Unless I've missed it we still have no official confirmation from Indiana University that Chuck Martin is indeed the new man on campus, but plenty of other sources outside of IU have confirmed that he is indeed the guy. He's already been out there working the recruiting trails for Indiana and the benefits are already beginning to show.
The Hoosiers have recently reached out to a top 30 guard from the NYC area and appear to be serious contenders. Rawle Alkins is a player that didn't have Indiana anywhere near his radar a few weeks ago and suddenly he's considering visiting the Bloomington campus in the near future. The 6-4 SG plays in Brooklyn which is Chuck Martin's old stomping grounds.
These are the kinds of connections that Chuck Martin really brings to the program. The man is highly connected on the East Coast and much like Kenny Johnson, he reportedly has an infectious personality. Different from Kenny Johnson however, is the proven track record Martin possesses. If you recall, the Johnson hire was considered questionable to start. He was an AAU coach for a prominent DC area team that didn't play college basketball and hadn't coached higher than an assistant at Towson at the time. Many of our rivals jeered that it was purely a higher to land BJ Anya and that he wasn't a real assistant coach. As we saw very quickly, that statement was false.
Now we've replaced Johnson with Martin who is cut of the same mold, but also has the report card to show his good grades. Say what you want about John Calipari, but he recruits better than anyone. Chuck Martin has been a part of that operation in Memphis. He's also spent time recruiting very talented classes at St. John's and served time with the OKC Thunder this past season as a scout. The man has an eye for talent and a knack for recruiting. In that aspect alone, he'll be a boon to opening doors for Tom Crean in the NYC area.
Along with his recruiting prowess, Martin also played PG at Monmouth. . He knows how to coach the game of basketball. With the way this roster is constructed and appears to be coming together in future years, it's a reassurance to have college guard in the coaching ranks. Indiana is going to be relying heavily on their perimeter play for years to come. Our guards and forwards have got to do a much better job on not just taking care of the ball, but being unselfish and making the players around them better. My hope is that with Chuck Martin's help and experience he can make that happen.
But, we're not going to get to see the fruits of those labors until August at least, when the Hoosiers head to Canada for some exhibition games. Instead, we're going to have to appease ourselves with the idea that the Hoosiers have now broken into the NYC market, just in time for the Big Ten to be making a huge push out there as well. Perhaps with the combined efforts of Indiana and the Big Ten we can turn NYC from Rutgers territory to a different color crimson.