In Indiana, The Hoosiers Are On The Comeback Trail

I still remember Keith Smart's game-winning jumper in the 1987 NCAA title game like it happened yesterday. Growing up a Syracuse fan, that shot was a dagger through the heart as I truly believed there was just no way Billy Owens and Derrick Coleman would be denied a title.

Fast forward to 2011, and Indiana has not won another championship, having appeared in the finals only once since the 1987 title.

Additionally, the program has had five coaches since with the past handful of years being among the most difficult in the program's history due to NCAA violations and poor play.

Fast forward to 2011 and coach Tom Crean, who has led the Hoosiers to a 28-66 overall record, including an 8-46 conference record. On paper, things are bad in Bloomington, but it doesn't seem to have hurt the school's ability to recruit top talent in their home state this year.

In Saturday's state finals, two future Hoosiers will be on display as Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year Cody Zeller looks to carry his team to a second consecutive state title.

Leading the 2012 recruiting class is point guard Kevin Ferrell of Park Tudor of Indianapolis. The point guard is currently ranked third at his position and in the top 25 players overall per ESPN.

In addition to these two talents, the Hoosiers have received commitments from five other nationally ranked talents including a couple who just finished their freshman year.

And while I'll never consider myself a fan of Indiana because they beat my favorite childhood team, I can comfortably say a strong Hoosier basketball program is great for college basketball and I'm pleased to see things are headed in the right direction.

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