Crean addresses McLeod dismissal on radio show

Tom Crean still wasn’t looking to give details on his radio show on Monday night, but he did address his dismissal of assistant coach Roshown McLeod.

“I want Roshown to be successful,” Crean said. “I think what happened with us is it became abundantly clear that I needed to make a change. It became clear to our staff that we needed to make a change. The only thing that’s worse than looking at the time was being indecisive. I wasn’t going to be indecisive. That’s where it’s at. Frankly, I’d like to keep it there. I really don’t want to have to go any further than that. I want to continue to coach this basketball team this season the best way that we can, Continue to recruit the way that we are, get this program pulling in the same direction in every area in what we’re trying to accomplish, what we want from Indiana, what Indiana deserves from us, certainly with the recruiting. It’s gotta be pulling in the same direction and that’s what I want to focus on, and I’m going to do my best to leave it at that and focus on that. I’m not being evasive, but that’s where I’m leaving it…. The decision’s been made. That’s the way it is.”

Crean was asked by a caller whether McLeod’s dismissal would cause problems with any of the players Indiana is recruiting. Crean pointed out that he can’t discuss any particular recruits because of NCAA rules, but said he doesn’t expect it to hurt the Hoosiers generally.

“We’ll have to assess how that goes as we move forward,” Crean said. “The people that we’re actively recruiting right now that we are generating a lot of interest with, I wouldn’t say that it’s going to affect us in an area. There are things I’m going to have to see, how it shakes out as we go down the line. Again, we just want to have the entire operation focused in the same direction as to what has to happen here in the sense of what we want to do recruiting at the present day, what we want to do in the future classes. We have eighth graders coming to games and we have ninth graders coming to games. You name it, and we’re going to continue to do it, because that’s how you build a program for the long haul.”

That was the end of the McLeod talk. Most of the rest of the discussion was about players currently on the roster. Freshman forward Christian Watford was the topic of much discussion, with part of it coming because he missed out on Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, but was named to the All-Freshman team.

“I was very hopeful that Christian would be Freshman of the Year,” Crean said. “I thought he merited a lot of responsibility this year on this team. I think if you put into context, especially when you take Maurice (Creek) out of the equation, if you look at it for what was expected him on that court compared to the other players that we had, I thought it was a no-brainer. But some of the voters on both sides didn’t see it that way, but I’m happy he made the All-Freshman team.”

Crean also talked at length about Watford when discussing the all-freshman front line he used in Saturday’s game against Northwestern. He said in the long run, he expects to see Watford in the small forward role he played in most of Saturday’s game.

“Christian’s been asked to do the most,” Crean said. “He’s had the most expectations put upon him. A lot of areas that he needed to grow in, we didn’t have time for him to grow in those. Some of that’s athletically, some of that’s first step type of thing. Some of that’s just the explosivness. He’ll get so much of that this offseason. He’ll be a small forward for us as time goes on. The biggest area for improvement for him has been his defensive ability to move his feet. We have a great vision for him and what he can accomplish. I don’t have any doubt about that. he’s going to need a great offseason because this is the time where people make their biggest jump from Year 1 to Year 2. But he is making a lot of strides all the time. I think he’s just again scratching the surface of where he will be. Again, we want him to be an inside/outside, or really an outside/inside type of player, which allows him to post up, slash, cut, rebound the ball, and really continue to watch him develop those perimeter skills that he’s got.”

70 comments

  1. Just wanted to be the first poster and start a positive message of support for everybody involved with Hoosier athletics.

  2. You’d be advised to keep that kind of radical talk out of these blog posts.

    Around here, we’re real Hoosiers. And real Hoosiers live by a certain code: Hate any coach that isn’t Bob Knight, only recruit in-state, and only hire “Indiana guys.”

    Anything else is blasphemy.

  3. CTC can sure talk in circles for a long time and not say anything, but then, obviously that was his goal this time. Since he repeated the importance of going “in the same direction” twice in his answer, I’d have to assume that the recently departed assistant coach was NOT going “in the same direction” as the rest of the staff with respect to recruiting at least. Guess the direction is no longer east?

  4. They screen his calls for him on this radio show so if you don’t sing high praises or lie about what you want to talk about you won’t get on to ask. He must not be able to handle the tough questions. He doesn’t respond to emails either.
    Did anyone hear the one caller ask if we could expect 15-18 wins next year? Crean basically laughed and blew that part of the question off and only talked about the big ten network part.

