Indiana Basketball: Where Does Coach Tom Crean Rank Among CBB's Best Recruiters?

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIOctober 26, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 23:  Head coach Tom Crean of the Indiana Hoosiers reacts against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball South Regional Semifinal game at the Georgia Dome on March 23, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When you think about great college basketball recruiters today names like Roy Williams, Coach K, Thad Matta, Tom Izzo and John Calipari come up. If the Indiana Hoosiers live up to expectations this season, throw Tom Crean into that conversation.

At Marquette, Crean wasn't one of the greatest recruiters, but he did recruit Milwaukee and Chicago well. His best recruit while at Marquette was a kid named Dwyane Wade. He did have a good program there and constantly was a threat in the NCAA Tournament. He just wasn't getting the big named guys, but, honestly, who could at Marquette?

When Crean arrived at Indiana he inherited a program in a mess. Many wondered whether the Hoosiers would ever be relevant again. In just a few short years Crean not only has Indiana back to prominence, but back to glory. It's the best team in the country right now. He's brought in the best player in the country, Cody Zeller, along with a great supporting cast.

He has the luxury of getting instate players, but he's doing a good enough job of bringing them to Bloomington. Before Crean, guys like Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Courtney Lee, and Gordon Hayward weren't going to IU. Now, he not only has players at their level, but guys that can bring a title back to Bloomington.

The next three recruiting classes for Indiana are pretty good, too, as some of the best in the country are undecided about going to IU. Crean's success as a recruiter is going to be defined by how IU finishes this year and how great the Hoosiers play next season. If the foundation of a championship contender is formed then he will have no problems getting top ranked recruits.

For now, the jury is still out, but I believe he's among the top already. The nation will take notice this season.