The new Indiana basketball head coach is in deep.
The Hoosier job looked great at first but why would a coach of Tom Crean’s caliber leave Marquette for the overhaul job that is Indiana University right now?
Sure it is Indiana and the Big 10, but with the possibility of losing all five of last season’s starters and being left with a completely bare cupboard that includes only five scholarship players, why did he take the job?
I know coaches like to think big and moving to a major program like Indiana is a huge step in any coach’s career. But this appears to be coaching suicide.
Not only will Crean have to move past all the negative stigmas created by Kelvin Sampson, but he may have to deal with a post-season ban that may well stem from the ex-coach’s actions.
If Crean was coming in with the same team that Samson and Dan Dakich had this season, I would put Indiana in the top-five National Championship contenders.
But the reality is very different.
To start with, D.J. White and Lance Stemler are graduating. Add in the dismissal of Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis by Dakich. And top it all off with the loss of freshman sensation Eric Gordon to the NBA Draft.
I have no doubts about Crean’s ability to coach and with the Indiana name he will be a force to be reckoned with in recruiting, but will he actually be given a chance to succeed?
Indiana’s supporters are not a patient crowd. If Crean does not win immediately (and it does not look like he will have enough to do so) how long will he last?
Crean’s desire to move to a big name program after so many good years at Marquette is understandable but for his sake it is too bad he chose Indiana in the state that they are in.