Kendrick headed to Memphis

Jelan Kendrick, the No. 8 player in the class of 2010 according to Rivals.com, has signed to play basketball at Memphis.

Indiana had been strongly trying to pursue Kendrick, and were among his finalists. He had made several indications that he would wait until the spring to sign.

Instead, the 6-foot-6 Kendrick, who can play three positions, visited Memphis’ campus and promptly called a press conference at The Peabody hotel to announce he would be a Tiger, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal’s Dan Wolken reported.

This is a significant blow to Tom Crean’s hopes of landing a top class in the 2010. Kendrick visited Indiana’s campus the last weekend of October.

Point guard Josh Selby was on campus this weekend for an unofficial visit. Indiana signed Victor Oladipo earlier this week and is also involved with Will Sheehey, a three-star guard.

40 comments

  1. I thought that Kendrick was very interested in the academic side of college? Memphis has no academic credentials, a very unappealing campus, nothing to do but play basketball. They have no national following, limited TV exposure, a weak conference. Interesting choice. This is NOT “a significant blow to Tom Crean’s hopes of landing a top class in the 2010”! It was always a low probability- but worth the effort. We really did not have room for BOTH Kendrick and Selby. We want Selby!

  2. If a kid chooses Memphis over Indiana we’re lucky to get out early. North Carolina, sure. Duke, okay. UConn, fine. Memphis or Kentucky (shades of UNLV)? Major aroma of old fish. He’ll be in the news and not about basketball.

  3. People on this site are getting it right: any top recruit who doesn’t commit to our basketball team is an immature, thuggish lowlife who will undoubtedly be involved in a heinous scandal during his college tenure.

    Seriously, can we once just be mature about these types of stories? Statistically, probably one out of every 10 to 15 people we recruit will actually commit to IU. Get over it. To the people saying “we want Selby” or “I hope we land Selby”: remember those remarks if and when he elects to go elsewhere. Don’t come back in a few months talking about what a prima donna he is.

    Why wouldn’t a top-10 player go to Memphis? They’re not on national TV as much as IU, but in the last decade, they’ve been going to a lot more Elite Eights and Final Fours than we have. That’s what matters to recruits right now. We’ve gotta pay our dues with three-star kids and excellent coaching. Soon enough we’ll be landing these types of players — don’t worry.

  4. If i am not mistaken I don’t believe the record books show Memphis in a Final 4. As far as top notch recruits go we will get a couple and lose some. Team chemistry seems to be the secret and Coach Crean seems to have a handle on the recipe by knowing there are more good guards available for his style of play than the number of big men for somebody elses. Run the hell out of a 9 or 10 man rotation and the big men will have heaving chests, worn legs and swollen tongues.

  5. Memphis still has one final four appearance that has not been vacated by the NCAA just for informational purposes.

  6. Hoosier Clarion,

    You’re right — the “record books” don’t show Memphis in a Final Four (anymore). But they still went. Viewers saw it. Recruits saw it. My point is that Memphis has been a much stronger program in the last several years than IU has. Current recruits care FAR more concerned with recent success than they are about tradition and past banners for the most part.

    Think about it — the kids we’re recruiting now weren’t even born the last time IU won a national championship. That’s my point. Kids that choose to go elsewhere aren’t bad people, and it doesn’t mean they have questionable character or were coerced into attending another university, as some people suggest. It just means they looked at the state of both programs and made the obvious, understandable choice. Top-flight recruits who aren’t from the state of Indiana just aren’t going to come here to be part of a rebuilding project right now. It doesn’t speak to their character as much as it speaks to their sense of realism.

    I think we both agree that Crean is righting the ship.

  7. Casey,

    I respectfully beg to differ…There is no “obvious, understandable choice” in avoiding Indiana basketball…My Hoosier blood not be so thinned to accept such a declaration…That spits in the face of the talented team of young renaissance men that take the court for the cream and crimson…They are the best of the best…the determined…the unsung…the type of lads that build “tradition” in the first place…Tradition is alive and well at Indiana because of them…Realism is overrated just like Irving….What could be more gratifying and illustrious than to be in the select group of recruits forever to be part of Indiana’s unique rejuvenation to storied status?

