Tom Crean – I'm keeping Crean on the list despite hearing little to suggest that there's been any sort of contact in either direction concerning the IU job. But…Crean continues to make sense due to his Midwest ties, the success he had while guiding Marquette to the 2003 Final Four, and with the solid season Marquette is having this season with a very young team. Crean has been asked about his interest in other jobs (see Market Quotes), but his answer did little to suggest he wouldn't listen to an IU offer. I'm also buying Crean because I'm buying…
A Big Name Coach (and contract) – Word is Greenspan knows if he wants to lure a big-name coach, he's going to have to step forward with a market-level contract offer. Some have feared that finances could prevent IU from offering a $1 million-plus contract to its next head coach, but I'm hearing otherwise. Greenspan is aware this is an extremely critical hire for the future of the IU basketball program. With people like Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Ohio State's Thad Matta, and Illinois' Bruce Weber not only doing great jobs at their respective schools but also coming into the state of Indiana to lure away premiere talent, the next IU coach has to re-connect with the state's high school coaches and re-establish IU as one of the league's pre-eminent programs. A big-name coach like Crean, Texas' Rick Barnes or Gonzaga's Mark Few could probably do that, but it's going to take a deal that's in excess of $1 million annually to get any of them. I'm hearing that won't stand in Greenspan's way.
Randy Wittman – A week ago the Orlando Magic coach was on the "sell" list, but he's been moved up to "buy" because all indications are that you can buy him as a legitimate candidate for the vacancy. His IU background and his strong desire to be considered for the job appear to have him being someone Rick Greenspan is looking at closely. There's little question Greenspan would have plenty of questions for the 14-year NBA coaching veteran when it comes to his ability to recruit and who he'd envision bringing in as assistant coaches. But if he can answer those questions to the Hoosier AD's satisfaction, this isn't as much of a long shot as it might have once seemed.
John Calipari – What the former New Jersey Nets coach has done at Memphis is nothing short of astounding. He's put together a top-five team that has a chance for a No. 1 seed in this month's NCAA tourney. That said, I'm not buying him as a serious candidate for the IU job. Rick Greenspan isn't looking to bring in a coach with baggage, and Calipari has a couple of suitcases worth. First of all, UMass landed on probation shortly after he departed the program in 1996 for the NBA. Once in the NBA, he made national news for referring to a Newark Star-Ledger reporter as a "Mexican idiot," a statement that earned him a $25,000 fine by NBA commissioner David Stern. Memphis hasn't been in trouble since he arrived, but his decision to hire DuJuan Wagner's father as his Director of Basketball Operations after the top-five guard committed to his program was certainly pushing the compliance envelope a bit. Two years ago CNN/SI rated Memphis' program second on its "least rootable" list. That's not the sort of image IU has had in the past, and it's not one it wants to have in the future.
Kelvin Sampson – Sampson doesn't have the same sort of baggage Calipari does, but he's at least got a carry-on's worth in the aftermath of the NCAA investigation into improper phone calls made by Sampson and his staff over a four-year period. Oklahoma has slapped itself on the wrist with a couple of self-imposed sanctions, but it will be going before the Infractions Committee in April to find out if there's more punishment on the horizon. Again, Greenspan is very concerned about maintaining IU's reputation as a squeaky clean program, and any transgressions from a compliance standpoint is a quick way to get your name scratched from the Hoosier AD's list.
- Rumors about Steve Alford once trying to kick Rick Greenspan out of a Southwest Missouri State basketball practice appear to be true. The story goes that Alford's Southwest Missouri State team was conducting a practice at Illinois State, and Alford wanted the arena cleared out. Greenspan – the A.D. at Illinois State at the time – was dealing with a facility issue in preparation for the game and refused to leave.
Alford likely knew he had some fences to mend once Greenspan was named the IU athletic director two years ago, and he's likely made some indirect efforts to do so. While I don't think this run-in eliminates Alford from consideration in Greenspan's mind (which some have suggested), I do think it's a demonstration of a demeanor that Greenspan doesn't exactly want. Greenspan wants a personable, approachable coach on the IU sidelines.
- Speaking of Alford, let's just end the talk of "would he or wouldn't he" take the IU job if offered. He'd take it in a second. He longs to be back in Bloomington as the head coach. With that said, don't expect him to beat down Greenspan's door. His standing with Iowa fans is shaky at best, and any public concession that he wants to return to IU would only worsen his perception among Hawkeye fans. Everyone in Iowa knows he wants to return to IU, but they'll refrain from pouncing on him until he says so publicly. Honestly, Alford is in a very difficult spot here, and he'll have to keep quiet throughout the entire process.
- Golden State Warrior Coach Mike Montgomery: "It seems like every job that opens up, people just start speculating. I don't even know if I know anybody in Indiana, let alone talked to anybody in Indiana. This is where I'm going to make it work and you know, I'm getting along. I've been coaching for a lot of years now, so we're going to try and make this thing work. I had the best college job in my mind in the country, for me, at Stanford, so if I was going to be in college, I would have stayed there."
- Marquette Coach Tom Crean: ""I mean, just go to the track record. There's never been any reason to think those things. (I've) got a long-term contract, got a young team. There's no reason to even fuel that speculation or spend a lot of time talking about it."
"It sure beats your name being on a 'hot-seat' list."
Editor's Note: HoosierNation.com will have regular coaching stock updates leading up to IU's decision on a new head coach…be sure to visit regularly!
Coaching Stock Report - March 6
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