Just six short years ago, the Indiana Hoosiers were in shambles. Kelvin Sampson was fired for NCAA violations, and Dan Dakich took over for the former coach and finished the once-promising season with a loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hoosiers were in panic mode. Never before had the program gone through such ruin and be in such a position that it may take a decade or more to recover. It all depended on the coach that they hired to fix the program that would decide the future of Indiana basketball.
Well, six years have passed, and basketball in Bloomington is back to relevance and, even more so, they are back to college basketball dominance.
Tom Crean was hired as the head coach of the Hoosiers on April 1, 2008. That should be a day that Hoosier fans never forget because this is the coach they will be seeing on the sidelines for a while.
After losing a lot of top talent before he got to campus in 2008, the former Tom Izzo assistant suffered a rough 6-25 season during his first year at Indiana. He was cut a break because he had next to nothing to work with.
The next season, his Hoosiers showed a bit more fight, going 10-21 and escaping the last spot in the Big Ten. Things regressed a bit in 2010-11 as his Hoosiers put together more wins(12), but the conference wins went down and so did their finish in conference play– they were last once again.
Finally, in 2011-12, Crean assembled a talented squad comprised mostly of his recruits and it showed. They finished 27-9 and had their most wins in a single season since the 1992-93 season– the Bob Night era– when they finished with 31 and a conference title.
This year has been even better for the Hoosiers, as the red and white sit at 23-3 right now with the No. 1 ranking in the country. Not many would have thought that this would have happened so drastically in such a condensed period of time, but Crean has worked his magic and is in discussions with the best coaches in the country.
Although many would say: well, five years is an awful long time for a program to turn itself around. However, if you look at where Indiana was at, five years seems like nothing.
Hoosier nation has a savior on their sidelines and he goes by the name Tom Crean.