Indiana Basketball – Tom Crean’s Seat Is Getting Warmer as Hoosiers Lose by 18 to Purdue

by Kent Sterling

Tom Crean has completely lost the insane Hoosier fans on the fringe, and the unreasonable are starting to squawk.

Tom Crean has completely lost the insane Hoosier fans on the fringe, and the unreasonable are starting to squawk.

Indiana has six games left to try to find some redemption for this lost season.  After losing 82-64 to Purdue yesterday, the chances of a late turnaround appear remote.  The easily rankled Hoosiers fan base sped past the exit for agitated and judgmental, and are headed for vituperative and vengeful, the final outposts of a coach’s trek out of town.

Gakking up a nine-point lead without being fouled in the last 2:09 at home against Penn State is one thing, but losing by 18 to their rivals yesterday to run their Big Ten record to 4-8 has even formerly reasonable fans calling for change.

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Successful basketball is played by talented men who operate as one.  Many coaches talk about the need for a team to come together as five fingers clasped into a fist.  Indiana’s players have spent much of the season as five fingers attached to different hands belonging to people on separate continents.

What exactly has caused Indiana to spiral from the top of college basketball’s best conference to within a game-and-a-half of the bottom is hard to pinpoint – youth, poor priorities and immaturity exemplified by the Friday morning booking of Hanner Mosquiera-Perea for OWI, lack of floor leadership, poor bench leadership, global warming, and Obama Care are possibilities – but fans are more interested in action from athletic director Fred Glass than well-reasoned answers.

In the absence of informed perspective, fans are pointing a collective finger – as they always do – at the coach.

If you had told me I would spend the better part of an evening out with my wife defending Tom Crean on Twitter to Indiana fans blinded by rage caused by a team that has failed to live up to expectations, I would have thought you were crazy.  I’ve never been confused with the rabble who blindly pledged their love and adoration to Crean, so this is new to me.

It’s been a long time since I was a fan of an Indiana basketball coach.  Knight in the end was disinterested and erratic, Davis was incompetent and miscast, and Sampson an amoral and arrogant grifter.  I was initially distrustful of Crean for two reasons – he was hired by a buffoon of an athletic director, and he seemed to be more flash than substance.

But something happened as I longed for a coach I respected to lead Indiana.  I began to believe that coach might just be the guy who already had the job.  Indiana won a Big Ten Championship outright for the first time since 1993, and was ranked #1 in America for longer than any other program.  He recruited the best players in Indiana, and got a nice percentage of them to commit to IU.

The same fans who were thrilled with the five-year climb back to relevance and winning basketball in 2013 are now dyspeptic at the 14-11/4-8 records and hard to stomach basketball being played in Bloomington.  The wins against Michigan and Wisconsin notwithstanding, they believe last season’s success was the result of players overcoming a coach, not responding to him.  And they see the mounting losses this season as evidence that a change at the top is required.

They say I am an apologist for Crean because I believe a coach should be credited for the good as well as blamed for the bad.  Fans jump on skewed statistics that show Crean has had a tough time winning without Cody Zeller.  They say Crean had nothing to do with the development of top four NBA draft picks Victor Oladipo and Zeller, but blame Crean for the lack of development of others.  They say Bo Ryan and Tom Izzo have never had a losing Big Ten season, but fail to mention that Michigan State has finished at exactly .500 five times under Izzo (1996, 1997, 2006, 2007, and 2011).

One fan tweeted that the last supporters of Crean are his boss and me.

We all agree that Indiana has not played consistently well this season, but because I would like to be able to review the complete body of work by the 2013-2014 Hoosiers before casting blame, I’m an idiot.  Because I’m not jumping on the bandwagon to march on Assembly Hall to demand Crean’s immediate removal as though he’s the chief potentate of a small middle eastern fiefdom being burned in effigy in the palace courtyard, I’m a bootlicker.

To hell with trying to figure out what is actually going on, or watching the final six regular games of the regular season and whatever tourney games Indiana earns.  The Hoosiers need a new coach because fans don’t like to watch a losing team that turns the ball over.

Who could Glass hire as the next coach?  It doesn’t matter because anger demands change.  That a new coach might not be as good as Crean is nothing but a confusing detail that derails outraged bleating.

APR score of 1,000 is par for the course.  Banners aren’t raised for graduation rates.  The 2013 Big Ten Championship is ancient history.  Logic be damned.  The snowball that is the passion for Crean’s removal is rolling downhill being pushed by the uber-passionate rabble, and the only thing that can stop it is winning.

The din of boos that ushered the Hoosiers off the Floor at Assembly Hall and all the message board posts calling for Glass to spike Crean won’t cause any action, but another year like this one and the wrong brows are going to start furrowing.  Glass is way too smart to overreact to the passion of the kook lobby, but the softening pro-Crean lobby can’t be ignored forever.

As for me, I will believe Crean is the guy until it’s obvious he isn’t, and that day may never come.

148 Responses to Indiana Basketball – Tom Crean’s Seat Is Getting Warmer as Hoosiers Lose by 18 to Purdue
  1. Steve Brown
    February 16, 2014 | 2:55 pm

    People demanding the firing of Crean are emotionally troubled. Exactly, who is going to take his place? Dan Dakich? Bring back
    Sampson? Mike Davis?

    Someone tweeted that Steve Alford is the answer! The only problem with this is that it is about 5 years too late. Does anyone think that Alford would give up a job at the Mecca of college basketball to accept a young rag-tag team in disarray. I would have loved to see Alford as the IU coach, but Miles Brand and the rest of the IU crew blew that option a long time ago.

    Win or lose, Crean is the man. IU fans, if you long to see the Cream and Crimson win a big game, I suggest that you watch the 1992 NCAA West Regional Finals, IU vs. UCLA, on YOUTUBE. This was an Awesome Game with Damon Baily, Eric Anderson, and Calbert Cheney. Watching the old games may be the only solace that you will get for a long time. GO IU!

    • kentsterling
      February 16, 2014 | 3:11 pm

      That 1992 game vs. UCLA was one of my all-time favorites – a Knight master class.

    • Ethan
      February 16, 2014 | 9:10 pm

      Crean’s buyout is $14M this year if IU dismisses him. It is $12M next year. $7.5M the year after. IU is in long with Crean and that’s just the reality of it.

      Last year, IU won a Big Ten title for the first time in 20+ years, fans were excited, team played well. Yes, teams can come back the next year from that and fizzle. Bob Knight won a title and failed to make the NCAAs the next year. Kentucky last year. North Carolina went to the NIT in 2010. IU fans really need to get a grasp on reality…those schools are actually elite, IU is not right now so the chances of having a fizzle are far greater.

    • Ed
      February 20, 2014 | 3:39 pm

      Alford’s handling of the Pierre Pierce situation at Iowa should have kept any school with a shred of integrity from going anywhere near him. I’d rather bring back Sampson or Davis!

  2. Dirk
    February 16, 2014 | 3:24 pm

    I tend to agree with you Kent but maybe for different reasons. It could be due to more parity in college basketball or simply that IU isn’t a name folks want on their resume but I don’t believe that many coaches see IU as a destination to covet. Tom Crean may be the best coach out there that is interested in the job.

    It seems to be a down year for Indiana D1 college basketball in general and fortunately for many of the teams the end of the season is near. As much as don’t care for Crean’s game management, it would be unfair and inappropriate to not give him at least one more year. If 2014-15 plays out like this year I don’t see how they keep him around any longer.

    • kentsterling
      February 16, 2014 | 7:07 pm

      As long as Indiana is will to pay toward the top of the market for coaches, they will get lots of attention from quality candidates. The facilities are great. The AD is top notch. The conference is in the top two for hoops. Revenue isn’t a problem. And basketball is king. Indiana is still a top five job for all those reasons.

      • David
        February 17, 2014 | 12:10 am

        If it is still a top five job as you suggest, then how was it that Crean was the best/top candidate last time around…and Sampson before him? If it is legitimately top five…please identify what are generally the top 10, and then let me know which of the coaches at 6-10 (and maybe more if the IU job is not #5 as you suggest) would prefer to have the IU job over their own (as I simply do not believe that to be the case). Is it a good job for the reasons that you suggest…absolutely…but it is just like the ND job in football, for many of the same reasons, and it ultimately is not nearly as appealing as myopic and unrealistic fans believe it to be, largely in part due to myopic and unrealistic expectations or a belief that it is a “top five” destination, when it in fact is not.

        Here is the best reason that it is not a top five job…because a year after having won a conference championship for the first time in 20+ years and having the #1 ranked team in the country for more weeks than any other program, the Head Coach’s job is in jeopardy…that does not happen at legitimate top five programs (well, then again, legitimate top five programs do not generally crash and burn like what is happening at IU…but, at the same time, proclaiming a “return from the ashes” that was premature and unrealistic will do that).

        • Ethan
          February 17, 2014 | 12:40 am

          Well stated David.

      • Da' Doctor
        February 17, 2014 | 12:20 am

        Sorry, but I have to disagree about the IU AD. Fred “Dead in the Head” Glass is far from anything close to “top notch”.

        Exactly, what has he done to make you think of that?

        • Ethan
          February 17, 2014 | 12:51 am

          He has helped close a huge revenue hole in the athletic department. Fund raising is up, new athletic buildings built or in the pipeline. Baseball goes to the College World Series, soccer wins a national title, basketball returns to #1 and a Big Ten title.

          All on his watch.

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 9:38 am

            I think Glass has done a great job generally, but giving Crean that lengthy contract extension at a time when he had proven nothing as a coach was a huge mistake. It’s going to come back to bite him in the ass.

