Names to know: Indiana coaching search big board 2.0

We’re now more than a week into Indiana’s search for its 29th coach in program history after Tom Crean was fired last Thursday.

Inside the Hall will continue to have complete coverage of the search until it concludes, but here’s an updated look at some potential candidates for the opening. As the board is not meant to be a ranking of candidate preference, we’ve kept the original order in tact, but have updated our comments on each potential candidate.

(Editor’s Note: This list is in no particular order and is an attempt at a comprehensive list of potential candidates for the position. Inclusion of a candidate on this list does not imply interest in the position from the candidate nor does it imply that Indiana would be interested in the potential candidate. All photos via Getty Images.)

Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics

Forget about it. Not happening. Here’s what Stevens said about the Indiana job last Friday:

“I don’t speak to the rumor mill or anything else, but I’ve made it pretty clear I’m going to be here. I’ve been asked about that quite a bit and my answer will be the same — I’m going to be here until the Celtics decide they want to move in another direction,” he said before last night’s game against Brooklyn.

“Maybe a little bit,” he said of whether he hears from people back home at a time like this. “One thing about it — I grew up in that state and spend a lot of time down there. I certainly love the state of Indiana and what basketball means in that state. IU means a lot to the people in that state. I was no different as a kid, but again, I’ll be here. Doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of the teams in the state — I root for one a heck of a lot more than the rest.”

Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City Thunder

The Donovan rumors haven’t died down completely, particularly after ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption discussed the possibility of the move to Indiana earlier in the week. Still, the timing here seems like it would be a major obstacle to overcome, if Donovan is even interested. Here were Donovan’s comments about the situation from late last week:

“I am totally happy here. I love it here. I love the guys I work with every day. I love our staff, the organization. As far as I’m concerned, my commitment is totally here and doing the best job I can while I’m here.”

Tony Bennett, Virginia

Virginia’s season ended last weekend in the NCAA tournament round of 32 with a 65-39 loss to Florida. In the days since, the Cavaliers have announced three transfers. Bennett has talked enthusiastically about his future in Charlottesville:

“We’ve got to improve our program. They accomplished some stuff this year, but we’ve got to get better, and we’ve got to continue to recruit well, continue to develop players well.”

Sean Miller, Arizona

Miller is a name that has remained on the edges of the discussion, but there’s been no strong indication that he’s a serious candidate. There are plenty of reasons that he’s an intriguing candidate – he’s young, he wins, he recruits at a high level and he’s well respected around the country. But he also has a great situation in Tucson and that job carries far less pressure than the one in Bloomington. The only potential play here would be that Miller believes he’s taken things as far as he can at Arizona and is ready for a fresh start after Thursday’s loss to Xavier. That seems unlikely, particularly after Miller just agreed to a contract extension in February.

Archie Miller, Dayton

Miller hasn’t been talked about much since Dayton’s loss to Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but he’s a candidate to continue monitoring. He’s one of the nation’s best young coaches, he’s been very successful at Dayton and he didn’t take the NC State job, which suggests he’s holding out for a destination job. There’s been plenty of discussion that Ohio State is the job that would make a lot of sense when Thad Matta departs, but would he say no to Indiana if given the opportunity?

Gregg Marshall, Wichita State

There’s been very little buzz about Marshall’s Indiana candidacy and the dustup involving his wife during Wichita State’s loss to Kentucky in the second round of NCAA tournament probably didn’t help. Marshall didn’t close the door on finishing his career somewhere other than Wichita State in comments last week:

We think we’ve got something really good going, so I don’t really worry about it. I think it’s very humbling to have your name mentioned with these jobs. Sometimes, I listen. Ultimately, maybe I’ll take one. But right now, we’re very, very happy where we are.

Chris Collins, Northwestern

Not only did Collins take Northwestern to the NCAA tournament, he won a game and then pushed a No. 1 seed (Gonzaga) to the brink last weekend. The Wildcats have most of their core returning next season, so the potential for an even deeper run next season is there. It would be rare for a coach to switch jobs within the conference, but a chance to lead a program with the prestige of Indiana might be difficult for Collins to pass up.

