The Indiana Hoosiers have named Tom Crean as the new head coach. Crean has coached Marquette University since 1999 and has been an assistant for many years. He was an assistant under Jud Heathcote and Tom Izzo at Michigan State, so he knows what to expect as a coach in the Big Ten.
I was born and raised in Indiana and I can’t say that I’ve been much of an IU fan. Kentucky has always been my team, but I respected the Bob Knight years and what they accomplished. My youngest memory of watching college basketball was when the Hoosiers won the 1987 NCAA tournament over Derrick Coleman and Syracuse. I’m not sure if IU can get back to what it was under Knight. I know Indiana is a breeding ground of some amazing talent like Greg Oden and future Tar Heels star, Tyler Zeller, but they never get the state’s best player. In recent years, teams like Ohio State or North Carolina have stolen away the Hoosiers base. I’m can’t say that it is impossible for Crean to win a few Big Ten championships, but I haven’t seen much from Crean’s teams since Dwayne Wade left Marquette. In years after Wade, Crean had Travis Diener and Steve Novak, who are both in the NBA, and did re-create the magic of his lone Final Four team.
Don’t expect Crean to turnaround IU right away. If Eric Gordon stays another year and they get Armon Bassett back, IU could be good enough to make the tourney. Those are big “ifs,” but Crean is what he is and that is a good recruiter, good coach, and squeaky clean violation record.