Tom Crean is an excellent recruiter. He’s phenomenal. Coaching?? Well…the Indiana Hoosiers roster averages a 3.57 stars per recruit (at least in the eyes of one recruiting service). That’s not the starting five’s average, that’s the whole entire roster’s rating. And that roster has played their way to an RPI of 98. They’re sitting at 15-11, 5-8 in conference. Out of the running for even a NIT at-large berth, let alone in the conversation for the NCAA Tournament.
As the flagship school and the biggest brand in the “Hoosier” state, the Hoosiers’ fall is indicative of the mediocrity and worse in the state of Indiana college basketball right now. Hey, at least there’s the Pacers! They might get the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
For the first time since 2005, the entire state could be shut out of the NCAA Tournament. Which is crazy when you realize all the storied programs in the “Crossroads of America.” Then add in the fact that the entire state of Illinois will be shut out of the big dance as well, and 2013-14 is truly a year of hoops aberration.
Tom Crean leads his Indiana Hoosiers through a transitional season, as 10 of his top 11 players are freshmen or sophomores. Still, this is “The Movement.” All that hype and these are the results?? When a recruiting class gets labeled with a self-aggrandizing, arrogant nickname that class better produce. Also, look around the nation, being young is no longer an excuse for losing.
This isn’t 1990 anymore.
Noah Vonleh is a likely NBA lottery pick. Maybe top ten Troy Williams is a first round prospect in 2015. Yet this team can’t even reach .500 in a Big Ten that’s weaker than it’s been in a few years. Whenever the Indiana Hoosiers fall, there’s always a social media schadenfreude composed of jokes about Tom Crean cutting down nets, being hours late for press conferences, his consistent clapiness during games and being unable to solve a 2-3 zone.
People think it’s the Indiana Hoosiers that Twitter and Facebook users hate, but it’s really more a backlash against Tom Crean than anything.
The Hoosiers have a signature win over Wisconsin, but their best win other than that is over a pedestrian Washington team.
And obviously the Tom Crean is college basketball Ron Zook reference pertains to the idea that he’s such a great recruiter, who coaches next level talent. But doesn’t do a whole lot with that talent while he has it at the college level. Remember, Indiana did have the #2 and #4 overall picks in the NBA Draft last year with Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)Follow paulmbanks