I think this is a good hire for them. Big ten just got a little tougher.
OT- Iowa hires Siena coach Fran McCaffery
Iowa is going to go from one of the slowest teams in terms of pace and lowest scoring teams in the entire nation to a really fast paced squad that scores a lot of points. Should be a lot more competitive although their last hire from a mid-major was just shown the door.
He had a lot of tough breaks. Lost a lot of players to some random things, and he lost a lot of close games. While ultimately the coaches responsibility is to win, I still think hes a pretty solid coach.
Why did Steve Alford leave Iowa for New Mexico? Also, anyone here particularly surprised that Todd Likliter did so poorly at Iowa? He had good credentials from his time at Butler. Also, does anyone know how hot a seat Tom Crean is sitting on?
Aside: Amaker took Seton Hall to the Sweet 16 once, and he's doing a decent job at Harvard. Otherwise, he's a really shitty coach. On another side of the Ivy League, however, Steve Donahue has to be one of the best coaches in the country. His Cornell team just wasn't big or skilled enough to beat Kentucky in the end, but boy did they do better than they should have. I do think, however, that he's a perfect fit for Cornell. That team this year looked so well coached and had amazing chemistry.
Alford left for New Mexico because he was about to get fired. Iowa has basically no recruiting base, so it's one of the more challenging jobs in the conference. For years they had an exceptional coach (Tom Davis) who recruited very well (even establishing a pipeline to Detroit) and got them to the tourney on a regular basis, but they didn't realize how good they had it with him and forced him out. Most coaches won't do as well as Davis did. Alford appears to be a good coach, but he couldn't get Iowa over the hump, and under Lickliter they crashed and burned. Their new hire sounds like a good one but he's got his work cut out for him.
I am a student at IU and I would say Tom Crean is pretty safe. People here treat him like a God and expect that he will have IU a top the big ten in no time. I just don't see it though, but what can I do but tell everyone around me they are wrong.
Crean isn't going anywhere anytime soon. IU folks are well aware of the disaster he walked into and he's got a great track record of success. It may take a little time but they're in good hands under Crean.
Your point is exactly why I hated the Lickliter fire from Iowa's perspective. They basically just hired another Todd Lickliter albeit with a different style about him. 3 years isn't enough to turn around an entire program, especially if the attrition that comes with the guy guts the program. I'm of the opinion that Iowa would have been better off sticking with Lickliter for two more years instead of hiring McCaffrey.
There had to have been some huge booster supporter behind this move. With the amount it cost to can Lickliter I just don't see the athletic department making the move of its own volition.
I was iffy about the Likliter firing myself. 3 years just isn't enough in basketball. His record wasn't improving, but the talent wasn't there. A coach can only do so much.
I'm impressed that IU fans are being patient with Crean. I do think that he is a great coach and will build up Indiana, but he clearly has his work cut out for him. I think Indiana's patience is definitely admirable in this day and age of FireRonZook.com and Kentucky fans running Tubby Smith out of town. Then again, John Wooden tells this story of how after his team won the 1975 national championship, a UCLA fan went up to him and said something like, Wooden owed him that championship after committing the unforgivable sin of losing the previous year. That's an extreme case, but I suppose insane fan behavior has always been out there.
McCaffrey was Seton Hall's first choice. Burned. Just read that the Hall is going to announce tomorrow that they're hiring Iona coach Kevin Willard. He was also a former Pitino assistant with the Celtics. The Hall job is going to be a rebuilding one. Jeremy Hazell and Jeff Robinson are delusional and leaving for the NBA.
McCaffery can flat out coach. Great hire for them.