With Tom Crean now gone, the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program will soon find out where they stand in regards to national relevance as they kick off their coaching search.
The Hoosiers have had more than their fair-share of candidates linked to the job even while Crean was in office. Now, with the job officially open, we’ll see just how serious the rumors and the interest of those rumored is.
At this point, the most likely candidate appears to be Steve Alford of UCLA.
Basketball rumor is Alford replaces him https://t.co/H0AnNn9MZ0— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) March 16, 2017
Alford’s ties to the program are obvious. His coaching acumen, however, is less clear. Prior to landing the Ball family at UCLA, Alford appeared on the brink of being fired himself.
Indiana’s had their eyes on NBA talent for a while and it’s no secret that they’d welcome Brad Stevens, but the feeling may not be mutual. They may make a run at someone like Billy Donovan, but good luck prying him away from Russell Westbrook, one of the league’s best players.
Fred Hoiberg may be on his way out.
In the college ranks, big names like Sean Miller and Bob Huggins seem more like pipe dreams than reality. Tony Bennett is someone the Hoosiers once chased and may do so again with the program in far better shape now.
Which brings us to the two names that have both been mentioned most and may be the odds on favorites: Gregg Marshall and Archie Miller.
Marshall has taken Wichita State to multiple NCAA Tournaments and regularly ranks among the best teams in college basketball. However, he’s turned down multiple offers to leave the Shockers in the past. Pair that with the financial backing at Wichita State and it’s still a likely uphill battle.
Miller, meanwhile, has been the hot name on the block for years now, having taken a middling Dayton program to a perennial tournament contender. His rise has also coincided with Crean’s fall, increasing the focus on him.
There will certainly be more names thrown into the mix - Chris Holtmann, Chris Mack, Will Wade - but with Fred Glass doing the search without a search committee, it seems like Indiana is off to the right foot.