Two years ago at this time, not only were the Indiana Hoosiers preparing to play in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 10 years, but fans were also anticipating that the team would be even better in the coming years with the most heralded overall recruiting class in recent memory.
Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea, Peter Jurkin and Ron Patterson were all about to set foot in Bloomington, and with Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo already playing at a high level, 2012-13 and beyond were seasons that would surely be special. Even if Zeller and Oladipo left early for the NBA, this recruiting class would keep the Hoosiers in contention.
Two years later, IU fans look at this highly touted 2012 recruiting class and ask themselves, “What happened?”
Of the five players that were considered part of “The Movement,” only Yogi Ferrell has contributed significantly to Indiana’s success, being part of the starting lineup in both his freshman and sophomore seasons and leading the team in scoring with 17.3 points in 2013-14.
Unfortunately for Indiana faithful, the rest of the class has not made the impact that was originally expected.
The first hints of trouble came early. Ron Patterson was denied admission due to academic reasons during the summer of 2012 and eventually joined Syracuse. Playing on a roster that included C.J. Fair, he saw little action with the Orangemen this season, only playing in 10 games and averaging 5.4 minutes and 2.8 points per game.
Meanwhile, in Bloomington, international sophomores Hanner Perea and Peter Jurkin have not made much progress in their first two seasons. At the start of the 2012-13 season, they were controversially suspended by the NCAA for the majority of the non-conference season. This cost them any chance to grow as freshmen during non-conference play. While Perea saw more action in 2013-14, averaging 2.8 points in 29 games, Jurkin only played in eight games this season.
Despite playing in most games in 2012-13 and 2013-14, Jeremy Hollowell has been considered a disappointment by many IU fans. He averaged 5.7 points this season and spent much of the season on the bench and in Tom Crean’s doghouse. With that said, his recent departure from the Hoosiers is considered by many to not be a big loss.
Before you say that this recruiting class was “overhyped,” just know that it is always difficult to live up to such high expectations. After all, this recruiting class was barely any different than any other that has ever set foot on IU’s campus, and much of why they were so highly touted was because they would be joining Zeller, Oladipo, and Jordan Hulls, albeit for just one season. And let’s be honest, not even Damon Bailey could live up to all the hype he received back in 1990.
It is also worth noting that this is certainly not the only recruiting class not to meet expectations. This year’s Kentucky Wildcats freshmen class was initially described as the best in the country, and one that would undoubtedly bring a ninth national title to Lexington, but struggled mightily in the regular season, settling for an 8th seed. While the Wildcats are in the Sweet 16 after a thrilling upset of top-seed Wichita State, by no means are they the hands-down favorite to win it all, like they were at the beginning of the year.
Still, Hoosiers fans will cringe when they look back to two years ago and how “The Movement” was apparently going to be Indiana’s second coming, and then fast forward to today when IU failed to even reach the NIT and is losing much of its roster.
All statistics from ESPN.com and IUHoosiers.com