          • Da' Doctor
            February 17, 2014 | 4:00 pm

            How’s that FB hire?

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 4:02 pm

            How have the last 5 FB hires been?

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 9:15 am

            I think the FB hire is looking pretty good. I was worried early on, mostly about his personality. He seems to be on the right track now.

  3. JD Neiswanger
    February 16, 2014 | 3:37 pm

    Kent,
    I like your outlook – when it is clear that Crean isn’t the guy, then admit it. Just because IU’s fan base has an abnormally high number of basketball geniuses – that will not force me to abandon the guy that took a job no one wanted and got us back to relevance on a national scale. I will not give up on him because he recorded fewer wins than the year before for the first time since he has been here. I understand some of our fans from the “kooky lobby” because I was one of them. I was once a guy that wanted to be the first to notice when a player/coach/GM made a mistake. I wanted to be the smartest fan that all of my friends knew, the one that could answer all the trivia questions and the one that convinced people that I was right because I was DEDICATED and LOYAL. It is embarrassing to think of how I actually truly believed that I knew more than coaches/players/GMs – I would not have actually said that at the time, but that is essentially how I felt. I think many people are like that now – social media proves it. Children, cancer, and divorce can humble you in many ways and make you realize that you learn more when you admit you know less. Can we please afford this human being that led IU out of the abyss a chance to get better next season without the pressure of a fan base breathing down his neck? He has made errors this year – and in past years – but there is no perfect coach out there. I will be there Tuesday night and I will be disappointed, but not surprised, if I hear boos when Crean name is announced. That will not do anyone any good. We have the right to boo and no one should get tossed out or anything if they do, but exercising a right and being right are two different things. I will just wonder if those booing think they are being smart, dedicated and loyal like I use to be – and never want to be again.

    • kentsterling
      February 16, 2014 | 7:03 pm

      It’s a shame that we need to experience consequences to evolve into wiser people, but it’s good that we eventually get there – as you have. Making noise doesn’t mean the noise is worth hearing. You know that, but there are so many fans who don’t. A lot of Indiana fans don’t.

    • Da' Doctor
      February 21, 2014 | 9:27 am

      JD, you’re wrong when you say no one wanted it. Rick Pitino openly said he’d take it.

      And I’d rather have Slick at the helm than a clown pacing the sidelines.

      At least Rick can coach.

      • JD
        February 21, 2014 | 9:43 am

        Rick Pitino said he would take the IU job? Do you have a link to that quote?

        • kentsterling
          February 21, 2014 | 11:27 am

          I don’t know about Pitino, but when Davis was fired, I was standing next to Calipari when he said to my boss that he would crawl from Memphis to Bloomington to take the IU job.

          • JD
            February 21, 2014 | 11:35 am

            As a member of the media, I find you a credible source so I believe that.

          • Pauly Balst
            February 21, 2014 | 1:42 pm

            Terry Bowden told me personally he wanted the IU job. Oh……wrong sport.

        • Da' Doctor
          February 21, 2014 | 11:59 am

          While I currently don’t have the link since I don’t save those kind of things, if you go back around the time Sampson was hired and fired, there’s several reports regarding Pitino wanting the IU job. Here’s one from SB Nation:

          Apparently there’s some truth to the message board chatter that Louisville fans have been brushing off for the last couple of weeks, as ESPN’s Pat Forde is reporting that Rick Pitino met with Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan in Bloomington on Monday afternoon, and cites a source close to Pitino as saying that he is “leaning towards” taking the job.

          This news comes just two days after Washington State head coach Tony Bennett turned down the IU job, and just three days after Pitino’s Cardinals lost to North Carolina in the Elite Eight.

          Even at age 55, it’s easy to see why a program like Indiana would view Pitino as an appealing choice. Not only is he the only coach in NCAA history to take three different schools to the Final Four, but he’s thrived in rebuilding situations, and revived a Kentucky program mired in probation (a situation whoever takes the Indiana job will likely inherit).

          What’s less clear to me is why Pitino would view Indiana as an appealing choice. Sure, it’d be another opportunity to prove his genius, but it’s unlikely that he’d see a significant increase in pay, he’d be going from the Big East to the Big Ten, and he’d be moving away from his horses and the state that his family loves. The whole thing just doesn’t make any sense to me.

          Forde didn’t say whether or not a timeline had been set for Pitino to make a decision, but he did say that today is April Fool’s Day, and that Mike Rutherford of CardChronicle.com had made every word of this post up.

          If you didn’t catch this one when you saw the title, then I’m ordering you to eat one of those KFC “Famous Bowls” for lunch. And now I’m throwing the following out there just for people who saw the title and skipped down to the last line.

          Obviously, we’ll have more on this as it develops throughout the day.

          All you got to do boys….is Google it.

          Another similar from the Kentucky Democrat: Cards fan site reports Pitino speaking with Indiana

          Card Chronicle is reporting that Louisville coach Rick Pitino is in talks with Indiana. I feel like I just got punk’d, especially since there isn’t any link.
          Apparently there’s some truth to the message board chatter that Louisville fans have been brushing off for the last couple of weeks, as ESPN’s Pat Forde is reporting that Rick Pitino met with Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan in Bloomington on Monday afternoon, and cites a source close to Pitino as saying that he is “leaning towards” taking the job.

          This news comes just two days after Washington State head coach Tony Bennett turned down the IU job, and just three days after Pitino’s Cardinals lost to North Carolina in the Elite Eight.

          Even at age 55, it’s easy to see why a program like Indiana would view Pitino as an appealing choice. Not only is he the only coach in NCAA history to take three different schools to the Final Four, but he’s thrived in rebuilding situations, and revived a Kentucky program mired in probation (a situation whoever takes the Indiana job will likely inherit).

          What’s less clear to me is why Pitino would view Indiana as an appealing choice. Sure, it’d be another opportunity to prove his genius, but it’s unlikely that he’d see a significant increase in pay, he’d be going from the Big East to the Big Ten, and he’d be moving away from his horses and the state that his family loves. The whole thing just doesn’t make any sense to me.
          This has to be some sort of joke, right?

          • JD
            February 21, 2014 | 7:47 pm

            I don’t think Pitino did see IU as an appealing choice. I feel like you are making my point with this article(s).

            What you copy/pasted indicates that Pitino didn’t want the job. It says he was “leaning towards” taking the IU job which sounds like he was offered the job – but obviously he didn’t take it. If he was “openly saying he would take the job” as you said – then why didn’t he take the IU job when he was given the chance?

          • kentsterling
            February 21, 2014 | 10:30 pm

            What people always need to remember is that when a top tier job is open, many coaches make third party inquiries – not because they want the job, but because they want to sweeten the deal they currently have. The resulting rumors are enough in some cases to leverage an extension. Tom Izzo also spoke to people about the IU job, but I can’t believe for a minute that he would have taken it.

            Even if the extension doesn’t materialize, a coach being wooed makes the AD and president feel like their guy is in demand. Because most don’t know what the hell they are doing, it makes them feel like winners to retain him against a foe – even if the foe is imaginary to self-constructed.

  4. MICHAEL DORIS
    February 16, 2014 | 6:21 pm

    I HAVE BEEN AN I.U. FAN SINCE THE 1946-47 SEASON. DO YOU REMEMBER JOHN WALLACE AND RALPH ARMSTRONG? MOST PEOOLE DON’T. I HAVE WATCHED GREAT TEAMS, GOOD TEAMS, MEDICORE TEAMS, POOR TEAMS AND DOWNRIGHT LOUSY TEAMS. I BELIEVE TOM CREAN HAS THE ENERGY, KNOWLEDGE, MORAL CHARACTER, RECRUITING AND YES, THE COACHING ABILITY FOR THE I.U JOB. REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE FAIRWEATHER CROWD THINKS, THOSE ARE VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE UNIVERSITY. GO I.U AND GOD BLESS TOM CREAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Matterhorn
    February 16, 2014 | 7:50 pm

    Kent, Does coaching matter? There are some that say not so much. When Indiana wins its the players and when Indiana loses it’s the coach. Coaches recruit the players for their system. Whys does Crean over recruit? Why did Remy and Maurice Creek feel the need to transfer, and please don’t say it was cause Creek had a kid and was homesick. Those are two players that might have made a big difference. Why does Crean not redshirt players? Troy, Devin, Luke should have all been redshirted, this is coaching. Why do you support Crean? His overall record at Marquette? His personality? His development of post players, what is it? If you are defending Crean what would you expect next year, .500 in the big ten? You say Mike Davis was incompetent you mean like final four incompetent without a NBA Allstar. Shame on you. There is only one answer and he lives in Boston, I don’t care what it takes bring Stevens to Btown the way Alabama got Saban from the dolphins it’s the only sane move for a an insane fan base!

    • kentsterling
      February 16, 2014 | 8:58 pm

      Saban leaving Miami for Bama was good for both. Davis was a terrible coach in every way. Poor recruiter, awful tactician, and didn’t jack about running a team.

      And I’m not defending Crean as much as wondering what the rush to judgment is supposed to accomplish. Remy was told to leave, I’ve been told, and I don’t know about Creek. I don’t know whether the talk about being close to his kid was nonsense or not. Given his injury history, the pragmatic move after four years was to get his scholarship back.

      There is no way Brad is leaving the Celtics for Indiana, and one of the reasons is the collective pain in the ass the fans represent.

      • Matterhorn
        February 17, 2014 | 9:07 am

        Pain in the ass fanbase???? You mean the same fan base that sold out Assembly Hall during Creans first 3 years in Bloomington when the team was terrible. You think Stevens would have issues with the fan base here wait till the Boston writers get on him. Pain in the ass fan base, ok Kent.

