Crean not always focused on hoops, which is a good thing

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source: AP

Indiana’s three rebuilding seasons under Tom Crean haven’t been easy for the basketball-proud school to endure. The Hoosiers have lost at least 20 games and finished either last or second-to-last every season. Fans want more. Players want more. Crean wants more. At some point, Crean’s job will depend on it. (Those new recruits can’t arrive soon enough.)

But until then, Crean’s doing his best to make IU officials think about more than wins. Not that he’s advertising it. Sounds like he’s just being himself.

This story from CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan showcases Crean at his best off the court. A caller told how Crean noticed an upset student sitting in the lobby of the basketball practice facility, which prompted Crean to do this:

Crean invited the student into his office and proceeded to hear his story and counseled the young man on how difficult the transition to college can be and encouraged him to stick with it. He also introduced the student to the rest of his staff and he got him an opportunity to work around the basketball program as a member of the athletic department.

The young man had turned off his cell phone after telling his parents that he needed to take a walk and think and his parents were very worried when they were unable to reach him. When Crean inquired as to whether the young man had spoken with his parents recently the young man said no. Crean called the parents, gave them his personal contact information and told them he would look out for their son. After arranging for a job in the athletic department the young man is reported to be doing very well and has adjusted to life away from home.

Crean didn’t comment on the story. Said it was a personal matter. (Nods head.) Coming on the heels of him assisting in the search of a missing Indiana student earlier this summer, it’s clear Crean doesn’t always put basketball first.

That’s not always easy to do at a place like Indiana. But Crean’s making it work.

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