UCLA coach Steve Alford says he's not focused on openings

Beth Cruz
March 18, 2017

The Indiana Hoosiers chose to make a coaching change on Thursday, and after nine years Tom Crean has been removed as head coach.

Alford played four seasons in Bloomington and led the Hoosiers to the 1987 NCAA title under coach Bobby Knight.

No. 3-seeded Indiana Men's Basketball closed out the 2016-17 season with a 75-63 loss to No. 6-seeded Georgia Tech in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday night.

In the last four seasons, IN only finished above.500 IN conference play once, last year's Big Ten championship team.

From 1995 to 2011, IN advanced to one Sweet 16 and shared one Big 10 regular season championship, with Bob Knight at the controls for the first six seasons of that stretch.

"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", Glass said in a statement earlier in the day. In doing so, he made one thing perfectly clear: in the year that marks the 30th anniversary of Indiana's last championship, it's time for one of college basketball's storied programs to get back to the mountaintop.

Doing nothing results in fiascos like the one that percolated around in basketball this week. The Illini initially attempted to lure former National Basketball Association coach Monty Williams, who passed on the job, a source said, and they were interested in making a deal with Cuonzo Martin, who resigned at California and took the Missouri job Wednesday. Alford's name will surely be at the top of Indiana's list, along with coaches like Gregg Marshall of Wichita State and Archie Miller of Dayton.

Pressure on Crean initially began to mount in 2013, when in earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tourney but stumbled in the Sweet 16, far short of hanging the program's first national championship banner since 1987. "We have all the resources to get there and I think looking forward can be a powerhouse to be reckoned with the right leadership because of all those attributes we have, including resources".

If Indiana felt Crean was fine, but was never going to produce anything more than the inconsistencies that have occurred over the last decade, then maybe there's some foresight in this move that will pay off. If anyone wants to leave, IU will work with them. "I think that's pretty drama-filled right there", IN coach Tom Crean said. IN was a No. 3 seed. Alford coached the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1999-2007, which is also in the Big Ten. The Yellow Jackets' head coach and ACC Coach of the Year Josh Pastner bought tickets for the entire student section.

When Indiana hired Crean after he put up a 190-96 record at Marquette, the program was saddled with sanctions from the Kelvin Sampson era. He wants a proven victor, a proven recruiter who can tap into the fertile ground of high school basketball in IN and across the midwest. The Indiana brass had seen enough. The butt of too many jokes, IN was.

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