Tuesday, March 15, 2011

TV Opportunity Finds Crean in Atlanta; Drouin A Stud; Mike Davis Struggles

What is it about Indiana coaches and TV?

First there was Lee Corso going to ESPN and becoming one of America’s best-loved college football analysts.

Then Bob Knight made the move to ESPN after his Hall of Fame coaching career was over. Oh, in case you missed it, he’s not a fan of Michigan’s Fab Five.

Then Dan Dakich, already a hit with his Indy sports talk radio show at 1070 The Fan, got his shot at the Big Ten Network and then ESPN. He is thriving whether it’s in the studio or working games as an analyst.

Oh, and as a reader just reminded us, Gerry DiNardo analyzes Big Ten football for the Big Ten Network. He also has his own radio show in the Chicago area.

Now Tom Crean will get his shot courtesy of Turner Broadcasting, CBS and the NCAA Tournament. You can see him, however on TruTV, which will broadcast some of the early games.

What is TruTV? Well, it will never be confused with the Food Network, but that's about all we could figure out.

Anyway, Crean would much rather be coaching in some postseason event, but that didn’t work out. He’s set to do studio work in Atlanta starting with tonight’s play-in games at Dayton that feature USC against Virginia Commnwealth and Texas-San Antonio against Alabama State.

Crean will work with analysts Seth Davis and Steve Smith, plus host Matt Winer. He’ll also do games on Thursday and Friday before returning to Indiana to check out Indiana high school semistate action that includes Washington’s Cody Zeller and Indianapolis Park Tudor’s Yogi Ferrell. Zeller will start at IU this summer. Ferrell is part of the heralded Class of 2012.

Crean will get to talk basketball, which he loves. He’ll get to offer expert opinions on many of the 68-teams in the field, which means he’s had to do a lot of research and preparation.

He loves that, so it’s all good.

Seth Davis already has tweeted that Crean will be great.

This is huge exposure for Crean and the Hoosier program. Figure pretty much every young basketball player in the civilized world will be watching. If it helps Crean land even one standout recruit, it will be worth it. And even if it doesn’t, it will be worth it.


Derek Drouin is a stud. Sure, he might not look like the guy in the Old Spice Commercial, but when it comes to high jumping, nobody does it better.

Drouin was named National Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He’s the first Big Ten athlete to ever win the award, and it comes after winning his third NCAA championship -- two indoors and one outdoor.

This season Drouin jumped 7-foot-7.75 to crush the competition at the indoor championships in Texas. That broke the Big Ten record and is the third best ever recorded indoors by a college athlete. He’s the first back-to-back indoor national champ since USC’s Jesse Williams won in 2005 and ’06.

“Derek is a true competitor and a genuinely good person who cares as much about our team’s success as his won,” IU coach Ron Helmer said in a university release. “You can’t help but want him to succeed and his competitive effort never disappoints.”

Douin is a junior from Canada (he also set the Canadian high jump record), which means he can win three more NCAA titles (two outdoors and one more indoors). He has been remarkably consistent. Four times he cleared 7-foot-5 during the indoor season.

For the record, that’s four more times than we have.


In case you missed it, Mike Davis made his NCAA tourney coaching debut for Alabama-Birmingham Tuesday night as part of a play-in game against Clemson. Yeah, it took him five seasons after leaving Indiana, and his team made it as a controversial choice over teams such as Colorado and Virginia Tech.

No matter. UAB was in while Alabama and Auburn were not. Now it was up to the Blazers to prove their worthiness.

Let’s just say it wasn’t a great performance. The Blazers had eight turnovers and seven points in the first eight minutes and fell behind by 18. TV commentators talked about how well prepared Clemson was for UAB’s offensive sets and how the Blazers didn’t seem to have a Plan B or C or anything.

That seemed a little harsh.

UAB eventually found some offense, mostly be hitting three-pointers and pushing the pace, and closed to within eight, but never got the defense going, mostly because Clemson was far too strong.

The Tigers rolled. The Blazers headed home.

This was not the one and done Davis, the Conference USA coach of the year, had hoped for.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot DiNardo as another member of the "Cradle of Color Commentators"