Thomas Bryant says IU recruiting him the hardest, could decide soon

  • 03/30/2015 1:24 pm in

Four-star class 2015 big man Thomas Bryant said on Monday that Indiana is recruiting him the hardest, according to Steve Jones of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Bryant is currently in Chicago for the McDonald’s All-American Game, which takes place on Wednesday night, and he said he could have a college decision as soon as the end of this week.

A 6-foot-10, 240-pound center from Huntington Prep (W.V.), Bryant is rated the No. 27 prospect in the class of 2015, according to the 247 Composite. He is deciding between Indiana, Missouri, Syracuse and Kentucky.

But on Monday, Bryant told Jones that he has not heard from both Syracuse and Kentucky since January, and that Indiana is currently recruiting him the hardest. “They send me a ton of damn letters,” he said. He also said that he is under the impression that there is a scholarship available for him at Syracuse.

Bryant and Huntington Prep are participating in the DICK’S Sporting Goods High School National Tournament that begins on Thursday in New York City. Huntington Prep plays Wheeler (Ga.) on Thursday in a game that will be televised live at 2 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Since the start of the 2014-2015 school year, Bryant has taken two visits to Indiana — an official visit in mid-October and another for the Hoosiers’ regular season finale against Michigan State. After his unofficial visit in March, Bryant told Inside the Hall he sees himself “fitting in there really well.”

“Coach Crean told me he would utilize me as soon as possible and that he won’t have me long and that I’ll have to work,” Bryant said. “But I love hard work. It makes it that much better and sweeter.”

On Monday, Bryant said that to follow up with Crean’s promises, he has been in touch with several current Hoosiers, including Yogi Ferrell, James Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson and Troy Williams, according to Jones. And each have answered any of Bryant’s questions.

“They were 100 percent honest with me that he was 100 percent honest that everything he told them in recruiting they’re doing in the games right now,” Bryant told reporters in Chicago.

Bryant also said that he sees how good the Hoosiers could be with just one more big man — that “they could be a real good team down in the long run.”

And when asked about Crean’s job security, he was confident that the Hoosiers coach will be back next season.

“I’m satisfied with (Crean’s job security),” Bryant said. “He’s still going to be at Indiana. I saw the stuff that they support him 100 percent, and I’m happy about that.”

Filed to:


