Crazy rumor or April Fools? You decide

izzo-crean

That photo is not a joke. The rest of this very may well be. But I am thinking the use of April Fools for one part of the story (easily the most insane part) may mean the rest has some morsel of truth.

Midwestsportsfans.com, a site I have never heard of, is reporting Tom Izzo will leave Michigan State for the New Jersey Nets. That’s not surprising. Been reported before. Will be reported again. May even be true. Izzo does not have much left to accomplish in the college game — he’s too old to take down Bob Knight’s wins record and he’s made Final Four the Tom Izzo invitational.

But here is where the whole thing gets fun:

The next obvious question for Spartan fans and Big Ten fans is who would take over at Michigan State in the event that Izzo leaves. When I posed this question to my source, he answered almost before I get the question out: Tom Crean. In fact, the ability to hand the job over to Crean would be a motivating factor in Izzo leaving.

Oh yeah, he went there. He also provided that great photo above. We’ll be saving that one. I am sure Chronic will as well.

So who replaces Crean at Indiana? Brad Stevens? Nope — the grumpiest man to ever wear a red sweater.

The university is reportedly ready to offer Knight a blank chank, rename Assembly Hall after him, replace the statue in Showalter fountain with one of Kent Benson boxing out, and give him final say over everything basketball-related, as well as a 50-tolerance policy in place of his previously mandated zero-tolerance policy — meaning he can engage in 50 blowups, assaults, profanity-laced lambastes, etc., before the university will consider action…like how things were in the 80s.

That’s the April Fools part, the writer claims.

So is the rest true? Or just an elaborate April Fools joke designed to send traffic rushing towards a rather obscure site?

53 comments

  1. I second that and while MSU has been better than IU as of late, MSU tradition does not hold a candle to IU and Crean makes too much cash at IU to leave!

  2. Further:

    Izzo to Nets: possible, but highly implausible. (But then again, Pitino did leave for the Celtics)

    Crean to Sparty: No. Effing. Way. Whenever Izzo leaves (either by retirement or resignation), Sparty will swing for the fences and pull in a Bill Self/Mark Few/Rick Pitino-caliber coach. Crean won’t likely be considered, despite the MSU connection.

    Knight to IU: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA *breathes* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  3. Go Tom Go. Alford would love an easy matchup against an undersized MSU team with no fundamentals.

  4. Tom Izzo will retire a Spartan. No college job is a step up for him. The pros? Why?

    Tom Crean will remain at IU.

    Bob Knight will remain retired from coaching.

  5. Quick question or trivia

    Which Coach has lead a team to the final 4? Alford or Crean

    Which coach had the hire rated recruiting class last season? Alford or Crean

    Which coach has sent more players to the NBA? Alfor or Crean….

    Go ahead…HINT all three questions have the same answer.

  6. The 50 blow-ups, etc. would be over how long a period of time? I don’t think RMK could make one year with less than 50.

  7. hire rated? really?
    The funny thing about all this would be the Crean Apologists saying how they really feel. Everybody would be talking about how bad crean sucked and how better off we are now without him.

  8. TheRegion…

    Besides Final 4’s why do any of those matter.

    Case: Replace Alford with Brad Stevens. Crean still wins 2 out of 3 yet Brad, last time I checked, still has a shot to win the title THIS YEAR. His recruiting class probably wasn’t top 50 in college, but watch his team and I bet you are impressed.

    You also may have noticed that even when we won titles, our stars weren’t that big of superstars in the NBA. We had a few do okay, but not really any huge stars. Point being, college is not the NBA, its structured team basketball, less about the superstar. We don’t need NBA players to win in college, we need good fundamental college players.

    I’m not saying I don’t like Crean and he should be gone, but seriously, some of the apologists on here are just as annoying as 4guards with his Alford yearning. Crean isn’t god and he makes mistakes. He needs to prove he can coach in the Big Ten as far as I’m concerned. I think he can do it, but just because he coached D-Wade and maybe a few other NBA players and has 1 final four, does not mean it is guaranteed to happen here. Go ahead and have school spirit and back the coach, but don’t pretend like hes done something here yet.

