"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Big News Day for MU; Crean Extension Tops the News

Tuesday unexpectedly became the biggest news day of this long off-season.

Clearly the biggest news was that MU has extended the contract of Tom Crean through the 2016-2017 season. 10 more years. Does anybody think he's going anywhere else now? Certain negative recruiters will have to invent some new fiction, I suppose.

This contract is a coup for Bill Cords and Father Wild. Crean is the quintessential program builder and a charismatic ambassador for MU. During the last eight years, the University responded in-kind with dramatically improved facilities, resources and expertise to match. With top-notch facilities, an expanded athletic department staff, a much-improved athletic scholarship fund engine, burgeoning ticket sales, and now the Crean extension - - MU's commitment is clear.

The new deal likely ensures that Crean's tenure at MU will outlast that of current AD Bill Cords, who has been at the university for roughly 20 years. Also, its possible that Crean will also serve under another university president in the years to come. In each case the message is clear - - big-time basketball is a critical part of the overall, long-term university strategy.

A lengthy, lucrative deal like this signals that the commitment to the basketball program transcends the current administration. This is a good thing considering MU's lack of commitment during the mid-1980s, one that derailed the program for years to come.

Glad you're sticking around, Coach Crean. Here's the MJS article.

Next up -- the CBE Classic, where the field now is set for November. MU is one of four programs hosting a first-round game in this event, and will open on November 13 against Idaho State at the Bradley Center. Maine and Detroit will also play at the BC that same night, with the winner of this mini-bracket advancing to the CBE semifinals in Kansas City on November 20. The winner of this bracket would likely face Texas Tech in Kansas City, and perhaps the Duke/Stanford winner in the finals on November 21. Interestingly, this event will also play a consolation game on that same date.

Finally, we were treated to the news that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has agreed in principle to play MU beginning in the 2007-2008 season. The 'rivalry' will be renewed with what amounts to a 4 for 1 arragement, with MU hosting four games at the Bradley Center. MU has never lost to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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