The only logical explanation I can muster for Tom Crean accepting the head hoops job in Bloomington is that Rick Greenspan is paying him a lot over the next eight years and he’s wanted this job for a while. Otherwise, from a pure basketball standpoint, it stinks right now. Two senior starters are done with their eligibility, Eric Gordon is probably going pro, and the other two starters have been dismissed from the team. And we didn’t even get into possible NCAA sanctions for violations incurred by Kelvin Sampson.
Indiana’s going to suck for the next couple of years unless Crean possess magical properties that can turn the less-than-spectacular recruit he’s going to get right now into a college first-team All-America. The payoff and prestige from being the coach that “shepherds” a down program through a down period to renewed success is a big one in the coaching world; it validates ego and the coach’s methods for years (particularly if you have any success in the NCAA tournament.) It looks like IU hired the right coach, whether it pays off is another matter.