      • Jerry
        February 17, 2014 | 9:43 am

        Kent, I agree Davis was a horrible coach, but his record at IU matches us pretty well with Creans record in years 3-6. The difference between Crean and Davis is that Crean can talk the talk. Neither is worth a bucket of warm spit as a coach.

        • Matterhorn
          February 17, 2014 | 9:50 am

          Yea Jerry and first I’ve heard that Remy was told to leave, that is not what you here from the folks over at Inside the Hall who claim Remy left on his own and his Mom told him to stay. Makes you wonder about Maurice, I don’t like speculating, but what a shame if he was told his playing time would be limited….AKA you need to leave.

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 9:58 am

            Mike Davis at IU: Won 62.9% overall, with 57.3% in the BT. Finished 4th, 1st, 6th, 9th, 4th, and 4th in BT.

            TC at IU, YEARS 4-6 ONLY: Has won 63.6% overall, 48.5% (32-34) in the BT. Finished 11th(of 11), 5th, 1st, and will finish 11th or 12th this year.

            Maybe Davis should have played TC’s OOC schedule…..

          • kentsterling
            February 17, 2014 | 10:57 am

            Not sure when Davis finished ninth in the Big Ten. In 2006, his Hoosiers finished tied for seventh. How about comparing years 4-6 for both Crean and Davis. In 2004, Davis was 7-9 in the Big Ten after losing eight of their last ten. In 2005, they were 10-6, good for fourth. They lost in the first round of both the Big Ten Tourney and NIT. In 2006, Indiana was fifth in the Big Ten with a record of 9-7.

            You are right about the non conference schedule, which was a gauntlet under Davis, and led to a 48-41 record during those years. I never believed Davis was fired for losing, but because he never knew where he was. He just didn’t fit at IU, and never recruited the state worth a damn during an era when nothing but Indiana kids could have hung banners.

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 10:16 am

            Sorry….that should have read “years 3-6 only”….

      • JD
        February 17, 2014 | 10:32 am

        “Pain in the ass fans” – interesting, I will not disagree with you. I am curious though, from a media members perspective – How would you describe IU fans in comparison to St. Louis Cardinal fans (I choose them because I know you were in St. Louis – but any other well known fan base will do)?

        • kentsterling
          February 17, 2014 | 10:43 am

          The majority of IU fans are wonderful people, but there is a strange obsessive faction who are in exist in constant misery. There is something about collegiate athletics that brings out both the best and worst in people. Indiana grads belong to Indiana. Cardinals fans are different in that they don’t belong to the team, and tend to enjoy watching them more than living and dying with them. There were some nuts in STL who were convinced LaRussa was a bad manager, but overall even they were a little less psychotic than IU fans. Kentucky fans are even screwier.

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 11:20 am

            +10000

  6. Jeff Gregory
    February 16, 2014 | 8:40 pm

    I have gone on record here saying that Crean should be evaluated after next season. Then, I amended that by saying that if Vonleh or Ferrell jumps ship, then I would be tempted to find a new coach at that time. It just depends on what happens the rest of this year. Crean has shown obvious deficits as a coach and manager.

    Even Dan Dakich was saying everything he could say to indicate that IU is poorly coached without actually SAYING it. Did you hear his comments during the game? He talked of the offense’s cluelessness and even brought Perea’s idiocy as an indication that there is something amiss about the TEAM.

    Dakich also said that IU’s youthfulness is no longer an excuse. I just watched the University of Evansville play Wichita State very tough. The final score was not indicative of the closeness of the game. UE is the fourth youngest team in the country. They make youthful mistakes that cost them games sometimes, but they don’t implode.

    Others that have implied that IU is no longer an elite program and should be happy with any coach willing to come here. Well, maybe that is why I differ with them. I don’t accept that. Crean didn’t get the job because he was the only one that applied.

    I certainly wouldn’t sack Crean right now. And, depending on how the rest of the year goes (games and personnel), I would like to wait till after next year to evaluate the job he is doing. However, I don’t think that is the only option now. I hope he is still the guy to take the team to the next level (I am still one that thinks that IU can still go to the next level). I just have serious doubts that Crean is the guy for it with the information I have now.

    • kentsterling
      February 16, 2014 | 9:04 pm

      Exactly right, so let’s wait until there is more information available before making the call.

      If Crean has lost the team, we’ll see it in the next six games and the Big Ten Tournament.

      • Matterhorn
        February 18, 2014 | 3:33 pm

        The team is lost you will see it tonight Iowa big.

    • Ethan
      February 16, 2014 | 9:06 pm

      So watching Evansville play Wichita State is a sign that young teams can do well, but watching a youthful IU team beat Michigan, beat Wisconsin, lose barely to UCONN isn’t? You do realize that Evansville lost to IU by about 30 points this year, right? That they are 11-16 and have some horrific losses. I love the double standards. Evansville hasn’t made mistakes this year that led to implosions? Uhm, you may want to check again. You also may want to check who they are playing against, usually the opposition helps to dictate if implosions are even possible.

      IU is NOT elite today and hasn’t been in over 20 years. The problem with IU fans is they they think they still are elite, they’re not. The other problem with IU fans is the their hypocrisy. Is Kentucky elite? Didn’t they lose in the first round of the NIT last year to Bob Morris? Is North Carolina elite? Didn’t they go to the NIT in 2010? How dare they. So on and so forth.

      • Jeff Gregory
        February 16, 2014 | 9:38 pm

        I’m not sure what your point is. When I am talking about implosion, I am talking a shutting down of the team. Evansville hasn’t done that. They also have a much more complex system than IU and they are younger. I took your advice and checked who UE has been playing. UE is playing teams that are at their level and higher. BTW – implosions are NOT dictated by the competition Implosions are internal (by definition).

        I’m not sure why the IU/UE game is relevant. Are you saying that IU could blow-out a younger team in a much lesser conference earlier in the season? Well, you got me there. Did IU beat two top notched team in their conference earlier? Sure did. They also have two of the best players in the conference. They also have been getting worse and not better. I am definitely missing your point.

        I think you are misunderstanding the “elite” concept. I am talking about an elite PROGRAM, not an elite team (by season). UK is elite. NC is elite. And yes, IU is elite. Wichita State is undefeated and ranked #2, but they do not yet have an elite program.

        Again, what is your point?

        • Ethan
          February 17, 2014 | 12:09 am

          You are saying implosions happen only internally and not aided by actions taken by the other team? Sorry, we will disagree on that. Usually it is pressure, defensive or otherwise that causes a team to make a physical and\or mental error.

          My point with Evansville is that you are trying to make a comparison that they are young and doing reasonably well because they are playing similar teams as themselves. Again, we will have to disagree. I don’t think they are doing well and I would argue at least this year, IU is playing much better Big Ten teams then themselves. More experienced, more talented, so on and so forth. I don’t find your comparison valid. It’s one thing for Evansville to get better against some very mediocre teams, quite another for IU’s youth to get better against some of the best teams in the country. This year, they aren’t doing it.

          I know what you meant by elite programs. I don’t think IU’s program is elite yet. That went bye bye many years ago. They are trying to get back to that level. You can’t have the disarray this program has had the last 20 years and still classify it as elite in my opinion.

          • Jeff Gregory
            February 17, 2014 | 9:52 am

            Well, the definition of implosion is internal. Maybe you think that they exploded and not imploded; I don’t know. If that is the case, then that collapse against Penn St must have drove Perea to drink.

            I didn’t say that they were doing well. I am saying that the mistakes they make are not the same nature or have the same cause as the more veteran IU team. You can say that IU plays tougher teams all you want to, but they should. They are the defending champions of the toughest conference in the country. Evansville is a mid-major team playing in a mid-major conference. If you are saying that IU would do better in the Missouri Valley Conference then I agree with you. This year, they would probably come in third. You can compare principles (as I have done), but you can’t compare teams. That would be like comparing 4A Carmel with 1A Rockville and saying that Carmel plays tougher competition. Of course they do.

            You wrote: “I would argue at least this year, IU is playing much better Big Ten teams then themselves. More experienced, more talented, so on and so forth.”

            And Evansville is doing the same thing at their level. Plus, the Big Ten isn’t as good this year as last. Evansville is in a conference with the 2nd ranked team in the nation so that isn’t a slouch conference. If Wichita State wasn’t as good as they are, Indiana State may be ranked. UE has a more complex system and is a lot younger than IU.

            I don’t find your comparison valid. It’s one thing for Evansville to get better against some very mediocre teams, quite another for IU’s youth to get better against some of the best teams in the country.”

            I think if IU wasn’t elite program, there wouldn’t be this discussion. Keep in mind, I am not even one calling for Crean’s dismissal at this point.

    • Da' Doctor
      February 17, 2014 | 12:22 am

      If you read Yogi’s mama’s blog, you’ll begin to wonder if the rumors about Yogi bailing on IU next year for another school might be true.

      • Ethan
        February 17, 2014 | 12:48 am

        Link?

        • Ethan
          February 18, 2014 | 2:20 pm

          No link?

  7. Ethan
    February 16, 2014 | 10:03 pm

    In all honesty, what were the expectations of IU fans this year? As an IU alum, I looked at the fact we play in arguably the best or second best conference. We lost four 1000 point scorers. We lost two guys to the NBA, our best outside shooter and a solid 4 year contributor. We had a good center coming in who was a freshmen. We had Yogi, who would be a sophomore. We had Sheehey who is pretty good when you have 4 studs to play with, but merely a roll player without definition when they are gone. The other key players, all freshmen or young guys in terms of experience.