    The kids that choose other programs are not bad kids..They’re just not what we need right now.

  8. i like indiana alot but i just read that kentucky and memphis r the cheats come on really who is on ncaa violation who beats there own players REALLY POT CALLING KETTLE BLACK

  9. Casey, I couldn’t agree with you more. People need to put themselves in the shoes of a top recruit – from whatever state. Start by remembering that most of them come from winning HS&AAU programs. Now then ask yourself, if you were given a choice of going to a program that might go 25-5 and play in the NCAA tournament or go to a program that might finish 12-18 and fail to make any post-season tournament, which program would you want to join? Further, many of the highest-rated kids think (whether it turns out to be true or not) that they may only be in college for 1-2-3 years, not 4 – so it is hard to sell those kids on being part of a rebuilding process – because they may not expect around to see the results. What can we offer? Yes, a storied tradition, a great fan base, a great coach, a new practice facility, lots of TV time, etc. Those things all count – but in my opinion, recruiting will remain challenging until we return to being a winning program… I think Crean has done a fantastic job thus far given this handicap and I’d rather be in the mix for a top player who chooses to go elsewhere than not be on that kid’s radar screen at all. This year’s team is clearly a huge improvement over last year’s team, and I can’t see how we won’t be even better next year. Our ability to recruit should improve as our W/L record improves. Patience is a virtue.

  10. If a kid has it in his mind to play for a school that allows cheating then he does not meet the criteria to play at IU. If he lacks the character to make a sound decision to play at a school with a class program then I am glad there are schools of low integrity they can join. Recruits decision making process make them part of a problem or not. The best way to clean up college sports is by recruits not committing to programs that get in trouble and then do nothing to police the dirty deeds. IU has certainly flushed that reputation. The NCAA can set the rules but they are not unequivocal enforcers.

  11. I may be a hoosierdad, but I worked at in administration at UK for 8 years back in the 1980’s. I know the kind of skullduggery that went on not only then, but forever at UK. I played pick-up with many former UK players in Memorial Coliseum. They were getting $50 handshakes from supporters as far back as the 1950’s. Sutton was all over the FedEx cash affair. The football team used to be called “Curci’s Convicts” due to all their off-field scandals.

    IU has been known as the squeaky clean school until Sampson. He’s gone and good riddance. Crean is doing things the right way, the IU way.

  12. Casey is spot on here. KI was the savior, until he eliminated IU, then he was a prima donna thug. It’s so hypocritical.

    Hoosier Clarion, what you’re missing is that a kid picking IU right now is picking a school that allowed cheating, by hiring Kelvin Sampson. They’re choosing a school, that just two years ago, allowed drugs and skipping class, without repercussion. IU suffered far worse sanctions for Kelvin Sampson than what Memphis got for the Rose ordeal.

    I’m so excited about watching the ’09 class develop, but they have no higher character than a kid that picked another school, just because they chose IU.

  13. BGleas – excellent post. Lets not forget that Pastner came to Memphis after the (publicly disclosed) Memphis violations occurred. Calipari (who if you ask me, has certainly gotten away with cheating more than once) is no longer at Memphis. I am not sure we can assume that cheating still goes on at Memphis just because it did under Calipari. If we are going to take that approach, then I assume it must also go on at IU because it did under Sampson. Oh, and if we are going to assume Pastner is guilty just because he worked for Calipari, then we better throw Dan Dakich under the bus too. Rightly or wrongly, the NCAA came down harder on IU for Sampson-gate than it did on Memphis for Calipari-gate. Kendrick may simply be choosing a school that now probably has the best 2010 recruiting class in the country and will compete for a Final Four berth during his freshman year.

