It’s time for Tom Crean to go. And it has been since March 28, 2013.
It was on that day that Crean showed that he was not worthy of the job at IU. His number one seeded team, with two NBA lottery picks in Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, showed up unprepared for fourth seeded Syracuse and lost 63-50 in the sweet sixteen. Yes, it is just one game. But it was the “all in” game for his last team that will be competitive for a national championship. This was Crean’s best team ever. It had already exited the Big Ten tournament early a couple of weeks before, even though it would be seeded number one for the NCAA tournament later that week. Number one in the country. Nothing to show for it. The crowning jewel of this poor showing was the expected departures of his two star players and a team the next year (last season) that was terrible.
I was in Washington, D.C. for this game. We went there with nothing but IU gear to wear for the weekend because we were supposed to cruise through the regional. The Thursday night loss left me and my fiancé with three days of IU sweatshirts to wear around town during a beautiful weekend in our nation’s Capitol. The people in that town were openly hostile at me and IU for messing up their bracket and strangers throughout the city told me about it. Now I know how I make New England Patriots fans feel here in Indy, not that it makes me care.
Why was this “the moment?” Because it was at this point that it became clear that the only measurable skill Crean has is recruiting. And even he can’t recruit around his coaching ineptness. Last year he had Noah Vonleh and Troy Williams as his hot reloads. Vonleh performed like a mediocre player for a mediocre team, but was drafted ninth overall in this year’s NBA draft. Apparently, pro coaches think they can get a lot more out of him than we did. Williams seemed to get worse as the season went on until many IU fans forgot how impressive he was at the start of last year. Now, Williams is one of two players on suspension for failing a drug test. It’s important to note that the suspension is only triggered after TWO failed drug tests. James Blackmon, Jr. is this year’s stud. Oh, and experts are predicting another bad team full of Crean’s recruitment mastery. Keep a close eye on Blackmon.
The point? This is Indiana. Basketball coaches grow on the sycamores around here. We simply can’t watch terrible coaching. Not knowing Syracuse was going to play zone defense two years ago is like forgetting to wear pants to the game. How many good coaches has Butler had, in a row, since IU fired Bobby Knight? It’s just not that hard. Compare Crean to Matt Painter at Purdue. Purdue is better than we are with virtually no mentionable players.
And now for the icing on his cake—he can’t get the products of his unparalleled recruiting acumen to behave. What?! The off court discipline problems that have piled up in the last year should have already sealed his fate. His players aren’t even SAFE at IU. Not firing him this week is a commitment to a slow burn that will exponentially postpone our return to our rightful place in college basketball’s elite circle.
I saw a headline while writing this blog that read “IU fans have mixed emotions on Crean.” No we don’t. I have not spoken to ONE IU fan, alum, or even one IU hater that thinks Crean should keep his job. He is a terrible coach. Period.
Fire him. Immediately. Any player vacancies that come up should be filled by open tryouts at the HPER. Stop arguing with Gregg Doyle and Dan Dakich about how bad it is. It is an emergency. His performance has been beneath our school and our state. And if it doesn’t happen soon, Fred Glass should be sent packing with him.
Well, I feel better. Anyone want to talk about Kevin Wilson?