Indiana Basketball: 5 Things Tom Crean Should Be Thankful for

Aaron Siegal-EismanFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2012

Indiana Basketball: 5 Things Tom Crean Should Be Thankful for

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    IU head coach Tom Crean has taken a program once left in shambles after the Kelvin Sampson scandal and returned it to prominence, with the Hoosiers at the No. 1 spot.

    Hoosier nation loves what he has done with the program and how successful it has been and will become with him at the helm.

    The sky is the limit from Coach Crean and the Hoosiers.

    In the mood of the Thanksgiving spirit, I've decided to come up with five things that Coach Crean is thankful for.

    Although the Indiana Basketball fans are thankful of Crean, I'm sure Crean is thankful of a lot of people and places that have helped him get this program back to the top.

Cody Zeller

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    Without Cody Zeller's commitment on November 11, 2010, Coach Crean and the Hoosiers wouldn't be as highly ranked as they are today. 

    I'm not saying they wouldn't be ranked, but they would certainly not be No. 1.

    Zeller's commitment helped get other players like Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Peter Jurkin to all choose IU.

    Crean should be thankful because of how much Zeller has made the other players around him better.

    I'm sure Crean will be very thankful for Zeller if the Hoosiers cut the nets down in April.

    Coach Crean should be thankful for all of the players on his current roster, but especially Zeller.   

Kenny Johnson

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    Not many people give as much credit to IU assistant coach Kenny Johnson as he deserves.

    Johnson was hired in May by Crean to help with recruiting because of his past experience of being an AAU coach on the East Coast.

    That certainly has paid off with the three major commitments over the last seven months.

    First, 4-star shooting guard Stanford Robinson committed in May, then top-40 recruit Troy Williams committed as well in October.

    Lastly, top-10 recruit Noah Vonleh committed to IU just less than two weeks ago, which is the top recruit (higher than Zeller or Ferrell) of the Crean era.

    Johnson's hire will only continue to help get Crean and the program big-name recruits year in and year out.

    Crean should be thankful for Johnson and vice versa.

Past IU Players in Crean's First Years

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    Crean and the Hoosiers went through tough times in their first three years. 

    Players like Verdell Jones III, Tom Pritchard, Matt Roth, Kory Barnett, Daniel Moore and others that helped get the program back to where it is today. 

    Those guys went through the hardships of winning only 28 out of a possible 94 games.

    These players could've gone to other schools, but they all decided to stick with Crean and the Hoosiers. 

    Not only should Crean be thankful for these players, but so should the rest of Hoosier nation. 

    This team wouldn't be where it is today without those players and what they went through. 

Cook Hall

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    Everyone always talks about Assembly Hall and how historic it is when discussing the IU basketball program.

    But one of the main selling points to recruits has been Cook Hall. 

    It was one of the reasons why Zeller decided to commit to IU.

    The video shows that it helps the IU basketball program and displays its tradition in a museum. 

    Only the top schools have a practice facility dedicated to basketball that only those varsity athletes can use to their advantage. 

    Crean should be thankful for Cook Hall because of how much it helps the program now and how much it will aid the program in the future. 

Indiana Basketball Fans

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    The Indiana Basketball fans have been there for Crean and the Hoosiers through thick and thin.

    From losing seasons in Crean's first three years to now with the Hoosiers on top, the IU fans have been there.

    When the Hoosiers were down in the dumps, the fans stayed loyal. 

    Crean needs to be thankful and appreciative for the fans, but the fans should also be thankful for Crean.