The Morning After: Tom Crean
It’s over. The speculation, the rumors, the top five lists for coaching candidates — it’s over. Tom Crean is IU’s next coach. And really, I think it’s a great fit. I was infatuated with Tony Bennett like the rest of you out there; I was hoping for a big splash name too. But Crean falls somewhere in the middle of that. He’s young at 42. (Who else is relieved we didn’t land Lon Kruger or Mike Montgomery? Phew.) He’s got Big Ten experience under Tom Izzo at Michigan State and recruits Chicago and Indiana. He doesn’t have to get set up for recruiting in the Midwest; he’s been doing it for years.
His coaching philosophy should fit the Indiana mold as well. His defense is tight-nosed in the half court (think of Dominic James giving some great on-ball pressure) and his offensive sets are varied and complex. (Hey, we might actually have plays and stuff!) This is not to say he’s going to succeed at every turn. That would be foolish. And it’s not to say he’s not without flaw. His NCAA tourney record might not jump out at you (5-5) and he’s only won one game in the Big Dance since Dwyane Wade left the program in 2003. He’s been to the NIT quite a bit too. But hey, he can’t come up all roses.
So first thing is first: the press conference later this morning. Crean will hopefully etch out why he made the move and what he plans to do. Then his next mission is to get a hold of Jamarcus Ellis, Armon Bassett, Terrell Holloway and Devin Ebanks. From how Ellis talked to the IDS tonight and touted how much of a recruiter Crean is, I’m hopeful we can score three of those guys back. Ebanks is probably a lost cause. From there, onwards to win over the university, boosters, fans, the state of Indiana. Think Kelvin Sampson’s barnstorming tour from a few years back.
Speaking of Kelvin Sampson, we have a guy in Crean that’s run a clean program up to this point. As far as we know, he has no problems using the telephone. After the NCAA rules in June, we hopefully will no longer be on pins and needles wondering what current setback is going to befall our Hoosiers.
So rejoice. Sit back. Relax. It only gets better from here.
Saw this on Sportsline.
A source told Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com that the deal is in excess of $2 million per season and will be for no less than six years. Another source said the contract might extend to 10 years to ensure it outlasts Crean's current deal at Marquette, which runs through the 2016-17 season.
In fact, one reporter in Milly-wau-kay agrees with WMR.
http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=734545The nine-year question on Tom Crean was always whether he was a better politician/salesman/self-promoter than a basketball coach.
When all is said and done more is said than done.
I disagree with that reporter and WMR.
There's only so much he was going to be able to do at Marquette. Marquette is always going to be second fiddle in the state of Wisconsin and will never be on the level of the Georgetown's in the Big East.
At Marquette he has always been second in his own state, overshadowed despite his success. For those unfamiliar, Marquette is in Milwaukee, which is in Wisconsin, which is home to the Wisconsin Badgers. And by home, I mean home -- to the point where everybody else can be made to feel like a visitor, and the ego that drove Crean and helped make him one of the better coaches in America never allowed him to be completely comfortable in that role while he watched Wisconsin's Bo Ryan Soulja Boy-dance his way into the hearts of the majority of the population.
Crean will go from the second-most-prominent coach in Wisconsin to the biggest celebrity in Indiana. Overnight. The limelight sources have said Washington State's Tony Bennett didn't necessarily want is something Crean will embrace. That's the off-the-court ramification. On the court, he'll go from leading a nice program in the jumbled mess that is the Big East to owning what is arguably the best job in the Big Ten, and that's a point I cannot stress enough -- that even though Crean has done, as Otzelberger put it, an "amazing" job at Marquette, he still only finished fourth, fifth and fifth in three years in the Big East because that's about all anybody can reasonably expect to do at Marquette on a consistent basis.
I just read the recap of the presser. Man, he really gets it. I'm even more pumped now. Great hire.
I need to get one of these.
That's a very good point that I didn't think about. Makes me feel even better about the hire.He’s got Big Ten experience under Tom Izzo at Michigan State and recruits Chicago and Indiana. He doesn’t have to get set up for recruiting in the Midwest; he’s been doing it for years.
Last edited by fearofpopvol1; 04-02-2008 at 12:43 PM.
Here are some tidbits from Jordan Crawford's interview. He was interviewed right after the Crean press conference. Courtesy of the Herald-Times.
On him possibly leaving IU:
“Of course it crossed my mind, because the coach I came here for is gone, so it had to cross my mind, and I thought about it and still think about it. I’m gonna meet with the coach and then go from there. I don’t know if he’ll have to say anything (to get me to stay). I just want to get to know him and him get to know me. And I know he knows a little bit about me. Like he said, he’s gonna watch film on the season. That’s cool, he could help develop.”
On Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis:
“A lot of people say certain things about ‘em, but I see ‘em every day and I know ‘em. I know they’re good kids…I think it was all just a misunderstanding. I think they’re very excited. Jamarcus had no intentions of leaving at all. Armon loves playing with everbody on this team…Jamarcus, first of all he’s a junior. He’s gonna be a senior next year so it’d be hard for him to leave. He’s been talking since we lost that he wanted to stay. I think he’s a very good kid who wants to take a second chance.”
On recent weeks:
“It’s good that a coach is put in place. It’s probably not been as long for people that’s not on the team, but to us it’s been real long…I was just thinking, ‘Get it over with.’ I didn’t know who was going to get the job. I know Tony Benett was the top candidate, so I knew they were going to ask him first and see what happens from there. But I didn’t really know the candidates at all.”
“He’s very passionate about the job and what he’s gonna bring. He knows a lot about basketball…I watched him play against my brother in the NCAA Tournament. You could tell he was very passionate and gets a lot out of his players and plays good defense. I remember Jerel McNeal and him talking. They play very good defense and they’re very competitive.”
On the team outlook next year:
“I think we’ll be very competitive. A lot of players that played last year are gonna be here this year.”
On Crean’s thoughts about fastbreak playing style:
“(My eyes) are going to light up a little bit because I remember what Michigan State did to us, so it was good.”
On the immediate future:
“I think the toughest thing right now is just us getting to know each other. That’s the most important thing, and that’s really what I’m looking for…What I was concerned about the most (was) the more kids leaving, it’s going to be hard for a coach to pick this school because it’s gonna be a very tough job and it’s gonna take a couple years to, you know, get back on his feet. So, just hoping I can get it over with.”
Sounds like it's in his heart to stay.
When all is said and done more is said than done.
Marquette recruit Tyshawn Taylor is asking to be released from his LOI now that Crean has left.
http://blogs.jsonline.com/muhoops/ar...wants-out.aspxHurley said other schools haven't wasted much time trying to get back in the mix with Taylor.
"It's going to work itself out," he said. "The amount of phone calls I received this morning from schools that are interested in him made me call him to say, 'Don't worry; everything's going to be fine.' At the same time, he was going to Marquette University -- no disrespect to Marquette University -- and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to play for Tom Crean."
IMHO, you sign a LOI with the school and if the school doesn't fire the coach(their choice) and instead the coach takes another job(not their choice) then I(Marquette in this case) would be disinclined to release a player from their LOI. It's like getting kicked in the nuts twice. First coach takes another job and then secondly players don't want to honor their signed LOIs and the school has done nothing that has caused this to happen.
What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand