"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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Donovan spurns UK -- do they turn to Tom Crean?

I am going to steal a bit of thunder here from one of my co-bloggers, muwarrior92. With Donovan staying put in Gainesville, how about this scenario:

Izzo to UK

Crean to MSU

This would make sense for Kentucky. Izzo is the only coach in the country that they can get with a better track record than Tubby's. Izzo has led MSU to 10 straight NCAA bids, the second-longest streak in Big Ten history, been to multiple Final Fours and won a national title. Along the way, he's create an absolute monster called "Unreasonable Expectations", something he's lamented in the past. MSU has been spoiled by success during his tenure -- maybe he'll look to move on despite the heaps of praise he earned for the job he did last season.

The second longest streak of NCAA tourney appearances in Big Ten history. And some fans are not happy. Shock.

In some ways, MU is MSU-lite. With Crean, MU has made the tourney in four of the last six seasons, reached the Final Four and put three players in the NBA. But we know that. Here are a few other facts about TC's tenure that are worth noting:

  • MU has made over 80 appearances on television since 2001;
  • MU spent 64 weeks ranked nationally since 2001 (in the 15 years prior to TC, MU was ranked for a total of 24 weeks);
  • Pitt, G’Town and Marquette are the only teams to post double-digit conference victories first two years of expanded Big East play;
  • 20 Big East wins are the most of the C-USA orphans;
  • MU has enjoyed a 54% increase in attendance.
These are great times for Marquette basketball, and some vocal folks on the fringe are not happy. Shock.

Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal thinks the job will come down to Izzo and TC.

This could become very interesting. I hope they don't become too interseting.


Anonymous said...

So the next choice is UT's Barnes...and will say No for the same reason on BD....football school, less pressure, great recruiting base, etc.

Then it gets interesting. Izzo and Crean. The only lock to go if offerred is TC. And the recruiting fall off is immediate.

It was fun TC. Good luck with the fanatics from the moonshine state.

Anonymous said...

Those are some fancy numbers.

How about this...since Wade left, average attendance is down almost 12 percent...and that's not taking into account the fact that MU is clearly inflating the numbers.

As for TV appearances, 80 times on TV? Really? Seven and 1/2 times a year? Are you counting appearances on ESPNU, which nobody gets?

How many times has Notre Dame been on? Is that because of Mike Brey? What about DePaul?

Look, Crean has done a good job. The point is, if he leaves we'll be fine.

Part of the reason people have soured on him is that he seems to want credit for building a fanbase that was already in place. For crying out loud, I've heard people credit him for the popularity of Al's Run, which was 30K strong when Bob Dukiet was at the helm!

Anonymous said...

My math is wrong...we're claiming more than 10 times a year on TV? What planet are the games being televised on?

Anonymous said...

So TV appearances and Top 25 weeks are the end goals? In that case, wow. Crean IS a great coach!

Anonymous said...

Actually attendance this season is an all-time high so how can it be down 12%?

ESPNU many people get and more now per Chico who said Time Warner announced an agreement yesterday to carry it nationally.

You're probably the same type of person who bitched when they were on ESPN2 5 years ago because it didn't have the same distribution it does now.

Why don't you look up Brey and DePaul for us, we're concerned about Marquette. We're even more concerned about a few fans that are so obnoxiously full of themselves they'd rather throw caution to the wind.

Exactly who in the hell are you planning on hiring to replace Crean? With what money (is the donor that pays most of his salary now going to do it again)? All of the recruiting inroads - GONE.

Please Einstein, tell us. And since we know you are the same guy giving all three of these anonymous messages, just answer it one time.

Gene Frenkle said...

I thought all the deuschbag fans (or at least most of them) from the Big East were in South Bend. Turns out Milwaukee's got a good population of them too.

I had season tix as a student from 93-97. Even when we played top 10 ranked Cinci or Memphis back then, there were always a bunch of seats open in the student section in the upper bowl. That doesn't happen now in premier games. And that's 4,000 seats too!

As for the crowd at MU games, it's much, much more fun now than CUSA.

But enough about that. What about the coach? I find it absolutely hysterical how people want to throw Crean to the curb as if coaches like him grow on trees.