  14. Amen, the last time I looked I saw Dan Dakich doing his radio show from under a big bus. It was still pretty good! I don’t think many of us think that Kendrick or Irving-or any other of these recruits- are not good kids. We wanted them to come to IU after all! Duke is a great school, Memphis is below average academically. If the ONLY criteria motivating a prospect’s decision is “when do we get to a Final Four”, then IU is NOT a good fit, NOW=2009-10! That’s OK. If the BIGGEST criteria is “guarantee me some playing time”, then DePaul IS a better fit! “It’s INDIANA” has to be part of the equation. Poor Robert Vaden, he is on the end of the bench in the NBA for a very few years and then no one in Birmingham and only a few in Indiana will care. If he had played all four years at IU, an entire state would care, love him and watch him succeed in life. We are Basketball crazy and we like our former players forever!

  15. Above posts are right: most ‘four star’ recruits want one thing – national exposure on a final four team their freshman year. Then, on to the NBA. IU can respond in two ways – improve to the point that we are national championship contenders again or start recruiting more 2 star in-state guys like Elston and Hulls. We seem to be on our way to successfully using both approaches – it’s just a matter of time, and maybe not as long as we might think.

  16. IU recruited at least 20 of the Scout top 50 this year, so keep those IU dissapoints in recruiting headlines hot off the presses they’ll need to be used again a lot more than on Kendrick and Selby. In the spring a bunch of kids will shake loose just like last year and IU will be on half of them, there’ll be more Kendricks, more Selby’s and then we’ll get Kantner/Fab Mello types and foreigners who break in.

    IU recruited Barnes (1 with scout), Knight (2), Irving (5), Barton (8), Harris (9), Selby (10), Bullock (11), Smith (13), felt out D Thomas (14), Kendrick (15), Payne (19), T Jones (20), Coleman (24), Blue (27), McCrae (29), Clark (30), J Johnson (31), Fergeson (36), Bejarano (43), and Powell (45). Does not include kids who were already committed when Crean took over (Richmond, Leonard).

    Crean will keep recruiting everybody that moves until he has enough talent to keep his job long term at IU. There will be many more. Meanwhile we have more top 100 kids lined up than all but 3 conference rivals and a nearly full roster and we’re still complainging (top 50 hulls, creek, watford, top 75ish elston, carlino, etherington).

  17. A lot of agreement with Casey..I don’t agree..

    I don’t think Eric Gordon(a top 5-star recruit)was looking solely at Indian/Illinois basketball when he changed his mind to come to Indiana…It was no different in terms of years since banners..Casey also fails to recognize that IU was in a Final Four in 2003..IU think a lot of recruits likely watched IU make that run and beat the #1 team(Duke) in the Regional Semi in Kentucky(remember that game, recruits? Were you still in diapers at 12-year-old?)…IU is unattractive to top talent because we’re rebuilding?…HOGWASH! and DOUBLE HOGWASH!

    Maybe deep down Casey(and followers of his theory) feels recruits are not totally sold on who’s doing the rebuilding…Kids also make decisions based on the guy sitting(standing) on the sidelines in charge…No?
    For the Crean doubters, it’s just easier to blame your school’s lulls in NCAA tournament, the previous bad deeds of an excessive phone caller, or the character of kids(good or bad). Then they follow up their downward perceptions on Indiana/recruits with “I love Crean”..You doubt Crean…You doubt him just like some recruits that are looking past Indiana …Recruits come for coaches…That’s why I love the guy we have in charge right now. We may never get the top-tier national talent…I have no problem with that. We’ll still win a national championship.

  18. Dwayne,

    You’re hyper-analyzing. I think Crean is the right man for the job. I think this year’s recruiting class are exactly the kind of players we need.

    BUT, I’m also realistic in the sense that recruits have short term memories. They’re looking at the CURRENT states of the programs they’re considering. I think a lot of recruits are flattered when they get a call from Indiana because they’re aware that it’s a great “basketball school.” They still know Indiana’s a big deal, and they agree to consider us. But that flattery only lasts so long once they realize that we’re probably still a couple years away from getting back to “elite” status. As someone already pointed out, for kids only planning to stay one or two years (which seems to be the case for most top-ten, five-star recruits), being part of a rebuilding process isn’t going to be appealing enough for them to commit, regardless of the school.