    Did reasonable IU fans really expect this team to be a good team this year? Why? Based on what? How did all that youth do for Kentucky last year?

    • Jeff Gregory
      February 16, 2014 | 10:16 pm

      Seriously, Ethan, it is as though you haven’t seen a game and all your information is based on scores you looked up on the Internet. It isn’t that they are not winning the Big Ten, it is that the team is getting worse, they are making more and more mistakes as the season goes on, and seem to be without direction or even purpose. And I am STILL not wanting him to be fired at this moment. However, I do understand the sentiment.

      • Ethan
        February 16, 2014 | 11:55 pm

        I think they are up and down. For the vast majority of the Penn State game, they played well. The imploded in the last 5 minutes. A week earlier, they played quite well against Michigan and won. You get inconsistency with younger teams.

        After the Michigan win, did you think they were getting worse? They went to Minnesota and Nebraska, two places that are tough to win at this year. They played fairly well, just not well enough to win. Has Nebraska lost more than 1 game at home this year? They went in and beat Michigan State today in East Lansing.

        In my view this team is up and down, like young teams are. They have a very challenging next 6 games. They could lose them all, they could win half of them. Who knows.

        • Jeff Gregory
          February 17, 2014 | 10:17 am

          They are young, but they have almost a whole season under their belt and they still can’t run the pretty basic offense. And yes, despite their last quality win, they lost to three teams they should have beaten – one of them at home. They show no purpose and there obvious problems outside off the court.

          I’m with Dakich; I think it is time to put the “young” argument away.

          I hope they make a strong finish for everyone’s sake.

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 4:04 pm

            They’re going to have a tough time making a strong finish, especially with the fanbase we have.

            I’ll disagree with you that they can’t run basic offense. If they couldn’t, they wouldn’t be beating Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. They wouldn’t be leading Minnesota, PSU, etc at the end of the game. Yes, they fell apart, but they were there because they can run an offense or they wouldn’t have been in the game at all.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 9:12 am

            Ethan….Using your logic, for the vast majority of it’s trip, the Hindenburg had a smooth flight. It’s kinda what happens at the end that counts.

            You say we’re up and down. Wouldn’t you agree we’ve had a hell of a lot more downs than ups? Sure you would, you’re not a moron, right? And that is par for the course at IU. Creans lost a lot more close games than he’s won……look it up. I did.

            So you say we can run an offense. DD said we could not the last 10m of the PUR game. He said “they don’t know what they’re doing”.He was right.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 9:13 am

            And blaming the fans for the failures of the team and coach….that’s Mike Davis territory.

        • Jeff Gregory
          February 17, 2014 | 4:20 pm

          Ethan wrote: >>I’ll disagree with you that they can’t fun basic offense. If they couldn’t, they wouldn’t be beating Michigan, Wisconsin, etc. They wouldn’t be leading Minnesota, PSU, etc at the end of the game. Yes, they fell apart, but they were there because they can run an offense or they wouldn’t have been in the game at all.<<

          C'mon, man! You don't see them standing around? You haven't repeatedly watched the shot clock run out on them without them getting off a decent shot? They have some offensive sets, but they certainly aren't in the habit of running an efficient offense. Dan Dakich was pulling his hair out trying to not say that they are horribly coached as he brings attention that the aimless offense is looking to Yogi (while he sitting on the bench, mind you) for some kind of direction. It is pathetic.

          You know, Ethan, you remind me of an occasion I heard Bob Knight say to a kid one time when he answered a question at one of his annual student addresses. The kid was talking about Matt Nover (a player back in the '80's) and how hard he was working, etc. and asked Coach Knight if he thought Nover was going to get much playing time. The first thing out of Coach's mouth in his snarky way was, "You a friend of Nover's?" My question for you, Ethan, "Are you a friend of Crean's?"

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 1:21 am

            No, not a friend of Crean’s.

            It’s funny you mention Bob Knight, whom was still the coach when I worked in the IU Athletic Department. I could tell some fun stories as well.

            No, the issue I have with the Crean bashers is that they make stuff up, or flat out dismiss truths, facts, to keep your agenda going.

            Crean has a lot of faults as a coach, but to hear some of the clowns you would think he won one game in his career over Sisters of the Poor. Your arguments would go a lot further if you weren’t so vindictive, angry, or dishonest with your hyperbole. In my opinion. Stretching the truth, eliminating facts, or just generally saying stuff that is beyond the pale to make your argument usually doesn’t work, especially when someone else has the data and can rebut it very quickly.

          • Jerry
            February 19, 2014 | 12:10 am

            Knight probably stuck his ass in a trash can or two.

        • Jeff Gregory
          February 18, 2014 | 9:52 am

          Ethan wrote:

          >>Crean has a lot of faults as a coach, but to hear some of the clowns you would think he won one game in his career over Sisters of the Poor. Your arguments would go a lot further if you weren’t so vindictive, angry, or dishonest with your hyperbole. In my opinion. Stretching the truth, eliminating facts, or just generally saying stuff that is beyond the pale to make your argument usually doesn’t work, especially when someone else has the data and can rebut it very quickly.<<

          I am by no stretch a Crean basher. I call it the way I see it. I am not vindictive, angry, or dishonest. I am pulling for Crean, but I certainly want what's best for the program first and foremost. What is it that you think I have made up?

          I think you slander me here, Ethan, and I wouldn't do that to anyone. My position on Crean is in line with Dan Dakich's and Kent's. It is hard for any reasonable person see Crean's coaching job with the rosy glasses that the hardline supporters see. Let's see how this year pans out and then determine what is the best course for the program.

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 2:17 am

            I don’t think Kent or Dakich are calling for Crean’s head this year even if we lose out. Unfortunately, there are some IU fans here that are calling for his head even if we were to go .500 the rest of the way.

            How am I slandering you?

          • Jeff Gregory
            February 21, 2014 | 9:13 pm

            ))Let’s substitute dishonest with the propensity to post things through a lens that either accidentally or purposely ignores key pieces of data. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and suggest you accidentally do it, or just didn’t know.

            When people say things like his Marquette team lost to Michigan State but theydon’t include the fact their best player was in a cast and didn’t play, that’s ignoring a key piece of information. Justone of many examples.((

            Please give me examples of what you accuse me of. I have only made comments about Crean at IU, for one thing.

        • Jeff Gregory
          February 21, 2014 | 10:49 am

          Here are the slanderous comments:

          >>Your arguments would go a lot further if you weren’t so vindictive, angry, or dishonest with your hyperbole. In my opinion. Stretching the truth, eliminating facts, or just generally saying stuff that is beyond the pale to make your argument usually doesn’t work, especially when someone else has the data and can rebut it very quickly.<<

          I am not angry, vindictive, nor dishonest (along with the rest of that stuff). I also never attacked anyone personally as you have done here. You disagree with my opinion and that's fine. Why make it personal?

          Furthermore, as I have mentioned before: I DO NOT ADVOCATE REPLACING CREAN AT THIS MOMENT. I want to see how the year (note: year, not season) plays out and then evaluate. That puts me in the same position on that as Kent, even though I am critical with what I have seen like Dakich.

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 6:48 pm

            Let’s substitute dishonest with the propensity to post things through a lens that either accidentally or purposely ignores key pieces of data. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and suggest you accidentally do it, or just didn’t know.

            When people say things like his Marquette team lost to Michigan State but they don’t include the fact their best player was in a cast and didn’t play, that’s ignoring a key piece of information. Just one of many examples.

  8. Jerry
    February 16, 2014 | 10:56 pm

    Kent–Haven’t read much by you, but count me as very much unimpressed.

    A lot of Indiana fans who would like to see Crean go base it on his body of work and 6 years of watching his ooaching. How about addressing some of the following issues instead of dumping on the fans:

    1. Since he took over, Crean has lost a lot more close games than he has won. I took a look at games decided by 6 points or less easrlier in the year–for his time at IU he had lost something like 10 more than he had won.
    2. IU’s the worst BCS team in the country on TOs despite having a Mickie D AA at point, another sr guard and a sr forward in Will.
    3. Crean has always been crap at making halftime changes. We’ve lost 6/8 BT games this year in which we’ve had a second half lead. We’ve been at our worst in 3 of the most critical parts of the game–just prior to half, just after half, and at the end of the game. We’ve started several games with numerous TOs right off the bat–with no consequences to the players making the mistakes.
    4. I’m sure even you have noticed his idiotic substitution patterns this year. Taking 3 or 4 starters out at one time on a young team–stupid. Taking Vonleh out on D at the end of a game and putting in Austin E. to guard the center–retarded. The crowd even booed on that one.5.
    6. Recruiting misadventures all over the place. Remember Bawa? How about Hollowell and Patterson over Gary Harris? Or Peter Jurkin over Mitch McGary? Why no Zach Irvin? Oh right, we had Hartman. Hanner? Most overrated recruit ever. Tom, they have to be able to dribble and shoot and know what the hell is going on in a game.
    7. Crean screws up his teams as the year goes on. In 5 of 6 seasons, his winning % has declined in the second half of the Big 10 season—-generally the main reason being the O falling apart. The more Crean coaches a team the worse it gets—look at U CONN this year…very close loss. How would we do against them now?
    8. Everyone who has watched Crean’s teams knows he can’t coach a half-court offense. His teams always stand around and take ill-advised drives to the basket or force up bad shots to beat the shot clock. The problem gets worse as the year goes along. And he obviously has no clue as to how to attack a zone—see Syracuse last year or the amazing loss at NEB this year.
    9. Defensively, his zones suck. IU can never ID shooters. Hello Sterling Carter. And they let even limited payers get all the way to the basket–hello Ronnie Johnson–not having a right hand is no problem against IU’s D.

