Indiana University is moving on without men's basketball coach Tom Crean.
Athletic director Josh Whitman fired coach John Groce on Saturday after he missed the NCAA tournament in the last four of his five seasons in Champaign. The same team that scored 96 points in the regular season finale at Ohio State and 95 in the Big Ten Tournament opener at Iowa, barely scored 60 against Georgia Tech in the opening round of the NIT.
Crean, 50, finished his IN tenure with a 166-135 record, which would have been much better if not for losing 66 games his first three seasons when sanctions and roster turnover resulting from the Sampson era led to a serious talent void.
Tasked with rebuilding the Hoosier program after Kelvin Sampson resigned amidst NCAA violations and sanctions, Crean was sub-.500 during his first three seasons before seemingly bringing the Hoosiers back with a 27-9 year and a run to the Sweet 16 in 2011-12.
Crean's tenure in Bloomington should be viewed as a success overall.
Other than Bob Knight, no name is more synonymous with IN basketball than Alford, the all-American talent from the little town of New Castle, nestled less than 50 miles outside of Indianapolis.
Alford spoke with reporters as his Bruins had a workout on Thursday night in Sacramento ahead of Friday's first-round NCAA Tournament game against Kent State.
"I think he's a very good coach, but evidentially the folks in IN don't".
"Basketball is big in IN, so they'll come back", says Pugh. He has 1,805 career points, which could put him in position to rank in the top-five all-time by this time next year.
Alford starred at IN, helping the Hoosiers win the national championship IN 1987. IN is in a much better place than it was nine years ago and Crean is responsible for that.
"So obviously all that comes up, but I love UCLA". We've got things going at a very high level now, and we're very excited about it.
None of that should be forgotten or minimized as he departs the IN job.
"I-who?" Conley says with a smile.
"The expectations for Indiana University basketball are to perennially contend for and win multiple Big Ten championships, regularly go deep in the NCAA tournament, and win our next national championship-and more after that". IL also improved to 13-5 at home on the season, while they are 3-6 on the road and 3-3 at neutral sites.
IN is one of the most fertile recruiting territories in the country.
"I look forward to sitting across the table from coaches and saying, 'Here's what your assistant coach (salary) pool budget is, here's how we travel, here's our commitment to recruiting and so forth, '" Glass said.