Chris Holtmann, Butler

Butler is still alive in the NCAA tournament and plays North Carolina tonight in the Sweet Sixteen. So if he’s even a candidate – and we’re not sure he is – Indiana would need to wait until the Bulldogs are eliminated to make a push. There’s plenty to like about Holtmann. He’s from Nicholasville, Kentucky, he played at Taylor University and he’s a legitimate national coach of the year candidate.

Steve Alford, UCLA

Alford to Indiana was referenced as being a “done deal” by former IU player and ESPN analyst and radio host Dan Dakich, who later backed off the claim. There was also a report – which was later proven to be incorrect – that Indiana has already offered Alford a contract. The Bruins play Kentucky on Friday night in the Sweet Sixteen in what should be an incredibly entertaining matchup. Alford’s candidacy has been a subject of debate amongst Indiana fans. This year’s UCLA team is on an incredible run, but will Bruins fans ever fully embrace him? On the IU side of things, he has support and he has opposition. Given his Indiana roots, it’s hard to imagine him being anything less than successful on the recruiting trail in the state.

On Friday, Doug Gottlieb called Alford to Indiana a “done deal” on the Dan Patrick Show:

Mike White, Florida

White and Florida will attempt to navigate past Wisconsin tonight in the Sweet Sixteen, but there’s been little buzz regarding a potential courtship of White. Still, there’s no disputing his upside as one of America’s top young coaches.

Fred Hoiberg, Chicago Bulls

The Hoiberg tenure in Chicago isn’t off to a great start as he nears the end of his second season as a head coach in the NBA. But there’s been little to no talk of his potential IU candidacy. He’s a long shot, at best.

Chris Mack, Xavier

Mack’s name is shooting up the wish list for Indiana fans. He’s now 10-6 in the NCAA tournament as a head coach after Thursday’s win over Arizona. His tournament resume lacked anything beyond the Sweet Sixteen prior to this season, but he’s now in the Elite Eight with a team that had significant injuries. He was the Atlantic 10 coach of the year in 2011 and was the Henry Iba national coach of the year in 2016. He’s also recruited the state very well. Would he leave Xavier, his alma mater, for IU?

Kevin Keatts, UNC-Wilmington

Cross him off the list. Keatts is the new coach at North Carolina State.

Will Wade, VCU

Cross him off the list. Wade is the new coach at LSU.

Dane Fife, Michigan State

Fife had a chance to take the job at Duquesne, but turned it down. And there are reasons to keep him on the board. While he might not be a splashy hire from a name perspective, Fife knows the Big Ten, he knows the midwest and he knows Indiana. And he’s only 37, which means he would be a long term solution. For those reasons, he deserves a hard look and evaluation in the process.

Randy Wittman

Wittman would obviously have some support among those who believe the program needs a former player at the helm, but seems like a reach that he’s never led a college program. There’s been virtually no discussion of his candidacy.

Bryce Drew, Vanderbilt 

Bryce is a new addition to the board after his success at Valparaiso and guiding Vanderbilt the the NCAA tournament in his first season there. Although far from one of the favorites for the job, Drew has established a quality resume in a short amount of time and his ties to the state would likely be an added bonus.

Around the Hall: The coaching search rolls along

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News lays out the criteria he believes should be most important in Indiana’s coaching search:

In the summer of 2000, North Carolina found itself in the market for a new basketball coach upon the sudden retirement of Bill Guthridge. When Roy Williams declined because he was not ready to leave Kansas, the search became frantic because there was no other Carolina alum who appeared to be ideally suited to the job and the Tar Heel hierarchy prioritized “keeping it in the family.” The administration settled on Matt Doherty, who had spent one season as head coach at Notre Dame.

He was not the best coach Carolina could have landed. They could have had just about anyone they wanted. UNC fired Doherty three years later.

There is a lesson in this for the Indiana Hoosiers.

Rick Bozich of WDRB.com writes that IU should hire the best coach available, regardless of alma mater:

John Wooden won 10 NCAA titles at UCLA. He grew up a three-point shot from Bloomington (in Martinsville) before starring at Purdue.

Mike Krzyzewskl is a Chicago kid who has taken the basketball knowledge he learned at West Point to rule the college game the last three decades at Duke.