    Zeller and the good fellings about Zeller and Vic took Crean all the way to a #1 ranking, but he wasn’t up to the job. By the end of the year there were 10-12 teams more likely to win the NC than IU. Hell, we almost lost to Temple.

    • Ethan
      February 16, 2014 | 11:49 pm

      Can you name all the fine coaches that handled the Syracuse zone last year? You make it sound like Crean is the only guy that struggles against it. Same with this year. Coach K’s team beat Cuse? Roy Williams team? Jamie Dixon’s team? Last I checked, UNC, Duke, Pitt and others have some good talent, McDonald’s All Americans as well.

      Most of your other stuff is just hyperbole. In 5 of 6 Big Ten seasons his winning percentage declined in the second half. LOL. Uhm, why don’t you look at who they played (schedule matters) and do the same analysis with other coaches. Crazy how coaches like Bo Ryan, Tom Izzo, Thad Matta, Jon Beihlein also had declining second half records in some of those years. Of course, you are including the first 3 years when IU had no talent at all to help make your agenda point, but if that makes you feel good, go for it.

      • Jerry
        February 17, 2014 | 7:51 am

        Not one actual fact in support of CLappy Clapper Ethan? Is that the best you got?

        Who handled Syracuse’s D last year? They lost 10 games. UL and Georgetown beat them twice, so Ricky Boy and Thompson handled them quite well, Others were Temple, Villanova, Pitt, U Conn, Marquette, and Michigan. You would think Crean might also have had a clue since he played Syracuse and JB in the BE. And TONS of people handled Syracuses’s offense last year, since it sucked. Not Clappy.

        As to the first 3 years….talent level is not the issue. The issue was falling apart at the end of the season, which Crean’s teams have done 5 in 5 of 6 years in Bloomington. And the issue was crappy play and close losses, which is a common theme all 6 years. Also, TC’s 3rd team was an absolute failure. There was sufficient talent and experience there by year 3 to avoid that disaster. It was swept under the rug because Cody was recruited, and people were hoping he’d carry Crean. He wnet a long way toward doling that but then decided that wasn’t his job.

        • Ethan
          February 17, 2014 | 11:27 am

          At the end of the year when IU played them, how was Cuse doing? You mentioned Marquette, who beat the Cuse earlier. Second time around, Marquette couldn’t even score 40 points against them and got destroyed. This from a team that played them twice per year and knows Syracuse inside and out – not even 40 points. If I recall, Cuse made it to the Final Four, where they lost to Michigan – a team Tom Crean’s squad beat twice last year. Anything can happen in the NCAA tournament, you have one bad game and you are out. This isn’t a best of 7.

          I can support Crean with all kinds of examples. I merely have to listen to Dwyane Wade say he was the best coach he ever had. Steve Novak raving about him. Victor Oladipo, so on and so forth.

          I’m amazed to learn the wisdom of basetball from you Jerry, and will ignore the comments from a Wade, Novak, Oladipo, Diener, or his peers. http://m.jsonline.com/more/sports/blogs/bobwolfley/220561491.htm

          Instead, you know best. We are honored to be in your presence.

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 3:29 pm

            Syracuse lost 4 of their last 4 RS games, and 5 of their last 8. In the BE tourney, they beat SH, GT in OT and Pitt by 3, then lost in the Champ. game to UofL by 17 points. In the tourney, they beat 21-12 12th seed Cal by 66-60. Indiana scored 10 points less than that mediocre Cal team.

            Quite a fearsome team there Ethan.

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 4:09 pm

            They lost at Marquette (an Elite 8 team), Georgetown twice (NCAA team) and Louisville (the national champion) to finish the season. That little detail seems to have escaped you. It actually does matter who you play. They then won 3 straight in the Big East tournament before losing to national champion Louisville.

            In the NCAAs, they won four straight, including destroying the same Marquette team they lost to just 3 weeks earlier, holding them to 39 points.

            IU faced a very hot, very good team. It happens…ask Bob Knight.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 9:04 am

            Comnparing your buddy Tom with Bob Knight again Ethan? You can’t seem to copmprehend that it’s the whole body of work. Comparing TC to Matta, Ryan, Izzo is stupid enough. Now you want to compare him to Knight? What the hell, Wooden lost some games at Indiana State….go for it.

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 2:23 pm

            My buddy, nah.

            Yes, it is a whole body of work, but would I be wrong if Crean went and won a title and the next 6 years couldn’t get out of the first weekend that you and every other brilliant fan would have a tantrum? Of course you would.

            Now, the question is why you don’t analyze Crean’s whole body of work by actually doing some homework, rather than just looking at a table of stats to see who won or loss. It actually matters than Marquette was missing their best player against Michigan State, but since you were too lazy to look that part up, you didn’t know it. One of many examples.

          • Jerry
            February 19, 2014 | 12:05 am

            You’re crossing the line comparing Knight to this pos. Knight had 5 FFs, with 3 NCs, 3 other EEs, and 6 other Sweet 16s. “Fans” like you make me want to puke.

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 2:18 am

            That’s the typical response, you can’t question Knight because of what he did in the 1980′s and early 90′s, those last 6 years you get to ignore. His players getting in trouble, you get to ignore. Etc, etc.

          • Jerry
            February 22, 2014 | 2:37 am

            I thought he kinda sucked those last 6 years. Those were his worst years. And they are almost exactly like the last 3 years Crean had at Marquette that you brag about. That’s right moron. Knight’s worst years were just like Crean’s best years.

      • Da' Doctor
        February 21, 2014 | 9:35 am

        Ethan, I’m surprised that you would support Crean as you do, claiming to have worked in the IU Athletic Dept. in the Knight years. I’ve known a lot of players, their parents, grand-parents, etc., during the Knight years and on through the debacle that was Davis. I know the stories and what went on, and I know how most of his players would still run through a wall for Bob. Tom Crean is nothing more than Mike Davis Light. The only difference is Davis couldn’t land the five star recruits that Crean has, and has so ineptly coached as a team, both at Marquette and Indiana. Tom Crean was a last choice for IU when hired, and is still a horrible coach for a storied program. And don’t give me “Well, he was the right guy at the time”….he wasn’t and isn’t and anyone could have done what he did. Fact!

        • Ethan
          February 21, 2014 | 6:51 pm

          Doctor, I support IU basketball. When I read comments like yours about inept coaching and then you say things that are opinions which you categorize as “FACT!”, well it’s obvious talking to someone like you does not accomplish anything.

          When you say you would take Rick Pitino, that’s really troubling.

          Then you make claims about Yogi’s mom, still haven’t provided a link.

          I could go on.

    • Pauly Balst
      February 17, 2014 | 8:16 am

      @ Jerry, add my pet peeve, inbound plays with less than 15-20 seconds. Offensively, Is it me or do we look far more unprepared coming out of the timeout than going in? How often do we dribble and pass around the perimeter then jack a 30 footer? Defensively, more often than not opponents get an easy bucket inside, or we foul. But they look competent in doing it.

      It’s purgatory. He’s too good to fire but not good enough to hang a banner.

      My biggest fear is fans starting to lose interest as seasons grind by and youth does not associate IU with championships.

  9. Da' Doctor
    February 16, 2014 | 11:10 pm

    Crean? IU fans, you’re stuck with a very mediocre coach who’s proven without the best talent is a bottom feeder. He was a bad hire then, and he’s a bad hire now.

    • Jerry
      February 16, 2014 | 11:27 pm

      A lot of us knew Crean was a crap coach by year 3, but we hoped that getting Zeller and Yogi would enable him to be successful……You hope for the best as a fan…..I pretty much knew we’d never win the NC with Crean, but I hoped for moderate continued success and hoped he leave soon for some reason…..no such luck on either count.

      • Ethan
        February 17, 2014 | 12:03 am

        Yup, you knew in year 3 then you remained silent the next two years, but here you are now. I can imagine if you were a Kentucky fan you would be doing the same last year. If you were a UNC fan, their 2010 NIT appearance you would be here to show everyone how you knew all along how mediocre Roy Williams was.

        • Da' Doctor
          February 17, 2014 | 12:26 am

          Ethan, I’ve been against the hiring of Crean from day 1. If you remember back, IU was rejected by Few, Turgeon, Bennett (who has Va. rolling), and a couple of others. Crean was something like the 8th choice. Crean sucked at Marquette, and he’s showing that being the coach of what used to be a respected program doesn’t make him a bit better.

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 12:47 am

            Crean didn’t suck at Marquette. He took a program that couldn’t even make the NIT and had them in the NCAAs 3 years later and the Final Four a year after that. Marquette had gone to one Sweet 16 the previous 20+ years. When Crean left Marquette, they were in the Big East, had a real practice facility built, were in the NCAAs 5 of the last 7 years (something that hadn’t been done since Al McGuire was the coach), and regularly put guys into the NBA. That’s hardly sucking, especially for a small school like Marquette that had plenty of struggles.

            Incidentally, Bennett has been at UVa how many years now and this is the first year they are doing anything of note. In year three he was in the NCAAs, year four back to the NIT. Years one and two nothing, despite having a way better situation than Crean had. You would be screaming about Bennett for going backwards in year 5 to the NIT just as you are now with Crean going backwards in year 6. Bennett has been a head coach for 7 full seasons and made the NCAAs 3 times. Sound familiar?

