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Tom Crean says he can battle John Calipari for recruits

The new Georgia head coach may have just gotten himself into a recruiting battle he can’t win.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

New Georgia Bulldogs head basketball coach Tom Crean may have started a war, and it’s not one that he’s capable of winning.

Crean, the former Indiana Hoosiers head coach, was on the most recent episode of the podcast Pardon My Take, where he said that he could go after John Calipari recruits.

“You’re going to have to go up against Cal every single year. You said you don’t recruit someone else’s race, and I agree with that. You obviously can’t go after Kentucky guys,” the show’s co-host, Dan Katz (AKA Big Cat), said to Crean.

“Yes you can,” Crean responded.

Crean has confidence, no doubt. But the new Bulldogs head coach is already losing the Calipari recruiting battle. Since Crean became Georgia’s new head coach, Calipari has pulled two five-stars right out of Georgia in E.J. Montgomery and Ashton Hagans. Calipari also has a pledge from DJ Jeffries, who Georgia offered.

If you go back to Crean’s days at Indiana, Calipari beat him for the likes of Marquis Teague and Trey Lyles, both of whom played in Indiana, but opted for Calipari at Kentucky over Crean.

Meanwhile, Crean of course pointed out that he beat Kentucky in two of his last three against them at Indiana, and said that he’s able to recruit differently than Calipari and still be successful.

“Our last three games with Kentucky, at Indiana, we won two out of the three,” Crean said. “We were right there. We didn’t have those guys that were recruited that way.”

Crean also talked about the one-and-done rule, something that Calipari has of course been able to use to his advantage at Kentucky.

Let’s also not forget that Georgia isn’t remotely close to the kind of hoops program that Indiana is. If Crean can’t hang with Calipari for recruits at one of the 5-7 best college programs ever, how is he going to at a football school like Georgia?

You can listen to this episode of Pardon My Take (and all the others) here.