As coach Tom Crean heads into his fifth season at Indiana, he’s taken the Hoosiers from a 6-25 last-place team to a preseason national title favorite. The big jump came last season, when IU made its first Sweet 16 appearance in a decade while finishing 27-9 on the year.
At the heart of Crean’s success has been his ability to get the most out of unheralded players. Of the five starters in December’s upset of eventual champion Kentucky, only two were rated higher than 3 stars as recruits, but all five made vital contributions for last season’s Hoosiers.
Read on for more on Crean’s ability to nurture unheralded talent and nine more keys to Indiana’s return to national-power status.