    I was a big supporter of his hiring when it happened and had continued to be very supportive of him until these last two seasons, more so the season before this last one. I have since became, let’s just say, a whole lot more critical of him and his decision making, than I have been in the past. I had watched his MU teams play some, but not a whole lot and now wish I had watched them more often and with more of an in depth interest. I think he certainly seems to be a very good person, runs the program the way most fans want it run, i.e. no rules broken, players actually go to class, do the work themselves and graduate, plus he genuinely seems to care about the players on and off the court, but that in itself does not warrant disregarding other things or thinking that we cannot have all those things AND have the degree of success on the court that we as IU bball fans demand. The off the court issues that have happened I have no problem with as far as if Crean was at fault or not. Do I wish they hadn’t happened, sure, do I blame him for it happening, no, do I think he could have done more than he had to have kept it from happening, no probably not, because I don’t know what all he has done in that respect, but something tells me he has done quite to try and keep those kind of things from happening. Those things are all behind the scenes type things and cannot be spoken about with the degree of certainty needed to do so by me or the vast majority of us. Along those lines, the people that go on and on about how RMK’s players never did that kind of stuff can find someone else to believe that line. I was in Bgtn a whole lot during those days, probably could have legally had my mail forwarded there, and I frequented all of the major watering holes, attended more than my share of parties, on and off campus, and I know from first hand experience that a lot of those guys did the same kind of things that some of Crean’s players have gotten into trouble over. I personally heard from said players about how they were told by authorities to just get home and to not let them catch them doing whatever again, rather than them handling it in the way that it is handled these days. That didn’t make it ok then and what some of Crean’s players have done isn’t ok, I’m just saying if those kind of things were handled the same way then an they are now there would have been a lot more public outcry about it. However, when it comes to his coaching abilities, or lack there of, that is something that there is a pretty large public record of. There is, IMHO, enough of a body of work to make some informed and educated conclusions about . I believe it was a commenter that went by Hardwood 83, apologies to Hardwood 83 and to person that did say it if I’m wrong on that, but that person stated something that I think may very well turn out to be correct. They said that they thought Crean was more likely to take an IU team to the Final Four than he was to make us a team that was consistently ranked in the top 10 or so. I’m sure that isn’t an exact word for word quote, but I think you get the general gest of what he was saying, and I’m inclined to agree with him / her. I have coached a fair share of games, and while nothing even close to the level that he has coached at, I feel like it gives me a little bit of insight when it comes to some things. Having been on the coaching side of the equation, and felt the heat and wrath of those not doing the coaching, I’ve tried to look at our (IU’s) coaching situation from all the angles and have arrived at how “I” see some things. I like that it seems like the players feel like they can do some things without fearing that they will immediately come out of the game and get a public dressing down. However I feel like this aspect of his coaching philosophy goes a little too far in that regard. No player should be above having some time to get motivated by thinking about things from what I used to like to call, “the assistant coach stance”, as long as it is handled in a way that makes it a benefit to that player and his team in the long run. Every player has to have his buttons pushed and every player needs his buttons pushed in a little bit different way and it is incumbent upon the coaches, especially the head coach, to find out what and how that needs to be done and I have to wonder if this part of his approach could not be done a little bit better. His substitutions are little perplexing to me as it seems like he feels like he has to sub and do it a whole lot. I know there has to be subbing done in a game, but it’s how it is done that makes can make a big difference. I know some people don’t subscribe to the hot hand theory, but IMHO it is real and it is to be heavily factored in. I know even the “hot hand” has to have a quick rest every so often, but again, IMHO, you don’t do it right as that player has proven that he has it going it a big way that game. He says that he plays the tempo that he does and plays the number of players that he does to bring fatigue to the other team. Now, with that desired result in mind would it not make sense to throw a full court press, half court trap, etc at the other team ? To me would make perfect sense but he hasn’t pressed the other team other than at the end of games since he has been here that I can recall and has only rarely used the haf court trap or something similar. One of the other biggest concerns that I have with his coaching philosophy is that he goes with a much smaller lineup than, IMHO, necessary, even with other playable bigs on his bench. I’m not saying that he needs to play at least 3 true bigs all of the time, but with the problems that his teams seem to have it would warrant him at least trying a bigger overall lineup. I know it might cost us a little bit in the offensive efficiency category, but then again we could afford that if the other team isn’t shooting a whole bunch of dunks, layups and easy offensive rebound putbacks. What makes it even more puzzling to me when it comes to that particular aspect is that he had his most success while at IU when he done exactly that, and when you consider that VO was playing the 3 and was able to do the things that he was able to do it was really like him playing 3 bigs at the same time. Another area I disagree with him on is that he says that it does no good to let the refs know that they blew a call or was blowing calls on a consistent basis. There is a time and place for just about everything and getting T’d up is one of them. I know from personal experience that it can and does a difference, besides I don’t think all of the accomplished coaches like, K, Bo, Self and many others would do it if they thought it made no difference at all, hell Izzo does it to the point that he looks like he is giving birth without the benefit of any painkillers for heavens sake, so he can’t tell me it doesn’t make a difference. I think the refs don’t worry about that while doing an IU game cause they know that if they blow numerous calls they know the most they are going to get from him is a question and maybe he says he disagrees with them. I know he hollered at one of the refs AFTER the W.St. game and told him he sucked, but that wasn’t the time to be telling him that, DURING the game was when that needed to be conveyed to him and his fellow refs, you know when it could have made a difference. I will close this novel length comment by saying that maybe the biggest thing that worries me about his ability to consistently give us the caliber of team that is expected by most at IU is that his teams seem to do pretty good to really well at the start of the season, but then it seems like the further the season winds down the more his teams seem to struggle. Instead of his teams looking like he has had a chance to see what they needed to work on and then done what it took for the team to have gotten better at those things they just seem to continue to struggle with those things and a lot of the time struggle more at the end of the season than when those things were shown to be an area of concern going forward. If you make it through this comment all of the way, congratulations. lol

  • We can sign Bryant if he opts to go to Syracuse. We have the OPTION to start the sanctions for the upcoming season or the 2016-2017 season. We are at 10 scholarships right now after McCullough declared, if Bryant signs we will start sanctions in 2016-2017, if he doesn’t sign we can OPT to start them right away. Not sure what we are arguing but if Bryant wants to go the Cuse he can. Period.

  • Rick Pearson

    in that case no ugh could have been a lot more aggressive and being more vocal out on the floor look where it has landed him in the NBA just like Cody Zeller yeah they’re making money the only true and be a player has been victor all only hope this guy comes to IU

  • Rick Pearson

    has anybody heard any more about him making a decision see like I thought he was supposed to have made it Wednesday night

  • bojak

    Just saw where Thomas Bryant has committed to Indiana. Great news….Go Hoosiers..