Indiana Hoosiers Thanksgiving Edition 2010
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After two years of failure, the Hoosiers are primed for success.
Fans can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and even the product on the court has improved substantially since coach Tom Crean began his tenure at Indiana.
And being Thanksgiving, let's look at what Hoosier fans have to be thankful for so far this year.
5. Head Athletic Trainer Tim Garl and Team Doctor Dr. Steve Ahlfeld: The Hoosiers have had to endure some serious injuries the last few years, including the broken ankle to guard Matt Roth and the broken kneecap to guard Maurice Creek.
Thanks to the great job by Dr. Steve Ahlfeld, who performed the surgery on both Roth and Creek. Each player is making great strides in his recovery, and both are close to returning to game shape.
4. 5-0: The Hoosiers are 5-0 for the first time not only under Crean, but since the 2002-2003 season, the year after the Hoosiers made a run to the title game.
The current team has been winning games with strong and focused defense, even when the offense has stalled at times.
The schedule isn't one of the strongest, but this is still a young team; the confidence they are gaining is invaluable and will help them once they hit the Big Ten season.
3. Christian Watford, Verdell Jones III and Maurice Creek: The Indiana version of "The Three Amigos" is one of the best in the nation early on in terms of scoring, defense and assists.
All three have shown the capability of taking over games and scoring points in bunches, but the most impressive of the three so far has been the sophomore forward Watford, who has really stepped up his game this year.
His 6'9'' height creates great mismatches with defenders, and now that he isn't playing the four, he can take on his defenders from outside the arc on the dribble or post up down low. He currently leads the team right now with 17.6 points per game and seven rebounds.
2. Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea and many more: In 108 days (From August 9 to November 24), coach Crean has completely locked down the state by garnering verbal commitments from nine of the top players in the country and the best in the state.
Those players include forward Zeller, class of 2011 (five star as rated by rivals.com), guard Ron Patterson, class of 2012 (four star) and forward Trey Lyles, class of 2014 (unranked on rivals.com but projected to be a five-star prospect).
Starting with junior center Peter Jurkin's commitment in early August to junior guard Ferrell's commitment just a day ago, Hoosier nation can see the future of the program is as bright as ever, and it is only a matter of time before late tournament runs and national championships once again become the norm at Indiana.
1. Tom Crean: Despite the combined 16-46 record over the last two seasons—and despite NCAA violations and all of the doubters who didn't think he was the right choice for the job—Crean has surely proven he deserves to be the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers.
Pulling in the top talent in the state, making Indiana a "cool place to come" again and developing the current squad of players has not gone unnoticed. Hoosier fans appreciate all of the hard work and energy he has injected into the program.
His high tempo and energy is infectious, and he always gets the biggest cheers during introductions of players and staff before games.
If anyone could take this program back to the glory days, it is Crean.
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