Waaaaaaaaaay back in March of 2011, IU basketball players Bobby Capobianco and Derek Elston both expressed their undying love for their Dear Leader and the family that they were both a part of (then).
While lobbying for the final spot on Tom Crean's IU Basketball Idol, Elston pleaded,
“These guys are my brothers. I am going to go out there and fight with them everyday until my four years are up.”
His teammate and (now former) pal continued,
“Of course. Derek said it the best — these are our brothers. This is a family. We’re here to battle and we’re going into it the same way next season.”
If you've played sports, you know that bond they speak of...bleeding, sweating and working together toward a common goal. Selling out for the guy next to you, because you know he'd do the same for you. You might run through that proverbial brick wall for your coach because...You know he's got your back and your best interest at mind and heart.
Bobby thought so, anyway.
Capobianco followed his coach from Marquette to IU. His recruiting by Coach Crean had began years earlier by the Forehead up in Milwaukee...but ended in Bloomington. He decided to play for IU instead of Marquette, West Virginia and St. Louis. IU fans hailed him as a guy that every team needed- he'd stick his nose into the middle of a fight, get tough rebounds and be a lunchpail player. He was the perfect compliment to the highly-touted players that were later added in Crean's top-10 class from 2009.
His Frosh year looked promising as he pulled double-digit boards down in a few games...and scored in the double digits a couple times too. But '11 wasn't as promising. Both he and Elston's minutes dipped and their production did the same.
As IU fans grasped for reasons why Tom Crean's team might be struggling, they found a few.
Verdell Jones doesn't execute Coach Crean's perfect plan effectively, Derek Elston just isn't as good as recruiting mags said he'd be, and Capobianco and Roth are underachievers that don't belong a team full of elite talent that Crean's putting together.
Indeed. The Hoosier faithful had found the problem...and it wasn't the guy up top...it was all of the guys he had brought in...but not the guys about to come in, mind you.
So as the Forehead continued to get verbals from a star-studded group this Spring, some began asking, "How can IU sign this many players?" Not to worry, we were assured, there was room. So, after the dust settled, IU had a class of 5 for 2011...and a damned good one too. In the fall, Crean will sign the top recruiting class in America. The problem was, they only had room for four with the roster moving forward as it stood at the end of the season.
Those pesky NCAA rules only allow teams to have 13 scholarship players, but they'd have 14 (come 2012) unless something changed...and in a hurry. Thank God, now it has. Bobby Capobianco has had a change of heart and will be heading out of Bloomington.
Thanks to the guidance of his caring coach, Capobianco has figured out that the best place for him next fall will be someplace else...anyplace else but IU.
So, as Tom Crean brings in his second nationally-recognized class during his short time at IU, the newest guys can rest assured that they'll have a place in Ass Hall along with their family and forehead that oversees it all from high above, Tom Crean...unless they don't, of course.
Crean knew what was best back in '10 for Muniru...and once again, he knows what's best for Bobby in '11. Three cheers for Coach Crean who will most-assuredly know what's best for Elston or Etherington come 2012 as Harris makes his decision.
Didn't work hard enough.