IU Basketball – Tom Crean fired at Indiana

It’s been a long nine years since this scene at Assembly Hall – ups, downs, and a lot of in between. It was the in-between that cost Tom Crean his job.

There really wasn’t much doubt this was coming.

Uneven results driven by scattershot recruiting and poor fundamental basketball left little reason for hope moving forward if Tom Crean remained as coach.

No amount of cheerleading or politicking could change the results of the last four years.  Indiana’s Big 10 record of 38-34 ranked eighth among conference foes.  That’s not Indiana.

Sure, there were the two Big 10 championships, but surrounding them were miserable seasons where the Hoosiers had trouble.

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Indiana could not afford to slip further into the abyss of mediocrity, regardless of the style of play they embraced, but Indiana’s style was so widely divergent from the historic Indiana brand that many fans refused to continue to indulge their Hoosier love.

That apathy was cited in the decision to forego the opportunity to play an opening round NIT game at Assembly Hall.

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And so Crean goes, and the speculation of who will be the next man to inherit the throne begins.

Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at kentsterling.com.

5 thoughts on “IU Basketball – Tom Crean fired at Indiana

  1. Philboyd

    Ah Kent. I haven’t thought about Indiana basketball in years (who has?)

    But news of this Crean firing made me nostalgic for those days right after he was hired. Actually for the days one year after he was hired, and Kentucky picked John Calipari.

    I remember your assurances that Indiana had the perfect guy to return the program to glory on a slow, but dignified, controversy-free and ever ascending path that would lead to championships and Final Fours, while Kentucky had made the gaudy but doomed pick who would plunge the program into scandal, disgrace and disarray.

    I took the other position, that Calipari was a Final Fours machine who, with Kentucky’s power and status behind him, would accomplish a championship or three or four (eventually) without resorting to problem kids, while Crean was a surly, overly excitable mediocrity who had never achieved anything without Dywane Wade aboard, and wasn’t likely to start in Bloomington.

    I guess that debate, so long ago decided, officially ended today.

    Good luck to the Hoosiers. Personally, I hope Fred Glass hires Steve Alford, Clappy II as I would call him. That would be the best decision, from a Kentucky fan’s perspective. Alford may ride Lonzo Ball past the Sweet 16 (where he has boldly not gone before) and even beat an over-seeded UK team this year, though I doubt it. But even if he did, that’d be a Wade-like anomaly. For now, barring a panic-induced lucky stroke by the beleaguered IU AD’s office, I think it’s safe to say 1987 has never seemed so long ago…

    1. Kent Sterling Post author

      I don’t recall ever being a big Crean honk, but if you say so. I still believe Calipari is a corrupt but successful manipulator of a doomed system that exploits kids to reward well-dressed and overvalued conmen. College basketball can be a place where everyone gets served. At UK, Calipari is the chief profiter of an eight-month winter camp.

  2. SteveH.

    Hello, I agree that what happened to this team this year was a total tragedy. If you noticed, right after the loss at IPFW, the team that beat Kansas & N.Carolina vanished. What the hell happened? Was it a an inner conflict amongst the players, was it Blackmon’s showboating bricks for any round pick in the draft? Was it Bryant’s shooting of 25ft, shots instead of being around the basket to put back in missed shots? Was it Johnson’s beard bothering him, because if you check, then you’ll find out that his shooting was consistently
    IN-consistent at best!!! Was it Newkirk forgetting that he “Ain’t no Yogi’, most of his turnovers were plain old stupid. Gee one might conclude that he left Pittsburgh not to play basketball, but to start a bowling area on our hardwood. Then there was DeRon Davis & Freddy McSwain, I mean why would any coach leave them on the ? They missed layups, and couldn’t slam the ball thru the hole. My whole point is this: THESE ARE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY ALL THE COACHES FAULT…… If Crean was any type of a coach at all, then he would have stopped these things from occurring, and YES Blackmon & Bryant,,,,this includes you too. Well enough said, this team showed & lacked any consistent form of: Respect for one another. DIscipline from the head coach. Proper training & teaching on how to play Any type of defense as an individual OR as a team on the floor. Holding up signs to REMIND YOU DUMB M F;s to play defense. Pushing the ball up the floor, but (OOPS), they all seem to suffer from either: Immediate dimentia, or a case of a critical instant acting mental illness… Anyhow folks, I could go on and on an on….HOWEVER, I hate to break the hearts of all true blooded Indiana Hoosier fans. I really believe that the problem with Coach Crean’s coaching is twofold: 1. the type of superstars he was recruiting, just could NOT gel together, although; I do believe that every one on that team would not believe me. Just recruiting some kids like the young man from Cloverdale,IN whom on Saturday night we all learned in the Sunday paper just how big of a stud he is….And, who recruited him???? YEP, BUTLER….and I will bet you that IU never ever even approached this young man!!!! And, yes folks, this leads me up to my reason number two… 2. This group of players mental capacity to be taught a lesson, learn (or remember) what you have been taught,,,,and then utilize what they have been taught..( You know something like how to defend OR how to follow a set play being called by the coach). Just to bring up two of those players as examples( and please remember folks, I am using these two kids as examples only) Deron D. & Freddy Mc.. Am I the only one on our dear sweet planet EARTH, that sees a problem with our younger people today???? They are mainly a bunch of either spolied rotten bratts or else they come mainly from one family homes where the kids very seldom get thru high school…. SHAME on us, SHAME on the rules our government has implemented and SHAME on the kids themselves for abusing their freedom instead of learning or studying school homework….. What does this have to do with my two subjects of interest,Deron D. & Freddy Mc……Plenty, and I (again) feel that if Fred Glass would up his standards a little bit on who the coach can recruit. It really would make a vast difference in what QUALITY of players we get. Correct me everybody if I am wrong, but Butler University is a liberal arts school that is rather hard to get into, isn’t it??? GEEZ, does this explain possibly why they are a quality ball club year after year, that for some reason seem to get an awful lot of IN STATE ball talent!!!!! SORRY that this was so long, but as bad as my wife and I hate to say it, Mr.Fred Glass…..WE strongly support what you had to do, irregardless of the consequences to our basketball for a couple of years. Tom Crean was without a doubt one of the kindest and nicest people you’ll ever meet in this world. However, instead of being a head coach, he really would be much more suited to be a recruiter…..God Bless Us All

    1. Kent Sterling Post author

      Your timeline is a little out of whack. Indiana lost to Fort Wayne and then beat North Carolina. Other than that, I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.


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