Live chat transcript: Tom Crean, IU baseball and more

MODERATOR: Good morning, and welcome to a special edition of the IU sports chat. With the men’s basketball team playing two days away in the NCAA tourney, we’ve moved the chat up to Wednesday.
Thanks for joining us.
How are you today? Are you in Omaha yet?

JEREMY: Apologies for throwing everyone off schedule, but since we’re in the car on the way to Omaha, we’ve got nothing to do but chat today. And Omaha is still many hours away this morning. On to the chat.

MIKE: So far, so good. We’re a long ways away from Omaha, but we’re getting there. Thanks for everybody’s cooperation in moving the chat up a couple days. Gonna be a busy trip. Let’s chat.

ANDY: As Peyton Manning intones so often at the line of scrimmage: “Omaha!”
I’m not there. Won’t be going there. But will be there in spirit. Fortunately, Mike and Jeremy will travel hence soon to inform us of Hoosier exploits shortly. Meantime, we chat.

QUESTION: I am a great fan of Fred Hoiberg of Iowa State. How come there is never any mention of Calbert Chaney as a possible/hopefully successor to Tom Crean? I think he would be a great fit
Dingo 44, Sydney, Australia

JEREMY: Dingo,
Doggone it, I like Fred Hoiberg, too. Iowa State is a team that could go out early or make a run to the Final Four in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
As for Calbert Cheaney, I think he’s taking his own path and probably needs to get some head coaching experience somewhere before considering anything more.

MIKE: Hey Dingo,
I don’t think you hear Cheaney’s name anywhere because he’s never been a head coach. By all accounts, he seems to be a well-received assistant, but he’s still working his way up the ladder.

ANDY: Dingo44:
How are things Down Under? Former Indiana Pacer Fred Hoiberg isn’t known as The Mayor of Ames for nothing. As to Calbert Cheaney, who isn’t just the B1G’s all-time scoring leader but also has always seemed a first-class human being, one of the listed reasons for his departure from IU’s staff to that of SLU was to build his resume toward becoming a head coach someday. But it would seem prudent that, when the day arrives, he debuts at a place with more modest demands of its head coach than is the case at a place such as Indiana. It’s a good idea in most cases that guys work their way up from smaller programs first, where they can learn the head-coaching ropes and prove themselves a bit. Having said that, is it plausible Calbert could someday fit at IU? Sure.

QUESTION: We’re talking baseball this week since most others will talk basketball:
1. Following up on last week, It was Nick Ramos who was injured and I have not seen it reported by you guys about it or him being out indeed 6-8 weeks. When I gave you this nugget last week that someone may be injured there should have been a check into it by you guys with IU. I think you guys do a great job but this was a miss on your part. Otherwise I have been extremely impressed with the Baseball coverage this year being given and you guys are doing a great job.
2. Now the team itself I am going to give you a very honest evaluation that is mostly good, First of all the arms on this team are incredible. This team may lack starting pitching but they can certainly platoon their incredible bullpen to success for a whole game. Hitting wise this team has limited power (down from 30% of their hits being doubles, triples, Home Runs last year to 24% this year) but can certainly slap the ball around the yard on singles and manufacture runs one at a time. If the teams plays to their strengths they can be solid. Last years team was complete and this one has weaknesses mentioned. Lets look at expectations to what is realistic and what is not:
Realistic:
1. Compete to win Big Ten
2. 35 wins and 16-8 in conference
3. Make regional’s at someone else’s place as a 3 seed
Not Realistic:
1. Hosting a regional
2. Winning 45-50 games again
3. Making it out of regional’s and getting to Supers or College World Series
Overall I like where the program is at a lot and as long as we get a team of this caliber and can meet the expectations of what I think is realistic this year I am very happy.
Darren, Martinsville

JEREMY: Darren,
Good talk.
I’ve said all along that if this team can get good pitching, it can keep winning this year.

MIKE: Hey Darren,
Yeah, Ramos is out at least a couple weeks — not sure about 6-8. Quite frankly, baseball was far off my radar last weekend while we were at the Big Ten Tournament and while we were preparing for the NCAA tourney. Definitely a miss on my part, but just a little busy juggling beats at this point in the year. My bad, but I appreciate the follow-up.
I think you’re pretty on the mark, though I’ll wait to see how they actually handle the Big Ten before I completely write off some of those things as unrealistic. Granted, yes, they don’t have the overall pop that their lineup featured in previous seasons, but they can still get it done. Interestingly, leadoff man Casey Rodrigue leads IU with 17 RBIs — a good sign that the bottom third of the order is getting on base and doing its job. But yeah, I really, really like this team’s pitching staff. Can’t wait to see what Brian Hobbie does over the course of the season. Having a guy like that, one you can start and bring in situationally, is a big boost (As a quick aside, his breaking ball is already a nice plus-pitch. Dirty, dirty break on that thing.). But, as you note, IU has a few guys you can flex into different roles. We knew the pitching would be a strength for this team. So far, I think it might even be a little stronger than expected.

