After the loss to Ohio State on Sunday, Kyle sent out this tweet:
It's a personnel thing, not a coaching thing. So try another narrative, probably. #iubb— The Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) January 25, 2015
The responses to that tweet, while mild and harmless, got me thinking. Is it really Tom Crean's fault that the current roster is set up in the way it currently is? Or is it the coach's responsibility to have backup plans for backup plans, in case a scenario like this should arise?
Let me back up and clarify that I do not believe the roster construction problem of this team is Crean's fault. In a perfect world, Noah Vonleh and Trey Lyles would be manning the front-court while Luke Fischer, HMP, and Devin Davis would be huge boosts of skill and energy off the bench. Hell, we wouldn't even need Emmitt Holt. That's not what happened, though, as the fickle nature of college basketball turnover took its course, threw in a pinch of bad luck, and now we find ourselves questioning the meaning of life while watching AJ Hammons back down Nick Zeisloft in the post.
But, because I have a soft spot in my heart for the doomsday scenario fans that NEED ANSWERS NOW, let's take a look and see how the players that were THIS CLOSE to committing to IU in the past few years are fairing for their current teams. In some cases, we're better off, and in others, well, let's just say that that this will be a refresher course for your own masochism.
2014 Recruiting Class:
- Trey Lyles: AKA He Who Shall Not Be Named. When he's on the court for the #1 ranked Wildcats, UK games have been that much harder to watch. While his numbers aren't eye-popping, he is a valuable member of the now-famed Calipari platoon system and will be a 1st Round Pick in next June's NBA Draft.
- Goodluck Okonoboh: The big man out of Massachusetts chose UNLV over IU, and his (fantastic) name has been relatively quiet in Indiana ever since. From a quick glance at his stats, I'm not sure we're missing out on all that much besides a few blocks.
- Devin Robinson: While he's not really a big man and fits more of Tom Crean's all-encompassing wing type, he definitely would've played some 4 this year in CTC's system.
- Anthony Lee: The Temple transfer committed to Ohio State after being wooed on an official visit and never really seemed to give Indiana the fair shot he claimed it would get. However, his numbers are way down from last year, and it's not like OSU has a surplus of big men, either.
- Theo Pinson: While he's also not really a post player, Pinson had IU among his final choices, but chose to be a GLORY BOY by staying home in NC instead of CREATING something at Indiana. Or maybe he just didn't want to be a 5th redundant piece in Crean's offensive scheme. Whatever.
- Isaiah Whitehead: Not a big man at all, and once JBJ returned to the fold, we never were going to get him anyways. But, for a week last summer I fell in love with the idea of him in candy stripes, so I will continue to keep tabs on him. And now you will too.
2013 Recruiting Class:
- Luke Fischer: You know his story. He's not technically a recruiting miss, but let's just try to move on and not make this any harder than it has to be.
- Beejay Anya: After a recruiting process that seemingly took forever, the 300-lb Anya turned down the cornfields of Indiana for the tobacco fields of Raleigh, NC. Anya has shown major potential, as evidenced by a game in November in which he blocked 4 shots on 1 possession (!) on his way to 10 blocks overall.
- Marcus Lee: The 6'9" sophomore out of California considered the Hoosiers for a quick minute before falling under the spell of grand master recruiting wizard John Calipari. Lee is stuck playing limited minutes behind future NBA talent and should immediately transfer to Indiana IMO.
- Derek Willis: When the former Purdue commit came back onto the recruiting landscape, IU began to get involved, but he was quickly snatched up by the Wildcats, where he currently plays the role of Garbage Time Hero.
Bonus 2010 Recruiting Class Memory:
- Moses (Ayegba) Abraham: Better known as Moses Abraham to the IU fan base, who collectively LOST THEIR SHIT over his recruitment back in 2010 while he was deciding between Indiana and Georgetown. Moses is still around, resurfacing in Nebraska to play out his final years of eligibility under Tim Miles.