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Buckeyes Looking at Crean

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Marquette coach Tom Crean will be the next hot name in Ohio State's search for a new basketball coach now that the Buckeyes have cooled on Bob Knight, ESPN.com's Andy Katz reports.



The Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday that it is "highly unlikely" that Ohio State will hire Knight, the former Indiana coach now at Texas Tech and a former player for the Buckeyes.



Multiple sources confirmed to Katz that Knight is most likely to remain in Texas, far from the Big Ten, and that Crean has tremendous support within the conference for the Ohio State position. He is a former Michigan State assistant.



Crean probably can't take Marquette much higher than the Eagles' Final Four bid in 2003 behind Dwyane Wade. Ohio State has a much more stable future than the Eagles, especially with Marquette's move to the Big East.



However, sources tell Katz that Crean can't afford to be involved in a drawn-out process. If Ohio State wants him, and makes it clear that he can't go after the Michigan State job if Tom Izzo leaves for the NBA at some point, the Buckeyes have to pursue him hard.



Crean got his coaching start at Michigan State in 1989-90 on Jud Heathcote's staff, then went to Western Kentucky as an assistant for four seasons and to Pittsburgh for a year before returning to the Spartans for four seasons. The last two years at Michigan State he was associate head coach before being named Marquette's head coach in March 1999.




c/o ESPN.com


If they could get him that would be a major hire. Crean is a great coach and is still pretty young. I think he's a better hire than Knight.

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Ohio State is a better job than Marquette. It's a bigger school, better recruiting state, bigger budget, better facilities, it's in the Big 10, where he has roots, and he'd make more money.


The only reason he might not take is that Michigan State issue.


I wanted Knight, but this would certainly be acceptable.

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