This is a Dark Day: Crean to Indiana

As John Belushi would say, this is perhaps the darkest day since the German's bombed Pearl Harbor. But today, April 1, 2008...reminded me a lot of March 1994 when Kevin O'Niell left MU for Tenn. What a run...to the Sweet 16...we beat Kentucky....gave Duke a game...then KO leaves for Tenn.. I think they doubled his salary $220,000 to $450,000...

…a few days later, I saw Kevin walking across MU's campus with an orange Tennessee sweat suit on...I stopped him ..wished him well and asked him what one or two things MU could do to improve upon the program... He said, 'John, one thing. Build a practice facility. It is hard to recruit to the Old Gym. There are alums around here who think this gym is the freaken Dean Dome. It is not. Build a new one.'

Listening to him, I had my epiphany. I attended MU....I love MU...I have watched MU hoops since '65...but Kevin was here until a better opportunity came along for him and his family...we no longer had the common interest of MU Hoops…..KO had moved on....the blinding orange reflection in the morning sun clued me in....but wait, while he was here, we went from "PG Tony Condelino falling off a running track."...to a Sweet 16 game vs. Duke...there was Tony Miller, Jimmy Mac, Damon Key and Robb Logtermann ..none would have signed with MU had it not been for KO.... so I thanked KO for his service at MU...wished him well and still wish him well to this day. I even picked Ariz over West Virginia.

TC leaving is a shocker to me. Looking back I now wish Kelvin Sampson had more success at IU. But no matter what happens to our current recruiting class...Tom Crean took MU to a much higher level than he found it....In '99, MU was not even an NIT team...in last place in CUSA...9 yrs later...The Big East...a Final Four....D Wade...the Al McGuire Center....Travis Diener, Steve Novak, Dominic James, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews...all came because of Crean...he was a tireless worker...and like '94, it hurts when the common interests diverge and it becomes in his best interest to leave the program....but again, we are much better off having hired Crean and for the contributions of Tom, Joani, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh to the MU community and to the Milw community. They will always be remembered.

The next few weeks will be a time of uncertainty...and it could be brutal if top recruits such as Nick Williams want out of their LOIs.....but players pick schools primarily because of the coach...and if the coach is not there...the player may not want to attend MU….that is just a cold hard fact...

But where there is uncertainty, there is also opportunity. Let's see what happens.

Good luck to TC and his family in Indiana. Thank you for your hard work and efforts here at MU. Damn, those nine yrs went quickly. Why it seems just like yesterday that John Polonowski won the dunking competition at Midnight Madness.


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