3-point shot: Crews deserves permanent job

February, 25, 2013
2/25/13
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1. Saint Louis and Jim Crews are respecting the season and not making the next head coach a distraction. This season has been about this team and the late Rick Majerus. It is a selfless act by Crews, who has filled in for Majerus exceptionally well and deserves consideration for national coach of the year. According to Saint Louis, there isn't a rush to push for the naming of a permanent head coach. I respect that decision. But let's not dismiss what Crews has done under extraordinary circumstances. He had to take over a team not knowing if Majerus would return in the summer, only to learn he was gravely ill and then be there for his funeral. Crews was a moderately successful coach but just at tough locations in Evansville and Army. I'm not sure too many people could have handled this situation any better than he has done. The entire staff gets credit. If he wants the full-time coaching job, and at the appropriate time after the season, then this search should be done.

2. Ryan Kelly is now doing individual workouts, according to the Duke staff, but not contact drills. There is growing optimism that Kelly will return before the end of the regular season. Duke has a monster week with games at Virginia and hosting Miami, giving the Blue Devils a legitimate shot to still catch the first-place Hurricanes, whom they trail by two games. But that isn't the real issue here. If Kelly comes back for the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament and is at least somewhat effective in creating attention for the defense and take some pressure off Mason Plumlee then the Blue Devils have to be considered one of the contenders for the national title.

3. I love that Indiana coach Tom Crean constantly is looking for outside sources of support and teaching from other sports. He has had Tony LaRussa speak to his team and in years past sought out advice on how franchises are built across all sports, including tradition-rich ones like the Montreal Canadiens. Of course, he has a great resource in the family in his two brother-in-laws. So it was of no surprise that when Jim Harbaugh, the coach of the 49ers, was in Indianapolis he stopped by for practice last week and spent time with IU point guard Yogi Ferrell and talking to him about court vision, much like a quarterback. Crean said the talk was beneficial.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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