Brother in the faith Hire Esherick brought up a very good question in the "New Conference" post below, and I thought it merited its own discussion. Lost amidst all the Conference Key Party hullabaloo is the fact that long-time Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is fretting over a decision to join the Cleveland Cavaliers (for what I assume would be an assistant coaching position, provided head coach LeBron James stays with the club).
As you might know, former Marquette coach Smarmy Tom Crean was an assistant coach at MSU under Izzo, and, with Coach Izzo's potential departure, there are some who are wondering if Crean might wind up back at MSU.
M'self: I don't see it. Here's why:
(1) After the fuss he made about going to Indiana (this is my dream job; It's Indiana, it's Indiana; etc), he'd lose any and all remaining credibility if he went to MSU and said the same things.
(2) His time at Indiana would be cemented as a failure. With the ego that Crean has, I don't know that he'd be willing to bear that shame.
(3) Why would MSU want him? Aside from the Izzo coaching family tree connection, what does he offer? He hasn't shown he can keep his head above water at IU -- his teams have been the laughingstocks of the Big 11 for two years, his recruiting class for this year apparently isn't anything to write home about, and he showed signs of cracking under the pressure last year. (Remember the two tech meltdown against Bucky in Bloomington, when he had to be restrained from going after an official and screamed "**** YOU!" at the guy 12 times before being wrangled off the court?) Does any of this make State say: "We've gotta have THAT guy"?
And, perhaps most importantly:
(4) It's one thing to burn us -- to slink away in the middle of the night without letting anybody in the administration know that he was taking the IU job, etc., etc. We're a tiny, private school, with a small but devoted fan base that's predominantly located in the Midwest. In our heart of hearts, we know that the Marquette coaching job isn't on par with the Indiana job. So, while we don't like the way he left, or some of the more shyster-ish things that Crean did while he was here, we understand why he took that job, and we appreciate the things he did to help make our program relevant again.
It would be quite another thing to burn Indiana -- and to burn Indiana for another Big Integer school, especially while IU remains a smoldering crater. They'd kill him. He could never show his face in Bloomington again.
That's why I think Crean wouldn't make a move for the job. That said, I've underestimated the man and his hubris before, so I could very, very easily be wrong.