And no, top 25 rankings and TV appearances aren't the end goal. Winning a national title is the be all, end all goal. But for God's sake...there are 300 D-1 hoops teams.

And just because you don't win it all does that make you an overrated coach? Does 20+ wins make you a failure? I'm so sick of this "national title or bust" mentality.

Yeah, who DOESN'T go out there to win games. But at what point does "realism" set in? At what point do fans say, "boy, MU has sucked for 20 years as a national program, and now that we got it again...eh..Crean can go. We're fine!!" What makes all of you so sure?

Based on MU's AD situation, the coaching movement that's already taken place, and the candidates that may be left, why of all seasons would anyone be o.k. w/Crean leaving now?

Anonymous said...

Crean runs a good overall program and is a great PR man, but gets outcoached consistently in big games. This could improve since he is still young, but he just seems to lack the instincts and doesn't make adjustments during the course of a game.

I am totally amazed that he is being mentioned for a job like Kentucky. He just hasn't shown enough to hand over the keys to that kind of program.

The UK blogs are hilarious. None of you Crean phanatics should be worried if these fans get their way.


Anonymous said...

Make that Crean fanatics...

Anonymous said...

Also, the further we get away from the "Wade era" the tougher recruiting may become for TC. I'm surprised that TC hasn't been able to draw more from Michigan and even Illinois appears to be less productive inspite of good publicity in Chicago. I may be wrong, but didn't Villanova land several good recruits out of Chicago for next year?

Anonymous said...

He is outcoached in the big games? I guess that's why we have won something like 48% of our games against ranked teams.

Anonymous said...

The knee jerk reactions on every MU board are hilarious.

Nobody was calling for Crean to be fired! There is quite simply a growing number of people who wouldn't be sorry to see him leave.

I don't know what's worse, Wisconsin trolls bashing MU at every turn, or MU fans who blindly defend Crean despite his many faults.

Anonymous said...

The last post says it best. People overreacting in both directions - the haters and the worshipers. You can easily argue either side.

If you are a hater, it is easy to point out 4 of 8 yrs w/o a NCAA birth, no conference tourney wins from 03-06, first round losses as a higher seed in 3 of 4 tourneys sometimes in embarrassing fashion, a Final Four in '03 due solely to the unbelievable talent of a player whose recruiting file was started by Mike Deane, a guard oriented offense that can't shoot from outside, lack of a big man.

If you bow down at his alter, you talk about developing 3 NBA players, 20 wins in the Big East the last 2 years, the Al Maguire Center, a Final Four appearance, Andy Katz is in cahoots w/ Bo Ryan to scare off potential grads by floating rumors, attendance is up and on and on.

Both sides arguments seem petty and trivial and perpetuate the inferiority complex I often witness as a MU grad and fan.

He has brought them a long way from the Deane days, but is far from Kentucky caliber. He is good with all the details off the court, but is average on it. He is a good fit for Marquette now that will hopefully improve his game skills, but far from elite status that garners all this gnashing of teeth.

Anonymous said...

Ring a ding, ding, the last two anonymous postings are spot on. The extreme groups really get carried away.

Anonymous said...

Well actually many people were calling for Crean to leave or be fired.

I invite you to visit www.muscoop.com or www.marquettehoops.com or the Journal Sentinel Marquette message boards.

If you want itemized lists of users calling for said head, that can be provided as well.

Anonymous said...

No one worships at Crean's altar. Some people, however, have a grasp on reality that 2007 isn't 1977 and we are wise to keep someone that has delivered 4 NCAAs in 6 years, a Final Four and a team that returns all 5 starters next season coming off a 24 win season.

Those people must be worshipping at the altar? Puhlease. Sounds like good common sense and nothing less.

Anonymous said...

"Well actually many people were calling for Crean to leave or be fired..If you want itemized lists of users calling for said head, that can be provided as well. "

@Anonymous: Yes, I will call your bluff. Please provide an itemized list of "many" users who wanted Crean to leave. I dare you.

I triple dog dare you. Put up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

Here in the NYC area, I only get to see MU games a few times each season. Crean's improved our image, and is a bright young coach who will get better with time.

He could use a new hairstyle though. :-D