Dean Smith went from Kansas to North Carolina. Rick Pitino played at UMass before coaching at Kentucky and Louisville. John Calipari from Clarion State to his three college stops.

Heard enough?

Zach Osterman of The Indianapolis Stars examines the pros and cons of potential coaching candidates, including Steve Alford:

Pros: He’s Steve Alford, for starters. Indiana might not have had a more beloved player, during his playing career, than the New Castle native. He has more than two decades worth of coaching experience, turned UCLA into a Final Four contender this year, has multiple conference tournament titles (something IU has never won) on his resume and snuck Kris Wilkes out of the state. The Bruins are an elite offensive team and, should they beat Kentucky this weekend, they’ll be favorites for a Final Four berth.

Cons: Sections of IU’s fan base seem to have soured quickly on the Alford connections that have surfaced since Crean’s firing. There’s the fact that he left Iowa after eight years with a losing Big Ten record. The Pierre Pierce saga understandably looms over him. He’s never won a regular-season Power Five conference title, or advanced past the Sweet 16 (something that could soon change). To put it more plainly: Alford has been a head coach for 26 years. If he was meant to be Indiana’s coach, why is it only happening now?

Indiana donor Bart Kaufman spoke to The Indiana Daily Student about the decision to move on from Tom Crean:

“But clearly from the standpoint of being enough time, I think nine years was a fair test,” Kaufman said. “I think the biggest concern that I had was — as any other fans — was the inconsistencies in his program where he was not able to maintain sustained ?excellence.”

He said he was disappointed that none of the top recruits from the state of Indiana chose to sign with IU. Most notably in the 2017 class, Crean lost out on top talents Kris Wilkes and Paul Scruggs, both of whom grew up in Indiana but will leave the state to play college ball at UCLA and Xavier, respectively. Kaufman characterized the program as being on a downslope compared to other schools.

“Clearly, when they lose like they did this year — yeah, I’m disappointed,” Kaufman said. “My concern was the kids didn’t seem to get any better, and he didn’t have kids coming in.”

Terry Hutchens of CHNI writes that, one week into the coaching search, nobody really knows what’s going to happen:

Steve Alford. Tony Bennett. Billy Donovan. Archie Miller. Dane Fife.

The list goes on and on.

And the only thing we really know in the seven days since Tom Crean was fired as the Indiana University basketball coach is that nobody really knows.

People can say that they know, but they don’t. There is a small inner circle here that has a good idea, and I can tell you for certain that they aren’t out there blabbing to the cleaning lady or the grocery clerk or all of the other people that claim to have inside information regarding the Indiana basketball search.

Report: OG Anunoby leaning towards entering 2017 NBA draft

Indiana sophomore forward OG Anunoby, who missed the final 15 games of the season with a knee injury, is reportedly leaning towards entering the 2017 NBA draft.

Gary Parrish, a national basketball writer for CBSSports.com, reported late Wednesday afternoon that Anunoby is leaning towards entering the draft.

Anunoby was injured in Indiana’s 75-72 win at Penn State on Jan. 18, but details of his injuries were never made public. He underwent season-ending knee surgery on Jan. 31.

The Jefferson City (Mo.) product averaged 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks in 25.1 minutes per game last season.

Anunoby is still widely considered a first round pick, despite the injury. Both Chad Ford of ESPN.com and Draft Express rank Anunoby as the No. 18 prospect overall in this year’s draft.

Coaching search profile: Bryce Drew

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our eleventh profile takes a closer look at Vanderbilt coach Bryce Drew.

Mr. Basketball for the state of Indiana in 1994, Bryce Drew certainly has a pedigree in the Hoosier state.

Although he spent this past season at the helm of Vanderbilt, Drew is best known for his accomplishments at Valparaiso, both as a player and a coach.

Drew was a guard for the Crusaders from 1994-98, playing under his father Homer and earning Summit League player of the year honors twice. A prolific facilitator and long distance shooter, Drew made 364 threes, scored 2,142 points and dished 626 assists over the course of 121 games.

The play Drew is famous for came in the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament, when he nailed a trey at the horn to push the No. 13 seed Crusaders past No. 4 seed Ole Miss.