    And before someone says it, yes I know we ‘improved’ this year, but seriously who wouldn’t have improved over last years team. We didn’t really have another option but to improve. The marginal improvement in statistics means nothing.

  9. com’on hog….didn’t you see how much we imporved last year…our stats are way better

  10. Hoag-

    I guess you already forgot about Creek’s injury. I have a feeling that if Watford and VJ got injured as well, you’d still accuse Crean of “having done nothing,” having shown no improvement, etc.

    Amazing, really. Crean might be the only coach in the history of college basketball who was expected to win 20 games, go to the tournament, and resurrect an entire tradition in one season with his best player injured and team full of young 3 and 4 star recruits, walk-ons, rejects, and transfers.

  11. None of you looked at the poll at the bottom of the article, did you?

    This is CLEARLY an April Fools joke. Like, there’s not even a question.

  12. I always wonder why people think Crean has to prove he can coach in the Big Ten. As far as I’m concerned his resume in the Big East is enough to indicate that he will succeed in the Big Ten. He had a solid winning record there. The Big East to Big Ten move is lateral, so to me the question is why would you expect him not to succeed?

    At Marquette he was coaching a mid-level school with recruiting disadvantages. Despite being smack in the middle of a completely different conference he was able to recruit and win. At IU he has a lot more tools to work with and given time I’m confident he will succeed. I really don’t think there is good reason to think otherwise. Anybody who thinks these last two years are an indication of our win/loss record in the future are purposefully ignoring the problems Sampson left for us.

  13. Tom Crean in the Big East (5 Years)
    Season 1- 8th place
    Season 2- 9th Place
    Season 3- Tied for 4th
    Season 4-Tied for 5th
    Season 5- Tied for 5th

    Big Ten Record: 5-32 (2 Years)

  14. Husky Tom,

    Thanks for being even more of an apologist and excuse maker. This is exactly my point. I didn’t expect us to win 20 games. I didn’t expect to go to the tournament. I didn’t forget about Creek, but really, nobody can say what happens for sure if he was healthy the whole year. What we have to look at is what took place. Not what ifs, the bare bones what actually happened. We brought in a top 10 class, had some ups and downs, and lost games we shouldn’t have lost. Now if you take what you saw on paper at the beginning of the season and looked win/loss maybe you feel that beating Michigan was a huge win. Maybe you thought being close to Illinois was a big deal.

    But if you watched any games this year, for the record I was at every home game and saw all away games, you saw that neither of those teams were out of our league. Not even close. We beat Pitt, it was exciting, they didn’t have 2 of their best players. I watched as we made the same defensive mistakes throughout the year, we didn’t correct any of them. We had the same downfalls, we had the same things go wrong, and everyone just says wait till we get more talent. No problem Mike Davis, I’ll do that. Wait hes gone… my fault.

    I’m not giving up on Crean or having ridiculous expectations, but I’m not doing the opposite either and apologizing for everything that goes wrong and saying its not his fault. He hasn’t done anything yet, and I didn’t expect him too. I’m not saying he has failed, but I’m definitely not saying I’m convinced that we are on the path back to having a Great basketball tradition either. Let’s wait and see, but so far, I’m not super impressed based on what talent we have, even though young, and what we were able to do. There were no games that we just took someone out of something, or switched what we do to win the game. We won games where we shot well and the other team didn’t, and we lost games when we had no offense. Nothing Great.