  5. I echo GFDave’s post. IU showed heart in Saturday’s game. They are only going to get better. 4 freshman and a sophomore. Wow!! Now is the time to be supportive of IU bb. If you can’t be supportive, if you have to find something to be negative about, then go somewhere else because you are not a real IU fan.

  6. It’s his show so he can do as he damn well pleases. It also protects him from fools.

  7. Can’t remember Knight taking calls on his tv show. Can you imagine?

    Chuck Marlow: Hello, 4guards in West Lafayette, your on.

    4guards: Thanks Chuck. Coach, I just want to say that you’re the best ever.

    Knight: How would you know?

    Chuck Marlow: Our next caller…

  8. McLeod’s responsibilities were coaching and recruiting big men. He failed on both. Good riddance. Why would we want a Dukie on staff anyway.

  9. Just what I want- a coach that sits in his office and replies to all the crazy fan emails. I’m sure Alford would reply.

  10. I never knew much about McLeod until he got canned. I can see how he failed mostly on the east coast guys he tried to recruit. Seems funny he had been out of college coaching for 5 years (had only coached one year at that) until CTC hired him. Think he must have been hired out of desperation and thinking it was a good idea. Hopefully we can get someone who can recruit and get the big guys more agressive. It would be cool to have an IU guy.

  11. I usually defend 4guards when I can, as he always gets attack even when he is right. But, your wrong on this one. Knight screened his callers, as did Davis and Sampson. That is just part of the deal.

  12. YouWillNeverKnow,
    What exactly am I wrong about? I just stated the facts that they screen his calls and he doesn’t respond to emails. I never said Knight and the others didn’t screen their calls.

  13. HC-“The aim is not to suffer fools”— A tale told by an idiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

  14. Why wouldn’t you screen your callers? Do you think the phone just rings and they pick it up?

    All sports talk shows do this.

  15. Futuristic and Clearasil, What are your statements based on? Is it just a guess or do you have hard facts? If so, please share. If not,
    stop spreading stuff that is not backed up by first hand facts. At this point Gossip helps no one. Gossip of this sort only creates dissension. Please tell us you in fact know something.

  16. HC–I thought we were going to have intellengent debate envoking the spirits of the past. Guess not.

  17. You really think the head coach of a D1 college basketball team, especially one with IU’s following, should sit there and waste time answering emails?

  18. No one cares about my opinion, but since you asked, even if sarcastically here it is:

    1. Listen to the phrases that TC uses, “We need the enitre operation focused in the same direction”

    2. Mcleod let his allegance to the kid and to Coach K get in the way of his duties at IU. He knew IU was going through a rough period and felt like Duke was better place for Irving, and advised as much.–Not that he was wrong. However, what he did was not in the best interest of IU, and he paid the ultimate price.

  19. I’ve seen this theory thrown around on the board YouWillNeverKnow, and with this situation, I think anything’s possible. That said, IU’s been out on Irving since before Akron football game if I’m not mistaken. That’s six months ago. Do you still think that’s the reason?

  20. What should you expect when you hire a Duke guy to lead the recruiting battle between IU and Duke?
    Another theory to consider would be to remember last year Mcleod got busted for making too many phone calls.
    He did not just decide to let him go for performance right before the big 10 tournament. That makes no sense.

  21. My opinion is that conspiracy theories on the internet are a dime a dozen. Let’s examine this one:

    1. What allegiance? They knew each other. Big deal. This is a classic example of an unverifiable premise to set up the rest of the argument.

    2. Ro was willing to risk the entirety of his basketball career by committing a significant ethical violation for a kid who didn’t need his help. What? It seems to me the Irvings were hands on in this recruitment and didn’t need to be advised.

    3. Crean just now finds out that Ro steered Irving to Dook. Otherwise Crean was keeping Ro on staff when it was known he was untrustworthy. No way.

    Just my opinion of another’s opinion “envoking” spirits of the past.

  22. We won’t know what really happened/and we don’t need to know at this point. It will come out later i’m sure. it won’t hurt recruiting i hope/guess we’ll see. If it does, than we don’t need those players anyway/kids are different in this day and age.

  23. Coming from someone that has worked the radio show in the past, the questions the callers ask are never screened. All we do is ask the name & city, write it on an index card, and hand it to Don

  24. *GFD, that is closer to what I am thinking. I do still hold that CTC evaluating two full years of Coach Ro’s coaching prowess is the smoking gun.

