IU adds Adams to staff

Drew Adams, a Bloomington South grad who is also a prominent coach in the Indiana Elite AAU program, has been named to Tom Crean’s staff. He’ll assume the role of coordinator of basketball systems, which is a new position on staff.

Adam spent the last two seasons as a student assistant at Tennessee. He also played one season at Iowa under Steve Alford (current Indiana assistant Tim Buckley was on the staff there at the time.) Adams played three years for South and was the leading scorer and team captain his senior year.

“It’s pretty special for him to be able to work for a program he grew up around,” said Drew’s father Mark. “He had other offers, but being able to be here and be part of Indiana basketball was something he couldn’t pass up.”

Drew has worked as an assistant coach for several of his father’s AAU teams. Most recently he had a heavy influence on the Team Indiana Under-16 and Under-15 teams.  The former included recent Indiana commit Austin Etherington and another target for that class, guard Jeremiah Davis. The latter includes D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, one of the most coveted guards in the 2012 class.

Mark Adams is the founder and president of the A-HOPE (African Hoop Opportunities Providing an Education) Foundation. Through that program, he has managed to provide $3 million worth of schooling for students who otherwise would have struggled to make it to college, Mark Adams said Wednesday.

Some of those players have turned out to be top prospects. Emmanuel Negedu was highly-touted wing who ended up at Tennessee; Peter Jurkin and Hanner Parea are top 25 prospects in the 2012 class and played for Team Indiana.


  1. I don’t know this family at all, so I mean no disrespect with this comment, but this kind of makes me feel ‘icky’. I guess it’s the world we live in now (as it pertains to college basketball). Still, if I read about another program making a hire with these sorts of connections, it’d raise a flag…maybe not a red one…but a flag nonetheless.

  2. Well done. Led the South Panthers in upsetting Greg Oden’s #1 ranked LC team among many other accomplisments in a storied HS career. Follows the Crean pattern of Hoosier bballer who worked hard, played by the rules and waited his chance. Spot on choice.

  3. I’m not sure what the guy’s family has to do with the situation. And its sad that someone would bring that up. He’s clearly qualified to work for the program. Being formerly tied to an AAU team shouldn’t raise flags or make anyone feel “icky”. Most would thing his father’s efforts are a good thing.

    Good choice by Crean.

  4. John,

    With all the reports all over the country of AAU coaches and/or family members being handed jobs to help land a prize recruit, Drew’s father being tied to one of the best AAU programs in the country, and the fact that this is a new position, I can understand the comment and why it might feel “icky” to some people.

    I feel confident in Crean that this hire is in the best interest of the program and that he hired Drew Adams on his own accolades and not his fathers.

  5. This hire is nothing compared to what Kansas, UK, Kansas State, and other schools do to get big talent who are directly connected with the player. This isn’t “icky” at all and should be viewed as a solid hire.

  6. With the hiring environment at IU, and the salary freezes for everyone else, this type of hire does raise eyebrows. There are plenty of accusations being thrown from PU fans, which might be fair, because I still have no idea what this position is for.

  7. This ‘family connection’ thing reminds me of that one with Eric Gordon and his dad and that ‘promise’ by Sampson. Was there any much truth to that?

  8. I would have to think that if Bob Knight were coming into the same situation at IU that Crean has, that he wouldn’t let AAU basketball be played with 100 miles of Assembly Hall, let alone have any connections with an AAU program. The situation is “icky” at the least. I don’t think IU basketball will ever see the same standards again that left with Knight.

  9. GD, that might be true, but that is also part of the reason Knight began to struggle on the recruiting front. Times have changed, for the worse I agree, but until AAU is banned or loses influence, coaches and programs need to adapt.

  10. Spare me the concern trolling. Adams has ties to several good players, not one in particular, and is actually qualified for this position unlike many assistants hired into college b-ball.

    When Knight coached, recruiting was a completely different game. Times have changed, and programs have to change with them.