    I don’t doubt Crean in the least bit — I just don’t expect him to magically pull in a bunch of five-stars based on last season’s results and the promise that “we’ll be better soon.”

    The kinds of recruits we’re getting right now are exactly what we need — athletic, intelligent, team-oriented players with good skill and heart, and the desire to be part of something special. They’re building the foundation as we speak.

    Hoosier Clarion — I don’t think we should place the responsibility of cleaning up NCAA basketball on the shoulders of 18-year-old recruits.

  19. Wow, some have sensitivity issues. Let’s not take this too personally. If you listen to Kendrick’s interview with a Memphis TV station it’s clear why he picked Memphis…..he’s familiar with all the other Memphis recruits because they played AAU together and won a championship together in Vegas. Team chemistry and a legitimate chance of playing for a championship aren’t bad criteria for picking a program. I don’t think Jelan has that type of camaraderie with any current or future IU players. It’s also more realistic that Memphis will be in a position to win their conference and be a top seed in the NCAA tourney within the next year.
    We’ll be fine. If we don’t get Selby we’ll still be fine. We won’t have a ranked recruiting class or mass press appeal but we’ve got a solid foundation that will get us back to being a program that top flight recruits will start to notice again. We can accelerate the recovery with some good showings in Puerto Rico, against Pitt at MSG, and on CBS against Kentucky.

  20. BG, you made my case for me. We were willing to handle our cheating problems (and the instigator)but from what I see Memphis has done nothing to straighten out their program since the NCAA got involved. The only action they took was to try to keep their instigator from going to Lexington. Now if young recruits aren’t smart enough to recognize that situation then they don’t have the character to wear the C&C.

  21. Casey, as long as recruits are willing to commit to institutions that condone and support cheating then the NCAA will never eliminate that behavior. While raising children they should be taught (long before age eighteen) there are good decisions and bad decisions and to recognize the difference plus the process needed to make the right one. I personally want nothing to do with anyone one at eighteen that is not able to discern that difference. A player with poor decision making can ruin a program just as fast as a coach with the same fallacy.

  22. “But that flattery only lasts so long once they realize that we’re probably still a couple years away from getting back to “elite” status”

    Recruits are disregarding IU when we’re only a couple years away from “elite” status?..I’m sorry, that may be the most ridiculous thing I’ve read. Sounds like your working for an underground “Coach K” group bent on selling Indiana short… How do you define elite status from a recruits point of view?…Is it achieved with an NCAA birth?… A Final Four?…When we land a couple foolish-minded 5-star recruits that give into flattery over reason?… Having a better than .500 record in Big 10 season?… What the heck is “elite” status anymore? Did Davidson have elite status before they made their deep run?

    More Questions:

    Does Indiana basketball afford better recruiting opportunities for Crean than Marquette?

    Could a coach that had good success recruiting at a mid-size private institution be unreasonable to expect more success at a universtiy with an undeniable heritage, national recognition, larger financial resources, great practice facilities, great campus, large crowds to play in front of, etc, etc, etc..?

    Isn’t it a bit insulting to the group of talented kids we’re fortunate to have on this year’s team to say that “flattery only goes so far”? I find that extremely insulting to any guy putting his heart into this team…I think Crean would also be insulted. The flattery worked with them because they’re chopped liver?

    Final Points:
    I think a lot of “elite” programs may be kicking themselves for overlooking some of the prospects Crean found under the radar…Elston is an unbelievable find…I could see no reason he couldn’t easily play an important role on a teams like Duke, NC, Memphis, Kentucky, etc..This is a kid from a 2A school in our backyard..He already reminds me of Eric Anderson(look him up…likely before your birth date line of historical relevance)…6-9″ tall! and very agile…I’m tickled this kid didn’t find any flattery coming from “elite” schools…I’m elated that sorry ass Indiana was enough for his low level of expectations…that and a few blown kisses from Tommy C. were enough for him to put on those gaudy striped warm ups and endure the humiliation of substandard, not-up-to-snuff hoops for the next 2 to 4 years…I’m just flattered.