  25. The rest of my original post was cut off for some reason. Here is what else I thought I posted.

    3. Coach Mcleod was also busted for making too many phone calls, a violation that is obviously a sensitive one.

    4. The post players that he is suppose to be coaching (especially Pritchard) have not improved under his guidance.

    All of these together lead to his dismissal. TC lets get everybody going in the same direction.

  26. You just don’t get it!-

    Don’t worry about where I get it, just trust that I get it

  27. I honestly find it hard to take anyone seriously who calls him/herself “YouWillNeverKnow.” And this is coming from someone named Kitty Litter.

    It sounds like you are trying to strike this grave, serious, almost biblical pose, especially with the silly capital letters, as if you are the almighty Zeus staring down at a trembling, helpless mass of followers.

  28. Has anyone ever considered that it’s something simple?

    Every time a couple breaks up, is it because someone cheated on their significant other? Is it because one person gave the couple’s child up for adoption?

    Nope.

    Sometimes, two people simply start growing apart, and eventually get in a huge argument or series of arguments that culminate with a breakup.

    Couldn’t it just be that something similar happened?

    It could be that subtle, underlying philosophical differences between Crean and McLeod became more of a hindrance as time went on, and it came to a point where an immediate parting of ways was the most apparent solution.

    Why does it always have to be some huge catastrophe?

    Disclaimer: I do not, and have never been under the assumption that Crean and McLeod were dating or married.

  29. Does anyone think that McLeod was doing a good job of recruiting and coaching big men? Does anyone think that keeping McLeod on the staff for one more week would impact anything at all? Lots of wadded up panties about nothing.

  30. Casey,
    If that were the case, he would not have been fired right before big 10 tournament. He would have been fired a week later.
    Some of our fanbase is so naive.

  31. Maybe there is more to the McLeod dismissal. Could it indicative a silver lining as to the future of Indiana basketball? I can only hope it suggests that Crean is true to his own vision for rebuilding the program and any individuals remotely tied to disciples of Knight will not be given opportunity to prevent Indiana Basketball from moving into the future. I they’re not 100% behind the captain of our ship, then should they not walk the plank? If McLeod is tied to Duke, then he is tied to Coach K. Coach K, a man that forever will idolize his basketball god, has been very critical of Indiana Basketball and the firing of Knight. He was also very supportive of Knight’s decision to not accept any attempts at honoring him at football games, etc. These people are stuck in the past. They are arrogant beyond any ability to find introspection and admission to their own mistakes..They are stuck in the past and a disingenuous mentality that desires all blame be put on Indiana University for wounds of a day we should have moved long ago forward from.

    I can only hope that Crean is completely fed up and wants to cut the ties with anyone remotely attached to being a Knight worshiper(this would include the hiring of coaches that concur with opinions of those still blaming Indiana for past deeds). I can only hope this means Crean will not seek new assistant coaches that were ex-players of Knight or coaches that have worked directly with him. It is obvious a growing crowd of Knight loyalists want to grab at any straw of reason to find a means to undermine Crean. We have seen on Scoop the daily rants of a blogger named “4guards”. Are we actually so naive to believe this dark Knight that hides his identity and his inside affiliation with Indiana basketball is not part a much larger group of underground mob and insurrectionists that want nothing more than for Tom Crean to fail? Why does Coach K want Indiana Basketball to fail? Why does he fight extra hard for a recruit interested in Indiana? Why does he continually desire to steal Indiana talent? I contend that it is about loyalty. I contend that it’s loyalty to the man he learned everything the game of basketball. I contend bringing in any coach with ties to Knight could have the same sick subversive motivations against our program.

    I’m beginning to like Tom Crean more everyday. I’m beginning to believe that he wants to write a new chapter for Indiana basketball with a new style of game and new ideas. I’m finding reason for optimism in a man that has no desire to cling on to old pathways to glory of a past we cannot return. I’m finding faith in his fortitude to not cave into those through means of persuasion by influence of position of power, or pocketbook of financial contribution, that seek to stagnate our program once again..I can only hope Tom Crean has strong enough belief in his own ability to never bow to the pressures of the old Knight crowd that desire nothing of compromise, but only a selfish and resentful instinct to undermine him, even at the cost of our future. Bob Knight did not invent the game of basketball. He was from Ohio. The state of Indiana and their hysterical love for the game is why Knight’s name is attached forever to Hoosier basketball. Why can’t it now be our turn to give the game back to Indiana. Why can’t it be Tom Crean’s turn to captain the Hoosier ship without any decedents of the past lurking and underhandedly meeting in closed quarters below the decks his office as they plot to perform mutiny on his vision for the future?

