USA Today

Tom Crean named AP Big Ten Coach of the Year

Indiana coach Tom Crean was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the Associated Press on Monday.

Indiana completed its regular season on Sunday and won the Big Ten title outright by 2 full games, and on Monday, its coach was rewarded for it.

Indiana coach Tom Crean was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, a feat that seemed more than unlikely before conference play began. Indiana sputtered to a 5-3 start with losses to UNLV and Wake Forest, but righted the ship with much improved defense and a togetherness few teams in the country have shown.

Crean was considered by some to be on the hot seat when the season began, and by December, that seat was on fire. 

But Crean stayed the course and his team stuck with him, a significant accomplishment given the adversity that struck this team and this coach this season. Crean has done his best coaching job at IU this season because he's shown a willingness to adapt to his current team in its current situation. 

For Crean to get this team -- which couldn't guard anybody in December -- to play so hard collectively on that end by March is remarkable. The players deserve plenty of credit, too -- Yogi Ferrell was named first team All-Big Ten on Monday -- but Crean was harshly criticized when Indiana struggled, and so he needs to be equally praised now for the job he has done with this team. 

INDIANA MOVES UP IN THE RANKINGS 

Indiana moved up to No. 10 in both the AP and Coaches polls on Monday after a week in which the Hoosiers won at Iowa and beat Maryland at home. They have a double-bye in this week's Big Ten Tournament and will play the winner of Thursday's Northwestern-Michigan game on Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Here's a look at the Top 10 in each poll:

COACHES POLL:

  1. Kansas
  2. Villanova
  3. Michigan State
  4. Virginia
  5. Xavier
  6. Oklahoma
  7. North Carolina
  8. West Virginia
  9. Oregon
  10. Indiana

AP POLL:

  1. Kansas
  2. Michigan State
  3. Villanova
  4. Virginia
  5. Xavier
  6. Oklahoma
  7. North Carolina
  8. Oregon
  9. West Virginia 
  10. Indiana

Peegs.com Top Stories