Tom Crean leaving for Indiana... Sad? Confused? Elated? Pissed off?

>> Tuesday

I'm sure all of the YCS team has something to say about Crean bolting for IU, but I'll go ahead and throw my initial thoughts here. I'm sure Zuch will have more informed notions on the subject, but here are my 2 cents.

Why you should be sad:
1. Crean took us to a Final Four and the postseason in 8 of 9 seasons.
2. Crean has averaged more than 20 wins a season, recruited 3 NBA players and likely another 2 or 3 NBA players-to-be.
3. Crean has had us nationally ranked for much of the last 6 or 7 years.
4. Darrin Horn (Western Kentucky) appears to be headed to South Carolina; he would have been one of the best coaches to replace Crean. Who is going to replace Crean?
5. Not only did Crean have success in winning basketball games, but he got us on national TV, revived school spirit, and helped us sell out many home games (in a huge arena by college basketball standards).

Why you should be confused:
1. Crean has a lot of connections to Marquette. Not only was he fond of the Al McGuire tradition, but his father-in-law is a big shot in the Athletic Deparment, and his wife is very involved in the Marquette community.
2. Hasn't there been talk of him bolting every year since 2003? Why now?
3. Why Indiana? We all know about the Indiana basketball tradition, but how patient will the IU fans be with him? Why purposely step into the big pile of poop that is the current IU basketball program?
4. Does he want to get beat by Bo Ryan and Tom Izzo three to four times a year (or more if you count the Big Ten tourney)? That prospect doesn't seem very fun.

Why you should be elated:
1. According to popular opinion, Crean is actually a huge, selfish jerk. He's a phony, and he's obviously not very loyal. Then again, what college basketball coaches aren't?
2. Despite his outstanding recruiting and program-building, he is a sub-par game coach. He is very bad at drawing up plays at the end of games, has an often-bewildering game plan, and has a reputation of being badly out-coached by the best in the business.
3. I guess the contract buyout will allow us to still pursue a pretty talented coach.

Why you should be pissed off:
Because you met this guy, got to shake his hand, cheered your ass off for his team for 8 seasons, appreciated his success, generally defended him despite your occasional frustration with his performance in big games, and did everything a loyal fan would do for him only to have him bolt for a big public school.


Matt 7:59 PM  

Spot on. Say whatever you will about the decision, but the question remains - why now? Why not when the Kentucky job was (seemingly) out there? Why not next year, after the big three (or remaining big two) are gone?

Mike 8:06 PM  

Hit the nail on the head. Really don't know how to feel about this one.

Patrick 9:16 PM  

Yeah this whole thing just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Especially with the fact that they are going to be pretty much loaded next year if James stays (which he should). Why would you want to go to Indiana when all those players are heading out? Granted, he recruited the hell out of the state, but still. Salary-wise, it couldn't have been much of a jump than what he was getting paid at MU.

But instead of being pessimistic about this, lets try and look at the positives. Our school's basketball program is now a national relevance, they play in the Big East, which will attract top coaches, and they have the $$$. None of this would have happened without Tommy Boy.

Who should the next MU coach be? I know Zuch is screaming Rick Majerus, how about Tony Bennett? What about Steve Lavin? Please no Bruce Weber!!! What about Bruce Pearl? Rick Carlisle? Yes this may be debatable, but Marquette needs to get a big-name coach to at the very least, keep the momentum going for our program.

But the thing I am most sad more U2 during player intros

Vinnie 9:46 PM  

They may keep up the U2 but ahhh!--no more pregame "You guys are the best fans anywhere in history, and you're the best" scoreboard talks!

Actually, I was just talking to Zuch a little bit ago, and he's definitely not on Majerus. He likes Mike Anderson from Mizzou or promoting from within and going with Buzz Williams. (Anthony Grant is always a favorite as well.)

Also, he was saying that Kentucky had probably already come to an agreement with Gillespe before Crean ever got a formal interview or offer. So he may have very well bolted last year if Kentucky had said the word.

But like you said, Paul and Pat, it's hard to be too worried or angry because Crean left the program in a state where the next coach (as long as he's competent) can sell the program itself more than a replacement could have if Crean had left after '03.

Short term, I'm worried about Tayshaun Taylor backing out of his scholarship and McNeal leaving. Beyond that, I'm not too worried about the long-term future of the program. It's a basketball-crazy school with a huge reserve of enthusiasm and good will built up over these last six years. It would take a real louse to blow that anytime soon.

MUalum,  10:02 PM  

Loyality and contract-two words Tom Crean should look up in the dictionary! I am certain that there are a couple of good candidates that would love to coach at Marquette. Let's hope that the seniors stay and the recruits still come. Is there a possibility that he could steal those committed to MU to follow him to Indiana.

Patrick 7:24 PM  

No, actually Marquette has the decision whether or not to release those committed players from their LOI's. Granted, if a player doesn't want to come to MU anymore, it would be Marquette's best interest to just release them, but the school doesn't have to.

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