  32. 4guards,

    You really didn’t soak in anything that I wrote, did you?

    You’re telling me that if Crean and McLeod got in some no holds barred, argument to end all arguments, that they should continue to coach together? They should continue to run practices together even if they have different fundemental opinions on how the team should be coached or the direction of the program in general? They should act like they’re getting along just for show? How would that be good for anyone?

    Just because I don’t automatically suspect some sort of grand conspiracy every time something goes awry doesn’t make me naive. In fact, I’d argue the opposite.

    Most times, when something like this happens, it’s a simple clash of two strong personalities — not some twisted scandal. Until there’s actual reason or evidence to suspect otherwise, I’m not going to throw around unsubstantiated claims.

    My point isn’t that nothing fishy happened — but simply that until we know whether it did or not, it’s a bit silly to act otherwise.

  33. So as to stay away from any thinking along the lines of conspiracies, subversion, insurrection, mutiny and exercising misplaced loyalty, there is the possibility Coach Crean determined Mcleod had in two years exhausted all the knowledge he held for teaching post players.

  34. I have and do but I have no need to develop a three paragraph conspiracy describing my support.

  35. Maybe it was just a conspiracy of kindness that allowed post play to digress the point of no return before the coach you support could find the right moment to inform McLeod of his ineptitude.

    Let’s just take size, athleticism, and experience completely out of the equation. McLeod simply “exhausted” his limited knowledge of teaching the fundamentals of post play. And let’s also assume that our head coach couldn’t decipher his inability in two months…He needed two years of watching a guy that can’t jump 6″ off the floor digress before firing his assistant to blame it on.

    Support your coach. We still don’t have a true force in the middle. We have a pair of great forwards and the building blocks of a very strong inside game. It may take time to find a post player that could make any coach look like a genius.

  36. …as I stated there is the possibility…and I needed no creative writing to support it…

  37. I have no problem with conspiracies being in your gut, type on. But it is not in mine.

  38. Chill – you have blown a gust of fresh optimism around here. Your winds have really changed directions of late, and despite the wintry connotations of your name, the air that you have ushered in here has the distinct, welcoming feel of springtime.

  39. Crean was then asked about what sort of criteria he would use to fill the vacant position.

    “I have a pretty good idea of what I want to get accomplished with that job,” he said. “I’m not looking to find a person and then build the role around them. I want to find a person that fits exactly what we need. I have a pretty good view of what that is, but I’m still trying to really definitely figure that out. That I have not put a lot of time into yet. I’m probably pretty clear but not totally clear on what I want from that position. There will be some basic tenets of it that are really, really important. You guys can probably figure that out just as easy as I could say it when it comes to going in the same direction, trust, loyalty and all of those kinds of things.

    Is that enough writing on the wall for the Dukie lover that can’t get enough of playing his backwoods ACC banjo to the Bobby Knight “audience” on Scoop? In Crean’s own words, can you now “figure that out”? A Blue Devil fan from the hills of little basketball talent would love nothing more than IU Basketball to retreat to the weak and hate-filled theories of quick fixes perpetuated by 4guards and his followers. It’s all “wadded up panties about nothing”…And in Chet’s Blue Ridge mountain world, it’s synonymous with loyalty.

  40. And what happened to husky Casey and 4guards? Why did they abandon a thread they were so active participants? Underminers hate the truth.

  41. Grow up. I don’t care who he is..My wish is that you and the rest the Yacht Club underminers someday reap the hate you sew.
    You can ask Korman to sift through the mess of names above.

  42. Chill — what are you talking about?

    So let me get this straight — the proponents of this Duke-related conspiracy believe the following:

    1.) McCleod uprooted his family to move to Bloomington so that after two years of coaching, he could fulfill his dream and honor his loyalty to Duke by sabotaging the recruitment of one player — Kyrie Irving.

    2.) He felt it was worth two years of floating under the radar just to execute on that plan.

    3.) He was willing to risk his and his family’s financial livelihood simply to hinder the growth of IU basketball, because he’s a student of Coach K, who was a student of Bob Knight, and thus was connected cosmically to a deep-running sense of hatred toward the school for what they did to Knight.

    Is that an accurate assessment? It seems just a tad bit farfetched to me.