ANDY: Darren:
Haven’t said this before but should: Thanks for your consistent contributions to the chat, Darren.
1. You’re absolutely right. Should have mentioned Ramos’ absence in my game stories and meant to, but then got caught up in what was actually transpiring on the diamond. The good news is that, from my understanding based upon what Coach Lemonis said, Ramos’ absence should extend only a couple of weeks rather than six to eight. It was a left-hand injury sustained in practice last week. I thought Wilhite did a great job defensively over the weekend filling in.
2. Would generally agree with your assessments. The bullpen rocks. If the power is down a bit, well, there aren’t going to be many college baseball teams featuring the sort of pop last year’s IU lineup had, but five of the 11 hits I saw the Hoosiers supply Sunday went for extra bases. They were knocking balls off or to the fence if not over it. And while one can never have enough pitching, it was good news on all fronts there over the past week, including the returns of Hart and Effross to active duty on the mound. If they round fully into form, that obviously would strengthen the starting rotation as the season continues to unfold. As of now, I’d say your self-labeled “realistic” expectations are, well, realistic.

QUESTION: I want Crean back another year but he has got to fix the fact that his teams always fade down the stretch if he wants to remain here long term.
If his teams finished the year the way they started then people would be fine with him. Other than his 1st and 4th year the team has had a major downfall at end. In 2nd year team went from 3-3 in conference to 3-14 with losses in 9 straight by 14 or more. In his 3rd year team lost 9 straight to close season and looked increasingly uncompetitive. In 5th year even the no. 1 team finished 5-4 down the stretch after 24-3 start. Last years team was 17-12 and a bubble team and NIT Lock before 3 terrible losses to close the season. This year 15-4 starts becomes 20-13.
If his teams won in last month at the same rate they did early, his 2nd team wins is 7-11 in conference, 3rd team is 6-12 in conference, his number 1 team is 31-5, last years team is 19-13 and this years team is 23-10.
My point is Crean for most of the season is a very good coach but his finishes is what his making his job status so tenuous. I don’t know if he’s wearing his team out or what but this is what needs to be fixed and his job here depends on it.
Mike, Seymour

JEREMY: Mike,
I think there’s something to the late-season struggles, but I also think that perception would be drastically altered by a better performance in March. More results like the 2012 Sweet Sixteen run would change the way people feel about that.
As to the cause, it’s hard to say. For whatever reason, it just seems like Crean’s teams tend to peak in January.
Overall, however, I don’t know that a Sweet Sixteen run this weekend changes much about the discontent that currently exists, though a surprise run and the same or better next year might make for a better situation.

MIKE: Hey Mike,
I wrote about this a little bit leading into the Michigan State game. It’s a criticism that’s followed Crean for what seems like a long time, and I’m not sure it’s an unfair one. I think there’s merit to it, and I think some of the numbers show just that. I asked Crean about how he’s tried to address this and he basically said that he’s tried to taper practices more and more as the years have passed. I think he’s aware of the perception, and maybe he is doing things to address it behind closed doors. But there’s no question that this program has not been great in the second half of the season over the last few years � the 2011-12 team not withstanding. Crean always likes to go out of his way to point to all the extra work players put in at Cook Hall at all hours of the day. It’s an admirable thing, going above and beyond, but you also wonder if players are wearing themselves out on top of what they do in practice, etc. with coaches. I really do think Crean is a better coach than people — mostly upset fans — give him credit for. But I would also agree that this discussion is merited when looking at his overall body of work.