    GFDave,

    How is it a lateral move? They are different conferences. Beiline(sp?) was successful at WVU, but so far hes not done much at Michigan which provides him superior advantages to WVU. The style of play is completely different. The Big East gets 8 teams in the tourney and then disappoints every year. Look at last year, yea they got 2 to the final 4, but then none to championship game. They were the most talked about conference the whole year and had like 6 teams in the top 10. They get a lot of talent, and run up and down the floor. They are athletic. The Big Ten however, is a grinder conference. There are a bunch of teams with systems. You can win in the Big East by wanting it more (Marq.) but not in the Big Ten. Every team battles, every team plays until the end, every team is tough and gritty. Even MSU occasionally slows it down, and Izzo is the best at scoring off out of bounds plays.

    Simply put, the conference are completely different. The Big Ten is more about strategy and grinding. The Big East is more like the mini-NBA, and run and gun. Crean succeeded in one, but the Big Ten is the harder to consistently win in, it takes more than just talent on the floor. If it didn’t then why is Wisconsin always so good without ever getting a top 10, 5-star recruit? How is Northwestern ever been ranked without ever having a top 10 recruit? Good programs win and are successful even when on paper they are out manned. We brought in a top ten class and still got manhandled, I would feel more comfortable bringing in a top 50 class every year, but always competing and having a system and identity that people have to deal with. Success at one place, never means it at another. Let’s wait and see. For me the jury is still out.

  15. This is an April Fool’s joke. If Izzo was going to leave, he’d go to Oregon, not the Nets. He’s smart enough to note the disparity in success level in college and the NBA shown by Pitino and Calipari (with the Nets, no less). He’s way too non-stupid to consign himself to the torture of coaching undisciplined players with guaranteed contracts in the state of New Jersey. Come on now.

  16. We need to be patient a couple more years. If North Carolina could miss the tournament this year and play bad basketball so could we. Has Crybaby Roy forgotten how to coach? Keeping it real.

  17. IUvoice, nothing has been real on this blog for a long time. Too much name calling and opinions stated as gospel.

  18. Biggest reason I don’t buy it is why would Izzo agree to do this BEFORE the Final Four? Not like the Nots are in a big hurry to fill that position- it could wait a week or 2. I don’t believe any of it.

  19. Its a lateral move in that they both are premier leagues. Last year there were 2 B East teams in the final four. This year there’s 1. That’s not disappointing. Additionally, the B East has won 2 titles since 2000 and has a total of 8 F4 appearances. The B10 has one title and 10 F4 appearances. That’s very comparable.

    Crean has the experience in the league to adapt to stylistic differences. Its not that different, and not everybody does the same thing. There are pressing teams in both leagues, Princeton Offense teams in both leagues and grinders in both leagues.

  20. For those of us that have seen good fundementals exhibited by basketball players, we all can see that our team is far from showing any signs of grasping them. Good recruiting plus poor fundementals creates frustration for players and us fans. I don’t care if it’s Alford or Buckner or Wittman or ?, lets bring in the “Indiana” kids as players and as a coach and get back to “Indiana” basketball – aka Butler/Purdue.

  21. Just in case anyone still pays attention to his posts, 4guards gave incorrect information regarding Tom Crean and the Big East. Marquette was only in the Big East his last 3 seasons there–06, 07, and 08. So the 8th and 9th place finishes in the first 2 seasons, per 4 guards, are completely fictitious.

  22. Capt Carl,
    I appreciate your frsutration. Do you remember the 1976-77 season? Fundamentals weren’t very good, frsutration was very high. If I am not mistaken Knight pushed/shoved Benson off the elevated court at Northwestern. The court was elevated at that time. There were other seasons where frustrations ran high. Do you remember the early part of the 1981-2 season?
    Some of the great players under Knight were not from Indiana. Knight was not from Indiana. I am all for Indiana players but you and others need to be realistic concerning such matters.

  23. Millport, I do remember those teams. They were bad but far from what we are seeing but that’s not the reason for my post and they were one year after national championships. So it’s hard to compare those teams to what we are going through now. My point though is Indiana has a boatload of talent in state the next three years. What are our chances of getting some of these kids? I’d say pretty good. Could we win with these kids… I’d say yes. Just being “realistic”. Regardless I just want to watch a winner again.

