Indiana's season has completely derailed this week with losses to Penn State and Purdue as well as the first off the court incident in the Tom Crean era with Hanner Mosquera-Perea's arrest. After the embarrassing loss to Purdue, all focus now shifts to 2014-2015 Hoosier basketball, unless you are a Hoosier Baseball fan.
As Noah Vonleh continues to fly up the draft boards, the Hoosiers clearly need a big man for next year. However, Tom Crean has been out recruiting several 6'7" forwards lately, as well, which leads me to believe he is fully expecting some other movement on the roster. After Perea's arrest, you have to wonder what is going to happen with him. I know he is a 21 year old college athlete and these types of things are expected to happen from time to time, but the timing of this is unbelievable with the biggest rivalry game of the year coming up. It just shows a complete lack of focus and care on his part. There is also the story of Jeremy Hollowell who has started many games this year, but is barely playing 10 minutes a game lately. Both are members of the vaunted "Movement" and both are prime candidates to be moving out of Bloomington after the season.
The Hoosiers currently have no scholarships available for next year, but with the expected turnover, there will be some spots freed up. Here is a quick look at some of the 2014 names that have been popping up lately:
Josh Cunningham - Cunningham is a 6'7" forward out of Chicago and has at least 13 offers, one of which is from Indiana. He is currently ranked #80 in the Rivals Top 150. The offer came in early February after Cunningham put up 36 points and 22 rebounds in a game watched by Coach Crean. Per various reports, his previous game included 37 points and 19 rebounds. Cunningham seems to be the hottest name with Indiana right now which makes sense as he is the highest rated player with Hoosier interest at this point. If Hollowell or Hanner or both were to leave, Cunningham might be able to fill that role well even though he is slightly shorter.
Marvin Clark - Clark is another 6'7" forward (although unranked), and currently plays for Sunrise Christina Academy in Bel Aire, Kansas. This is the same school that Ruben Guerrero (6"10" center) plays for, although Guerrero does not yet have an offer contrary to some of the initial reports I highlighted a few weeks ago. It has not been officially reported that Clark has an offer either, so it could be that Coach Crean is just watching this team very closely at this point. Clark has mainly been recruited by Kansas State, Iowa State, and Seton Hall so far, but with Indiana getting involved, that may take this recruitment to another level. There are also rumors that Michigan State may offer Clark in the near future which would continue to legitimize his talent level.
Centers - The Hoosiers are in desperate need of a center and have shown at least some level of interest in several players such as Rokas Gustys (6'9"), Andre Adams (6'9"), Matt Cimino (6'10"), and Ruben Guerrero (6'10"). The highest ranked of these players is Adams at #119 on Rivals. While there is certainly interest in these players, it is not believed at this time that Indiana has actually offered any of them, and like I have said before - it may be more likely that Indiana lands a fifth year transfer to solve its Center need next season.
Next season is going to be very important for Tom Crean, as another tournament miss would start to really raise the pressure from the fan base. While the Hoosier faithful were patient for the first few years due to the circumstances this coaching staff was put it, that patience no longer exists. Indiana fans may be one of the most basketball savvy fan bases in the entire country, and they also will turn on a head coach quicker than you can blink your eyes. Ask Mike Davis. It will be crucial for Crean to land some of the above talent, especially if Vonleh leaves, and he will need to develop it in a hurry.