him in the least bit.

  • Kelin Blab

    More honest assessment….

    Of our 2012’ers…and I will include harris the only couple that has a chance to start are:
    + Ferrell, but Hulls as a Senior will probably start
    + Perea we are thin at PF and he could fill the void
    + A much improved Jurkin, could land zeller at the 4….long shot though

    None of the others have a chance…there is NO beating out Will or Victor by the time they are juniors. They are still freshmen.

  • Anonymous

    Hypothetically speaking, IF Mo Creek quits basketball completely would it be unethical for a mysterious benefactor(s) to fund the rest of his college education? Just askin’ cause i’d hate to see him lose out due to injuries on the first rate education he came here to get. Once a Hoosier, ALWAYS a Hoosier.

  • eph521

    We’re all entitled to our opinions, but I think it’s poor taste to throw the ‘c’ word around with Alex and/or any other IU fans on this site. It’s great you feel strongly about IU needing to get Harris, but surely you can make your point without throwing mud.

  • Anonymous

    And don’t forget about Zeller at the 4 spot!
    (i’m growing tired of reminding people who don’t keep up with ancient news).

  • Anonymous

    wow, you have gone a little over board in your preparations to hear a “no” from Harris.   That is a complete joke to say Oladipo or Sheehey would start over Harris! I love both VO and Will, but come on, Harris is going to the NBA, Will and VO are a long ways away from realizing a dream like that.       If you want to say Sheehey as a junior beats out Hollowell for the 3, I could live with that MAYBE, but Harris would start day one on any team in the country.

  • Anonymous

    or start the dorky white guy in old-school shorts who posterizes the other team’s bigs (i still chuckle when i think of your post).

  • Anonymous

    is this true?

  • LTTelamon

    …that’s what he said. That was exactly his point. You don’t disagree with him if you think that.

  • LTTelamon

    Bob Knight coached in a very, very different era. That should be pretty apparent. In fact, the more knowledgeable fanbase these days was the first point of the article.

  • eph521

    “Spin?” “Give me a break?” Bill O’Reilly, Fox News is that you? Probably a much better way to state your case than to question the author’s integrity by suggesting the article is spin.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t saying it’d be seniority based. I’m saying that the best player will play and that a freshman won’t have a problem if the upperclassman is clearly more productive. But if not, the freshman plays.

  • eph521

    Actually Barry did say “surefire NBA talent”. Word for word.

    And please don’t suggest that Bob Knight’s success justified all of his behaviors. There are other legendary coaches, Dean Smith, Coach K, etc with just as impressive resumes who found a way to act civil and courteous with the media… thankfully Coach Crean handles things in a more positive manner.

  • Anonymous

    Now that is funny.  Doesnt even exist anymore.  I was here in 1994 as well, and is very different these days.  For instance, we have more than one channel.  We do have somewhat cable and AFN here.  I get the Big Ten channel but is tape delayed by 24 to 48 hours.  By the time the IU game hits the channel, Ive already read every article online about the game.  Gets funny sometimes/interesting when I am calling the plays. 

    Semper Fi!

  • cdog

    I would hope that if he is medically unable to play basketball again, the university would still allow him to continue his education under some other sort of aid package.  I really hope the NCAA is not that cruel.  There has to be some hardship rules for a situation like this. If not, I know CTC will not take his education away.  He will graduate from IU.  I was just looking at realistic ways that GH makes sense.

  • MitchellBMitch

    Will any of you please tell me a team who has lived or died, succeeded or failed on the fait of one recruit? anyone? any team?… probably not…

    would I like to have GH as a Hoosier, yes! …

    Do I think if he chooses to play elsewhere, that we will still be a successful program, yes!

    The long-term future is not dependent on GH or any single recruit, and that is a fact. Yes, some are more impactful and signify/represent certain things (closing the boarder, owning the sate), but in no way do I think that IU over the next 5 years can’t make a final four without GH…

    Whether or not he chooses IU, he is making the decision in his and his family’s best interest, and yes it might sting a little if he doesn’t choose IU (which this board is clearly believing) but from a long term perspective, which every Hoosier really cares about (the next 20 years over the next 5 years), we will be fine…and with the talent CTC is going after, I believe we will do just fine in the future…

    Go Hoosiers…  

  • IUeconAlum

    This article is pretty short sighted. Sure IU will be good without GH, but having GH will make IU great. This shows everyone the kid picked IU over (UK, MSU, and a not so important, but nice Purdue). Him committing to the Hoosiers will be the dagger IU needs to not only easily make the tourney, but for IU to be picked a pre-season top 3 team. Alex, you sound like your dad and have him going to UK.

