Tom Crean sounds off on Indiana basketball, other teams passing on NIT

Tom Crean Criticizes Indiana Basketball and Others for Skipping NIT Participation

The head coach of Indiana basketball has made the decision not to participate in the NIT this year.

A former coach from IU is puzzled by this decision.

During the NIT selection show on Sunday, ESPN’s college basketball analyst, Tom Crean, expressed his confusion about teams declining the invitation to the 32-team event, which ESPN broadcasts.

Crean shared his thoughts, saying, “I would want to coach. I’d want to develop my team. With the large coaching staffs we have today, there’s ample time for dealing with the transfer portal, recruiting, and managing NIL deals. What we don’t have is enough time to play. We’re missing out on valuable time to improve our players on the court, to give them opportunities to get better. And for some, this might be their last chance to play.”

Here’s what you need to know about the NIT schedule and the tournament itself.

Other notable programs, such as St. John’s, Oklahoma, and Memphis, also chose not to participate in the NIT.

Crean added, “If a player doesn’t want to play, they should just sit out. If a coach doesn’t want to coach, they should focus on recruiting. Surely, we can find five, six, or seven players ready to play. It just doesn’t make sense to me not to.”

In 2017, during Crean’s last year as coach, Indiana University opted not to host an NIT game and instead played away, losing to Georgia Tech. Following this, Crean was let go from his position.

Indiana State secured a top seed in the NIT, while Butler was placed as a No. 4 seed. This year, the championship game will be held at Butler’s Hinkle Fieldhouse.