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Indiana has fired head coach Tom Crean

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Tom Crean has been fired by Indiana after nine seasons as head coach.

“After deliberative thought and evaluation, including multiple meetings with Tom about the future, I have decided to make a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program,” athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement released at the exact moment that the NCAA tournament kicked off on Thursday afternoon.

Crean was coming off of a Big Ten regular season title and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2016, but the Hoosiers took a step back this season. After knocking off Kansas and North Carolina in November, Indiana missed the NCAA tournament and lost in the first round of the NIT. That was a road game despite the fact that the Hoosiers were a higher seed, a decision that was made to hide the fact that Assembly Hall would have been empty.

The Hoosiers went 18-16 this season and just 7-11 in the Big Ten.

The decision to part ways with Crean is not all that surprising. There was some speculation that he may get another year, but another year wouldn’t have solved the problems. The relationship between Crean and the Indiana fan base had reached the point where there wasn’t going to be a reconciliation. This was a marriage that needed to end so both parties could move on.

And let it be known, Tom Crean had a successful run with the Hoosiers. He won the outright Big Ten title in 2013 and 2016. He rebuilt a program that was driven into the ground by Kelvin Sampson.

But this was a move that needed to happen.

You may love your ex-wife, but that doesn’t mean you should still be married.

The question now becomes who Indiana can and will target, and that list is where things get fun.

The first name that Indiana has to call is Brad Stevens, the former Butler and current Boston Celtics head coach. He’s probably going to say no, but Indiana has to shoot their shot.

Once Stevens says no is when things get interesting. The trendy name of late has been Steve Alford, the former Indiana star and native Hoosier whose son is graduating from UCLA this year. But Indiana is a job that can attract some big names, names that have said no to other high-major openings in the past — Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall, Dayton’s Archie Miller, Xavier’s Chris Mack — and I’d be surprised if Butler Chris Holtmann didn’t get a look as well.

Indiana was the big domino that needed to fall.

Now the coaching carousel can kick into high gear.

Buffalo sophomore arrested, charged with strangulation, witness intimidation

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Buffalo sophomore Quate McKinzie is facing a litany of charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly attempted to strangle a female acquaintance.

McKinzie, who is 20 years old, was later handed more charges after he made threatening phone calls to his accuser from jail.
From the Buffalo News:

The original charges placed against the UB sophomore were second-degree strangulation, a D-felony; misdemeanor counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, assault, menacing, harassment; and stealing the victim’s vehicle.

The latest charges are third-degree witness intimidation and first-degree criminal contempt, both E-felonies; and two misdemeanors, aggravated harassment and disobeying a court mandate, according to Tonawanda Police Patrol Capt. Fredric Foels.

“University Athletics is aware of the alleged incident and is in communication with university and local authorities,” Buffalo released in a statement. “Quate McKinzie is currently enrolled at the University at Buffalo and is suspended indefinitely from the university’s basketball team. Due to the ongoing investigation and federal protections on student information, we will have no further comment on the matter at this time.”

McKinzie is a 6-foot-8, 195 pound forward that played in 17 games last season. He averaged 3.9 points and 4.3 boards.

Auburn’s Austin Wiley suffers stress fracture

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Auburn center Austin Wiley has a stress fracture in his left leg and will be out 4-6 weeks, the school announced Monday.

No surgery is required, but Wiley, who played with Team USA’s U19 team in Egypt earlier this month, will miss Auburn’s trip to Italy.

“You know how tough and committed a young man is when he plays through the pain of a stress fracture,” said Pearl. “He was receiving treatment while in Egypt, but had no way of knowing the extent of his injury. Doctors say it is in a good spot for healing, and he will be fine.”

Wiley averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.1 minutes this past season. He started 21 of the Tigers’ 22 games after he enrolled in school midseason.

Virginia Tech loses key shooter to torn ACL

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Virginia Tech suffered a brutal blow earlier this month when Ty Outlaw went down with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Outlaw is one of the best shooters on Virginia Tech’s roster, banging home 48 percent of his three-balls last season, and he was expected to be a major part of the rotation following a season where he scored in double-figures in six of the last eight games, including four games of better than 16 points in that stretch.

This is a blow to Virginia Tech’s depth, but it is also a tough break for Outlaw, who transferred to Virginia Tech from a Junior College and had to sit out the 2015-16 season due to a heart issue. The redshirt senior will likely be eligible to receive a medical redshirt should he decide to apply for one.

Report: Miller brothers schedule Indiana-Arizona series

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The Miller family does not appear to be worried about sibling rivalry.

According to a report from FanRag Sports, Archie, the head coach at Indiana, and Sean, the head coach at Arizona, have agreed to a three-year deal to have the two programs face-off against each other. They’ll start in 2019-20, playing in Arizona, then face-off in Bloomington the following season before finally heading up to Madison Square Garden in 2021-22.

If you can get past the fact that we are now scheduling games for 2022 (!!!), this is actually going to be a pretty neat and unique thing. How often do two brothers end up coaching at the Division I level? The Drew brothers — Bryce at Vanderbilt and Scott at Baylor — are one pair, but they cancelled a series that would have seen the two programs square off last season. James and Joe Jones at Yale and Boston University are another pair. They were league rivals for eight yeas when Joe was the head coach at Columbia. When Sean Sutton was the head coach at Oklahoma State, his brother, Scott, beat them was the head coach at Oral Roberts.

So it’s not typical for this to happen, mainly because it’s not easy to compete at something so important against someone you care about so much.

Think about it.

Imagine working in a profession where your success comes at the expense of your brother? It’s one of the major reasons — beyond the obvious — that no one believed Sean Miller would actually consider taking the Ohio State job when it opened. Facing off against your brother in a non-conference game you choose to play is one thing. Competing for league titles against him for the foreseeable future is something totally different.

Which is a long way of saying that this should be an enticing matchup, however it plays out.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)