Tom Crean not at fault in Hoosiers’ loss
by Bob Kravitz, USA TODAY Sports
Bob Knight never got out-coached.
Coached in 1,273 games, lost 371 times, and never, not once, did he get out-coached.
Or so the Hoosier faithful believed, just as they believed he could feed the multitudes with fish and loaves and walk on the White River.
Tom Crean is a very different story.
His Indiana University team has lost three times this season — three — and all three times, it was because of, well, let me repeat a typical email that I received after Thursday’s stunning, buzzer-beating loss to Illinois.
Clappy the Coach got out-coached again, just like Brad Stevens out-coached him. Didn’t call a timeout on the Hoosiers last offensive possession. Didn’t use a timeout on the last defensive possession to set up the defense. Went zone against a three-point shooting team and got burned. Great recruiter, but can’t coach a lick.
Just … stop it.
Let’s get back to Knight. Not only did he get out-coached in his final years — anybody remember Cleveland State? — there were times when he flat gave up on his team. I can still remember that NCAA game against Colorado in 1997 in Winston-Salem, N.C., when Knight refused to call a timeout so his charges could get their heads handed to them without being bailed out. He quit on that team. He quit on several of his final teams. If memory serves, the Hoosiers were one and done in the NCAA Tournament four of Knight’s last six years.
To start, a timeout on the final offensive possession Thursday was not necessary, and truth be told, it was precisely the kind of move — or non-move — the sainted Knight would have made. Crean felt like Illinois does a great job defending side out-of-bounds plays and didn’t want to risk giving the Illini, a team with no timeouts, a chance to set up.
Crean knew what he wanted to run offensively. The players knew what he wanted to run. And in the final analysis, they got what they wanted, Victor Oladipo at the top of the key, going one-on-one with a defender.
It just so happened that Oladipo spun and was smartly … [For more on Kravitz: Tom Crean not at fault in Hoosiers' loss, click here.]