The play helped lift Valparaiso to brief national prominence, as the Crusaders would eventually reach the Sweet 16.

Following his senior season, Drew was selected 16th overall in the NBA Draft by the Rockets. Drew struggled to find success in the league, playing six non-distinct seasons across three different teams from 1998-2004.

After a brief stint playing in Europe, Drew returned to his alma mater in 2005 to take on the role of assistant coach, where he worked directly under his father Homer.

When Homer Drew stepped down from the position to become Associate Athletic Director in 2011, his son Bryce assumed the role of head coach.

Drew spent five seasons at the helm of Valparaiso, winning at least 22 games in all but one. His teams made the postseason every year, including two trips to the NCAA tournament and a second place finish in the NIT in 2015, his final campaign.

Following the NIT run, Drew accepted a job at Vanderbilt, signing a six-year deal and leading the Commodores to the NCAA tournament in his first year.

Drew has yet to win an NCAA Tournament game as a head coach (0-3), but each time, his team has been the worse seed.

Those that have followed Drew’s coaching career closely describe him as reserved, a players-coach that runs a system predicated on defense.

Drew’s teams don’t run at a breakneck pace, as they’ve never been in the Top 190 of adjusted tempo. Only twice has a team led by Drew finished a season in the Top 50 in terms of offensive efficiency, but in each of the last three seasons, he’s boasted a Top 50 defense. His inaugural campaign at Vanderbilt was the first time he’s ended a campaign in the Top 50 of both offensive and defensive efficiency (all stats per KenPom).

Final Analysis: Although far from one of the favorites to take the Indiana job, Drew has established a quality resume in a short amount of time and his ties to the state would likely be an added bonus.

The details of his current contract with Vanderbilt are unclear (as a private university, the school only has to disclose a limited amount of info). Kevin Stallings, the previous coach, had a salary of around $2.1 million in 2016, significantly less than what Indiana would be able to offer.

Coaching search profile: Mike White

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our tenth profile takes a closer look at Florida coach Mike White.

As we continue to move through potential candidates for the Indiana vacancy, one thing has become clear: There’s no shortage of intriguing young coaches.

Florida coach Mike White, the son of Duke Athletic Director Kevin White, is a rising star in the business. The 40-year old is in his second season in Gainesville, where he took over for a future Hall of Fame coach in Billy Donovan.

The Gators are still standing in this year’s NCAA tournament after beating Virginia, 65-39, on Saturday night.

White is a native of Dunedin, Florida, and played at Ole Miss from 1995-1999. He played briefly professionally, but moved into coaching in 2000 at Jacksonville State as an assistant. From there, White was an assistant coach at Ole Miss from 2004-2011 and accepted his first head coaching job at Louisiana Tech in the spring of 2011.

In four seasons at Louisiana Tech, White compiled a 101-40 record and went to the NIT three times. At Louisiana Tech, he won various awards including USWBA (District VII) and NABC (District 6) coach of the year in 2013.

After Donovan’s move to Oklahoma City in late April of 2015, Florida landed White and the move has worked out well through two seasons. The Gators won 21 games last season and were in the NIT, which was an improvement over Donovan’s last season in Gainesville when Florida finished 16-17.

Florida is 26-8 this season. White won SEC coach of the year and the Gators will play Wisconsin late Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

White’s teams are built with a defense first mentality.

He had a top 35 defense nationally twice at Louisiana Tech and his first two Florida teams rank in the top 14 in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to Ken Pomeroy. Given the fact that Villanova and Duke have already been eliminated from the East Region bracket, Florida might be the remaining favorite from that region to reach the Final Four in Phoenix. That would be a significant accomplishment for White in year two after inheriting a 16-17 team.

Like many of the other candidates we’ve profiled, White could be a long term solution and his deal at Florida is for a reported six years and $12 million, so Indiana could offer him a significant raise.

But is White willing to move on from Florida after just two seasons?

He’s always coached in the southeast and that’s where his recruiting base is. Would his lack of ties to Indiana and the midwest be difficult to overcome?

