Crean: Muniru redshirt unlikely

Though Tom Crean reiterated Sunday that freshman center Bawa Muniru has a long ways to go in his understanding of the game, the Indiana coach said it is unlikely that Muniru would be redshirted.

“I have no doubt that I’ll put him there tomorrow night,” Crean said in reference to Monday’s exhibition against St. Joseph’s. “Could we redshirt somebody? I guess we could, but again, I don’t know if we’re deep enough to take that shot right now. Maybe we do something like that down the road in a year. I would want to get our program to that point. But I don’t know if at Indiana at this present day we’re at the point where we can be redshirting people and count on x amount of guys to carry the torch for us. It’s just not there, we’re too young.”

Crean didn’t shy away from saying that the 6-foot-10, 260-pounder needs work, though. Though Muniru was just cleared by the NCAA to play last week, he was allowed to practice all Fall, and without that Crean said he’d be in even worse shape.

“The one beauty of this is that he was cleared to practice,” Crean said. “It really would’ve been a nightmare if he hadn’t been cleared to practice. So he hasn’t missed any time there. But he hasn’t always felt like a willing participant to go out there. There’s a certain amount of anxiety in him right now, and it’s been in practice. Now, the last couple of days, it’s been different. Really, there’s going to be three parts to Bawa right now. It’s his practice time and what he does there. It’s what he does outside of practice, whether it’s our individual workouts before practice, after practice, which is where we can really isolate his game for him.”

One thing that could make him helpful to this team, though, is his abilities as a shot blocker.

“The one thing Bawa brings is a legitimate shot-blocking presence, and he’s learning more and more,” Crean said. “We have as many defensive drills for him right now as we do anything else. He’s gotta really, really learn.”


  1. If Bawa has any upside at all I’d redshirt him.

    IU is not likely to come close to any post season this year. If he can help down the line why not bite the bullet and have him for another year when he can contribute in a positive way?

  2. I say keep him active on the roster…We need more board play……Pritch has negative verticality…When he jumps, the basket is actually further from his reach.

  3. I say don’t redshirt him. He’s another big body that can block some shots as Coach says, and he’s got fouls to give while spotting Pritchard a break.

  4. DD-

    The term “project,” to me, really means “uncoordinated.” And unlike a project, which has a presumable completion date, being “uncoordinated” is forever. The long and short: there are no projects, only awkward big men who never acquired finesse or agility.

    I’m not sure why I am making this point. Perhaps just to suggest that no amount of hammering, nailing, sanding, planing, greasing or polishing in the Crean Workshop is going to “shape Bawa or Tijan into” a dominant force. The two of these guys should have posters of Greg Ostertag and Shawn Bradley on their walls; for as slothy, annoying, flailing masses of flesh who made a living by standing in the way, slapping, and hacking at the gnat-like little people around them, like King Kong at a propeller plane, they represent the highest of all ceilings in Projectland.

  5. I think it should be noted that there is a big difference between Jobe and Muniru. Jobe is in fact the classic example of the uncoordinated 7-footer who at best can learn to be a shot blocker and rebounder and try not to foul out within 5 minutes of being in a game. Muniru actually has true athletic ability. He possesses the physical skills to be a good basketball player, but does not yet fully possess the basketball skills.

    In a perfect world I think Muniru would be a prime candidate for redshirting and getting the extra time to develop. However, as crean has rightly pointed out, IU does not have that luxury right now. By the end of the season Muniru may very well be contributing meaningful minutes for this team. IU fans will just need to accept the fact that the early part of the season may be ugly for him.

  6. I think TT is right. What Muniru lacks is a basketball related skill set. He also has time. I don’t think we’ll see much this year or next, but I’m hoping he’ll develop enough to get important minutes in his junior year.

    Tijan just has the year left. Maybe he can come in and accidentally elbow some Purdue players.

  7. Each and every scholarship for IU Basketball must be given only to players who realistically dream of being in the NBA; don’t tell me Jordan Hulls doesn’t because he KNOWS he can play, anywhere! So “redshirt” will only apply to medical situations. Bawa has four years to develop into NBA material. If he rebounds well and can hit 75% of his free throws he will make $2 million/yr. If he can, in addition, run the floor and shot block then $4+ million/yr. Sounds like motivation to me!

