Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A new regime and a new team, too?

IU will announce tomorrow Marquette coach Tom Crean is its new coach, according to ESPN.com, he likely will have to rebuild almost the entire starting line-up.

Before the coaching news came out, the unfortunate news that starters Jamarcus Ellis and Armon Bassett had been kicked off the team by interim coach Dan Dakich. The two apparently missed mandatory team meetings and then didn't run the laps Dakich put on them as punishment.

That means potentially all of the regular starters from this season will be gone. Eric Gordon is expected to enter the NBA draft, D.J. White and Lance Stemler are graduating, and now Ellis and Bassett have been dismissed.

Ellis led the team in assists, Bassett led the team in three-point shooting, Gordon lead in scoring and White led in rebounding and field goal percentage.

I like hiring Crean. He put Marquette back on the basketball map and has a Final 4 appearance, although it was forgettable. The Golden Eagles lost to Kansas by 33. He is a good coach moving to an elite program, similar to Bill Self going from Illinois to Kansas. There is nothing wrong with Illini basketball, but in terms of tradition and quality, it doesn't compare to the Jayhawk program.

Crean better leave the press room tomorrow and head straight for the recruiting trail. He has a lot of work to do. Jordan Crawford is the Hoosiers' top returning scorer. He averaged 9.7 points per game last season. He's also the leading rebounder returning.

That's assuming he stays at IU.

Update: ESPN.com has updated its Crean story. The Indianapolis Star also has a story on the news.

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