Saturday, 27 May, 2017

Five takeaways from the Tom Crean era at Indiana

Jim Harbaugh supports Tom Crean, blasts former 49ers executives Jim Harbaugh takes another shot at 49ers brass
Spencer Simpson | 18 March, 2017, 01:08

On the same day that IN coach Tom Crean was sacked, Alford, the UCLA coach and former Hoosiers star wouldn't address whether he might be a candidate for the job, evading directly answering whether he would take a call from his former school when the season ended.

"While winning two outright Big Ten titles in five years and being named Big Ten Coach of the Year, Tom worked tirelessly to develop great young men and successful teams", in athletic director Fred Glass said. After hearing their seeding and destination on Sunday night, they had a quick turnaround for a Tuesday night tip in Atlanta against a Georgia Tech team that was 15-4 in home games. In two of his nine seasons, Crean won big in the Big Ten.

Alford played at IN from 1983-87 and left as the school's all-time leading scorer, steals and 3-point shooting. Collegiate head coach experience is certainly a plus.

"Tom Crean brought us through one of the most challenging periods in IU basketball history, led his players to many successes in the classroom and on the court and represented our university with class and integrity", Glass said in Thursday's statement.

Nine years after taking over a team mired in turmoil following an NCAA scandal, Crean was sacked Thursday after missing the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in his tenure. "I think sometimes, those of us who are so close to it at IN don't step back and recognize what an extraordinary job this is".

Alford is a dream candidate for many IU diehards. It felt like every other shot IN was taking they had Ben Lammers' hand contesting it. He has 1,805 career points, which could put him in position to rank in the top-five all-time by this time next year. "Yes, I'd love to coach IN", doesn't really play when you have Lonzo Ball, and your current team is equipped to win the national championship. I played there. So obviously all that comes up, but I love UCLA. We've got things going at a very high level now, and we're very excited about it.

"I couldn't say we had a solid relationship", Hunter said.

None of that should be forgotten or minimized as he departs the IN job.

The turnovers were also a constant of Crean's teams in Bloomington. The butt of too many jokes, IN was.

The first day of the NCAA tournament always promises drama.

"We want somebody who is a proven victor, somebody who is a proven recruiter who has the ability and desire to recruit in the Midwest and especially in Indiana", Glass said.

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