When it comes to the word “loyalty,” you won’t find a better University for that then Indiana University. They will stick with you through thick and thin no matter how bad things may be going. It was seen this past season as they climbed to 11th in the nation in basketball attendance averaging 15,296 fans.
"It's easy to see that the fan base at Indiana is without question the most loyal in the country," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "Their energy and support is playing a big part in our efforts to restore the championship tradition here at IU."
However, lately some fans have started to question whether or not coach, Tom Crean is the right man for the job. After the job became available thanks to Kelvin Sampson’s debacle, he took the job with open arms and went full steam ahead his first season having only one scholarship player in Kyle Taber. Even with a top ten recruiting class going into his second season he knew it was still a work in progress. Just when things started to look bright for the young Hoosiers, they lost freshman and leading scorer Maurice Creek for the season right before Big Ten play. It seemed before that injury the team had been playing their best ball all season. Again another road block in rebuilding the program and showing the Hoosier nation that he was the one for the job.
Now, with two years into his tenure, Crean hoists a 16-46 record on his resume. This happens to be the worst record over two years in Indiana University history. So the questioning begins, is he the one for the job?
Let me just tell you, he is more than right for the job, he is the “one” for the job. He is an outstanding recruiter, mentor and coach. His resume at Marquette speaks for itself and his first full recruiting class at Indiana University shows that as well. The problem with sports and society is they want to see what you can do for them now. Patience is the least of their concerns even though it should be their main focus.
The waterfall that he had hoped to be the damn for has yet to slow down in most eyes of the fans. What those fans didn’t see last year was a team that had the potential of winning 15-17 games, but some key injuries and lack of experience hurt them down the stretch. Again, they only look at the final record instead of the progress that they have made.
Tom Crean needs “at least” a four to five year grace period. First, there isn't a better coach we can find in terms of reputation, ethics and the ability to develop players to get this program back to where it should be nationally. Second, there isn't a better coach available that would take on the tack of rebuilding this program. Third, IU will be rebuilt by developing second level talent, not signing the best high school player in the nation. Lastly, this is going to take at least four or five years to rebuild. The landscape of college basketball in the Midwest has made it tougher than ever to rebuild. With Purdue ranked in the top ten, Butler making a championship run and “the cheater,” John Calipari going to Kentucky, recruits in and around Indiana has more of a decision to make. It isn’t like the old days when coach Knight would make a personal call and the top talent in the state. So relax and enjoy the progress coach Crean is making. It will take a couple years, but this is the right Crean for the Crimson!!!