Final Analysis: White could be on his way to the Final Four in his first NCAA tournament appearance, which will only boost his profile nationally. He’s already regarded as one of the top young coaches in America and his career winning percentage sits at 70.1. He’d be an under the radar selection, but his upside suggests he deserves a serious look.

Coaching search profile: Chris Collins

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our ninth profile takes a closer look at Northwestern coach Chris Collins.

In his fourth season at the helm in Evanston, Chris Collins took Northwestern to the NCAA tournament. It’s a story that won’t soon be forgotten.

But how did Collins get to this point?

The son of Doug Collins, a former NBA all-star and coach, Chris is young but a seasoned veteran in coaching. He was a McDonald’s All-American who played four seasons at Duke before playing professionally for two seasons in Finland.

It didn’t take long for Collins to get the itch to move into coaching. His first stop was as an assistant in the WNBA for the Detroit Shock for a season. From there, Collins got into college coaching with an assistant coaching position at Seton Hall for two seasons. In 2000, he returned to Duke as an assistant coach. He spent 13 seasons in Durham under Mike Krzyzewski before landing the job at Northwestern in the spring of 2013.

Collins was on the bench for two national championships, eight ACC tournament championships and four ACC regular season championships at Duke. The list of players he worked with includes Jason Williams, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Duhon, J.J. Redick, Gerald Henderson, Austin Rivers, Kyrie Irving and Kyle Singler.

At 42 years old, Collins has a bright future ahead of him.

Over four seasons at Northwestern, he’s compiled a 73-60 record. In 2016-17, he led the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament round of 32. He’s recruited at a very high level compared to previous Northwestern standards, reeling in Bryant McIntosh, Vic Law, Scottie Lindsey and Dererk Pardon, among others. With most its core returning, Northwestern should be a tournament team again next season.

Which brings us to a crossroads in this discussion: Would Collins even consider an in-conference jump to Indiana? Coaches switching positions within a conference is a rarity.

There have been suggestions in the national media that Collins ultimately aspires to coach in the NBA and that he’s very comfortable on the sidelines in Evanston. Chicago is home to Collins and with this year’s run, he’ll be welcome at Northwestern for as long as he wants to be there.

But if he’s interested, Collins is certainly a candidate that deserves consideration, for a couple of reasons.

First, he’s a midwest guy with roots in Chicago. In Bloomington, his upside on the recruiting trail would be much higher. He has experience recruiting McDonald’s All-Americans at Duke and learned from a Hall of Fame coach in Krzyzewski. He has a track record with NBA stars that he can sell. He’s young enough to be a long term solution, is familiar with the Big Ten and showed how good of a coach he is by taking a doormat program at Northwestern to heights it hasn’t experienced before.

Final Analysis: Collins didn’t win Big Ten coach of the year this season, but he was deserving of the honor. Northwestern was an average program, at best, before his arrival and now the Wildcats are thriving despite not having elite talent. Northwestern pushed Gonzaga to the brink in the round of 32 last weekend. With better talent and resources, could Collins build a national power?

Coaching search profile: Gregg Marshall

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our eighth profile takes a closer look at Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall.

Marshall’s timeline begins in the south. Born in South Carolina in 1963, Marshall moved to Virginia to attend college at Randolph-Macon, where he was a guard from 1981-85.

Marshall spent the next two years earning his master’s degree in sport management at the University of Richmond, while at the same time holding an assistant coaching position at Randolph-Macon (the two schools are about a 25-minute commute apart).

Over the following decade, Marshall spent time as an assistant coach at three more colleges, with his last stop coming at Marshall from 1996-98.

Winthrop provided Marshall with his first big break in 1998, giving him the chance to coach back in his home state.

Inheriting a team that had never made the NCAA Tournament and hadn’t finished a season with a winning record since 1989-90, Marshall quickly turned the program around.

In nine years at Winthrop, Marshall became the winningest coach in program history (194-83 record overall, 104-24 in conference). He brought the Eagles to seven NCAA Tournaments (all a result of Big South Tournament titles) and earned Big South coach of the year honors four times.

The 2006-07 season, Marshall’s final campaign at Winthrop, was the most successful in the history of the program. The Eagles went undefeated in the Big South (14-0 regular season, 3-0 postseason), before shocking No. 6 seed Notre Dame in the NCAA tournament. It was the first win by a member of the Big South in the NCAA Tournament, and provided Marshall a platform to showcase his coaching abilities.