  24. Bottom line is that Crean was 100 games over .500 and won 66% of his games at Marquette. Some still see this as “unproven,” and they have their right to an opinion. But it beyond moronic, idiotic, and senseless to efface all of his achievements and insist that he is a horrible coach because of these two seasons.

    Ben Howland, before being hired at UCLA, was 170-100 at Northern Arizona and Pitt. The best he had ever done was to get to the Sweet 16. He had only won 89 games in the Big East, and the best college basketball program of all time hired him.

    In 7 seasons at UCLA, he has been to 5 tournaments, including 2 final fours and one championship game, and he continues to recruit 5-stars.

    The point is: Crean can coach, and he has proved it on a big stage. Sure, he may have hit some bumps and made some mistakes early on. But it is still early. If you can’t give him another year or two, and continue to come screaming and whining all over this blog like a Druish Princess, then you need mental help.

  25. I love it when the latest flavor of the month is the new John Wooden…Brad Stevens is a good good coach who has accomplished about the same as Tom Crean…. ONE final 4! The Horizon league…are you serious, 50% of the horizon league teams will NEVER make the NIT. Butler is a good team but don’t suck up to them too much given this is their FIRST trip to the final 4.

    Yes I am a Crean apologist given, the damn guy has been there two years with ONE recruiting class. His best player got hurt this year and all of a sudden an average coach like Alford is who will save the day. Alford was a COMPLETE failure at Iowa and within the NCAA tourney.

    The Big East is Mini Run and Gun…WHAT

    Georgetown runs a princeton offense
    Syracuse plays a 2-3 zone the entire season

  26. Ha ha, I love when people say I need mental help for an opinion I didn’t express and simply because it was different than their own. I didn’t say Crean was a terrible coach, just that I’m not ready to buy that he’s ‘the savior’ nor do I want Alford to be our coach.

    Say whateveR you want but the Big East is absolutley a different league. Look at the tempo numbers. Ask any coach. I do think Crean can succeed here, but just because he did somewhere else, does not mean he will. I hope he does, but so far I’m not convinced. I didn’t say he should already be in the tournament, in fact I said the opposite. Still, maybe it’s just me, but I know Indiana basketball as a state and a university to be fundamental and smart basketball. Our kids know fudamentals, can work for a good shot, and go 100% or they sit. I’d liketo see that, not Rivers drive out of control and get patted on the back. Or have kids save it under the other teams goal to give them layups. That stuff is simple. It doesn’t take 5 star talent. It happened here all year.

    Lastly, the point of Brad Stevens was made to point out that the statistics thrown out earlier mean nothing. NBA players doesn’t mean ou are a good coach. Rick Barnes had plenty this year, so did UK. Neither are winning it. It doesn’t prove Crean will succeed here. Let’s wait and see. I hope he does, but it’s not a given like everyone on here tries to act like it is. There’s some ‘real talk’

  27. Millport, you are a very smart fan…a sensible voice in the wilderness. Advice for other teams, fear the future…I.U. will be back.

  28. Hoag- I posted the part about you being mental in an “If…” clause. That means a hypothetical situation, where you are mental IF you meet the condition I described.

    Now, to your argument: playing with the “fundamentals” isn’t as simple as a coach simply saying in practice “Hey guys, do the fundamentals! Make your free throws! Don’t turn the ball over!”, and then the players do it or don’t do it based on their particular mood that day.

    Have you ever considered that “fundamentals” are something that can be learned over time? That some players have great talent, but need time to learn to curb mistakes and learn a system? That confidence, the kind that comes with experience, might be the most important factor in whether a player is fundamentally sound? That this is a process, not something that just appears right away if the coach is good?

    Do you think that instead of teaching “fundamentals” during practice, that Crean is showing them how to make Cotton Candy and polish up their putting game?

