Recently a documentary was released on Michigan's Fab Five. That group, led by Chris Webber, revolutionized the way people thought of freshmen coming in to college basketball. While it is highly unlikely that any group will do that again in terms of back-to-back national title game appearances, some impressive classes have been assembled the past few seasons that have been compared to that legendary group.
In 2006 it was Ohio State and North Carolina that landed monster classes, and then in 2009 and 2011 the Kentucky Wildcats inked big time groups that have made people say they are the next great class. Now in 2012 people are likely to be talking about the Indiana Hoosiers.
The Indiana Hoosiers now have three five star pledges in the class. Leading the way is Hanner Perea who is the No. 16 ranked prospect, then there is Kevin Ferrell who checks in at No. 20, and now Hollowell who is No. 23 in the country. Add in Ron Patterson who is currently No. 63, and the Hoosiers have four high level pledges and a high upside center in Peter Jurkin who is an unranked three star prospect.
For the most part the pieces to the Indiana 2012 recruiting puzzle all fit in pretty well. Ferrell is clearly a point guard who will have the ball in his hands. While he is a bit more of a scoring point guard than a distributor, he still knows how to play the position. Jurkin is a shot blocking center with length and athleticism, and then Perea can slide between center and power forward with his ability to defend, strength, and freakish athleticism, though he is still raw on the offensive end.
While Patterson and Hollowell are both listed as small forwards, they can be on the floor at the same time. Patterson is a very good catch and shoot guy from three to go along with playing with a high motor and being an excellent defender. Though his ball handling limits him to being a small forward on offense, on defense he can guard any position on the perimeter. Hollowell is three inches taller than Patterson, and not as athletic, but is more skilled in terms of being able to shoot off the dribble and also creating for himself.
Defensively Hollowell is limited to defending the small forward right now, though in time as he gives more effort on that end of the floor, he could, at least in theory, slide over and defend a shooting guard from time to time.
Scholarships are now very tight for the Hoosiers in the 2012 class, so bringing in another prospect will require some attrition, but Indiana seems intent on recruiting another five star prospect, Gary Harris, until the very end.
At the moment Harris remains a ways away from making any kind of decision on his college future, but he does have Indiana as one of the top schools on his list. If somehow the Hoosiers did snag Harris, it is tough to imagine any group topping the group of six that they would bring in.
Even without Harris it might be tough for Indiana to get passed in 2012, though Villanova is also in the early mix with an outstanding trio of commitments.
While it is tough to imagine any class doing what the Fab Five did, there is no question that this group headed to Indiana will draw comparisons to that group going forward.