Here is what Crean
does know: that a number of his IU players are in serious academic trouble. That he is leaving San Antonio this morning to begin the work of fixing that tomorrow.
That Armon Bassett, one of the starters dismissed from the team by interim coach Dan Dakich last week, has called to ask about reinstatement. But Jamarcus Ellis, the other dismissed starter, has not.
That Crean understands that however he decides to proceed with Bassett and Ellis, somebody is going to howl and call him too soft or too unyielding.
That Crean considers Bob Knight a friend and that the school is interested in reaching a détente with its Hall of Fame former coach.
"He knows I respect him tremendously," said Crean, who has kept notes from a Knight coaching clinic he attended when he was 19 years old. The two were also guests of St. Louis Cardinals' manager Tony LaRussa at spring training in Florida last year.
And that despite all those issues, Crean is convinced Indiana remains a job where he can do special things.
"It's going to be great," he said. "When? That's not relevant yet. But it will be. First we have to get things in order academically fast."
It appears that
former IU coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff were as committed to enforcing classroom attendance as they were to keeping track of their recruiting phone calls. Players sometimes balked when they were told to run as punishment for breaking rules.
After Dakich took over Feb. 22, the interim coach tried to improve discipline. But the word is that when Dakich told one player that he wouldn't play because the kid cut class, the player replied with a text message saying he had not been punished the previous time he cut class.
"What I have to find out is who is serious about working hard, who has the motor to work the way we're going to work," Crean said. "That will be the eye-opener now."
Will that include Ellis and Bassett, the only potential returning starters?
Know this: At Marquette, Crean worked vigorously to recruit Bassett out of Terre Haute South High School. He thinks Bassett can play. But he thinks behaving as if you realize playing Division I basketball is a privilege is more important.
"I'm certainly not going to disrespect any decisions that were made before I got there," Crean said.
One day this will make quite a book.