ANDY: Mike:
The numbers, nicely laid out by you, do indicate a pattern. Part of that pattern, doubtless, has to do with the rigors of the B1G schedule during stretch runs but, even so, the results indicate there is perhaps some sort of issue to resolve. This season is as good an example as any. If one had told IU fans before the season that these Hoosiers would amass their current overall and Big Ten record for this season, I think many would have pretty readily accepted that for a youngish and smallish team that was picked to finish around 10th in the league. But the Hoosiers themselves raised expectations with their pre-conference performance and 5-1 league start, by exceeding those expectations pretty clearly for a long while, only to then struggle some down the stretch. That made things seem more sour to more people, and some folks became overtly grumpy. I do think the overall issue of fading down the stretch does account for a lot of frustration on the part of fans. It’s interesting that perhaps CTC’s primary mentor, Tom Izzo, seems to have developed the opposite sort of tendency. Izzo’s teams are renowned for tending to play their best basketball heading into and during March. And I would doubt that Tom Crean’s overall approach, in terms of pacing and practices and overall philosophy and whatnot, varies very much from that of Tom Izzo. It’s a conundrum of sorts. Tom Crean not only works extremely hard himself, but demands that of others, and perhaps the demands wear people down over time — but it isn’t as if Tom Izzo isn’t also incredibly demanding of himself and everybody else in his program. At any rate, the topic you raise is one pretty consistently raised by those following Indiana’s program.

QUESTION: 1. Go Hoosiers and looking forward to an IU Basketball team that will make us all Proud!!!!
2. I am really frustrated that IU Baseball is never listed on ESPN scorebaord, and every other Big Ten team that is playing is listed. I would like to know why we are not covered on that site? We have one of the best teams now for the last few years and should be getting more national attention. Is the Athletic Dept. doing everything it can to get us noticed? Thoughts?
3. We are all prone to have a dissapointing view of Mens Basketball (if you are a true fan), but I feel as though we are all missing out on the fact that this was and is a really young team and they deserve to be supported. I would like your input as to what can be done to enhance the support our teams received from fans several years ago.
CS, Bloomington

JEREMY: CS,
1. OK.
2. I’m not sure if you’re talking about the web site or the ticker at the bottom of the screen on ESPNU. Either way, all Big Ten teams get equal space. The scoreboard page only lists the teams playing on a given day, or maybe it was just a scheduling error by ESPN. I think IU’s doing its best to get Hoosier baseball noticed, and the fact Indiana is ranked in multiple polls this week shows that someone is paying attention.
3. It is a young team. The issue is probably more of why it is a young team combined with the question of if it is really going to be anything more than a young team, thought not quite as young, next year. Then there’s the level of play folks saw in January that suggested that youth could still be really, really good.
And to your last point, I think it’s a combination of fans being impatient and demanding, while also slowly seeing their faith erode in what previously seemed like a trend upward. In other words, Indiana’s failure to notably capitalize on the momentum of the No. 1 ranking and Big Ten title of two years ago has certainly damaged the fan enthusiasm. I’m not sure the support has actually changed, but with the advent of social media and internet chatter to further express displeasure and multiple other options for how to spend disposable income, maybe the full-throttle support isn’t quite what it was. Still, as I think we’ll see in Omaha and saw last week in Chicago, the Hoosiers have a support network and fanbase that remains highly impressive.

MIKE: CS,
I really don’t know about ESPN specifics, sorry. Outside of the College World Series, ESPN is generally not a great resource for college baseball season, anyway. IU baseball gets a lot of national attention, actually, and especially so for a Big Ten school. The Hoosiers are in three top 25 polls, get plenty of love from a real baseball heavyweight like Baseball America and even had Schwarber and Travis pose for the cover of that publication last season. All told, I wouldn’t be too worried about national exposure. It’s there.
To quote the late, great Al Davis: “Just win, baby!” Winning more and winning consistently will go a long way toward fixing the general unease. Young teams can win, too. It’s a consideration for this team, but certainly not an excuse. They raised expectations with their play in January and then fell off dramatically. If you want to see the fan support sustained throughout the season, if you want to see Assembly Hall *actually* sold out for every game, you gotta win. IU has done that at times, but one of the slights against Crean has been a lack of consistency. To win, win, win, you gotta be consistent.