  11. I agree with GD. I thought Crean would go overboard to remove any doubt about our standards at IU. Guess I was wrong. Crean just lowered himself to the standards of other coaches. This really smells and I am disappointed in Coach. I never thought we would have to buy kids at IU, which is essentially what we are doing. Granted, no money is changing hands, but were buying a kid’s commitment by hiring his AAU coach. I don’t care if everyone else is doing it. We used to be better than this.

  12. i dont know…with AAU being so big, how do you not end up hiring some of these guys? AAU is a monster right now, and some of the best basketball people are knee deep in it, so it doesnt make sense to shun the entire system. creans situation doenst seem to be the same apple as say pitinos recent hires but I can see where the criticism comes from.

  13. Let’s see. All the best players play AAU. Here’s a local guy who’s been very successful in AAU and knows all the coaches. Seems like a no-brainer. Welcome aboard.

  14. Another south grad who should have gone to north…got into trouble his first year and had to transfer. Has no athletic skills, no people skills and definitely no coaching skills, but Crean is doing good by the team- trading players for a ‘coaching position.’

  15. Talk about a scary hire.
    The AAU teams that he has been involved with have been considered shady by most the other AAU programs.
    Drew does seem like a good kid. Just hope that his dad does not get involved in the IU program.
    Very strange hire by Crean.

  16. He is qualified for the job and its not against NCAA rules so I fail to see the moral or ethical problem here. Business sales people are frequently hired because of their connections. So too are real estate agents and other professions where having a client base is important.

  17. My son has played AAU for the Indiana Elite program for 3 years. I know this family personally and they are top notch people and coaches. Crean made a smart hire. It is always better to try and keep players in state and with Drew being from Indy will help in doing that. When you have a good team and good coaches and players there is always some haters out there. Good luck Drew!!!!! We love you.

  18. This hire helps keep us competitive, plain and simple. The state of Indiana has and is producing more top caliber talent than any other state, but we’re not getting a very big share of it. Crean is solid, but has zero Indiana ties, and the same can be said of some of the other assistants, so this hire makes perfect sense. We need a hometown guy with some local connections to help in recruiting. You ethical left-wingers need to quit living in the 70-80’s and realize that we are and have been a rebuilding program for over the last decade minus the miracle in 2002. We finally have a good coach again, now we need to get some talent. I would like to see multiple guys in the NBA from IU, not just 2.

  19. While I can understand the concerns with the rather shady nature of AAU basketball, this hire seems to have several mitigating factors that ease my mind. He’s from Bloomington; he played for Steve Alford; he’s recently finished school and is naturally looking for a job in his chosen field. It’s not like he’s the ‘Hoops Czar’ of the Crean Administration. I don’t see a problem with it on principle, if he operates cleanly, which I think is assured.

  20. Many of the A-Hope kids are very close to the Adams family, as Mark is the guardian to many of these kids and they claim the Adams address as their home address.

    This is not in any way a rules violation. Crean is just doing the same thing as Pitino and Calapari. If you want to beat the big boys, you have to play the same game. This is a very smart move by coach Crean. You may think it is shady, but this is just the world of big time recruiting these days. Plain and simple

    This has been a dream and plan of the Adams family for some time. A-Hope foundation has really paid off.

    Drew will probably be a good coach down the road. Great move by IU.

  21. How appropriate that a “wine” advertisement is on this page. That is exactly what all the hoosier fans were doing when Louisville and Pitino hired Lands.

    Well, after the Adams hire, we can now do the math: Crean = Pitino = slimeball

    Thus endeth the lesson.

  22. About him “playing” for Iowa if I recall a few of his dads “A-Hope” kids played at Iowa as well during this time. I believe he made the team because of these kids and his dad. I like our new coach Tom C I just hope, like others have pointed out in this article, that his “DAD” doesn’t get in the way (like trying to push his prospects that are on his AAU team that he brought over here from Africa and has living in his house, to his son and then to Tom) and screw things up for IU as we try to get back on the right path. No disrespect though to Drew.

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