Regardless of all of Tom Crean's woes this season, here's something I bet you didn't expect to see be the top story on PTI today. Could Mike Woodson become the next Hoosiers head coach? The IU alum and beleaguered head coach of the New York Knicks has been linked to replacing Crean as IU head coach, according to a New York Daily News report. The report comes at a very interesting time for a couple reasons. I don't need to rehash what happened against Illinois yesterday, but it was not Crean's finest moment. In addition, the Knicks have been in the news, because Phil Jackson is in the stages of finalizing a deal to become their team president.
Honestly, I'm just trying to make sense of the report. First of all, we have to keep in mind that this is an anonymous source from the New York Daily News, so who knows who that is and what that means? Second, neither Woodson nor Crean has been terminated from their jobs, even though both have landed themselves on the hot seat due to their teams' disappointing performances on the season. Additionally, there is the issue of Crean's huge buyout standing in the way; however, the article suggests that donors are willing to make the buyout happen. Which makes me wonder: Have any of these anonymous big-money donors even watched the Knicks at all this year? They are TERRIBLE.
Woodson is an IU alum, and his name may bring back memories of the glory days of the guy he played for, Bob Knight. Other Knight-era Hoosiers have coached in the NBA, also with mixed to little success (Randy Wittman, Keith Smart, and most infamously, Isiah Thomas). But of course, there's also the distinct possibility that this is all a red herring, and that throwing out a name like Woodson may be advantageous to Crean. After all, the reaction to this potential move on Twitter has been largely negative throughout the day. And naturally, Fred Glass has already denied this rumor, which makes sense, considering his support of Crean throughout this troubled season.
Nonetheless, despite there not seeming to be any truth to this rumor, it is still worth discussing. The Woodson story underlies the current state of Indiana basketball, after this disappointing 17-15 season. Some fans and boosters are unhappy with the direction of the program, they want change ASAP, and are willing to go to these extreme measures to get it. As a result, get ready for more crazy rumors like this one over the coming months, or even throughout next season, if the Hoosiers don't improve.