          • kentsterling
            February 17, 2014 | 7:27 am

            I’m interested in your sources for the information that IU was rejected by Few, Turgeon, and Bennett. I’ve spoken to the guys doing the hiring, and never heard anything like that.

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 8:08 am

            Cherry picking those facts there Ethan.

            Crean won 66% of his games at MU, not 70%. One team to the FF (with Wade, where they lost by something like 35 points.) That was his only final 16 app. 2 FR losses in the NIT, one QF NIT loss. One year not in the NIT or NCAA. His last 5 years there he lost 12, 12, 11, 10, and 10 games. In years 5 and 6, he finished 8th and 9th in Conference USA. His last 3 years he finished 4th, 5th, and 5th in the BE. He had 3 first round losses in the NCAA, and one 2nd round. His only successful NCAA team was with Wade, and that team got blown out in the FF.

            Pretty inconvenient facts Ethan.

          • Mr.Walker
            February 17, 2014 | 10:37 am

            Don’t make things up to prove your point. You have no such information to back up this comment

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 11:37 am

            Jerry

            Speaking of facts, or your inability to dig a little deeper. Yes, one year they did not go to the NIT. His second year. You do realize he inherited a team that had not gone to the NIT and had one recruit, a 2 star recruit. Information is your friend.

            Marquette joined the Big East, the GREATEST CONFERENCE ever created. A conference so good, it put 11 teams in the NCAAs. A normal person might understand that a little school like Marquette going up against UCONN, Syracuse, G’Town, Pittsburgh might be in for a rude awakening. Instead, all Marquette did was have the third best winning percentage in the Big East when he was there. Let me repeat that, 3rd best winning percentage in the Big East when he was there, in the greatest conference ever assembled.

            Yes, his last 3 years he finished 4th, 5th and 5th in the greatest conference ever created. Oh the horrors. He must suck. Let’s see, that was better than Syracuse, Villanova, Georgetown, Pitt, UCONN, Cincinnati and others. Yup, you really nailed it with those facts.

            His only successful NCAA team was the Final Four team? You mean because they didn’t get out of the first weekend? Sounds like Bob Knight’s last 6 years where they didn’t either.

            Who do you want coaching this team Jerry?

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 3:52 pm

            Ethan…speaking of facts…..Cream was in the BE 3 years, after having finished 8th and 9th in Con. USA the two years before. In those 3 years, he never got MU to the BE tourney final. In ’06, they had a bye and lost their first game played. In ’07, (no bye)they went 1 and 1. In ’08 (no bye), he went 2-1. So..in 3 years in the BE, the best he ever did was tied for 4th in the RS, and 2-1 in the BE tourney, without making the final. Also, in ’06, MU was tied with 2 other teams for 4th. In ’07 and ’08, MU was tied with one other team for 5th.

            So….with that wonderful success you’re so proud of, how did they do in the NCAA tourney? Not so good-2 FR exits, 1 2nd round exit….1-3 there Ethan for your boy.

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 4:15 pm

            Cream? You are taking the argument to that level?

            You’re now resolving yourself to how far they went in the Big East tournament? Again, the greatest conference ever created and this is some kind of terrible showing because he couldn’t get Marquette to the final over Syracuse, UCONN, Louisville, Pitt, Georgetown, etc?

            Only two teams make the final each year, are you calling out Pitino, Calhoun, Dixon, not Thompson, etc for not making it also Crean’s first year in the Big East? In his second year, no Calhoun, no Thompson, no Huggins, no Pitino in the final. In his third year, No Calhoun (three straight misses), no Boeheim, no Huggins, no Pitino (third straight year missed).

            Pretty much a who’s who of coaches there that also didn’t go to the Big East final while Crean was there, and they had more talent most of the time.

            As for your Conference USA comments the previous two years prior to that. Maybe having Travis Diener in a cast had something to do with that, but you knew that already.

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 10:52 pm

            Ethan…So…..you don’t even address Crean going 1-3 with two first round exits in the NCAA. 2 of those games they were higher seeded. Can’t blame you for that one. TC did make history in ’03. His D. Wade team lost 94-61 to Kansas, the 4th biggest blowout in FF history. That’s your boy.

            Also…..just how did that ‘greatest conference in history’ you keep babbling about DO in the NCAAs the 3 years Crean was there? As it turns out, not so good. In both ’06 and ’08, the BE was 11-8, with no BE team reaching the FF. In ’07, it was 7-6 WITH GTown reaching the FF (and losing in the SFs to OSU). That means the BE other than Gtown was 3-5. So again, Ethan, you are full of s***.

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 1:29 am

            Jerry, your lack of digging into details is pretty sad.

            Let’s see, one year they lost as a “higher” seed when they were an 8 vs a 9. Basically the exact same seed, but one team wears the home uniform. Now, the digging deeper. Their best player, Jerel McNeal, who would end up being the all time leading scorer and steals leader in Marquette history broke his wrist and didn’t play. I’m sure you knew that. He was their MVP that season and the Big East Defensive Player of the Year. But I’m sure you knew that.

            The other year they lost as a 5 to a 12, happens every year. It was Marquette’s first year in the NCAAs in 5 years. The following year, they went to the Final Four, knocking off two top 5 teams in the process. I’m sure you knew that.

            Are you really going to tell me the Big East wasn’t the greatest conference ever assembled? You would be in denial. 11 teams in the NCAA tournament. A league so deep that a few years ago their 9th place team in their own league won the national title.

            But hey, you knew that already, I’m sure.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 8:59 am

            Actually Ethan, I gave you the facts. You don’t like them, that’s up to you.

            Yes, I would dispute that “greatest conference” bs, especially in the years we’re talking about. As the #s show, the BE was overrated in those years. 11-8, 11-8, and 7-6 with one FF SF is pretty damn weak, imo. I wouldn’t consider that a good run by the BT or ACC.

            And Ethan, old buddy, did you know Wade’s team almost lost to Holy Cross in the first round of that tourney? Beat a 13 seed by 4 points.

            So it comes down to his best work being 4th and 5th place ties in the BE regular season, failure in the BE and BT tourneys, failure every year but 1 in the NCAA, and an historic blowout in the one NCAA SF year. Those are his best years. How about adding a few last place BT finishes, and 8th and 9th place finsishes in Conference USA after having been at MU 4/5 years, and his team getting worse as the season went on in 5 of 6 seasons at IU? Is that worth $3M to you Ethan, or do you want a refund?

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 2:28 pm

            Did you know old buddy that Holy Cross won something like 20+ games in a row coming into that game? Did you know anything can happen in the NCAA tournament, its a one game playoff.

            Next thing you know you will tell me Kentucky lost to Bob Morris in a one game playoff. That Duke lost to Lehigh as a 2 seed. That Bob Knight lost to Richmond, as a 4 seed over a 13 seed. Wow, go figure. You see, Tom Crean’s team DID NOT lose to the 13 seed, but Bob Knight’s team did. These little factoids and tidbits you ignore because you want to.

            Anything can happen in the NCAA tournament. Yes, they almost lost to a very good Holy Cross team. Then they beat Missouri, beat the Big East champion Pittsburgh (top 5 team), beat #1 Kentucky. In that year they also beat the ACC and Big Ten champion as well.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 11:53 pm

            LOL you clown…..yes, Holy Cross is a power. Tommy has taught you well……and comparing Knight again to Crean?

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 2:22 am

            Where did I say Holy Cross was a power? I said they had a great year that year. How powerful was Richmond when they knocked off a 4 seed coached by Knight?

            Holy Cross that year had an RPI better than Michigan, Minnesota, Villanova, Georgetown, Virginia and many others.

            http://statsheet.com/mcb/rankings/RPI/2003-03-18

          • Da' Doctor
            February 21, 2014 | 9:39 am

            In response to Ethan, Crean really did nothing at Marquette. Al McGuire won a national title there before Crean came. And the cupboard was far from bare when Crean took that program over. With no football at Marquette, basketball is the main sport, and if Two Tone is as good as you advertise, his record there should have been a lot mo’ better.

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 6:55 pm

            Again, Da Doctor, you don’t know what you are talking about.

            Crean took over a team that 2 years prior went to the NIT, and the year right up to his hiring had a losing record and did not make any post season tournament. Their one incoming recruit was a guy named Krunti Hester, a 2 star kid.

            Al McGuire won a national title in 1977. Crean took over Marquette in 1999. In that 22 year period, Marquette went to one Sweet 16. ONE. In that 22 year period, they missed the NCAA tournament 12 times, or more than half.

            So stop, you continue to embarrass yourself with your comments. He took over, and within 3 years they were in the NCAA tournament, Within 4 years the Final Four. He took them to three straight NCAA tournaments before becoming IU’s coach.

  10. Bryan
    February 17, 2014 | 12:40 am

    Kent, the more I read about your defenses of Crean and the more I learn to accept the reality of this season, the more I find myself cooling down and realizing firing him isn’t necessarily the answer.

    But I have to ask a legitimate question. Do you think there’s anything Crean could change in his coaching and gameplan that would be helpful? I mean, a couple of years ago I was in the very small minority when I was questioning his substitutions and seeming refusal to adjust during scoring droughts. It’s true that this year we just don’t have any consistent pure shooters and there’s little Crean can do about that. But do you see any room for improvement in Crean’s gameplan and, if so, any realistic expectation he may actually work on himself as much as he works on his players?

    • Johnny Render
      February 17, 2014 | 5:31 am

      Let’s keep this simple:

      If you’re an elite college basketball program (or desire to be one again), you hire a coach and expect measurable results after a certain amount of time.

      Usually, that amount of time is three years.