  • Anonymous

    Marine, I just returned to Bloomington from Okinawa.  Glad to hear there are more fans over there.  It took me awhile but I was finally able to convince my boss last year to watch the few games IU that aired on AFN during work. 

    Thanks for your service and keep up the good work!!

  • LTTelamon

    There is nothing “shortsighted” about the above thoughts… if anything, it’s the exact opposite.  Regardless of whether IU gets Harris, the Hoosiers still have a huge, top level incoming class. If you can’t appreciate that, you’re undervaluing the 5 already committed by a considerable margin.

  • Anonymous

    Well here are 6 or 7 examples Mitch:

    Carmello Anthony made Syracuse National Champs overnight
    Michael Beasely made K State a tournament team overnight
    John Wall made Kentucky a top 5 team overnight
    Greg Oden made Ohio St a national runner up overnight
    Derrick Rose made Memphis a national runner up overnight
    Kyrie Irving made Duke the best team in the country…without him at 100% they fell to a top 15 team

    Obviously these teams had other great players, but as in the case of Irving, if you took them off, they all would of taken huge dives in their season results………So yeah we will still be good without Harris but having him could make a huge difference

  • Anonymous

    It seems to me we are forgetting about the #1 problem this team had last year … defense.  Our lineup this year and next year will be a blend of our best offense and best defense.  The best teams have 2-3 guys that can play both ends of the floor.  

    First post for me btw, Alex you do a fantastic job!

  • Anonymous

    Yeah this place isnt all that bad.  I mean, Jeff Newton is still over here playing for Ryukyu Kings.  To bad George Leach was not resigned but is still playing in mainland. 

  • Kelin Blab

    Not at IU he won’t…..

    Having seen Harris play, Oladipo and Will are both stronger and better defenders. There is NO WAY he comes in and starts of a Junior with the level of improvement of those two. Not to mention you can’t discount experience in the IU system. I know Harris is good but lets no go ‘over board’ with placing him in the NBA and he would be better than two kids that are equally as athletic, more experience, and stronger physically.

  • Kelin Blab

    Based on team needs, current roster, and the 2012 class….

    What need does Gary Harris fill? I am very interested to know what many of you think?

  • IUeconAlum

    We sure do, that’s not my point. Who would ever say, we are good enough we don’t need another 5 star player? Nobody, ever.

  • IUeconAlum

    Need? It’s called increasing our chances of winning a national championship. Some of these comments should be considered blasphemy lol. Questions like these imply you are expecting recruiting defeat. No Hoosier should ever be O.K. with losing one of their best high school ballers to UK or Purdue. They moved Hoosier Hysteria for this kid. IU got a recruiting violation for this kid. I suggest everyone keep a positive attitude until he says where he’s actually going.

  • Anonymous

    As much as I root for IU, I will never wish ill on a kid based on school affiliation. I sure hope some Maryland fan, for example, isn’t cheering Creek’s injuries since he went out of state.

    Players have worked too hard, too long, and care too much for me to ever hope one doesn’t succeed in life.

    Besides, you guys should have some faith…we’re going to pound UK and PU regardless who they have the next few years.

  • We Are Back 2012

    My apologies Alex, your right is that is pure speculation. Just giving my opinion on possible scenarios. It just gets old people all trying to do Coach Crean’s job and worrying about if he comes if there is room.

    Kelin I respectfully disagree. Buss wouldn’t be getting recruited like Harris does, if he wouldn’t have said yes to IU early on. Remy & Buss are the same player basically. Buss probably more athletic n a better shot. 
    As that post below Barry said Crean is in the middle of one of the biggest recruiting battles of his life. We all want the same outcome here.

    So let Tom Crean do his job and don’t worry about how many people we already have signed.

  • IUball

    Kelin, thank you for showing Indiana fans know basketball better than any. Harris is talented, but Jurkin is much more important. 

    Harris, maybe stays 2 years. Jurkin is 4 years of a fantastic college center. 