  8. Uhhhhh BeatPurdue……….remember that one guy DJ White? HE went in the 2nd round…………….of a 2 round draft!

    You are telling me he pans out to be anywhere near DJ White? No way. There are 200 guys in the NCAA that can rebound well and hit free throws. This guy isnt 7’4″ or something where he is just a freak like Shabeet and can be a defensive force. He could pan out to be a solid player for sure, but if he gets to the point that he could even be sniffed in the NBA draft then the Hoosiers are going to be one heck of a team in the future.

    Lets just say I hope Bawa is working really hard in the classroom.

  9. Hey here’s an idea…

    Let’s just wait six hours until he plays in tonight’s game. Let’s actually see how he looks, and THEN commence with judging his game and breaking down every minute he played.

  10. Regardless of their current talent level, i’d love to see Bawa and Jobe play side by side for a few minutes!

  11. “….And unlike a project, which has a presumable completion date, being “uncoordinated” is forever.”

    Wonderful stuff, Nuge…

  12. I’m older than the Bloomington hills…I remember the days of Uwe Blab….He was the West German version of Kieth “Smooth as Silk” Wilkes compared to Tijan and Bawa.

  13. Thanks for the link, TweeterToddler…

    I like these guys a 1000% more after watching them in the player postgame interviews conducted after the Grace game..The Hulls interview erased my prejudicial perceptions anchored in his terrible photo shots-all those horrible web pictures that make him look like a spoiled 12-year-old…He seems like a really mature and pleasant kid…Rivers and Watford were a joy to listen to….I’m feeling a bond…Damn it, Crean…You do know what you’re doing.

  14. Gentlemen, I give you Matt Nover.

    He didn’t seem to be much when he was recruited, but he was a very valuable contributor to the ’92 and ’93 squads that made the Final Four and Final 8 (oh that @#$@#$ injury to Alan Henderson!!!!) respectively. And he was only 6’8″.

    When Knight recruited players like Nover, people called it a mark of genius, to know how to pick guys who’d develop into solid role players. When Crean recruits them, you naysayers talk about how it’s a sign of weakness/poor judgment/stupidity/incompetence (take your pick).


  15. I’m about to head to Assembly Hall to see him play in person. Hopefully this game will begin to shed some light on how he looks — albeit against an inferior opponent.

  16. The kid named Novak(from the same Chesterton H.S. as Nover), is the one IU should have been landing two years ago…Damn shame…The kid was completely off the radar of every major program in Indiana…It shows you that talent can be found in the most unlikely corners of your own backyard.

  17. Casey, I made it through the first half with my son. Bawa looked good to me. Runs floor well, rebounds, quick off the floor, coordinated, knows the game…a little raw but should be really good at this time next year and he is TALL! Jobe does not even compare to Muniru.

  18. Yeah, it’s hard to get amped for a game vs. St. Joseph. The game wasn’t extremely exciting.

    Muniru looks far better than Jobe. He’s definitely raw but he bring something to the table already. I have confidence he’ll develop into a solid inside presence. He’s intimidating and not as foul prone.

  19. Turtle, Matt Nover did not stink. He wasn’t a star, but he did what the team needed him to do–rebound, play defense, score when the opportunity presented itself. But regardless of the relative skill level of Matt Nover nearly 20 years ago, it’s good to hear that Muniru looked reasonably good last night.

  20. Caleb you are so wrong! There are not 200 guys, there were not 5 guys last year who were 7 foot tall , could rebound and shoot 75% of their FT. There were 2-sort of. Mullins at OH ST and Thabeet at UCONN (neither hit 75% but they were not bad). Both are now in the NBA. I love D J White, as a college senior at 6’8.5 he was unstoppable for 18+ points/game and 10+ rebounds/game. In the NBA the stupid Thunder won’t let him play. This year in the Big Ten there is 1, Tisdale at IL, but he can’t rebound! Still he will be a free-agent try-out for some NBA team when he comes out. Tweeter Toddler Uwe Blab was a negative on the floor until his junior and senior seasons when he became a real player, and was drafted for the NBA. A true 7 footer who can rebound and hit 75% of his FT will be drafted and play in the NBA.

Comments are closed.