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How Well Does Tom Crean Recruit Indiana?

With the assumed hiring of Chuck Martin and his strong East Coast ties, there is some concern that the Hoosiers have struggled or will continue to struggle recruiting their home state. How true is that concern?

Ben Woloszyn-USA TODAY Sports

It has yet to be confirmed, but it sounds like a certainty that Indiana will be hiring Chuck Martin as their assistant coach replacement for Kenny Johnson. The question however remains, what about the state of Indiana? There is suddenly a lot of concern that Tom Crean and the Hoosiers haven't and/or can't recruit their home state. I went back to take a look at exactly how true that really is.

I went back to 247Sports and Rivals database to take a look at all the top 150 recruits in Indiana since Tom Crean's first season in 2009. I stopped at 150 cause the people that like to complain about Tom Crean and his inability to recruit Indiana would also throw a fit about players being recruited out of the top 150. For example, Collin Hartman was criticized a ton by malcontents that he isn't of Indiana basketball quality. You also see this gripe with incoming recruits Jeremiah April, Max Hoetzel and Tim Priller. For a large segment of Indiana basketball fans, if they don't have a recruiting ranking next to their name, they're useless. We all know that isn't true, but you know, people like to complain.

So anyway, I went back to 2009 and found that there have been 29 top 150 recruits that played the majority of their high school basketball in Indiana. Meaning guys like Hanner Perea and Jaquan Lyle get in and guys like AJ Hammons and Mitch McGary are out. The former played the majority of their recruiting years in state. The latter two left Carmel and Chesterton respectively, to play on the other side of the country for sophomore year and up.

Of those 29 recruits, 2 of them had committed to a school before Tom Crean was ever a coach at Indiana. The top Indiana players of the 2009 and 2010 classes #102 DJ Byrd and #19 Deshaun Thomas were off the board. So we're down to 27 players. Of those 27 players, 8 did not receive any serious interest from the Hoosiers squad. 2009's #133 Scott Wood, 2011's #50 Michael Chandler, #104 Darwin Davis, #131 Donnie Hale, 2012's #89 Ronnie Johnson, #93 Rapheal Davis, 2013's #34 Demetrius Jackson and #74 VJ Beachem.

Of the 19 total players from the state of Indiana that were recruited by Tom Crean and staff since their arrival on the scene, 4 of those players did not ever receive official offers to come to Indiana. 2010's #65 Terone Johnson, 2012's #16 Glenn Robinson, #90 Kellen Dunham and 2014's #33 Jaquan Lyle. For a bevy of different reasons, character issues, not right fit, early commitment, those players received interest and effort from the staff, but ultimately weren't a part of the bigger picture.

So that takes us down to 15 total players in the top 150 from the state to be offered a spot on the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team. Of those 15 offers, 7 players said yes. 8 ended up in different locations. None of them went any further than a bordering state. 4 of them ended up at Michigan or Michigan State, 2 ended up at Kentucky, 1 in Ohio and 1 at Purdue. So to break things down, before getting into individual situations, when Indiana sets their sights on an Indiana kid, they win the recruiting battle 47% of the time. Not a bad number, but some may say not good enough for an Indiana program that has built success on the backs of Indiana kids. I'd like to point out roughly half of the top 50 players to ever suit up for the Hoosiers are from out of state.

But that 47% in my opinion is still a little depressed. There were certainly some context and circumstances to some of these recruitments. Yes Indiana put 15 offers out there, but some of them had dried up with the falling of other dominoes and others had extenuating circumstances. We all know Trey Lyles and that situation. Indiana won that battle early, but some rumors of the Lyles family demanding more than just a scholarship resulted in their decommitment and Indiana walking away from a situation with a lot of smoke if not necessarily any fire.

Bryson Scott was a part of that early batch of offers that Tom Crean extended to the 2013 class. Zak Irvin, Devin Davis, Collin Hartman and Bryson Scott all received early offers from Tom Crean. During "The Movement" Davis and Hartman jumped on the wagon early eating up Zak Irvin's spot. Bryson Scott was also left out in the cold when Yogi Ferrell committed. Roster situations changed drastically from the initial offer to these two players choosing elsewhere. I hardly fault Crean for getting the guys he was pursuing. I may fault him for taking commitments so early, but it appears he's learned that lesson too.

So there goes 3 recruiting misses out the window. That brings us down to an adjusted record of 7-5 for the Indiana staff. They just plain lost to Tom Izzo on the recruitments of Gary Harris and Russell Byrd. Crean and company pursued both players very hard and just lost. They also lost to Izzo on Branden Dawson, but I don't think they were ever truly in the running. From what I recall it was always Purdue or Michigan State. Calipari just plain beat Crean on Teague and Trevon Bluiett just never truly warmed to the Hoosiers.

Overall, Tom Crean with context has done a pretty bang up job with the state of Indiana. A near 60% conversion rate on true drawn out fights for top 150 Indiana recruits is pretty good. Maybe you can argue that he landed the wrong ones. Jeremy Hollowell, certainly didn't pan out when we could have had Gary Harris for two years. But sometimes you take the sure commit over the potential one down the road. Crean's biggest flaw with Indiana was being to quick to accept commits when players were still young. We had 4 guys from 2013 and 2014 commit before they'd even played a sophomore or freshman season in high school. 2 of them eventually backed out (1 came back) and the other 2 didn't pan out to be the much bigger prospects they were projected to be.

Now the real question turns towards the future. His past has been solid but not amazing at pulling in the state's top talent. Will it continue that trend into the future? The 2015 class has 6 guys within the top 150 as of now. Of those 6, one is off the board to Vanderbilt, and Indiana is pursuing the other 5 to varying degrees. Caleb Swanigan and Jalen Coleman are currently the only two that are for sure big time high major players that Indiana is pursuing hard. The rest will likely need time and patience at the college level.

In 2016 there are two players, Kyle Guy and Eron Gordon that have both received a full court press from the Hoosiers. Finally 2017 looks to be shaping up to another 2012 type class where 5+ guys can crack the top 150 in the state. Crean and company have had the more certain looking prospects in multiple times already. Indiana is still working the state hard. Did they need to hire another guy to work the state or will the East Coast focus work out in the long run? Who knows, but you sure can't say that the Hoosiers aren't putting forth the maximum effort to land in state talent.