    This team reminds me a lot of the early Knight teams…a hodgepodge mix of local talent and overlooked national kids ready to blossom…You’re putting way too much stock in what we’re not landing instead of the fine group of kids that may gel into something very special over the next few years…Now that you’ve succeeded in sinking them into such underdog status, I like them all the more…It’s as I said before, though my comments be ignored…This is what tradition is all about…Those that don’t get it are simply missing out.

  23. correction(again):

    “Sounds like [you’re] working for an underground “Coach K” group bent on selling Indiana short..”

  24. New Coke/Dwayne/Whatever name you post under next,

    You are COMPLETELY missing my points. That’s all there is to it.

    I’m not insulting our group of current recruits. I happen to love them, and recall saying that they’re exactly what we need/they’re skilled/they’re building the foundation. I don’t know how that comes off as insulting.

    The only recruits I’m talking about are the guys like Irving, Selby and Kendrick — guys ranked in the top ten in the nation — The kinds of players who will only be around for ONE or TWO years. In those cases, the fact that we’re “a couple years away from elite status” absolutely matters. They don’t care about coming here and building a team, so that wen they LEAVE the team can be a powerhouse. They’d rather join a team that’s already pretty damn good — a team where banking on a deep tournament run isn’t a stretch of the imagination.

    You’re acting as if I’m bashing our team/coach, but I’m not. I’m simply offering an explanation for why we’re not going to land a lot of guys who are also being recruited by UNC, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Memphis right now. You can claim I’m wrong or disloyal all you want, but I must be on to something, as none such players have signed on to play for us yet.

    I’m not being blasphemous or disrespectful or pessimistic. I’m being patient and understanding. That being said, I love our group of guys this year. Watford is a stud, a matchup nightmare, and a joy to listen to in interviews. Creek can flat out score and will get better with every game. When Hulls settles down, he’s going to manage the ball and our team so well. Rivers will become a calming presence who hits some big shots. Elston is underrated. Capo will learn his role and get some big rebounds and garbage buckets at important times. Muniru will scare the crap out of most players who try to drive to the basket.

    You’re misreading my attempt to explain why we aren’t getting all the top flight recruits we’re chasing as some sort of disrespect or criticism of the program, when in reality I think we’re doing most everything the absolute right way.

    Oh, and for your benifit:

    ELITE:
    –noun
    1. (often used with a plural verb) the choice or best of anything considered collectively, as of a group or class of persons.
    2. (used with a plural verb) persons of the highest class: Only the elite were there.
    3. a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group: the power elite of a major political party.

    –adjective
    4. representing the most choice or select; best

    I found it easier to use the word “elite,” than to say “we’re still a couple years away from being a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group.”

    You may not agree with my interpretation of our current recruiting situation, but to claim I’m being disrespectful or doubting of our capabilities just isn’t right.

    Go Hoosiers.

  25. At Kaintuck and Memphis, the coaches may change but the shadiness is systemic. Sampson made those illegal calls, the university reported him. Good bye unblemished record. Memphis has had major scandals across decades. Really bad stuff under different coaches. Kentucky is always a year away from a major scandal. The list of Kentucky coaches without NCAA violations is way smaller than the list of coaches who haven’t been caught. Good night. Mailing videos with $5000 inside and then trying to blame the post office? No shame whatsoever. Half my family are Kentucky fans I’m ashamed to say. Their fans are never embarrassed by the scandal, just mad about getting caught.