  29. The story is true. It’ll be announced Tuesday after the final game. Crean has already tendered his resignation. That’s why Abraham didn’t commit and Carlino decommitted. IU has already made an offer to Frank Martin at K-State and he’s accepted. He was in Bloomington at Nicks today. I think I saw him eating a tenderloin.

  30. “I watched as we made the same defensive mistakes throughout the year, we didn’t correct any of them. We had the same downfalls, we had the same things go wrong, and everyone just says wait till we get more talent. No problem Mike Davis, I’ll do that. Wait hes gone… my fault.” -Hoagland

    12/22/09 vs. Butler Birmingham, Ala. W, 67-57

    Butler struggled against the aggressive UAB defense for much of the game. The Bulldogs hit just seven of 27 (.259) shots in the first half and connected on just 19 of 56 (.339) shots for the game. Those shooting woes contributed to a 10-point deficit at halftime, 32-22, and a 51-35 deficit midway through the second half.

    A Final Four team had their last loss over three months ago to group of Davis kids that must have played some very fundamentally strong, get-in-your-face defense. I would imagine Izzo is watching plenty of film from the UAB vs Butler game. And we wonder how we won against #1 Duke the last time IU got to a Final Four..?

    I hope Butler gets demolished.

  31. The “fundamentals” comment has got to be one of the most classic cliché armchair quarterback comments of all time.

    It reminds me of the guy who blames the manager if a player swings and misses at a 98-mph Randy Johnson slider in the dirt.

    As if there is a clear-cut, press-of-a-button method whereby the coach simply “stresses fundamentals” and then they magically happen the next day.

  32. It’s a good thing that Tom Crean got new glasses…my god. The ones in the pictures look like they are form the 70’s!

  33. Wow. How are you guys all so right? How could I never stop to think that fundamentals take time to learn? I guess hopefully by the time these kids graduate, that maybe 20 yr. old college students could pick up a few things over 80 some games and lord knows how many practices…

    I don’t think its a switch of the button, no one thinks that. It would just be nice to see a little improvement throughout the year. Last game of the season and we do the same crap. There is no remorse, no sense on most players faces that they even made a mistake. Heres an example: I would say that Jordy Hulls is a fundamental player, hes smart and knows the game. Every turnover he makes, he gets upset with HIMSELF and knows he screwed up. Everytime Rivers turns it over he yells at someone else for being in the wrong spot when he blindly dropped the ball behind him. He didn’t learn a thing all year. And after he does this, he gets a pat on the back and a ‘atta boy. Maybe they are making cotton candy in practice, that is a reason I never considered, but anytime I see them, theres not much learning of basketball happening.

    By Fundamentals logic, Boston University and their coach is better than ours because they beat us one game, on the road, over three months ago. Sound point.

    I guess I just have a different standard than IU’s fanbase. I thought we were elite. Not a school who was okay with 18 turnovers a game. It’s okay they’ll learn sometime, theres no magic button. I will back down and just wait a couple years for fundamentals to show up. You guys are right, we have everything going for us, time to just take it easy on the demands and wait for it to be all better.

    Can’t wait for this final four with 0 1st team All-Americans and no one and done kids. Isn’t it just amazing how lucky they have all gotten to beat such talented and celebrated players?

    You guys have fun patting each other on the back and agreeing with the status quo. I will not upset the balance any longer. This is a sad day in the Hoosier state for basketball knowledge and expectations (this does not mean wins or the tourney this year to me) to be so low.

  34. My apologies to fundamentalist. I meant to say Chill’s logic.

    Fundamentalist’s logic is even better in that every game and player we go up against is a top ten all time lefty who will be in the hall of fame. He is very astute to notice that when anyone faced Randy Johnson they just tried to do the same thing they do to go 0’fer against John Van Benschoten and close their eyes and hope to get a hit. Also, the coaches were off the hook if they lost because I mean, its Randy Johnson, why don’t we just give up, there is nothing we can do. Why didn’t I see and accept this sooner?

  35. It is a step up from the Big East to the B10, but not much. The last ten years have proved that. To Hoagland’s point about fundamentals needing shined up, I tend to agree because in Coach Crean’s style of play you need talent more so than some systems to coexist with mature minds and bodies. Case in point, Rivers has the body and Hulls and Capo are maybe further along in the mental. We have talent, but the other two have to grow for his system to sparkle. I do think there was improvement from last season and also through this season. The thing I keep going back to and remembering was reading in B10 team scoring the IU Freshman lead the conference something like 2 or 3 to 1 over the team of Freshman who were in second place.

    But the idea that pro Crean posters are apologetic is just silly. It is just support.

  36. Hoagland,
    The Crean apologists are not rational and just make excuses for everything. I have enjoyed your posts though because much of it is spot on.

  37. At least more so than any posting 4disreguards does about SA, New Mexico and the Mountain West. But after all he is the official apologist for Alford.

  38. Alford’s performance speaks for itself, conference coach of the year.
    Crean on the other hand…. can we say cellar dweller?

  39. Mountain West, HE HAW, HE HAW, damn he sure got his plow shined in the Big Ten. Coach Crean moves up and Stevie boy moved down. Keep apologizing, cause nobody else cares.

  40. You people seem to have all the answers. Then again, answers are the most primitive form a lazy man strikes at a good spirit not succumbing to the enviable logic his inexplicable determination.

    Davis’s first coaching position was as an assistant at Miles College. While at Miles, Davis endured a tragedy that made the pressure cooker that is Indiana basketball seem like a cool summer breeze. Davis had been married and started a family with the birth of his son, Mike Jr., in 1985 and a second child, Nicole, in 1987. Davis separated from his first wife, Theresa, shortly thereafter, but in 1990 the mother and children were involved in a car accident that left Mike Jr. with a broken pelvis and killed his two-year-old Nicole. Along with the family tragedy, Davis was earning very little money as an assistant for a Division II basketball program. He was forced to sell t-shirts from the back of his car on the weekends to make ends meet. Davis recalled to the Cincinnati Enquirer: “It definitely humbled me a lot … I didn’t have a degree at the time, so there wasn’t a job I wanted that I could get. A friend of mine was selling T-shirts at flea markets, and he asked me if I wanted to do it … I was in the selling business, so I’d hit baseball games in the summer or go to the park (selling shirts) just to make ends meet.”

    Sometimes the heart of a man is the most important fundamental found in the whole of the team.

  41. Boy, Hoagland…you are a piece of work.

    “There is no remorse, no sense on most players faces that they even made a mistake”

    #2 Worst Armchair Quarterback Cliché of All Time: trying to play “player psychologist” from your seat, thinking that you can read into what a player is thinking and feeling after a mistake.

    This is the kind of stuff that only 4tarded people and old ladies say about games, as they mix lemonade and bake cupcakes in the background.

    By the way, get it out of your head that IU is “elite.” It’s the single biggest lie on this thread. IU WAS elite, way back before the fall of communism, the internet, and Cool Ranch Doritos. If you continue to think this way, you will just be setting yourself up for continual letdown.

  42. What a load. The Great TC did not get a single vote for COY. Can’t the world see he has spent the last two years building our dynasty.

  43. This thread was started with an article about an Izzo-to-Nets rumor. However, Hugh, in citing the article, left out the best part:

    “Now, Crean is coaching at Indiana and mired in a two-season stretch during which he’s gone 16-46 and is already feeling heat from petulant, impatient, unrealistic IU zealots. Izzo apparently feels that Crean is in a no-win situation and would love to help his friend out by turning over Michigan State’s well-oiled machine to Crean. Considering the hand Crean had in getting the program to where it is today , Izzo feels — according to my source — that he owes him and that it provides further impetus and justification to leave for the Nets.

    Boy, it’s almost as if the writer of this article has met 4tards, L’accengle, and Hoagland in person. That’s how well he described them.

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