UK Men's Basketball

John Clay's notes: Hoosiers' Crean might need quick turnaround to save job

Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean tried to rally his team as Kentucky defeated Indiana 102-90 in the Sweet 16 in March.  Indiana is returning all five of its starters this season.
Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean tried to rally his team as Kentucky defeated Indiana 102-90 in the Sweet 16 in March. Indiana is returning all five of its starters this season. Herald-Leader

Random notes:

■ We're almost ready to officially start the college basketball season and Indiana is a total mess.

Not only were the Hoosiers picked to finish 10th in the 14-team Big Ten, head coach Tom Crean is under fire for off-the-court problems.

Sophomore Devin Davis remains hospitalized with a serious head injury after being struck by a vehicle driven by teammate Emmitt Holt, a freshman. Alcohol was allegedly involved. Neither player is legal drinking age.

Then Crean announced the suspensions of sophomores Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson for violations of team rules. The Indianapolis Star reported both players failed drug tests.

In the meantime, Indiana canceled its first public scrimmage. And those suspensions — Holt was also suspended — are for just four games, two of which are exhibition games.

Back in February, when Hanner Mosquera-Perea was cited for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, Crean suspended the Hoosiers forward for just two games.

It doesn't help that Crean has had a losing Big Ten record four times in his six seasons in Bloomington or that he's 40-68 in the conference.

It doesn't help Crean's cause that he's missed the NCAA Tournament four of his six years and was knocked out in the Sweet 16 in 2012-13 when most thought IU was a Final Four team.

Nor did it help Tuesday when CBS Sports' Gary Parrish quoted a former IU manager as saying there was a disconnect between the coach and players and that Crean never bothered to learn the manager's name.

"Crean never learned my name and always called me 'Detlef Schrempf' or 'Hey You' despite me telling him my name is 'Tyler' over and over again," Tyler Devitte, manager for the 2012-13 team, told Parrish. "I'd run errands to his house, drop off his kid, Riley, and he still wouldn't make an effort to learn my name."

Can Crean survive? Not without a dynamite year in Bloomington, which appears unlikely.

■ Kansas State is 7-1 and head coach Bill Snyder is age 75. Take that, young people.

■ Kentucky has awarded Mark Stoops as many contract extensions (two) as the football coach has SEC victories (two). Does that mean John Calipari is in line for a possible 18 contract extensions?

■ As for that loss to Missouri last Saturday, building a program is a process, as Nick Saban might say. There are going to be potholes. And Missouri is 11-2 in the SEC over the last two years.

■ One more thing on contract extensions. They're meaningless. As are coaches' contracts. Made to be broken, on both sides.

■ Pikeville Coach Kelly Wells was right Sunday night. Calipari will have to make sure his team remains hungry in the face of what should be a long line of blowouts.

■ "I'm sure glad we have Kim Anderson as our (basketball) coach," I heard one Missouri fan tell another in the press box on Saturday. "At the scrimmage, I saw a player dive on the floor for the first time in three years."

■ Did you see where former UK football coach Bill Curry was appointed to serve on the NCAA Committee on Infractions? Curry told Tommy Hicks of that he didn't really want to serve but he felt "an obligation to do so."

■ It's been a tough first year for Hal Mumme at NAIA school Belhaven down in Mississippi. After a 91-14 loss to Lindsey Wilson on Oct. 25, Belhaven lost its seventh straight game last Saturday, 55-14 to Faulkner University.

■ If I start an NBA franchise right now, I take Anthony Davis. If I start an NFL franchise right now, I take Andrew Luck.

■ Eastern Kentucky running back Dyshawn Mobley, who transferred to Richmond from UK, has been named to the Walter Payton Award watch list.

■ After his introductory news conference at a bar across from Wrigley Field on Monday, new Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon bought a round for the house.

■ Looking forward to the Browns (5-3) vs. Bengals (5-2-1) game Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium which, for the first time in a long time, means something in the standings.