When Jim Crews took over the Saint Louis Billikens basketball program, nothing about the situation seemed “okay”. His friend and then-Saint Louis head coach, Rick Majerus, had to leave the team for medial reasons (which ultimately resulted in his death). Then, the athletic department threw the interim head coaching tag on Crews and the rest has been history.
While the situation to take over the program must have been difficult considering he had to do so because a friend was ill, there were a few silver-linings as far as the actual basketball team went.
Majerus left him a team that had plenty of talent. It was not like Crews was going to have to raid junior and community colleges in search for guys who can participate at a major basketball program. Thanks to Marjerus, Crews had a ready-made basketball team just waiting to be taken to the promised land.
Now, without any help from Majerus, Crews has to show that he is more than just a solid on-the-court coach. He is going to have to recruit the players he wants to use to implement in his system. For Crews, recruiting might actually turn out to be the harder part for him trying to be a successful coach.
Nobody can blame Saint Louis for hiring Crews. He did a fantastic, otherworldly job in helping the team be as good as it was this past season. However, playing negative Nancy, Crews will soon have to do this with “his” players and not with someone else’s. I guess time will tell if removing that interim tag was a smart move or not. The journey for Crews starts on the recruiting trail.
Hindsight, where we can all look like geniuses. Be weary, Crews.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone