Crean: “My complete focus is on these young kids in our program”

WASHINGTON — Tom Crean on Thursday declined to address a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report that there is mutual interest between himself and the University of Missouri regarding its open head coaching position.

“I don’t talk about my job, other jobs or any other speculation,” Crean told The Herald-Times. “My complete focus is on these young kids in our program and the games in front of us.”

Citing sources, the Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that there is mutual interest between Crean and Missouri. Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk announced Sunday that Kim Anderson would not return as Tigers coach next season following the program’s third 20-loss season in Anderson’s three years at the helm.

According to a separate Post-Dispatch story published Thursday by Missouri beat writer Dave Matter, Sterk is looking to have a replacement hired by the end of the month. Another name floated with the Missouri position is California’s Cuonzo Martin.

“Is Crean on the top of Sterk’s wish list?” Matter wrote. “Was told Wednesday the Crean buzz might be somewhat overblown, but here’s a comment from a well-placed source: ‘If Crean is not the hire here, he or MU has done a good job fooling everyone.’ That doesn’t mean Sterk has already drafted a contract with Crean’s name on it, but if there’s another leader on the list, Mizzou has done a masterful job of keeping this process quiet.”

Indiana beat Iowa, 95-73, in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday and faces Wisconsin tonight at 6:30.


  1. Not sure this clears anything up or not. As this is unfortunately a typical comment from a person in his situation especially at this point in the season. Personally, I think his job is contingent on if he wins the big ten tournament and makes the NCAA tournament or if he wins the NIT. Weather I like that or not personally is irrelevant, but it is a fair ultimatum in my opinion. If he makes the NCAA or wins the NIT the university would look like they have unrealistic expectations like many media sources seem to focus on. According to his well chosen words it’s not out of the question he’s coaching for his job at this time. Also these words could be 100% true, but it might not be his decision to make.
    Now according to Internet forum talk, I’ve found a couple tidbid that seem to correspond in the correct timeline. I have no idea if any of it is true.

    1.) Alumni meeting was held a few weeks ago lots of buzz about booster support to hire a guy like Billy Donovan.

    2.) a few weeks ago Creans agent and Iu have been working on the buyout which Iu will pay next to nothing.

    3.) A few weeks ago Billy Donovan’s agent reached out to IU and are working out details on an 8 year deal.

    4.) The Missouri based news papers and unknown sources claims of mutual interest.

    5.) “With Westbrook set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, the long-term prospects for continuity did not appear great. “ He’s gone after this year,” said one league executive. “ A hundred percent.”
    -This would make OKC less appealing then when Donovan took the job when he had Durant and Westbrook.

    Now the timeline seems consistent. Donovan has a job so inquiring wouldn’t hurt anything and if Crean wins he isn’t out much.

    I have no idea if any of this is true, but it does add up. I personally think it’s all contingent on the next few games and Creans comments can still be considered accurate.

  2. Weather IU is considered a blue blood or not, a guy like Billy Donovan can see the potential in the job. He played in the 1987 final four when Steve Alford and Indian won the national championship. He recruited the state as an assistant at Kentucky and knows the recruiting is consistently plentiful in the state of Indiana. He knows it can be a great job. He doesn’t need the championships, legacy, or money, but he might welcome the challenge. Duke, UNC, UCLA, and Kansas aren’t going to have job openings for a little long while, but IU to Donovan could be very appealing and an absolute great fit if he wants to return to the college ranks. Look what he did at a football school with a bad basketball program. Coming to a basketball school, with a recruiting hot bed, great facilities, and top notch pay would have to be easier than when he walked into Florida. The Indiana job, Purdue job, Butler job, or Notre Dame job are great jobs….if you can get the best talent in the state.

    Bob knight had a huge group of Indiana kids in the late 80’s that resulted in big ten championships and a final 4…then good in state recruiting dropped off as well as success.

    Mike Davis won a big ten championships and went to a final 4 led by Indiana Mr basketballs Tom Coverdale and Jared Jeffries. Good instate dropped off as well as success.

    Kelvin Sampson convinced an insane talent Indiana Mr Basketball Eric Gordon to flip from Illinois to Indiana his team finished ranked. He was suspended for games in which potentially cost Indiana a share of the big ten title and had a team potentially good enough to make the final 4.

    Creans successful years at IU were roster heavy on good instate kids. He had 10 total Indiana kids in 2012-2013 and 6 on 2014-2015. Both were outright championship years. And 2012-2013 was a potential final four team. Now the well is as dry and the success is gone.

    So there is a pattern here. You get the good instate kids you win big. Since 1999-2000:

    Zac Randolph final 4, Jason Gardner final 4, Stephan Van Treese final 4, NCAA champion, Kyle kuric final 4, Marshall plumlee NCAA champion final 4, miles plumblee NCAA champion, mason plumlee NCAA champion, Sean may NCAA champion, Marquis Teague NCAA champion, Trey Lyles final 4, Brendon Dawson final 4, Erron Harris final 4, Spike Albrecht final 4, Glenn Robinson 3 final 4, Mitch McGary final 4, DeShaun Thomas final 4, Greg Oden final 4, Steve Conley Jr final 4, Tyler Zeller NCAA Champion, Mark Titus final 4, Delco Rowley final 4, Chris Hill final 4 ,Johnathon Holmes final 4, Duany Duany final 4, Charlie Wills final 4, Keuth Duany NCAA champion.

    These are just the kids that were involved in final fours in the last 17 years that were not on a team in the state. 2002 Iu was in the final four with 4 kids from Indiana and butler was back to back runner up in 10-11 with 12 Indiana kids.

    6 total kids from Bloomington, Indiana

  3. Ben, that is both damn convincing and strongly condemning about IUBB. Yes we need a HC change without a doubt.

  4. He lost me at “weather.”

    But how dare him for ignoring AJ Moye……from the Davis team. He was not an Indiana kid but the young man was the definition of “undaunted spirit.” He was more Hoosier than Cody and his Indiana Elite choir of followers all put together. There are plenty of soft Indiana kids.

  5. I was about to mention his backcourt mate at Providence and former Mr. Basketball, Delray Brooks, as I knew he was coaching at some level. It turns out he is 8-46 as a head coach. We can probably do better.

    It does always stab into my heart when I see an Indiana kid we whiffed on becoming a star in Texas or California.

    Ben, I hope your scenario is on target. Billy Donovan, IMHO, is the best we could get.

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