Tom Crean, the owner of three straight 20 loss seasons has been lambasted by rivals and his own fans on his ability to coach. Coach Crean is the general of the write him off as terrible army. No facts you throw at anybody can convince them that he doesn’t just throw talent out there and let them do the work. Instead they’ll harp on how he needed a 5 star in Zeller to be good this year, or needed Dywane Wade to go to the Final Four with
Never will they point to the 2006-2007 season where
Luke Winn of SI.com pointed out in his most recent power rankings (IU was #10) that
In more advanced and complete metrics, Tom Crean’s teams have finished well in the national races also. Ruling out Crean’s first two years at IU where he was playing a majority of walk-ons, his teams have finished in the top 40 of Ken Pomeroy rankings 6 times and every team he has had besides those first two Hoosiers teams fell within the top 100. Pomeroy metrics only go back to 2003, so that leaves out his first two years on the job of Marquette, a ’01 second place finish in conference and a ’02 Final Four run. This doesn’t say that Tom Crean is an elite coach by any means, but it tells me that he can compete with the big dogs when it comes down to it.
Crean’s teams when including the right horses have been incredibly successful in the past. He is one of only four coaches in the conference that has actually seen a Final Four. You can’t knock him for Dywane Wade being on that team either, because Purdue’s Matt Painter had an All-American and All-B1G player on his roster last year and fell to
In the end, it probably doesn’t matter what Crean’s accomplishments are. He’ll win Coach of the Year for the Big Ten this season, if the Hoosiers finish strong, but people will still find ways to write the man off. Lindy’s (one of the premiere college basketball publications) picked IU to finish 11th in conference. They’re most likely to finish 5th with a shot at getting as high as 3rd. But that won’t matter to detractors, they’ll find a way to downplay that and point to his 6-8 losses as a sign of his ineptitude. Despite what the haters are going to say, Crean can coach and recruit and a top 5 National Coach of the Year finish will cement that.