From there, Marshall accepted the head coaching position at Wichita State prior to the 2007-08 season, replacing Mark Turgeon, who had moved onto Texas A&M.

Ten years since taking the job in Wichita, Marshall is now a household name in college basketball. The Shockers have made the NCAA Tournament each of the past six seasons, including a Final Four appearance in 2013.

In 2013-14, Marshall earned AP Coach of the Year honors as Shockers finished the regular season undefeated and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before being upset by No. 8 Kentucky in the round of 32.

In 2014-15, the Shockers earned a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament and defeated No. 10 Indiana in the opening round, 81-76. After the game, Marshall said he considered Indiana a ‘blue-blood’ program. Troy Williams compared the Shockers’ physicality with Michigan State.

Marshall’s teams have been balanced on both ends of the floor – in two of the last three years, the Shockers have finished in the Top 20 in the country in both offensive and defensive efficiency (per KenPom).

Even with the enormous success he’s experienced, Marshall has often complained about a lack of respect for mid-major schools. Power Five teams don’t want to schedule the Shockers in non-conference play, which he believes results in the selection committee punishing his team for poor strength of schedule.

Final Analysis: Perhaps the most successful coach still at a mid-major program, Marshall has been rumored to make the jump to a power conference for years.

But he’s built a strong foundation at Wichita State and has yet to show a desire to leave, despite the disadvantages of being at a mid-major program.

Tom Crean speaks publicly for first time since IU firing

Tom Crean, who was fired on Thursday after nine seasons at Indiana, spoke publicly for the first time since being dismissed to Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated.

You can read the entire piece at this link, but here are some of the highlights:

· Crean told Thamel that his agent contacted him Wednesday night about his job status with the Hoosiers, but based on the wording of the piece, it doesn’t sound like he was informed of his dismissal until Thursday. Crean declined to meet with Athletic Director Fred Glass. On Thursday, he and his family went to Florida for spring break.

· On his feelings towards Indiana: “I love Indiana. I loved it here. That’s not going to change. You can’t go loving something every day for nine years and then suddenly hate it. I hope Indiana wins that national championship. And another one. I really do.”

· Crean doesn’t have any regrets, according to this passage:

Crean admits that in hindsight there’s plenty he’d have done differently, as he pointed out how the lack of graduate transfers on the market slowed his rebuilding process. Crean said he’d have made different recruiting and staffing decisions and also would have done small things like give free coaches clinics as soon as he’d arrived. But in terms of regrets, he said he has none: “Not at all. I wanted to win a national championship here as bad as any fan, former player or student could have ever possibly imagined.

· Crean told Thamel that he’s looking to be back on the sidelines as soon as possible, preferably by next season.

· Crean declined to discuss his feelings or dive into his relationship with the administration at Indiana:

Crean declined to delve into his feelings on the administration at Indiana. He hasn’t met with or spoken to Glass since the decision was made. But Crean used the word alignment nine different times during the interview when talking about the future, essentially alluding to what was missing without saying it.

· Crean revealed how he informed the 15 members of Indiana’s team of the news:

He said the most difficult part came with individually texting the 15 members of his team on Thursday. He refused to address the news by group text but knew he couldn’t get through 15 phone calls. “This will probably hit me more,” he said. “It hit me doing the texting. I don’t have my team anymore. I have my team. I have my family. But it’s different. I want to get back to the court.”

Coaching search profile: Chris Holtmann

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our seventh profile takes a closer look at Butler coach Chris Holtmann.

While he was snubbed on a few national coach of the year award finalist lists, there’s no disputing the work Chris Holtmann has done this season at Butler. He’s done a remarkable job.

The Bulldogs went 23-7 in the regular season and earned a No. 4 in the South Region of the NCAA tournament. Holtman was named Big East coach of the year for his efforts.