ANDY: CS:
1. IU could be one-and-done. Wichita State is really good and has a ton more tournament experience than do the Hoosiers. But if Indiana survives the Shockers, suddenly Kansas doesn’t look quite so formidable a matchup, with one big man suspended and another injured. If IU manages to win Friday, if could be in position to really raise some eyebrows.
2. Have no idea why that might be the case for the espn site if, as you say, every other B1G team’s baseball scores are featured. The Hoosiers are back in the top 25 in some rankings, so one would think their scores would be under that separate listing as well. Maybe it’s just a programming glitch nobody has noticed as yet. Feel free to draw their attention to it. (And I think the IU athletic department promotes baseball pretty fastidiously and fervently these days.)
3. I’m not sure how I would define “true fan,” but I do think fans of any team should be encouraged to be supportive as a general rule. That is what fans are supposed to be. And often the support is most needed when the team is struggling. But in our modern world of instant-gratification demands and immediate, unfiltered, anonymous and critical public comment, we seem to be becoming a nation of spoiled scolds with an overinflated sense of entitlement and very little empathy. Whatever happened to supporting one’s team through thick and thin? That concept no longer seems to apply for a lot of folks — or fan bases. This isn’t an isolated IU phenomenon, obviously. And it isn’t as if criticism isn’t sometimes warranted, and that changes don’t sometimes need to be made. But internet chatrooms during the ballgames of almost any team, at any level, tend to resemble cesspools more than anything else. Not sure what can be done to fix that, other than to encourage people to always take the longer view and not get so caught up in the moment, and for those of us in the media to make sure we offer thoughtful and fair analysis rather than knee-jerk stuff (but, unfortunately, the more extreme positions and knee-jerk reactions tend to provoke more page hits and better ratings on the media’s electronic platforms, so I don’t know how much thoughtful analysis is really valued by media moguls anymore.)

QUESTION: I’ve read a lot about the effort this team has showed throughout the year, but have we really seen them show a great effort for 40 mins on defense? I’m talking in your face, slap the floor type effort. You don’t get an adj defense rank in the 200s with just front court issues, it’s bigger than that. I think a truly great effort, even if they lose would do a lot to get fans back in Crean’s favor.
Coaching is what brought Indiana down and I believe that coaching is what will have to bring Indiana back to the elites. Very difficult to be elite without an elite coach (see Florida football). Having said that, isn’t it understandable that fans are critical of Crean? After the 8 year death spiral of Knight, the mediocrity of Davis and the nonsense of Sampson I’m honestly surprised this program has the kind of support it does. Yes, Crean helped to bring the program back up and I think most fans are grateful of that. However, ~16 years as a HC at a major program and he’s been past the sweet sixteen once, missed on some major in-state recruits the last 3-4 years, and there have been some off-court issues at IU. Obviously the year needs to play itself out since this chapter isn’t complete. If he beats Wichita State and Kansas then he’ll win a lot of people over, but I think can it be tough to see him as someone who can take IU past a certain point. Thoughts?
Tim, Chicago

JEREMY: Tim,
Effort is a multi-faceted word when it comes to the game of basketball. The effort has been good at times this season overall in terms of playing hard or rebounding. Other times the effort in those areas has been lacking. But the defensive effort is probably harder to grade because of the amount of time Indiana has spent playing zone, matchup zone and man in some combination, because that’s a very reactive style of play. What we saw last week at the Big Ten Tournament was more man-to-man, which allowed Indiana to be more aggressive and proactive. And that makes the effort appear much more obvious to anyone watching, too. But it also helps fuel a more aggressive mindset overall, something Robert Johnson agreed with when I asked him about it after the Northwestern game last week.
I don’t want to rehash the elite discussion, but suffice to say that a coach like Mike Kryzewski can elevate a program like Duke to elite status, so certainly being elite is not just a program thing.
Lastly, Tom Crean has been past the Sweet Sixteen once in 15 years, going on 16 years, as a head coach, so take that for what it’s worth.

MIKE: Hey Tim,
The only time we’ve seen that kind of sustained effort defensively was last week against Northwestern, but it’d be nice to see them do so against teams not named Northwestern in the future. Part of that, I think, was a reflection of the uptick in ball pressure IU put on the Wildcats, which is something I would have liked to have seen much more of from this team this season. I’m no coach, obviously, but I thought going into the season they might try to use more of a press to break opponents, rather than see themselves broken down by their halfcourt defense. That kind of attack leads to that kind of 40-minute mentality — or the effort you speak of — and we saw it against Northwestern.
I thought all along that, if things went well as far as March matchups, the ceiling for this team is a Sweet 16 appearance. That would be a great thing for a team like this, but that would also be the realization of a ceiling that this program can’t seem to break through. Two-fold, I guess.