      However, most in the IU fanbase gave Crean ‘extra time’ because of the dismal state of affairs after Sampson.

      We may not have been thrilled with a last-place finish in Year 3, but we continued our support through a surprising Sweet 16 run in Year 4 and many weeks at #1 in Year 5.

      And now that Year 6 is coming to a close in dreadful fashion, we have to take stock of the current state of IU basketball, and I do NOT consider the fanbase to be impatient or unrealistic by ‘suddenly’ getting restless. SIX YEARS is not a knee-jerk reaction.

      Again, it’s very simple: You hire a coach and expect measurable results. For an elite program, that obviosly means Final 4 appearances. An elite coach gets you to the Final 4, then it’s up to the players to seize the championship banners.

      Does anyone here think we’re going anywhere NEAR a Final 4 anytime soon?

      Nope. Me either. We couldn’t crack the Top 16 with the best squad in the country last year, and with ever-increasing parity and stars bolting for the NBA, we may never see an IU team so talented from top to bottom ever again.

      So tell me again why we’re paying this coach $3 million per year????

      In conclusion, while I agree that one year removed from being ranked #1 is too soon to fire a coach, if things don’t improve significantly next year (Year 7) then very simply, the Coach has not produced “the measurable results” required to keep the job of coaching an elite program.

  11. Warren / TN.
    February 17, 2014 | 8:24 am

    Whew! That was a task reading all of that this morning. I think Crean should – and will – remain another season, fwiw.

    Here’s the question I want to ask…

    Which candidates will Indiana have on the list to replace Crean? Please feel free to add as few – or as many – as you wish. I’ll hang up and listen !

  12. Jerry
    February 17, 2014 | 9:23 am

    Our out-of-bounds plays never work, but the opponent’s sure do. Exhibit A (an all-timer) was last year at Illinois. Exhibit B? How about last week against PSU? Frazier was allowed to go all the way to the basket for a lay-up with no D help. Can you name 2 out-of-bounds plays in critical situations in Crean’s 6 years here that worked as well? I sure can’t.

    I do disagree with you, however, that “Crean is too good to fire”. I think based on results and potential he’s very fireable. Obviously, if there really is a $14M buyout this year and $10M next, there’s not much of a pratical alternative, unfortunately. I’ve heard it said that Crean is IU’s Lou Henson, but I think that’s a slur on LewDu.

    • Jerry
      February 17, 2014 | 9:32 am

      This was meant to go under Pauly’s comment above……

      Bryan, Crean’s not going to improve, He’s been a HC for 13 years, and he’s arrogant about his abilities. Haven’t you noticed him throwing the team under the bus the last 2 games? When has he taken responsibility for failure?

      Do you remember all the talk a couple years ago about him having 80(?) plays in his playbook? Anyone could see he didn’t have a clue. It’s sad but it is what it is.

      • Branch
        February 17, 2014 | 9:56 am

        Jerry, you’re right on about Crean blaming the players — it’s never his fault. This is what Izzo said yesterday after losing at home to Nebraska: “We got what we deserved,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “And the only guy to blame for that is me. It’s my job to get them ready to play, and we didn’t look ready to play.” Can you ever imagine Crean saying he did a poor job of coaching or preparing his team?

        • Jerry
          February 17, 2014 | 10:05 am

          No I can’t……It’s amazing to me how bad a coach Crean is, because he can really talk the talk and he obviously works his ass off. He’s the exception to the general rule that preperation is the key to success. There’s just something missing. I’m no shrink, but I stayed at a HIE last night….so I’ll say it’s because the guy was always a manager, never a player. He’s the nerd who never made the team but works harder and is smarter than the players. You know, the Peter Principle.Izzo was a managre type also, but he doesn’t seem to take himself so seriously…..Don’t know if that’s it, but it’s all I got………

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 10:17 am

            Well, I’ll shoot my own theory down. Turns out CTC played 4 years in HS…at least was on the roster. He wasn’t any good, but he wasn’t a manager.

        • Ethan
          February 17, 2014 | 11:42 am

          Apparently you don’t listen to many post game conferences, or selectively cherry pick.

          Why don’t you go back and actually listen to the post game press conferences, don’t just read the media reports where they take a 15 minute press conference and put 4 sentences in there. Crean often blames himself and\or the coaching staff in general for aspects of play.

          If you are going to make ridiculous comments, at least put in the work. All the press conferences are at Inside the Hall. Every one of them.

        • Ethan
          February 17, 2014 | 12:22 pm

          Yup, he never blames himself. Nope, never.

          Oh wait, just a few examples, took about 2 seconds to find them. All you have to do is look.

          “When you’re playing as many young guys as we are, they’re going to make mistakes,” Crean said. “We’re not there yet. We haven’t had as much time in practice to get into the details because we’re still learning fundamentals. That’s on me.”

          “I said to Don (Fischer) in the pre-game show, I really hoped we’d see a lot of zone. We have not spent very much time on zone and that’s on me. That’s totally on me and I knew that going in. We put in a two-one-two press in during the game.”

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 4:07 pm

            LOL at your examples Nathan….so they didn’t have enough fricking time to practice against the zone? And the players are just too young? Yes, that’s exactly the same as Izzo. And now that you mentioned it…..if they practiced a press for the game, why in the hell didn’t he employ it before the game was completely lost?

          • Ethan
            February 17, 2014 | 4:16 pm

            Who is Nathan? The poster said he never blames himself, that was wrong. The specific example you don’t like was about an early season game, I think the first or second game of the year.

            Context is everything. Randy, er George, er Bartholomew

          • Jerry
            February 17, 2014 | 10:17 pm

            Ethan…Nathan is a dumbass I know. I confused him with you I guess. Easy to understand why.

            You know, looking at the statement….it’s even worse than it looks originally. So Crean says he HOPES they see lots of zone, and then admits they didn’t prepare for it?

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 1:32 am

            You continue to miss the point. The comment (untruth) was made that he never takes any blame. It took me about 3 seconds to find out that wasn’t the case and I’m sure there are 100′s of other examples if I really wanted to take the time to research it.

            Again, this is the problem, the Crean haters to make their argument use flaky data, sometimes flat wrong data, or in the case of this mini-topic just plain lied. Of course, that doesn’t concern you. But you knew that already.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 8:45 am

            I guess you’re too thick to understand. Saying “we’re young” and “we didn’t have enough time to practice” isn’t taking responsibility for a disaster of this magnitude. It’s like the captain of the Titanic offering the passengers a refund.

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 2:36 pm

            No, as an IU graduate that automatically removes me from the too thick argument. My comprehension of it is just fine.

            Let’s recap; 1) poster here said Crean never takes any blame. 2) I follow-up after a 5 second search with a couple of examples to show that claim is entirely false. Could have put 100′s of other examples here.

            3) You join conversation not to admit original claim was false, but rather to belittle one of the quotes, which you have no context of when it was said (preseason game), etc.

            Par. For. The. Course.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 11:50 pm

            Making lame ass excuses is not accepting responsibility. Can’t help it if you’re too dense to know the difference.

            Why don’t you take a look at Peegs tonight. The Iowa low lifes are making fun of Indiana basketball, talking trash. And there’s not a whole hell of a lot of response to make right now, is there? Thank your boy Tommy.

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 2:23 am

            Peegs? LOL. An assembly of some of the most illogical and tantrum induced fans on the planet. Many of which aren’t even IU fans, but fans of other teams whipping up a storm.

            Ever notice how 90% of those posters are nowhere to be found until after a loss? Where were they the last two years?

          • Jerry
            February 22, 2014 | 2:33 am

            Actually, Ethan, there a lot of people just like you on that forum. You know, with their head up their ass.

          • Ethan
            February 23, 2014 | 12:31 pm

            I just find it funny who shows up on Peegs after a loss, and who was mysteriously missing the last few years. Imagine that. A lot of whining, tantrum fans that think its still 1987. Fortunately, they only come out of their hole when IU loses.

          • kentsterling
            February 23, 2014 | 2:41 pm

            Another great benefit of a win. The nuts stay on the tree.

    • Da' Doctor
      February 17, 2014 | 4:02 pm

      If you want to fire someone for “just cause”, it’s easily accomplished.

      Trump up some charges he can’t deny or prove he didn’t do, and tell him leave or face the embarrassment. Tommy’s ego couldn’t handle it.

      • Ethan
        February 17, 2014 | 6:47 pm

        Brilliant. Then lose in court and he takes IU for millions more for an action taken for dismissal that was unjustified.

        You are one brilliant guy with your comments here today, this last one was the cherry on top.

        • Da' Doctor
          February 21, 2014 | 9:44 am

          Ethan, so he sues and wins. IU settles out of court, we get an new basketball coach, and Crean has been tossed to the curb with the idiot Davis, and the cheater Sampson. IU, btw…paid both of those money to depart.

          Simple thing is Glass go to Crean and negotiate an exit settlement. IU can’t afford to keep Crean around until they can pay him a couple of mill to leave.

          If he doesn’t win the B10 next season, and if he doesn’t at least make another Sweet 16, then in all honesty, Crean himself should have enough honor to walk away.

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 6:57 pm

            smh

            Not surprising, coming from you. The guy that wants Rick Pitino. What a statement to have someone of such low moral character run the IU program.

  13. Ethan
    February 17, 2014 | 11:52 am

    Yup, he never blames himself. Nope, never.

    Oh wait, just a few examples, took about 2 seconds to find them. All you have to do is look.

    “When you’re playing as many young guys as we are, they’re going to make mistakes,” Crean said. “We’re not there yet. We haven’t had as much time in practice to get into the details because we’re still learning fundamentals. That’s on me.”

