Do I hear exhaling in Bloomington? With all the problems and distactions that the Indiana University basketball program has had this year, with their former head coach Kelvin Sampson forced to leave for alledged violations and then having some of the players threaten to boycott their next game against Northwestern, the Hoosiers family felt that they needed a change. This may not get them out of hot water but it's a start.
Wednesday morning will be a special time for the Big Ten school. That's when they will annouce that they have hired Tom Crean to lead the team as their new head coach. Crean comes from a school that knows a little about basketball, Marquette.
When he takes over, he will have some work to do and do quickly to maintain some order. He has to somehow right a ship that may be headed for an iceberg in the form of NCAA sanctions. He's already on the short end of the stick, as it were, when IU lost a scholarship for the 2008-09 season. That's part of the penalty that they placed on themselves for Sampson's addiction to cell phones. Crean’s first job will be trying to keep two recruits Indiana has already signed, who have asked to be let out of their national letters-of-intent.
He's also has to find a way to replace freshman Eric Gordon, who said that he may declare for the NBA Draft. He's also replacing former interim coach Dan Dakich. Dakich felt as if he was rudderless in a boat with a group of people that did not want to go in the same direction (players threating to muntiny). He did get rid of some of that dead wood, showing pojnt guards Jamarcus Ellis and Armon Bassett the door. Crean needs to run that program with an iron fist. Not like another former IU coach per se but it comes to that, that would work for me.
So Crean comes into a hornet's nest. There's talk that IU could be on probation for a while. That may mean, in addition to losing some scholarships, no Big 10 or NCAA tournament. Let's hope he doesn't get stung too badly, if at all.
Let's let them exhale. It worked for Whitney Houston.