Around the Hall: Big Ten preview, Crean advocates for McClain

  • 05/14/2014 8:28 am in

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

· Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated writes that Wisconsin is a heavy favorite in the Big Ten next season and also takes a look at his pick for the league’s top freshman, James Blackmon Jr.

· Eamonn Brennan of examines position battles across the country at shooting guard, which is a position of depth for Indiana.

· According to The Oregonian, Tom Crean is advocating for Oregon State to take a look at Steve McClain for its coaching vacancy.

· Elite Homestead big man Caleb Swanigan is reclassifying to the class of 2015.

· Details for the first “On the road with the Hoosiers” tour stop in Borden have been announced.

· Cody Zeller will participate in the NBA’s 2014 Basketball without Borders in Taipei next month.

· Michigan wing Caris LeVert will miss 8 to 10 weeks following surgery for a stress fracture.

· Illinois coach John Groce announced that Darius Paul, a transfer from Western Michigan who sat out last season, is suspended for the entire 2014-2015 season.

· Damon Bailey talks about his decision to accept an assistant women’s basketball coaching position at Butler.

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  • PocketHoosier

    There are unfortunate realities that have to be understood if IU is ever going to get back to its rightful place in basketball and not be considered a “historically” great program, but a great program.

    Between the 1972-73 and 1993-94 seasons, Indiana made at least the Sweet Sixteen 14 of the 22 seasons (64% of the time)

    In the 19 seasons since, the Hoosiers have only made it to the Sweet Sixteen ONCE with a coach not named Tom Crean and TWICE with him.

    So who’s kidding who? The program’s back to back Sweet Sixteen appearances is the best semblance of sustained success since Calbert Cheaney was in Bloomington as a player.

    I remember watching Keith Smart’s shot as a kid.

    I remember that day in ’93 when Richard Scott + Greg Ostertag ruined my childhood.

    Back to back Sweet Sixteens? Good progress to build upon. Here’s to hoping that last season was an aberration, but the roster shifts with Fischer and Vonleh being gone do not forebode well upon next season.

    I’m holding out hope that the team will gel, the bigs will outperform and the shooters will be deadeyes…but the BIG10 is going to be one of the most competitive conferences in America, yet again.

    The base really has got to stop doing it’s best UCLA impression or the program *will* have to get used to treating a Sweet Sixteen as a glorious achievement.

  • PocketHoosier

    The only way that it would make sense to replace Crean would be if you already had a locked in candidate that you thought could do better.

    So….who’s on that list?
    Who, if not Crean, is going to come into Bloomington and take the Hoosiers to the level that expectations have risen to?

  • SeeingRed

    Ugh. The Sweet 16 loss with two top 5 NBA picks, after being ranked No.1 that many weeks, was an absolute disappointment. You can’t put lipstick on that pig.

    Calls for a return to true excellence in the program are not scary, nor unreasonable. Cowering acceptance of mediocrity just because it is better than the bad times — now that is scary. Why would anybody want to invest themselves in an IU basketball program that doesn’t have Elite 8s and Final Fours and championships as benchmarks? Why follow the recruiting, read boards like this, obsess about the season if just being “above average” over time is good enough?

    Crean knew the deal when he took this job, what the expectations would be long term — in fact, to his credit, he embraced and agreed with them. So there will be a point at which a decision will have to be made about whether he has delivered the goods, or not. We will know a lot more about that after next season.

  • PocketHoosier

    Just to be clear:
    “Above average” is not “good enough.” Tell me when the last time Indiana was “good enough” and you’ll be looking almost 30 years into the past. Back to back Sweet Sixteens is “promising” when a program hadn’t done it in 20 years. You are absolutely kidding yourself if you think that Elite 8s(plural) and Final Fours(plural) are the current standard for the program. A Final Four (singular) would be the best success in almost a generation, and that team was built by Knight.

    The Sweet Sixteen loss to Syracuse was a gut punch that hurt almost as bad as ’93. I’d say ’93 was worse because we actually were at the tail end (although it wasn’t known then) of the golden years and a title for 1992-’93 was *legitimately* expected.

    I’ll be repeating myself, because I’ve made the comment elsewhere (in reply to a “if Crean misses the tourney in 2013-14, he’s gone”)

    Missing the tourney 2 years in a row would definitely put him on the hotseat. I just don’t think he should be canned for it. He pulled up the program from unimaginable depths so ridiculously quickly that he has a lot of goodwill to burn through before anyone that matters will call for his head.

  • SeeingRed

    Agree, final fours and elite 8s are not the current standard but they should absolutely be the aspirational standard. The question yet to be answered is simple: Is CTC capable of getting IU into that elite class? There is plenty to be concerned about in this area and you just hit on some of the highlights. What constitutes a fair opportunity? 7 years, 8, 9, 10? I guess my point is that no coach — anywhere — is entitled to make $3 million a year indefinitely without some truly notable postseason accomplishments.

    I think he is definitely on the hot seat if there is no NCAA bid next year. And if it is bad enough that the NIT doesn’t even come calling, things are going to get ugly fast.