    “I said to Don (Fischer) in the pre-game show, I really hoped we’d see a lot of zone. We have not spent very much time on zone and that’s on me. That’s totally on me and I knew that going in. We put in a two-one-two press in during the game.”

    • kentsterling
      February 17, 2014 | 2:30 pm

      Ethan – I have and watched/listened to several of the post game press conferences this year, and haven’t heard a sentence that I believed represented arrogance. There have been stories told to me by friends at Marquette and IU that painted a picture of Crean that I was surprised to see contradicted this season. There is no reason for the bizarre acrimony thrown Crean’s way – at least not in 2014.

    • Jerry
      February 17, 2014 | 4:38 pm

      Lets look at that statement. Kind of strange, isn’t it? They’ve had all year to practice against zone defenses. He knows their weakness is against zone Ds. And he chooses to add a press that he doesn’t even apply rather than practice against the zone? WTH?

      No Ethan, that statement doesn’t cut it. I want to know why the team choked away a 13 point lead in the last few minutes against a crappy PSU….or why Hanner and his buddies were out boozing at 3:00 am 2 nights before the Purdue game….or why the team quit at Purdue. “Too young” and “not enough practice time” isn’t taking responsibility.

      • Ethan
        February 17, 2014 | 6:53 pm

        I don’t know Jerry, why did Thad Matta’s team lose to this same Penn State team in Columbus this year? Why did John Beilein’s team lose to this horribly coached Tom Crean team, your words? Why did Bo Ryan’s team lose to Tom Crean’s team? Why did Tom Izzo’s team yesterday lose to Nebraska in East Lansing? Why did Bo Ryan’s team lose to Northwestern at home? We can play this game all day if you wish.

        I’m sure their fans want to know these answers as well.

        Would you like Tom Crean to babysit Hanner, have a bed check for him? Why did a number of players during the Bob Knight regime light up, when it was illegal? Only difference is they weren’t caught. Did that make it any better?

        • Jerry
          February 17, 2014 | 10:09 pm

          You want to trade places with any of those teams? Are you seriously going to compare Crean as a coach with Izzo, Matta, or Ryan? I hope not; you would sound more foolish than you already have.

          People tout Crean as a recruiter. Hanner was a recruiting mistake, as was Patterson, Hollowell, Bawa, Jurkin, Hartman, Davis, Austin. Not a pure shooter amoung them. So, not having recruited a single shooter for this season, he goes after 3 in one class? A little late, isn’t it Tommy Boy?

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 1:35 am

            I’m not comparing him to any of them, though I did show you how those coaches and others ranked Crean in the top 15 of all active DI coaches. But you knew that already, and ignored it.

            My point was, which you appropriately missed, is that even coaches that you deem great, have lost to some of those very same teams that you said Crean has no business losing to. Now, where it gets interesting here is that you like to play this game out of both sides of your mouth. Those coaches great, Crean not good, those coaches lose to these teams = ok, Crean loses to those teams = worst coach on planet earth.

            This is why it is hard to take you and others seriously because your hypocrisy is so beyond description. You move the goalposts and change the definitions as it suits you.

          • kentsterling
            February 18, 2014 | 7:28 am

            It’s impossible to claim recruiting failure with freshmen. Hartman and Davis could develop into high quality players.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 8:38 am

            Kent….If you’re going to recruit two role players, you might want 2 who help with some deficiency with the team. What have these two added to this team?

          • kentsterling
            February 18, 2014 | 9:29 am

            Hartman is a very good shooter, and Davis is an outstanding rebounder. Not to make excuses for Hartman, but it’s impossible to shoot well playing sparingly, and his defense doesn’t allow him to be on the floor more. Davis needs to be stronger with the ball, and learn how to play at the speed of the college game.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 10:04 am

            Crean jumped on Hartman early, which was a mistake. By his jr and sr years, it was clear he wouldn’t be a contributor…..to the extent that a lot of forum types were hoping Crean would take back the offer. By taking Hartman, IU had no shot with Irvin, who is at an entirely different level. Do you think HE would have helped this year? I do. Michigan called and says Thanks Tom.

          • Ethan
            February 18, 2014 | 2:38 pm

            Michigan called and said please fire Crean, we don’t know how to beat his teams.

            Let’s see on Hartman. People whined about taking Hulls, too.

          • Jerry
            February 18, 2014 | 11:44 pm

            I didn’t. He was Mr. Basketball. Silly comparison.

          • Ethan
            February 21, 2014 | 2:14 am

            He was also “only” a 3 star recruit.

  14. Chris
    February 17, 2014 | 12:34 pm

    Tom Crean’s IU teams, even the successful ones of the prior two years, have not been fundamentally sound, i.e. poor shot selection, high risk or just plain dumb passes, high turnover rates caused by said bad passing along with failure to get players open in half court sets. It is very frustrating to watch. He does not coach fundamentally sound “Indiana basketball”, i.e. basketball premised on 1) considering each offense possession precious, 2) screening and movement on offense, 3) good shot selection, 4) tough man to man defense. Admittedly, this definition of “Indiana basketball” is subjective (and is owing to Bob Knight), and others are free to prefer a different brand of basketball or to not care about style of play at all and look only at results. But I, and I would assume others, prefer to see IU play in this manner. For that reason, I am not crazy about Crean and would prefer another coach. But I don’t see IU paying the buyout on the awful contract that was given him. So, I’m afraid the whole issue is moot.

  15. Ethan
    February 17, 2014 | 4:01 pm

    The only problem with this Chris, is that if you assume “poor shot selection” as you have, that leads to low FG%. The fact of the matter is, two years ago we were #1 in the Big Ten in FG% and #5 in the country. Last year, we were #2 in the Big Ten and #8 in the country.

    This year, you are correct, but you stated “even the successful ones”, and just isn’t true.

    This is what drives me crazy with IU fans this year, its as if they are saying this year is equivalent to all years. Not the case, not close. It’s as if the last two years didn’t happen.

  16. K Mills
    February 18, 2014 | 8:11 am

    Next IU basketball coach: Dane Fife

    • Ethan
      February 18, 2014 | 2:40 pm

      Dane Fife? Well, he did manage to get his team up to 4th place in the Summit League.

      • kentsterling
        February 18, 2014 | 6:23 pm

        To win 10 games at IPFW was thought to be impossible. Fife did an unbelievably good job in Fort Wayne. He is going to be a hell of a good coach in the Big Ten one day.

        • Ethan
          February 18, 2014 | 11:35 pm

          Maybe, but I’d prefer his first dipping of toes into the water at the high DI level not be at IU.

        • Jerry
          February 18, 2014 | 11:42 pm

          I’ve seen him speak. He doesn’t sound very bright. That surprised me. And he really stuck up for Mike Davis when Bobby was fgired. That’s enough tp disqualify him in my book.

          • kentsterling
            February 19, 2014 | 8:54 am

            Dane is a smart guy who works tirelessly, and he threatened to walk when Knight was fired. Sticking up for someone from within the family – someone Knight hired – should count for him, not against.

          • Jerry
            February 19, 2014 | 11:14 am

            Most of the time I’d agree with you. But he probably knew Davis was incompetent. His loyalty cost IU a lot.

          • kentsterling
            February 19, 2014 | 12:03 pm

            He was 19 or 20, and showed loyalty. I like that.

          • Pauly Balst
            February 21, 2014 | 10:29 am

            My recollection was Fife, as a student, tried to hijack the process of replacing Knight by publicly recruiting teammates to threaten to walk out, which I saw as selfishness and self serving, and I equate that with gross insubordination and a predisposition to attempt to screw someone into the wall given the chance. Strike One.

            Regardless, Fife’s choice of Mike Davis was grossly, ridiculously, and fundamentally flawed, showing hideous judgement by Fife. Strike Two.

            Fife has done nothing, nothing, in the past 15 years to distinguish himself from probably 150-200 coaching peers. Strike Three.

            Fife isn’t Homer Drew coming out of Bethel College. He’s a never was.

          • kentsterling
            February 21, 2014 | 11:24 am

            Totally disagree. When Fife took the IPFW job, people who know basketball in Indiana said it was a career death sentence, and that winning ten games as a D-1 program was an impossibility – as was getting IPFW to the point of respectability that they might be invited to join a conference. Fife exceeded the first, and put IPFW in a position to accomplish the second. Not many coaches could have done either.

            Fife, like most college basketball players was loyal to his coach, and was angered by the university’s clunkiness in ushering Knight out. He backed his coach instead of his school. You can question his choice of to whom he was loyal, but he displayed great loyalty.

            Indiana was derelict in its duty to conduct a reasonable search for a successor to Knight. That can hardly be blamed on the knee jerk response to bad news by a 19 year old. Who was Fife, Caesar in “Return to the Planet of the Apes”?

          • Pauly Balst
            February 21, 2014 | 10:37 am

            Loyalty to who? Dane Fife showed loyalty to Dane Fife and Mike Davis (who supposedly asked Fife to pander on his behalf—-tough to imagine), that’s for certain. He certainly showed no loyalty to his teammates, IU, the athletic department, Bob Knight, etc.

            If you admire Fife for that, then Fifes brilliant basketball mind needs to take both credit and responsibility for the hiring of Mike Davis.

            Disqulaified.

          • Jerry
            February 22, 2014 | 2:26 am

            I agree. Disqualified.

  17. John Gray
    February 27, 2014 | 10:44 pm

    Sorry, but coach Crean is not a winner.

    • Ethan
      February 28, 2014 | 3:50 am

      His team knocked off a ranked team tonight.

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