With just one McDonald’s All-American (Tyler Lewis) on the roster, Butler had no problem competing in one of the nation’s premier leagues. The Bulldogs beat Northwestern, Arizona and Vanderbilt in November. Butler followed up those wins with a victory over Cincinnati on Dec. 10 and a win over Indiana in later in the month at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in the Crossroads Classic. It was a loss that started the downfall for the Hoosiers as Big Ten play approached.

In league play, Butler beat defending national champion Villanova twice and is now in the Sweet Sixteen. On Friday, Butler will have a shot at No. 1 seed North Carolina in Memphis.

A native of Nicholasville, Kentucky who played at Taylor University, Holtmann took over for Brandon Miller in the October of 2014 on an interim basis. He was named the permanent head coach in January of 2015. Butler hasn’t skipped a beat since. The program faltered briefly under Miller, but Holtmann has restored much of what had Butler rolling under Stevens.

Before coming to Butler as an assistant coach, Holtmann spent three seasons at Gardner-Webb and was named Big South coach of the year in 2013. His name has come up with other openings, but Holtmann seems happy at Butler.

The program has high expectations based on its recent success, but given the foundation built before him under Stevens, Butler is a program that can compete nationally and recruits very well to a system.

The Bulldogs are now in the Big East, enjoy great fan support and have a great facility in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The question is: Would Holtmann turn down big money if it’s offered to leave Butler? As good as that job is, the compensation isn’t nearly what a top 15 job would pay.

In terms of recruiting, moving to Indiana would be a step up for Holtmann. Would he be able to bring in the five-star talent that Hoosier fans expect year-in and year-out? It’s a fair question.

Final Analysis: Holtmann is young enough at 45 that he could be a long term solution if he were interesting in making the jump to Bloomington. And there’s a segment of fans who would like to see the “Butler Way” replicated in Bloomington.

Coaching search profile: Dane Fife

After nine seasons in Bloomington, Tom Crean is out as Indiana’s head coach and the search for his replacement is underway.

Inside the Hall will profile some of the candidates who are being discussed for the job over the coming days. Our sixth profile takes a closer look at Michigan State assistant coach Dane Fife.

Is Dane Fife interested in the Indiana job? He answered that question emphatically earlier this week.

Fife is a candidate with some intrigue, for a variety of reasons. First, he played at Indiana. Fife was recruited by Bob Knight and stayed in Bloomington through the transition to Mike Davis. He was a key member of Indiana’s 2002 national runner-up team. There’s no doubt that, like Steve Alford, Fife loves Indiana. And Indiana fans love Fife.

His coaching career has been interesting in that his first job was at IPFW as a head coach. Fife did spend two years as an administrative assistant under Davis at Indiana, but in 2005 at 25 years old, he became the youngest Division I head coach in Fort Wayne.

Fife spent six seasons at IPFW and compiled an 82-97 record and led the program’s transition to Division I. Over his final two seasons at IPFW, the Mastadons were 34-27. In his final season, IPFW finished 18-12 and earned a No. 4 seed in the Summit League conference tournament, which was the program’s highest seed at that point in its four years of league membership.

In 2012, Fife left IPFW for the opportunity to work under Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo, which has groomed him well for whatever is next in his career. In East Lansing, Fife has been a major part of Michigan State’s success from his strong recruiting to his work with perimeter players.

If you watch Michigan State games, it’s clear that Izzo gives his assistants the freedom to make a mark on the program and Fife has done just that. He’s animated on the sidelines, but seems to be very well liked and respected by his peers and players. Among the perimeter players that Fife has helped guide during his time at Michigan State: Keith Appling, Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, Travis Trice and Gary Harris.

The question with Fife remains: Is he ready for the stage of Indiana basketball?

He’s only 37 years old and has never held a head coaching position above the low major level. It would be a bold move for Fred Glass to go with Fife, but it could also be a move with tremendous upside.

Final Analysis: Based on comments from Fred Glass in last Thursday’s press conference, it would seem Fife that will at least get a chance to speak with Indiana about the position. Glass said he’s open to talking to former IU players about the position and Fife has publicly expressed interest in the opening.

While he might not be a splashy hire from a name perspective, Fife knows the Big Ten, he knows the midwest and he knows Indiana. And he’s only 37, which means he would be a long term solution. For those reasons, he deserves a hard look and evaluation in the process.