ANDY: Tim:
A defensive effort somewhat akin to what you describe, I think, happened up in Chicago during the B1G tournament opener against Northwestern. But as you say, fans haven’t seen enough of that over the course of the season. This team was probably too small and inexperienced entering the fray to ever be a really good defensive team, but there was no reason for it to, say, to look as hapless in its zone as it did in the regular-season finale against Michigan State at home. Defense and rebounding require a certain set of criteria, but effort is a big part of both. And I agree that truly great effort always is something that can energize the support of a fan base, in addition to how the Ws and Ls are turning out.
Some people think coaching is overrated. Some people think modern-day coaches over-coach. And that it’s really just all about the players. But I would agree with you that coaching obviously matters, and that elite coaches clearly are the ones who manage the incredibly difficult job of sustaining elite status over time by recruiting the right sorts of players and developing those players well — and, at places such as Indiana, doing so within the rules and with proper attention to academics.
Mike Davis made the NCAA title game. Nobody outside the UConn program necessarily thought the Huskies were going to win it all last year. Who is to say what any particular coach or program’s plateau is in any given year, or even over time? Sometimes breakthroughs occur. Sometimes the best teams don’t win. But it’s also true that coaches can and should be judged by performance of their programs over time.
One should never be surprised about the amount of support Indiana’s program gets, really. There is a huge reservoir of support built over decades, spanning generations, in a state that still cares deeply about basketball. Most IU fans are not overly fickle, whatever the internet (where the loudest or more extreme voices tend to screech) seems to indicate. Could the support dwindle over time if a certain level of success isn’t achieved or sustained? Sure. But that would be a gradual diminishment, not a precipitous one.

QUESTION: The internet is lighting up with Tom Crean-to-Alabama rumors, especially in light of his odd comments from the radio show Monday — and that his wife especially wants out of Bloomington. Obviously, the internet is full of people who don’t know what they’re talking about, but do you guys make anything of this?
Tim, Merrillville, IN

JEREMY: Tim,
I’m going to be honest � I don’t know what to make of the radio show comments the other night and if they mean anything in light of the Alabama rumors. Those rumors seem largely fueled by the presence of Nick Saban as the Alabama football coach and the fact he knew Crean at Michigan State, but beyond that and the fact the job is open, there’s not much else to support the idea right now.
As for the comments themselves, the strange part is things had seemingly quieted down a bit with IU headed to the NCAA Tournament. But by talking how about how much his wife didn’t enjoy going to games, how much he appreciated the in-person and caller support and how much he enjoyed doing the show with Don Fischer, Crean threw gasoline back on the fire. I doubt that was the intent, and maybe he doesn’t know what’s going to happen either, and just wanted to share those feelings in case he or someone else decided to go a different direction.

MIKE: Hey Tim — the other Tim.
I don’t know what to say. His comments the other night were strange — or at least they seemed like they were in light of all the rumors we’ve heard. It’s hard to say whether anyone would be reading into his words like they are if those rumors weren’t already floating around. Making things even stranger was that it seemed that everything had died down after IU played pretty well in Chicago and made the tournament safely as a No. 10 seed on Sunday. Things were fine, then Crean — whether he meant to or not — basically revved up the engines to the rumor mill with his comments on the radio show. It’s been a weird week, to say the least. But to answer your question more directly, I don’t know what to make of it right now.

ANDY: Tim:
Where there is a lot of internet smoke, there is not necessarily fire, of course. I heard part of the radio show while heading back from dinner the other night, but was back in the offense when the concluding comments were made. So I didn’t hear his tone or inflection of voice. Just reading the comments on paper, they could have seemed a swansong of sorts, I guess, but also just a thanks to the iconic Don Fischer for another season of radio shows, and to those IU fans who had offered support over a difficult couple of weeks to both the coach and his family. One can make out of that what one wishes to make. My gut feeling is that there is some underpinning emotion swirling underneath those sorts of comments, which I don’t know he’s made in exactly that way at other season-ending radio shows, but the reasons for that emotion could be obvious and heartfelt rather than cryptic or opaque. It might be a sign of nothing other than his genuine gratitude to Fischer and others and an acknowledgement of the toll coaching at this level can take on coaching families.
The specific Crean-to-Alabama rumors seem to have emanated at least in part from some off-the-cuff comments Nick Saban made about former coaching colleagues Tom Izzo and Tom Crean from his days at Michigan State, which surfaced in conjunction with the Alabama hoops job opening up. Saban was apparently expressing his desire to see the Alabama brand of achievement spread well beyond football and was alluding to the caliber of coach Alabama should bring in to coach basketball, not necessarily identifying candidates, but simply praising the caliber of a couple of guys he’d known while at MSU.
One never knows about these things. But sometimes rumors expand and evolve into different patterns while having stemmed from the same source.

