On a Sunday afternoon in central Indiana the NCAA men’s basketball tournament goes on with third round action. Butler and Purdue have advanced to next week’s Sweet 16 portion. Notre Dame jobbed out after winning their first game to finish in the final 32. Indiana University? Lost an NIT game to Georgia Tech at Georgia Tech despite being the ‘home’ team to finish with a record of 18-16 for the season. Fell asleep watching said game as said IU team scored something like four points in the game’s first 10 minutes. Before falling asleep I again thought to myself YOUR MOVE BIG GLASS in hoping the Indiana athletic director Fred Glass would look for change as Indiana-a university with five NCAA titles and a strong traditional love of college university-was now losing its 51st game in four years and had missed the NCAA tourney twice since Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo both left for the NBA after Crean’s team jobbed to Syracuse in the 2013 NCAA tourney.
I got my wish on Thursday. So did many Indiana University fans who were not exactly thrilled with national sportswriters telling them that they should idolize a coach who had lost 14 or more games in six of his nine seasons roaming the sidelines in Bloomington. And despite said sportswriters’ baaing like sheep about Crean’s two regular season Big 10 titles (won in 2013 and 2016) they failed to mention Crean’s 3-9 record in the Big 10 postseason tournament…his failure to get past the Sweet 16 in the NCAA’s when in-state competitors Notre Dame and Butler had been able to do so…..or his ability to take teams with future NBA talent and miss the NCAA tournament entirely like he did in 2014 when he led a squad with NBA lottery pick Noah Vonleh and current NBA starter Yogi Ferrell in his starting lineup to-you guessed it- a 17-15 record.
I’m not going to babble much more like these sportswriters about the great attributes of Crean. I know he coached Dwayne Wade in college. I know he’s related to Jim Harbaugh by marriage. I also know he’s lost 45 percent of his games coaching the college basketball team that I grew up with. And HE’S HAD NINE YEARS TO TURN THE PROGRAM AROUND. If you sportswriters want to keep defending him, great. Go get him his next job while you’re at it.
Best wishes to Crean as I expect to see him coaching somewhere else or on TV when next college hoops season rolls around. As for Indiana basketball…..once again the coaching search will dominate headlines as names like Billy Donovan, Gregg Marshall, Archie Miller and the immortal Steve Alford will get thrown out on message boards and talk radio until someone gets chosen.
Those last three coaches in the post-Bob Knight era haven’t exactly worked out too well. So hopefully for Indiana fans the fourth one will. We’ll see. After all it’s been thirty years since IU last won the NCAA title back in 1987. Not sure if most people will be wanting to wait another thirty years.
Hence I conclude by once again saying the obvious:
Your move, Big Glass.