    And not only could Buss guard Harris, but we also have Oladipo and Sheehey. I doubt Harris would be able to start given our wing depth.

    Besides the most important player in the class of 2012 was never Harris. It is Yogi.

    Every year there will be some tremendous wings like Harris. But a 4 year true point guard that has the mental toughness and leadership of a Yogi is very rare!

    It wasn’t Gary and Austin and Cody winning the national AAU’s last summer. It was Yogi, Austin and  Cody.

  • IUball

    Very well said. If Gary wants to jump on board, great, but the whole point of Alex’s very well written piece is we don’t need Gary.

    In fact, if Gary wants a national championship, he needs IU

  • IUball

    Maybe I just don’t care whose players are on what magazine. I care about winning. Watch Yogi lead his team to a second state title in a row this year, much like Cody last year. 

    Winning matters, not hype. And Yogi and Cody are what equal a national title.

    Plus I hate this talk about Gary starting right away. Just try to tell Will and Victor as juniors that a freshman is going to take their spot. No way. Harris has talent, but he can’t be much more athletic than Will or Victor nor will he have the experience.

  • IUball

    Hulls is very good. And will be a major part of success this year. But Yogi, like Cody will start every game. 

    I am tired of Yogi not getting the same respect as Cody. But come fall 2012, I won’t have to worry about that anymore.

  • HoosierMitch

    One thing to remember that most on here have forgot about is the way CTC likes to substitute.  When he can go 10 or more players deep, he will.  He hasn’t had the players to be successful in this, but soon he will.  Everybody will get playing time.  Getting Gary Harris would add just another player for CTC to use.  I can envision a full court offense and defense.  I for one, can’t wait for this season to start, and look even more forward to next year.

  • LTTelamon

    I certainly didn’t say I wouldn’t take Harris in a second. The class we already have, though, could already be a championship class. Harris is not a lock, and Crean has done everything he can to lock him down, but he may very well go another direction. If he doesn’t, awesome, and IU is that much tougher to beat. If he does commit elsewhere, though, that does not mean we can’t compete for Big Ten titles and make a run on a national title. And that’s what I think the article said.

  • LTTelamon

    What team doesn’t need an elite scorer, Kelin? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think we’ll be fine if Harris doesn’t come, but this is a kid that could come in and light up any scoreboard in any gym he plays in. That is *always* a need, I would think.

    I mostly agree with what you’ve written in this thread, but let’s not discount how influential Harris could be if he commits.

  • Kelin Blab

    I somewhat agree, I just think that senior factor comes into play with Hulls and I think Yogi will get starters minutes. Him and Hulls on the court together would not be bad…however that lineup is very well our best one for next year. Good points…….

  • MillaRed

    It cracks me up if you think the writers on this blog or the people following it have any influence whatsoever in the recruiting process. These kids are taught very early to choose wisely what they do and do not read.

    ITH and the readers are standing outside looking in. We’re here to communicate with the IU Nation.

    Complacent and forgetful? Alex? Dude, get a grip on yourself. Way out of line.

  • MillaRed

    We already have the best class.

    We already have the best class.

    We already have the best class.

    We already have the best class.

  • MillaRed

    Agreed. I just don’t feel like he is coming. So I am a little numb to the possibility he doesn’t.

    Most importantly, I am absolutely, positively, ecstatic about what we already have and what is committed.

    I do not feel like we NEED him. Many of the pieces are already in place. Let’s have this conversation after his first season, regardless of where he plays.

    If he has a Carmelo Anthony impact I will be the first to apologize. But I just don’t see it.

  • MillaRed

    In the space of three seasons many have gone from “needy” to “greedy.”

  • MillaRed

    Do you remember the healthy Eric Gordon as a FR in game 1? The kid was draining 30 footers and never hitting the rim. Then dunking on a power forward 10 minutes later.

    I love Gary. But he in not Eric Gordon. No way man.

  • MillaRed

    You are seriously comparing him to the above? Seriously? Come on man. Are you cousins or something?

  • Anonymous

    So to be clear, you think the #2 shooting guard in the nation would seriously consider going to a school at which he would sit for 2 years, behind a pair of Juniors that avg 4 points and 7 ppg as freshman…..you must have some great inside info Coach, because we are about to witness one of the greatest off season talent jumps via VO and Will in recent basketball history!     I can’t wait……