Tom Crean stated that Cody Zeller could be the man responsible for bringing Indiana basketball back, and there is no doubt he was a major factor.  But the player that may put Indiana basketball back into élite status is Victor Oladipo.  Oladipo went from after thought to the second pick in the draft in 3 years.  Oladipo’s success reinforced the perception that Crean can make players.  Does anyone remember Dwyane Wade? Did anyone hear of him in high school? John Calipari has been the resident NBA guru of college basketball, meaning that he gets players to the NBA.  But of the players that Calipari has put in the NBA, all were highly regarded prospects who would have went directly to the NBA if they didn’t have to go to college.

The Hoosiers had 2 of the top 4 picks in the 2013 NBA Draft, which is huge in itself, but more importantly Crean developed players instead of inheriting them.  John Calipari better watch his back because this off-year may really hurt him because the class of 2012 was as highly rated as Calipari’s other recruiting classes with not near the same results.  The Kentucky Wildcats lack of success this season hurt everyone’s NBA chances.

Nerlens Noel, projected as a top pick, drafted 6th,  and Archie Goodwin drafted 29th is not a good look for Calipari.  Today, high school players are already thinking about the NBA, and they pick colleges based on odds on making it to the league.  John Calipari used to own the draft, but this is a what have you done for me lately league and he hasn’t done anything lately, which has opened the door for Tom Crean.

With all the talk about Kentucky’s loaded recruiting class is the fact that Crean got his first true one and done prospect, Noah Vonleh.  Vonleh is 6’9″ 240 lb and can shoot.  He was the number 2 ranked player in the class of 2014, but then he reclassified to go to college a year earlier.  He’s not thinking about the NBA at all.  Then the Hoosiers are also in the mix for class of 2014 Australian point guard Dante Exum, who is also considering a jump straight to the NBA.  Indiana’s is in the mix for more high quality national and international recruits than ever before and some of that has to do with Crean’s family ties.

Tom Crean’s brothers-in-law are Jim and John Harbaugh.  That tie was especially powerful this year with the Harbaugh brothers meeting at the Superbowl and Crean getting in every photo-op possible.  The Harbaugh’s are good for recruiting and considering that the Harbaugh family patriarch, Jack, was a college football coach, they all know the ins and outs of college recruiting.  But this is basketball and  Crean has to a basketball player that demands the recruits attention.  He has that with D Wade.  It’s not like Crean just knows Wade, but he is the man who helped groom Wade for NBA stardom.  That’s big in anyone’s eyes, but  I would imagine that it’s even bigger for an 18-year-old.  Crean has a history of getting players you wouldn’t expect to the NBA, so imagine what he could do with the best recruits.

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