- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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Forget NCAA academic reform. If we've done one thing this offseason, it's been to chronicle the sudden explosion in popularity among college basketball coaches of rap artists. Kentucky sent Drake a national championship ring, which he promptly posted on his "Champagnepapi" Instagram feed. South Carolina coach Frank Martin effusively praised Pitbull. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey -- who one imagines has never actually said the word "dawg" colloquially before in his life -- snapped a pic with his "dawg" 2 Chainz.
Indiana coach Tom Crean is not one to sit idly by and miss a trend. Or perhaps it was just happy chance that Crean found himself spending time at his former player's house -- that of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade -- when rap star/Trap Star Young Jeezy hopped in the frame for a quick photo. Whatever fortuitous circumstance led to the the meeting, Crean was sure to get a photo, and sure to get that photo up on his social media account as soon as possible.
This was the final result:
Hanging with two legends; Dwyane and Young Jeezy pic.twitter.com/7sTIY9iR
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) August 18, 2012
In my opinion, the title of most entertaining of the bunch still goes to Brey, because Brey throwing up a peace sign while standing next to a sunglasses and Beatz-clad 2 Chainz is ... well, it's just inherently hilarious. Mike Brey is awesome.
Still, this entire mini-trend, if it can be referred to as such, is all about recruiting, and give Crean plenty of points for savvy. He's been sure to make mention of his relationship with Wade a time or two before, and for good reason: It's never a bad idea to remind elite high school players with designs on the NBA how close you are to one of its marquee players. (I would very much like if Crean would tell Wade to stop headfaking and flailing around every time he experiences the slightest brush of contact, but I digress.) Being able to plug your relationship with Wade and Young Jeezy, all in one fell Twitpic swoop? That's just a bonus. Meanwhile, Jeezy gets major points for wearing a Bulls fitted in the presence of one of Bulls' fans least-liked players. The whole photo is fantastic.
Anyway: Your move, Bilas.