Indiana could have used Creek (#1, left) or Abell (right)
Michigan's next Big Ten opponent is Indiana, an outfit that's 3-5 in conference, 13-8 overall, headed for an NIT bid at best. While Indiana lost buckets of talent to graduation, they didn't have to be this bad. Tom Crean screwed himself.
I give Tom Izzo a lot of crap around these parts for his constant histrionics, but 90% of that is pure rivalry spiciness. I hate Tom Izzo, because he is extraordinarily easy to hate. But I simultaneously treasure Tom Izzo because he is easy to hate in that way. When not indulging in rivalry business, I don't actually mind the guy. He is clean. Full stop. I don't want to hear anything about Appling and Payne; we've got our own issues in that department. I hate the fact that he gets away with being on the court and his kids can grab without the Big Ten reacting, but that's just basketball stuff.
I hate two Big Ten coaches more than Izzo. One is obvious: Bo Ryan, promulgator of murderously slow swampball and headman of a program that just accidentally happens to put more feet under jumpshooters' ankles than anyone else in the country. But y'all know that because you've read one thing I've said about Wisconsin basketball.
The second is Tom Crean, who brought SEC-style oversigning to the Big Ten. Last year he shuffled off a recruit who met NCAA regulations but ended up at a prep school and is now at Syracuse. This year he needed to dump another guy and ended up ejecting two, Remy Abell and Maurice Creek. But unlike Calipari or Saban, Tom Crean is so inept that his callous disregard of the whole college thing is actually hurting his team.
You see, Rudy, Indiana can't shoot worth two damns. They're 223rd in three point percentage; they are 308th in 3PA/FGA. They're only being kept that high because Yogi Ferrell made an unexpected and impressive burst from a 30% shooter to a 41% shooter. Nobody else on their team can shoot. The only guy who even bothers to try is Will Sheehey, the mediocre senior-to-be who didn't get cut.
The rest of the team occasionally chucks one up in an unsuccessful attempt to keep 'em honest, with results much like the ones Michigan saw against Purdue, their most recent opponent and the other team in the state of Indiana that couldn't hit the broad side of that dude named Pork Chop in eight tries. This is the main reason Indiana is adrift. Teams pack it in against them with impunity.
The help Indiana needs was sitting on Indiana's bench last year.
Abell's currently sitting out a year before getting on the court for Xavier, a 15-5 Big East team currrently ranked about 40 spots above Indiana on Kenpom. Abell hit 16 of 33 three-pointers as a 12-minute-per-game sophomore last year; he had a healthy FT rate and an ORTG of 116. This would be a close second to Ferrell this year in terms of IU ORTG, and if Abell's three point shooting was anywhere near what it seemed like it might be he would be a 30 minute per game staple just to spread the floor.
Meanwhile, Maurice Creek was as a fifth-year grad student and therefore immediately eligible at George Washington. Last year the Colonials were below .500 and out of the KP100; this year they are 17-3, in the top 40, and a clear Bracket Matrix at-large. Maurice Creek starts. He takes more shots than anyone on the team, hits threes at a nearly 40% rate, and is nationally ranked in eFG%. He is exactly what Clappy needs on his team of tall athletic guys who seem to be encountering a basketball for the first time every night.
Creek could have been a sentimental legend at Indiana, the guy who came back from injury after injury to spearhead the team as a fifth year senior and preserve their tourney streak. Instead, he's a vastly improved GW's go-to guy as Tom Crean's inept Hoosiers founder.
There isn't really a point here except maybe you should run around in circles and go "eeee" a bit because sometimes the universe does poke the right people in the eye. Clap on, Clappy, as Mo Creek plays in a tournament you won't get invited to.
It should not be done. Full Stop! Would make us look like assholes and nothing could be gained from it.
It would be the pot calling the kettle black.
Are you f-ing serious? No.
I agree with most of what Brian is saying, but Remy Abell left of his own volition. Maybe Crean should have worked harder to keep him around, but as I recall he even reconsidered his decision to leave after his parents tried to get him to stay. And while Creek would be helpful, I'm not sure how well he would be shooting against Big Ten defenses. Probably better than our 2's/3's right now, but not enough to make this a tournament team. Also, I know Brian has said in the past that teams don't owe athletes a fifth year (IIRC this was in reference to some Rodriguez recruits not getting 5th years, but I could be wrong). I wonder if he still believes that? Because while I think maybe we could have used Creek, there was no moral obligation to keep a graduated player around for a 5th year if Crean didn't feel he could contribute. In my mind, a program doesn't have an obligation to let a kid play basketball after he has graduated. As long as we don't impede them on doing it somewhere else, that doesn't seem to be a morally questionable decision. Also felt the same way about Matt Roth last year, but I'm sure people here will disagree.
He also misses the best example proving his thesis. The real way oversigning bit us in the ass was with Gary Harris. Multiple sources around IU Bball reported that if IU's class hadn't been oversigned he would have come to IU, but was worried about playing time in 2012-13 (since he was still considering going for a one and done). If we have him Syracuse is a lot closer of a game last year and we're probably a top 15 outfit this year. And, I guess this goes without saying after all that, but it still worth mentioning: Brian's analysis is also correct that we really are one great shooter away from being pretty good.
But the title is 100% accurate. Most IU fans are kind of slappy about this in that they can't come to grips with the fact that the Patterson situation and others leaving isn't/wasn't totally above board. Or that oversigning is just plain wrong, no matter the hystrionics they pull trying to make themselves believe it isn't.
If nobody leaves early, horford gets a 5th year, and hatch gets a regular schollie. Unlikely and i assume jb knows something, but still.
Between that and where IU was before the 2012-13 season. We were over by a minimum of two unless Cody Zeller went pro, then only 1. If Gary Harris had signed (he was a verbal commit) we would have been over by 3. We got lucky and Matt Roth went away relatively calmly, but that still left us oversigned by one and we knew we were oversigned for a long time. At that point there was no reasonable expectation that Oladipo would go pro (prior to his breakout season) and there was no one to cut. Suddenly Ron Patterson misses on his summer academic class by, from what I've heard a half of a letter grade (he got a C- instead of a C) and was let go from the team. Whether or not that situation was proper (and I honestly don't believe it was), it never should have occurred.
But then again, not giving graduated players 5th years isn't a problem in my book...