Crean: Shake-Up About "Putting Program First"

Bloomington - During Monday's Big Ten Tele-conference, IU Coach Tom Crean said that his decision to dismiss Roshown McLeod was about "putting the program first"...

Bloomington – IU Coach Tom Crean shed a little light on his decision to dismiss assistant coach Roshown McLeod with just a handful of days remaining in the season.

During Monday's Big Ten Teleconference, Indiana's head coach said he couldn't be focused on the timing of his Sunday night announcement as much as being concerned about what he deemed to be the right decision for the program moving forward.

"The bottom line with any decision you make, you want to do everything to put the program first, and do everything to help this program move forward," Crean said during his opening comments on the Big Ten Teleconference. "That's what we've done."

When asked about the decision later during the teleconference, Crean reiterated that it was a move that was made with the goal of "putting the program first," a phase that opens up a whole slew of interpretations on why he felt it was imperative to make the change immediately.

The final addition to Crean's staff two years ago, McLeod came to IU after working with the Atlanta Celtics AAU program. In addition to those ties to one of the country's premiere AAU programs, McLeod also had strong recruiting connections to the New York/New Jersey area thanks to his roots as a star prep player at St. Anthony's H.S. for legendary coach Bobby Hurley Sr.

Those ties appeared to help IU get its foot in the door with a pair of New Jersey prep stars in the last two years – Dominic Cheek in the 2009 class and Kyrie Irving in 2010. Ultimately, IU missed out on both as Cheek is a freshman at Villanova and Irving is headed to Duke.

McLeod also seemingly played a big role in IU's pursuit of Jacksonville, Fla., small forward David Williams. A member of the Atlanta Celtics AAU program, Williams verballed to IU last April after receiving a scholarship offer. The decision to offer Williams was puzzling to some national recruiting experts, who had some questions about the 6'7", 200-pounder's ability to play at the Big Ten level. Ultimately, Williams didn't sign with Indiana last fall and remains uncommitted.


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