Since arriving in Bloomington, Tom Crean has been fairly successful recruiting talent to Indiana. Let’s take a look at all of his Hoosier recruiting classes, ranked. For this ranking, I take into consideration many factors but mainly focus on the success (or predicted success for recent classes) of each class, whether that success came at Indiana or at another school they transferred to.
9. Class of 2008
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 2 - Tom Pritchard (#85), Nick Williams (#35)
Future Starters: 5 - Devon Dumes, Verdell Jones, Malik Story (Nevada), Tom Pritchard, Nick Williams (Ole Miss)
Future NBA Draft Picks: 0
Other Players: Tijan Jobe, Matt Roth
This was Crean's first recruiting class at IU, so it is understandable that it would be his worst. The five future starters number jumps out as impressive, but when you consider the fact that Crean came to Bloomington with few scholarship players returning he had a lot of minutes to offer. So while guys like Devon Dumes and Tom Pritchard got starts their first season, they were quickly pushed into smaller roles as better players came onto campus in future seasons.
Verdell Jones is a bright spot in this class as he was a key player on the 2011-12 team that got the Hoosiers back to the Sweet 16. He is currently playing in the D-League, but has not made the NBA yet and likely never will. Malik Story and Nick Williams went on to become double digit scorers on lesser teams.
8. Class of 2012
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 3 - Yogi Ferrell (#24), Jeremy Hollowell (#42), Hanner Mosquera-Perea (#71)
Future Starters: 3 - Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell (Georgia State), Hanner Mosquera-Perea (ETSU)
Future NBA Draft Picks: 1 - Yogi Ferrell (2016)
Other Players: Peter Jurkin (ETSU)
This class had a future IU legend in Yogi Ferrell, but not much else. Hollowell played sparingly his first two seasons in Bloomington and transferred to Georgia State where he led the team in scoring last season. Hanner Mosquera-Perea showed promise and started many games for IU in 2014-15, but was dismissed from the team and transferred to ETSU.
7. Class of 2014
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 2 - James Blackmon, Jr. (#20), Robert Johnson (#47)
Future Starters: 3 - James Blackmon Jr., Emmitt Holt (Providence), Robert Johnson
Future NBA Players: 1 - James Blackmon Jr. (2017)
Other Players: Jeremiah April (Trinity Valley Community College), Max Hoetzel (San Diego State), Tim Priller
This class helped keep IU from returning to the ranks of middling Big Ten teams. Blackmon, Johnson, and Holt were all role players on the 2014-15 team, but Holt was kicked off the team in the off-season. He transferred to Providence where he will potentially see starter-type minutes in the future.
Robert Johnson has been a partial-starter and helpful role player each of the last two seasons and although he likely won't be a NBA player, he has been a valuable player for IU and will continue to be a key guy in his final two years. For Blackmon Jr., he had an impressive freshman year, but had his sophomore season cut short due to injury. His defense has been criticized, but assuming he can make improvements in that part of his game he will be a future NBA player. He will be heavily relied on for scoring and some ball-handling this year after the loss of Yogi Ferrell in the backcourt.
6. Class of 2011
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 1 - Cody Zeller (#14)
Future Starters: 2 - Remy Abell (Xavier), Cody Zeller
Future NBA Players: 1 - Cody Zeller (2013, pick #4)
Other Players: Austin Etherington (Butler)
Cody Zeller certainly lived up to the hype surrounding his arrival in Bloomington. After two successful seasons he left for the NBA. Remy Abell didn't see many minutes on the successful IU teams his first two years, so he transferred to Xavier. He was a partial-starter and key role player on this season's Musketeers team that was a #2 seed in the tournament.
5. Class of 2010
Future Starters: 2 - Victor Oladipo, Will Sheehey
Future NBA Players: 1 - Victor Oladipo (2013, pick #2)
Other Players: Guy-Marc Michel (playing in Europe now)
At the time they arrived on campus, this was one of Crean's more underwhelming classes. Nobody expected Oladipo would become a star or that Sheehey would turn into a key starter on future Hoosier teams. But they both filled out those roles beautifully and the rest is history. Oladipo went to the NBA after his junior season and Sheehey stayed all four years, playing a major role on a 2013-14 team that lacked star power.
4. Class of 2016
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 2 - Curtis Jones (#40), De'Ron Davis (#51)
Future Starters: 3 - De'Ron Davis, Curtis Jones, Freddie McSwain
Future NBA Players: 2 - De'Ron Davis (2020), Curtis Jones (2020)
Other Players: Grant Gelon, Devonte Green
It is hard to predict the future, but this year's class looks to be a pretty successful one. De'Ron Davis and Curtis Jones are highly touted recruits coming in and although they will only be role players in their first season or two, they should be future starters and NBA prospects by their junior or senior years.
Freddie McSwain comes in as a JUCO transfer with two years of eligibility remaining and could potentially start next season if OG Anunoby heads to the draft. Devonte Green may also see a lot of minutes this year if the team sees a major need for ball-handling without Yogi Ferrell.
3. Class of 2015
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 1 - Thomas Bryant (#20)
Future Starters: 2 - OG Anunoby, Thomas Bryant
Future NBA Players: 2 - OG Anunoby (2017), Thomas Bryant (2017)
Other Players: Juwan Morgan
If Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby have the seasons many expect from them in 2016-17 they will both be in the NBA sooner rather than later. Bryant had a huge impact as a starter and was a key reason the Hoosier's returned to the Sweet 16 in 2015-16. OG Anunoby stepped up as a pivotal role player after James Blackmon, Jr. went down with an injury. He will likely start next season in Troy Williams place. Despite being overshadowed by his classmates, Juwan Morgan looks to be a role player all four years he is in Bloomington.
2. Class of 2009
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 2 - Maurice Creek (#71), Christian Watford (#34)
Future Starters: 3 - Maurice Creek (George Washington), Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford
Future NBA Players: 0
Other Players: Bobby Capobianco (Valparaiso), Derek Elston, Bawa Muniru (Tennessee State)
This was arguably the recruiting class that got the ball rolling for Tom Crean. He brought in two guys in Watford and Hulls who would eventually start on Sweet 16 teams in back to back seasons. Maurice Creek led the team in scoring his freshman season, but would transfer to George Washington after his junior year. He led the Colonials in scoring in 2013-14. Derek Elston was never a starter, but he was a key cog in the Indiana machine in his four seasons.
1. Class of 2013
Number of ESPN Top 100 Players: 4 - Luke Fischer (#34), Stanford Robinson (#99), Noah Vonleh (#13), Troy Williams (#54)
Future Starters: 5 - Luke Fischer (Marquette), Collin Hartman, Stanford Robinson (Rhode Island), Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams
Future NBA Players: 2 - Noah Vonleh (2014, pick #9), Troy Williams (2016)
Other Players: Devin Davis (Houston)
With five future starters who have all made big impacts in their time in college, this is definitely Crean's best class since coming to IU. Even though Vonleh only played for one season before leaving for the NBA, he only needed that one year to show why he was ranked #13 in the class. Troy Williams stayed until his junior season, where he helped lead the 2015-16 Hoosiers back to the Sweet 16. Few could have predicted the important role Collin Hartman would play during his time at Indiana, but he has already started plenty of games and has one more year of eligibility remaining.
Although Stanford Robinson and Luke Fischer transferred, both look to be key players on their respective teams. Fischer has already played for two seasons at Marquette and started in both. He will be relied on heavily in 2016-17. For Stanford Robinson, he had to sit out last year due to transfer rules, but has two years of eligibility remaining. Rhode Island looks like they will be a very talented team this year that could make the tournament and Robinson will probably start for them.