  26. Casey-

    I think you’re a great IU fan ..I get carried away with my antagonism and I regret comments that put into question your Hoosier devotions….I realize you don’t put intentional disrespectful meaning to IU’s team, or coach, by not considering us “elite”; interpreting our school somehow currently short of an ultimate perception that will make us attractive to top-tier recruits(the best of the best).

    I like this statement by you:

    “I don’t think we should place the responsibility of cleaning up NCAA basketball on the shoulders of 18-year-old recruits.”

    But yet you believe we should give absolute definition to programs interpreted as “elite” on the shoulders of an 18-year-old recruit’s college choice?

    Should we use the term “elite” program within the short-term window, the parameters if you will, in which you give it definition? We can achieve “elite” status in just two years? When did we lose “elite” status as a basketball program…We lost it because of very weak NCAA violations? We lost the image of an elite basketball school because of one coach making too many phone calls(a bogus enforcement policy that the NCAA has modified since our unfair scrutiny)? We lost the status because of one pimple on our unblemished face for a period of over thirty years? We’ve lost it because we don’t make consistent deep runs in the tournament?(Do you think today’s top basketball prospects followed college ball when they were entering junior high school? Is that so long ago?)Since you ignored our run to the championship game against Maryland in 2003, I would assume you believe one good run under Crean would still not guarantee elite status…So, at the end of the day, you’re interpreting Indiana as no longer an elite basketball school because a second year coach has yet to land a 5-star recruit.

    Do you see where I’m having trouble with your concept? I still believe Indiana is an elite program..There’s a lot more to defining a basketball program than to dumb it down to simplistic dictionary definitions, or the often confused decisions of a less than seasoned and fully matured egocentric 18-year-old basketball player with a short-term motivated, often discombobulated, brain resting heavily on very fickle five-star shoulders.

    I still think Indiana is a top program…the great history, the fine coach we’ve attracted, the reputation of a school that is determined to restore and keep academics at the forefront, the kids from towns scattered about Indiana that feel a great honor to put on a Hoosier uniform and continue their determined ascent in one of the greatest basketball states in the country, the tried and true Hoosier fans that never fail to come out and support this current squad of mostly unsung recruits…All these things combined, year after year, decade after decade, are what makes our school and it’s basketball program first-class(synonym for elite). The tournament successes and banners are just gravy. Don’t get me wrong..I do like gravy.

  27. correction:

    “All these things combined, year after year, decade after decade, are what makes our school and [its] basketball program first-class(synonym for elite).”

    Damn that apostrophe!…I know it doesn’t go there, but yet the brain continues to short circuit..

  28. I was attempting to go on memory and missed by year…

    “…championship game against Maryland in [2002]”.

  29. New Coke,

    I see your point. I guess I should make the distinction that I personally will always regard IU as an elite program for many of the reasons you cited above. It’d be more accurate for me to say that I feel the PERCEPTION among many of the top recruits may differ from that opinion, however. I’ve seen a lot of recruits say something like “I can’t wait to learn about Indiana,” or “I don’t know too much about them, but I know Crean’s a good coach/I know it’s a good basketball school.”

    The understanding that we have a great history seems to be at least existent, but I think our tradition and pride is lost on a lot of recruits who have a “what have you done for me lately?” mentality (let me include a disclaimer that this is certainly not true for all or even most recruits, but I do think it means less to a lot of top-tier players with aspirations to play in the NBA in the next year or two).

    And honestly, no I don’t think the reason we return to being perceived as elite hinges upon us starting to get 5-star recruits; I think it will be determined by great coaching, hard work by exactly the types of players we have on our team now, and the continued passion of a great fan base, and I do think we’ll get to that point rather quickly. This team will be playing great basketball toward the end of the season, in my opinion. Once that perception returns, I don’t think getting 5-star recruits will be much of a problem.

    We may even be overanalyzing. If we have a decent season this year and are playing at a high level by season’s end, we’ll probably start pulling in some big names.

