The Fall of 2010 will always be remembered by Indiana fans as the start of a new era of Hoosier hoops. The program had just come out of two horrid seasons with a combined record of 16-46. In fact, the losing would continue into 2011 as Indiana would put up a 12-20 record in the 2010-2011 season. However, the fan's unwavering patience with this blueblood program was starting to pay dividends. From August 9th to November 24, 2010, the Hoosiers had landed a flurry of highly touted recruits. There is no doubt a lot of that was due to the rabid fan base continually selling out The Assembly Hall during what were the three worst years in the history of Indiana basketball. That doesn't happen anywhere else. Period.
The crown jewel was of course Cody Zeller who committed on November 11, 2010. It sounds silly, but most Indiana fans remember where they were when Zeller committed. That is how serious this fan base is about the game they love - basketball. While Zeller's commitment had Indiana fans dancing in the streets, it was the 2012 class that really had Hoosier fans dreaming of a sixth banner. It started on August 9th when the Hoosiers picked up a commitment from a 6'11" center named Peter Jurkin who was believed at the time to be a solid defensive prospect with developing offensive skills. Only 6 days later, the Hoosiers got a commitment from Ron Patterson from Broad Ripple high school in Indianapolis. He was also mainly touted for his defensive skills, but also had a pretty good offensive game. Two months later, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, a 6'8" freak athlete from the La Lamiere basketball factory committed to Indiana. At the time, he was a Top 15 ranked recruit which Indiana fans hadn't seen since the days of Eric Gordon. The flurry of commitments was then finished off on November 24th when Kevin Yogi Ferrell, a 5'11" five star point guard who had been dubbed the nation's best basketball player while he was in the fifth grade, decided he would follow Zeller to Indiana. Coach Crean wasn't done yet though as four months later the class was rounded out with another highly touted player in Indianapolis - Jeremy Hollowell.
While the supposed talent in this class was scary good (and 80% from Indiana), it was the balance of the class that really had fans excited. All five positions were covered and Hoosier fans dreamed of this lineup blending with the likes of Cody Zeller along with the more experienced players like Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, and Victor Oladipo to form what many believed to be a sure fire National Championship team. The fuel was only added to the fire when the Hoosiers came out of nowhere to go 27-9 in 2011-2012 before losing to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen in what many believe was one of the best played NCAA Tournament games in years. It is still my belief to this day that Indiana wins the National Title if they beat Kentucky on that memorable night in Atlanta. Before the season, however, the Hoosiers were picked near the bottom of the B1G and no one really expected much until the 2012 class arrived. Given all the hype, Ron Patterson took the opportunity to infamously dub the 2012 class as "The Movement" and Hoosier fans ate the slogan up. Thousands of t-shirts and posters were sold with the slogan and Indiana fans just had to wait one more year to return to glory.
As we all know now - things didn't quite work out the way Hoosier fans had hoped. "The Movement" has been nothing short of disappointing thus far to put it kindly. And yes - I know these guys are still only sophomores and a lot can change in a couple years, but I think if you have watched any Indiana basketball over the past couple of years, you don't really have a good feeling about things changing. Let's take a look at how their careers have played out so far:
Peter Jurkin - Jurkin was the only member of the class who was unranked, but he still had 3 star status. He was suspended for the first 9 games of his Indiana career due to an unbelievable ruling on a very minor NCAA infraction which drew the ire of the national media for months. Because of this, he never really got comfortable his freshman year and only got into 3 games for a total of 7 minutes. Jurkin has had issues with his shins dating all the way back to his senior year in high school, and that has continued into his sophomore campaign where he has only played in 7 games for a total of 10 minutes to date. So far in his career, Jurkin has scored 2 points (both free throws) and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Ron Patterson - Patterson came in ranked #131 by Rivals which was also 3 star status. He was known as the defensive stopper of the class and had been reportedly improving his shot. He was also known for dubbing this class "The Movement." Ironically, he would never get a chance to put on the candy striped pants. In a drama that played out for the better part of a year, the Hoosiers had over signed with the anticipation that Christian Watford was going to jump to the NBA a year early. However, Watford did not make the jump and someone had to leave to get down to the allowable 13 scholarship players. It was reported by IU that Patterson did not meet the academic requirements to continue after the summer sessions, but that is not believed by a majority of the fan base. Patterson now finds himself as a reserve on the 20-0 Syracuse team where he is averaging 6+ minutes a game and scoring 2.8 points per game.
Hanner Mosquera-Perea - Perea was ranked in the Top 15 until the last updates to the class rankings were made. He fell to #43 on Rivals, which is still very good at 4 star status, but that fall may have been a sign of things to come. Perea was viewed as one of the best pure athletes in the class. He could literally jump out of the gym, and everyone expected him to come in and throw down Sportscenter Top 10 dunks on a nightly basis. However, he suffered the same fate as Jurkin with a 9 game suspension to start his freshman year which really jarred his confidence from the beginning. He did play in 20 games his freshman year, but only averaged 5.7 minutes per game and 0.9 points per game. More concerning was the fact he couldn't catch a basketball, and that has not improved a whole lot in his sophomore year. He has played in all 21 games and has raised his averages to 8.3 minutes and 3.1 points per game, but has not come close to the lofty expectations placed on him when he arrived in Bloomington.
Kevin Yogi Ferrell - Ferrell was the highest ranked of the class at #19 on Rivals which was the #2 point guard in the nation. Yogi is the one bright spot of this class. He came in and started all 36 games his freshman year averaging 28.1 minutes per game and scoring 7.6 points per game. He was the point guard of one of the Top 5 offensives in all of college basketball. He has been even better his sophomore year as he has again started every game thus far and is averaging 32.2 minutes per game while more than doubling his scoring average to 17.3 points. Almost every statistical average has improved, expect turnovers, but that is expected with the young team the Hoosiers have this season. If Ferrell continues to improve, he has chance to go down as one of the greatest players to put on the candy stripe pants.
Jeremy Hollowell - Hollowell was yet another four star recruit and came in ranked #41 by Rivals. His impact his freshman year, while small, was positive. He averaged almost 10 minutes a game and scored around 3 points a game. He made some key plays down the stretch to help earn the Hoosiers the outright B1G Title. Coming into his sophomore year, he was viewed as the key to whether Indiana would be tournament worthy or not. And to say his season has not gone well would be a giant understatement. His minutes per game have doubled to around 21 and his points per game have more than doubled to around 7, but those statistics do not really tell the whole story. He is shooting 25% from three, has been a turnover machine, and is viewed by many of the Hoosier faithful as unwilling to do any of the little things to make a team successful. As a result, he is the first player I have heard booed at The Assembly Hall since the days of Sean Kline. He was also "benched" for three games this season with no reason being given except a "lack of focus". Hollowell has been by far the most frustrating of this class, and that is because he has so much talent but is seemingly unwilling to unlock it. It is hard at this point to see him coming back next year, but only time will tell.
Instead of the National Title many Indiana fans felt was assured, the Hoosiers spent most of the year ranked #1 in the country, won the B1G Title outright, but then folded under the pressure of the Syracuse zone in the Sweet 16. Hulls and Watford graduated while Oladipo and Zeller went to the NBA. The program was then thrust onto the shoulders of what was left of "The Movement", and it has done nothing but move backwards as the Hoosiers currently stand at 13-8 and are almost certainly headed for the NIT. However, there is still time left for this class to turn their reputation around, but it is going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to do so. Meanwhile, Indiana fans will sit back and continue to watch the ups and downs of what was supposed to be a sure thing - and wonder what could have been....