QUESTION: Sad to say, but all of the rumors about Tom Crean leaving or being fired is becoming comical….I’m waiting for the “I know a realtor and he is show Brad Stevens and his wife (or Billy Donovan’s) houses around Bloomington…but I’ve been sworn to secrecy who it is” rumor….(always a classic)
That being said, I was a bit thrown off by Tom Crean’s “thanking the fans” speech on the Radio Show. Could there be an actual chance he is leaving? Or was that just a genuine “thank the fans” speech?
Steve, Indianapolis

JEREMY: Steve,
I think there is a chance. I’m not convinced it’s a done deal one way or the other, but I believe there is a lot to think about for all parties involved. And maybe just the process of that thinking is what prompted Crean to make the comments he did. Either way, I think those were genuine comments.

MIKE: Hey Steve,
With his comments to the fans — and whether he had any other motive or not — I’m confident that they were genuinely intended to be a “thank you” to the fans for standing by the team the season. Again, I go back to whether or not we’d be trying to read between the lines of those words if we all hadn’t already heard the rumors, unfounded or not. I think there’s always a chance � right? � but I don’t know what to make of it all right now.

ANDY: Steve:
Agree about the sometimes almost lampoonish nature of rumors. And as I’ve noted elsewhere in chat, Coach Crean’s comments on the radio show aren’t necessarily a valedictory at all, but rather just a genuine expression of gratitude toward the legendary Don Fischer and to IU fans who have remained supportive through some stressful weeks. It could have just as easily been a reference to Fischer retiring as Crean exiting, but as far as I know neither is happening for the time being. That doesn’t mean I say that conclusively. And just reading the comments on paper, they were a little beyond what I can recall Coach Crean saying at the conclusion of past season-ending shows, but that simply could be a result of having gone through a bit of a rough patch over the past couple of weeks. It hasn’t been easy for the Crean family, for one thing. And he could simply have just been thanking those who had offered support during that time.

QUESTION: So Brian Agler is considering Curt Miller as his assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks? That sounds like a real slap in the face of IU women’s basketball. What do you think? If Miller is hired, is it merely an interim stop on the way back to his coaching at the college level?
Randall Bychkov, B-town

JEREMY: Randall,
Really, it surprised me a little bit when I heard about Miller intereviewing with Agler. But I also think it could very much be a courtesy interview as much as anything. Regardless, I’m quite sure Miller wants back in coaching, particularly at the collegiate level. The question is whether that will require more than one season on the sidelines to happen. Either way, picking up a WNBA assistant’s job for the summer is one way to fill the time.

MIKE: Hey Randall,
Yeah, interesting development on the Curt Miller front. I wonder if it’s more of a courtesy/publicity move to get his name back out there for other positions in the college ranks. I’m sure Miller wants to coach again, and I’d be surprised if the WNBA was his real end game. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s likely more of an interim stop than anything else.

ANDY: Randall:
Don’t know that it’s a slap in the face for IU’s program, at all. It could just be the dad of a former Miller player helping get the coach’s name out there in regard to a possible job opening, to help in at least that subtle way with the coach’s career prospects. If Miller is hired, maybe it’s more than that. But it is at the very least just a way to remind everybody that Miller is out there and could be considered a viable candidate for prospective employers. In that sense, it could be Agler doing Miller a favor. Remember how Mike Woodson’s name got floated (by his agent, it’s my guess) for the IU job (even though the IU job was not, and is not, open) when Woodson was about to be let go by the Knicks? Same deal. Coaches want to get their names out there to increase their marketability.

QUESTION: MODERATOR: That’ll do for questions, today.
Thanks to our readers for your submissions and our reporters for your answers. To our fellas on the road, drive safely.

JEREMY: Thanks to everybody who checked in and chatted. Still many interesting questions to be answered about this IU basketball season, and we’ll see if we can find a few answers in Omaha. See you there.

MIKE: Thanks, Moddy. We’re currently … ummm … somewhere. I don’t know. But glad to be with the H-T crew once again. We’ll be pretty busy over the next couple days. Looking forward to Thursday, when we’ll be afforded time to meet with all IU players and get to watch Indiana’s open practice. Jeremy and I will be dumping it all on the Scoop and onto HeraldTimesOnline.com, so stay tuned. Thanks for following along and, once again, thanks for your patience and understanding in moving this chat up a couple days. We’ll talk to you in Omaha, everybody.

ANDY: Thanks to all who chatted and/or checked in. Safe travels Mike and Jeremy. And a lot of folks’ favorite extended weekend is about to transpire. Madness is upon us.