The 2015 basketball recruiting class Syracuse is putting together is already one of the best Jim Boeheim has ever had, and that is without considering the possibility that Thomas Bryant could enter the fold. With Bryant getting closer and closer to making a decision, The Fizz takes a look at one of his other reported options, Indiana.
Earlier this week, there was an off-court incident where one Hoosier player hit a teammate with a car while drunk driving. Also earlier this week, two other Hoosiers were suspended for failing a drug test. Couple the off the court issues with the struggles the Hoosiers had on the court last year, and some people want Tom Crean out as the head coach. So, what kind of an effect could this have on Thomas Bryant?
Alex Kline of The Recruit Scoop says it likely will play an impact in Bryant’s decision-making, but notes that the investigation into Syracuse basketball also impacts any decision Bryant makes.
As a high school kid, I wonder which one looks worse: an investigation into what seems like academic issues or a program with both off the court and on the court issues and a coach seemingly on the hot-seat. That seems to be the situation facing Thomas Bryant as he looks to make a decision.
Looking rationally at this, Syracuse remains a favorable situation for a singular reason: coaching stability. It is unlikely Boeheim will be forced from his job as a result of this investigation. On the other hand, Tom Crean very well could be on his way out of Indiana if the Hoosiers have another sub-par year. It may not feel like it, but Indiana has only made the tournament in two out of his six seasons in Bloomington.
Of course, there are other hurdles in Thomas Bryant coming to SU. First, Indiana and Syracuse are not the only school going after the class of 2015 recruit. Also, if the Orange is Bryant’s first choice, SU will need to open up a scholarship space as it looks as though the team is already full of scholarship players for the 2015-2016 season.
The second part is easy, unless of course scholarships are taken away as a result of the investigation. If no scholarships are taken away, the Orange would just need one player to leave the program.
Could it possibly be someone like Chris McCullough going to the NBA? Maybe an injured player, like DaJuan Coleman, will be unable to make a full comeback. Or maybe someone who gets little to no playing time will transfer out of the program. There are plenty of options to open up a scholarship.
With players increasingly picking the school they go to based on the coach and not what the school has to offer, the recent events in Bloomington could lead to Crean leaving Indiana and Bryant deciding to take his talents elsewhere.
Posted: Seth Goldberg