Friday, March 10, 2017

Tom Crean is not going anywhere*

(* -- Unless he wants to.)

And, no, this is not a reaction to what happened last night, when Indiana destroyed Iowa by 22 points in its first-round Big Ten tournament game.. The 10th-seeded Hoosiers shot 60 percent. They dropped 52 points on 7-seed Iowa in the second half. Fear immediately began to seep through the rest of the field ("Oh, no! The giant has awoken!") and perhaps even Indiana fans themselves ("Oh, no! Now we'll never get rid of him!")

OK, OK. So neither of those things happened.

The truth is this is still an underachieving team that could go out tonight and erect massive edifices of brick against 2 seed Wisconsin, even though Wisconsin has lost five of its last seven games. Inconsistency has been Indiana's consistent state of being this season, after all. So who knows what happens.

They could win. They could win Saturday and Sunday and get into the Madness. Or they could go to Brick City and get into the Not-Madness-But-Just-Slightly-Battiness, aka the NIT.

One thing still seems certain, though, at least according to the Blob: Tom Crean isn't going anywhere unless he wants to.

His seat has been portrayed as blazin' hot by a lot of Indiana observers, but most of that is either wishful thinking or overreaction. Good coaches are hard to find, and, no matter how poorly he may or may not have performed this season, Crean remains a good coach. If he weren't, he wouldn't have been compelled this week to quash rumors that Missouri is after him and he's been receptive to their advances.

His name has also popped up in connection with the vacant North Carolina State job, which means at least two schools don't see in Crean what a healthy chunk of the Indiana fan base sees in him. They see a guy who's won two Big Ten titles in four years. They see a guy who can get a program, at the very least, to a certain level.

IU fans may complain that he can't get the Hoosiers to the Final Four, forgetting that even Saint Bob could rarely get them past the first round in his last half-dozen seasons. They complain the Sweet Sixteen isn't enough for a program with IU's alleged credentials.

But if you're a program with, say, Missouri's credentials, the Sweet Sixteen sounds pretty sweet right now. They'd gladly take it.

Which is why, if the rumors are true, they'd gladly take Crean.

But only if he wants to go. Not because he'll have to go.

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