  30. Yippee! We agree!(for the most part.. :mrgreen: )…I find it hard to believe that any recruit would say “I don’t know too much about them” when referring to Indiana University Basketball…Great heritage, Bobby Knight(love him, or hate him), Coach K’s ties to Knight and comments about Indiana, the recent demolition of our program that was spotlighted all over the national media outlets on the eve of the NCAA tournament two years ago….It sounds kind of like a football recruit saying “I don’t know too much about Notre Dame”. What football recruit would not want to be part of taking ND back to playing for a National Championship? I see Indiana Basketball the same way…And I do find it rather troubling that we don’t have 4 and 5-star recruits wanting to part of something as special on a basketball stage; taking the candy-stripes back to a Final Four…What a great experience to bring a program back to the top…It takes a great coach and players with unselfish determination, hope, and vision. It’s kind of a shame that highly rated prospects are never looking beyond what they believe to be a sure thing and multimillion dollar NBA contracts. When we land them, it just seems like a user’s game(between school and recruit) of heartless and valueless motivations that have nothing to do with intercollegiate athletics. Anyway, it’s been fun hashing it out with you…And I still think this group of Hoosiers could do some major surprising this year…If Crean could be totally forthright, I think he would even admit to being somewhat surprised at the skill levels exhibited and shining on the court in the first contests…(I will once again admit that Rivers, Elston, and Watford are already exceeding my preseason assumptions of their talent level).. Crean looks like he’s holding back quite the big smile that wants to explode..
    ___________________________________

    How ’bout those two unsung Indiana kids on Valparaiso U. putting up a combined 50 points against the Tar Heels yesterday…Who needs 5-star’s?

  31. Let’s try out the copy and paste here for a moment:

    “I still think Indiana is a top program…the great history, the fine coach we’ve attracted , the reputation of a school that is determined to restore and keep academics at the forefront, the kids from towns scattered about Indiana that feel a great honor to put on a Hoosier uniform”

    -Downing’s 5th

    I love the subtle about-face Downing has pulled with Coach Crean. I’m glad to see he is finally saying some nice things about him.

    I’ve come in late to this debate, and both Casey and Downing have already had some great posts with great observations.

    I’ll just add one thing: let’s not forget that notching 4-star talent is a pretty big deal; nothing to hang your head about. We’ve all gotten wrapped up in the whole 3 vs. 5 star player debate, without really talking about how important 4-star guys are in a program. In a way, they represent the perfect player, in that they are good enough to make a relatively quick impact, but not good enough to bolt for the NBA. They usually stick with the program for at least a few years and grow into the system. Many times they end up being those solid, battle-tested leaders that are always a part of tournament teams that make deep runs.

    As always, I’ll go back to my Huskies to give you a few examples of recent 4-star talent: Brandon Roy, Nate Robinson, and most recently, Isaiah Thomas (currently averaging 24.7 ppg as a sophomore after 3 games).

    Crean has shown that if you pick your 4-star guys well, you might get a better overall deal than shooting the moon for a guy like Lance Stephenson or John Wall.

  32. Maybe there was a wee tiny bit of facetiousness hiding within the bold highlighted words you learned to cut and paste…Maybe there wasn’t…??….But who’s to say I won’t in a snap totally 360 from any early impressions of Crean…Would I be the first person guilty of failing to properly judge a book because of misconstrued perceptions of cover? Anyway, predictability is boring.

    I like your comments about 4-star guys…I agree..REPEAT….I agree….Go ahead and faint, check your calendar, take your blood pressure reading, check for sign of pulse, pinch yourself ’til it really hurts, see if the sun is not falling from the sky…I agree with you, Tom.
    I don’t know what Elston’s rating was…I give him at least a high 3-star ranking, and by season’s conclusion, he may just be playing like a 4. In Rivers, Creek, Watford, and Elston we might just be damn close to having a blossoming four-by-four group that could roll across a wide array of varied opponents and terrain.

  33. I’ll be damn..He is a 4-star….He shall be the core of our Hoosier 4 X 4…And that’s a BIG 10-4 !(multiple puns intended)..Aint we come a long way down this old road..

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