Tom Crean’s Indiana Hoosiers didn’t have the season they hoped. Once ranked #3 in the country, their regular season ended Friday with a hard-fought Big Ten tournament loss to Wisconsin.
And given injuries and some other bad performances, that means they’ll likely be headed for the NIT at best come Sunday. This has led to plenty of frustration within the Indiana fan base, as well as some prognostication that Crean might be headed elsewhere.
Based on this fan interaction after the game in Washington D.C. it’s easy to see why Crean might not want to stick around:
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) March 11, 2017
“You don’t know how to coach! You ruined the program!”
What a tool.
(UPDATE: a tool in a Maryland sweater/sweatshirt thing, maybe? The video is tough to tell, but in the original landscape tweet, it might be Maryland. It’s a tool move regardless, and the following critique of the Indiana fan base holds regardless.)
Indiana fans are just the worst, and I’m speaking as one. Credit Tom Crean for not taking that particular bait.
This season has gone poorly, and no one is happy about that, but let’s remember all the way back to last season, when Indiana won the Big Ten, was hosed with a #5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and still beat Kentucky (similarly hosed with a #4 seed) and made a Sweet 16 run.
That team lost Yogi Ferrell (now balling for the Mavs), as well as Troy Williams (on a 10-day in Houston), Nick Zeisloft (D-League sharpshooter), and Max Bielfeldt (the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year).
Combine that with a season-ending injury to Collin Hartman (the team’s only contributing senior) and a season-ending injury to O.G. Anunoby (probably the best player on the roster) a few months in, and that’s six key guys from last year’s roster gone.
It’s hard to coach around that much depletion.
Crean hasn’t had a perfect season. But he’s a good coach, and though he does have flaws (only two wins against Wisconsin in as the Indiana coach, for example) it’s not like anyone’s going to be pounding down the door to take the reins if he leaves. (The Missouri job is the latest rumored landing spot for Crean, should he decide Bloomington is an untenable situation going forward.)
A big reason for that is fans like that tool in the video, who still think it’s the 1980s. If Crean does decide to move on, it’s hard to blame him, at this point.