  43. I’ll live with that conspiracy and then some before I would give 4guards the time of day.
    Anyone that acknowledges his viewpoints and supports bringing in past players of Knight because we’re forever indentured basketball servants to a championship more than a quarter century ago, is not interested in moving forward.

    I will live with that conspiracy and then some before adhering to a belief our head coach is so lost in understanding the game that he would allow an assistant two years of making zero progress in developing post players. In my opinion, there were strong philosophical differences..I honestly can’t believe a head coach, under continual pressures and time restraints to return a program to its winning ways, would even waste two months with a coach unqualified at a position. It’s an insult to Crean’s understanding of basketball to claim it took him two years for that light bulb to go off. We don’t have a truly athletic post player. Give Crean a chance.

    The more you people undermine our coach, the more you’ll bury Indiana basketball forever.

  44. Allow the Crean-hating crowd to push out our coach in less than three years chance to develop a contending team in the Big 10?…Rest quietly and let the Yacht Club crowd bring in Steve Alford in favor of a new image and healthier direction for Indiana basketball?

    I’ll take any conspiracy theory over stomaching that ugly future.

  45. I just can’t keep up (but then I do live in the mountains). You manifest the dichotomy of the blog world. You are perfectly reasonable…up to a point. Crean is doing fine. Absolutely everyone in basketball agrees. 4tards is a douchebag, Everyone…well, everyone…agrees. But the Duke conspiracy thing? Don’t get me wrong. I live down there and I can’t stand the Dookies, but McLeod would have to be as big a douche as 4tards to piss away his livelihood on a chance to ingratiate himself to King K. I just don’t see it.

  46. Is it not possible the questions of trust/loyalty began to surface as this season progressed and tensions escalated to the point Crean made a somewhat reactionary decision based on frustration? I’m not claiming a grandiose conspiracy on the part of McLeod..I’m sure McLeod took the IU job for the opportunity and was anxious to be part of a unique challenge to help bring a program back.

    Throughout the first two years of Crean’s coaching contract with IU, he has participated in numerous attempts of goodwill to act as a bridge of reconciliation and healing between the Knight loyalists and Indiana Basketball..In my molehill opinion, he has gone well beyond what should be considered reasonable in extending the hand of inclusion and desires to help heal old wounds..Wounds he had nothing to do with!! For the most part, it hasn’t worked. The halftime football ceremony planned primarily for honoring Knight ended up being a fiasco. I think Crean has done enough..I don’t think he should expend one more ounce of energy to kiss up to the old Knight crowd. I guess it’s wrong for me to speculate the circumstances that forced his hand in letting McLeod go. It must have been a difficult balancing act for Roshown McLeod…McLeod’s college coach, a highly respected basketball mind with arguably more perceived prowess and national recognition than Tom Crean, made no secret his views that Knight owes Indiana nothing. I may be alone in this opinion, but I think it spits in the face of Crean’s efforts at reconciliation and trivializes his many eloquent speeches to Hoosier Nation that have clearly shown his desire to end the divisiveness and bitter feelings based on festering old wounds and stepped on huge egos from actions a decade ago..I say, enough is enough! I want Crean to be his own man. I want him to prove IU can be a great basketball program without the adherence to past methods and styles. He’s made enough attempts to be inclusive..It hasn’t worked..Why on earth do we want more Knight people in the program when the man they all idolize cannot get his embittered feet stuck out of the mud of his heart? I don’t think it’s any conspiracy to see the obvious. I feel it’s grossly unfair to be treating Crean like IU Basketball’s substitute teacher. Nobody wants to be undermined in the classroom their profession.

  47. May I also add that the rift is likely very damaging to recruiting efforts. And those alumni, so-called fans, ex-players, and trusted old friends mentored by Knight that continue to throw salt on the wound harm our program immeasurably.

  48. I tend to agree that all that is owed RMK is an open door. Coach Crean put the ball in his court a long time ago.

  49. You need to work on long exhaustive overly wordy responses that say very little of anything substantive or concrete. You’ll get there.

    Dennis Rodman winning Celerity Apprentice…? Would that qualify as a conspiracy?

  50. So true…We only need look at the NCAA using the full brunt of their organizational powers and investigative resources to bring a program to ashes based on a water bottle, backpack, and too many phone calls.

    Guess that’s quite the constipated tick in the soft rolling hills of Kentucky poised to win a national championship.

    And yes…the firing of McLeod is because he couldn’t get Tom Pritchard to master playing the post like Hakeem Olajuwon.

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