In Tom Crean's tenure at Indiana, he has shown a commitment to recruiting in-state kids, but he's also started to get a number of recruits from other parts of that country.
Mainly, they've been coming from the East coast, and hiring Kenny Johnson has had a big part to do with that. In Crean's tenure, he's gotten Christian Watford, Maurice Creek, Victor Oladipo, Troy Williams, Stanford Robinson, Noah Vonleh, Robert Johnson and more from the East.
But with talented classes coming up in Indiana -- especially the 2016 and 2017 classes -- it's important that Crean and Co. stay on top of the state now more than ever.
Has Crean's recruiting philosophy changed at all in recent years with the addition of Johnson to the staff? No, he says. He's still incredibly committed to getting the best talent from the great state of Indiana.
"I don't think it's changed at all," Crean said in an exclusive interview with AllHoosiers.com. "I think it got so much attention because of where we were at a few years ago. We really had to get in the game, and some of that really worked out. Some not so much, but some really worked out. Cody [Zeller] and Yogi [Ferrell] really worked out.
"Bottom line is, we should be recruiting the best in the state of Indiana. And I feel like we got him this year. That's why you go to the 11th hour, 59th minute on it."
Crean, of course, is talking about James Blackmon Jr., Indiana's prize in the 2014 recruiting class. Blackmon Jr. committed to the Hoosiers before his freshman season, decommitted before his senior season, and recommitted back in October. The Marion, Ind. native was a McDonalds All-American this year.
"Sometimes what other people might view as the best and what the public views at the best doesn't necessarily mean it's the best for you," Crean said. "There's so much that goes into this as far as their basketball temperament, their mindset, their personalities, the intelligence upside, the character and work ethic. You've got to factor so many things in. Once the basketball becomes relatively apparent, now how much better can it get?"
Crean says he will continue to hit the state of Indiana hard, and for good reason. He's already offered scholarships to 2017 players Zach Gunn (Hamilton Southeastern), Paul Scruggs (Southport), Kris Wilkes (North Central) and Michael Porter.