Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Crean to IU, and Other Coaching Scuttlebutt
Smug. Likes to scream at referees. Likes to scream at his own players. Loses poorly.
It's not the second coming of Bob Knight, but it makes you wonder if you have to possess those traits and characteristics to be considered a good hire in Hoosier Nation.
As a Louisville fan, I'm probably a little harsh on the guy - he is not well liked on this side of the Ohio River. Playing two, sometimes three hard-fought games a year against him every year for the past eight or nine years has earned him no fans among this fan base.
But this is clearly a win-win for IU and Crean. In the midst of a recruiting scandal and facing the possibility that they will return zero starters from this past year's team, IU was able to hire and up-and-coming, successful coach who's going to win 20 games a year from here to eternity.
Plus, there are reports that if Crean passed on the job, the second choice was Wright State's coach Brad Brownell. A little uninspiring, to say the least.
Crean, on the other hand, was looking at several more years of good-but-not-great performances by his teams in the Big East. Marquette was a good team, but they were not going to perennially be among the elite in the conference. So after missing out on the Kentucky job last year, he still finds an escape route out of Milwaukee for one of the most storied programs in the history of college basketball.
Thus begins the annual coaching carousel in college basketball. Many other longshot rumors abound, and I'll just repeat them for what they're worth:
With Crean leaving Marquette, might an unappreciated Bruce Weber bolt Illinois for the Golden Eagles? He is a Milwaukee native after all ...
Sean Sutton has been mercifully fired at Oklahoma State. Bill Self has already indicated that he's not interested ... but UK's Billy Gillispie might be the next name on the radar. It's a stretch to think he'd leave Lexington for the 'Pokes, but with T. Boone Pickens writing the check, it wouldn't completely be a shock if it happened ...
If John Calipari and Memphis get to the national championship game or end up winning it all, word is Coach Cal may be bolting for the NBA. Maybe his new "dribble-drive motion" offense will go over better in the league than his flameout his first time around. Either way, looks like coach wants to get paid!