The Indiana Hoosiers decided to make a coaching change on Thursday, and after nine years Tom Crean has been removed as head coach. Crean had ups and downs in his career as boss in Bloomington, but in the end some of his downfall had to do with the recruiting landscape and his success or lack of it in that landscape.
Indiana is one of the most fertile recruiting territories in the country. The state consistent produces McDonald’s All-Americans, and has been the home to many of the country’s top prospects over the past several years.
That alone makes Indiana a great job to recruit from. More important in that is that by and large Indiana kids tend to stay close to home, and there is a general pull within the state to help keep kids within the borders.
However in recent years Crean hasn’t been able to capitalize on that. Since 2012 when Crean landed Yogi Ferrell, though also missed on top in-state progress Gary Harris, the Hoosiers have struggled to consistently land the best prospects in the state.
Players such as Demetrius Jackson, Zak Irvin, Trey Lyles, Trevon Bluiett, Kyle Guy, and numerous others have left the state or gone to different programs. Most recently Crean missed on a loaded in-state class which included Kris Wilkes, Paul Scruggs, Jaren Jackson, and Malik Williams, all of which decided to leave the state to go to school.
That along with some inconsistency within the roster led to some up and down seasons.
Still the recruiting landscape is great for a future coach. Not only does Indiana have a great in-state recruiting base, but the Hoosiers also are able to recruit nationally.
Indiana has had solid success in the state of Illinois, and then consistently has been able to go to the East Coast and land kids from New York/New Jersey as well as Washington D.C.
Assembly Hall is one of the best atmospheres in college basketball, so getting recruits for games is a major bonus, and the facilities outside of Assembly Hall are also very impressive, so the job has a lot going for it.
There is significant pressure, so that is a bit of a downside for some perspective coaches, but the recruiting possibilities are significant.
Indiana has the facilities, recruiting base, and commitment to winning that make it one of the premier jobs to get players in the country.