Okay, this isn’t a basketball blog, but I can’t let Tom Crean’s criticism after Saturday’s loss pass gently into the night without comment. In particular, this.
″…It’s all on me because I’m the one that decided to keep these guys,” said Crean. “It’s all on me, and I get it, because the last thing I can do with making decisions on keeping guys in the program in the spring is now get overly mad at them because I’m the one that made the decision.
“So I live with that every day, and it doesn’t mean that they’re not great kids, but very few programs when there’s a takeover, OK, when you have guys that haven’t done it at any point in time really in their career — those guys, they move on. That’s what happens in a job change, and I didn’t do that. And so I’m not going to complain, and we’ve just got to keep doing everything we can do to fix it and make it better.” [Emphasis added.]
That part in the bold is what happens when frustration makes a coach say the quiet part out loud. Greg McGarity made this absurd attempt to deflect from it.
“I think his comments were misinterpreted,” said McGarity. “From the very onset, if you look at the press conference in its entirety, he led off by taking full responsibility for everything. I think Tom cares deeply about these players and the perception that he was not caring or trying to shift blame to them was certainly not taken that way.
″…If you look at the whole press conference in its entirety, instead of maybe pulling a couple of graphs out and singling out those, it didn’t portray the whole story.”
Now, it’s easy to let the focus of the comment center on player criticism, as McGarity tried to do there, but what’s really telling is the admission that some players are led to move on when there’s a coaching change. Crean is merely stating the obvious: coaches are paid to win, and if you don’t think you’ve inherited kids who can contribute, business decisions are inevitable.
Just as obvious, though, is the question being begged here. If that’s reality from the coaches’ standpoint, why should players be held to a different standard when it comes to making similar business decisions? I expect Thomas Mars and others of his ilk will have Crean’s name on their lips going forward. Maybe you should, too.