Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hey, At Least We're Not IU Fans

Being a University of Minnesota men's basketball fan has been a trying experience over the past decade. Scandals. Sanctions. Overwhelmed coach. Thankfully, Tubby Smith has brought some calm back to the Land O' 10k Lakes.

Times are slightly more turbulent in Bloomington, Indiana. After Kelvin Sampson was dispatched, the Hoosiers all but quit on Dan Dakich. The Blake Hoffarber Miracle was demoralizing. Sanctions could be coming. DJ White's eligibility has expired. Eric Gordon is expected to be a one-and-done type. Then, yesterday, Dakich dismissed Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis. Other than the Oliver Miller look-a-like, I'm not sure who that leaves on IU's roster.

Coming out of all of that turmoil is reporting from ESPN today that Marquette's Tom Crean will be announced soon as the next Hoosiers coach. My question is this: What in God's name is Tom Crean thinking? Crean has rebuilt Marquette into a regional power of sorts. He's taken the Golden Eagles to the new heights thanks to Dwayne Wade. In doing this, Crean has built a reputation as an excellent coach, a solid recruiter, and an all around decent guy.

Crean has Big Ten ties, having worked under Tom Izzo's thumb at Michigan State. Under normal circumstances, the move to IU would be an easy one. But why would Crean leave arguably college basketball's best conference, leave a clean program for a storied program that is peering around the corner at NCAA sanctions? And IU's current roster--assuming Gordon leaves and Bassett and Ellis are in fact gone--leaves much to be desired. And that's being nice about it. To me, this is akin to Tubby Smith--and many others--leaving great gigs for some mythical historical significance. At IU, Crean will face unrealistic expectations even as he rebuilds from Kelvin Sampson's disaster.

If you were Crean, would you leave?

UPDATE: The 4-letter is now reporting that Crean has signed a letter of intent. I trust the 4-letter as much as I trust Shooter Walters, but it at least looks like this is a done deal. It will be itnerseting to see how long the contract is for. Is it a long deal--like 8 years? If so, Crean is smart. If it's a 4ish year deal, Crean made a big mistake. It'll take him that long to get out from under the sanctions.


snyde043 said...

As much as I dislike WI, there's no way I would leave there for the Hoosier State.

Crean better be getting the biggest contract in the history of college basketball coaches because that's about the only way this move makes any sense at all...

lurker said...

Crean is nuts. A scandal free IU, absolutely. A Kelvin Sampson sanctioned team. OMG, Crean is an idiot.

Thankfully, by the time he turns the Hoosiers around, they'll have been so impatient they'll have condducted a new coaching search and replaced him.

Friend Of Tubby said...

Great hire by IU. Dumb move by Crean.

We'll C which one was correct.

lonebadger said...

It's not like Crean is outrecruiting Duke and North Carolina at Marquette. At IU he has a chance to.

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