Former coach Tom Crane is a potential candidate for a new job, in the report

About two months ago, Georgia fired the men’s basketball coach Tom Crane After four seasons. Crean has yet to land a new job, although a report this week says that may change soon.

Jeff Goodman reported from the field Thursday that Crane is a “hot name” at the moment for the vacant Evansville coach position. Goodman added that Crane spoke “a little bit” about the Evansville job as well as the Western Kentucky job last year when it was clear he would not return to Georgia for the 2022-23 season.

Georgia fired Crane on March 10, one day after the end of his fourth season as Bulldogs coach. Crane left Georgia with a record 47-75, including the 6-26 record during the 2021-22 season.

Crane’s final season in Georgia began with many questions that were quickly replaced by poor performance after poor performance.

Georgia had nine players who left the program after the 2020-21 season, then PJ Horn, the team’s only starting player, suffered a knee injury at the end of the season in October. The team took another big blow when striker Jillen Ingram tore her ACL in December.

Crean’s reconstituted roster split their first four games of the season before losing three in a row, the last of which was a 68-65 home loss to Wofford.

The Bulldogs took their biggest win on the non-conference roster by beating Memphis 82-79 next time out before topping Jacksonville six days later. The 11-point win over the Dolphins proved to be Crane’s last consecutive win in Georgia.

Georgia bounced back after losing to George Mason with a win over West Carolina before the slide really started. The Bulldogs lost 20 of their last 21 games to end the year, the only win in that period being an 82-76 home win over Alabama on January 25.

The Bulldogs finished the year with 12 losses in a row, most recently losing 86-51 to Vanderbilt to open the SEC Championship on Wednesday night.

As if Georgia’s poor performance wasn’t bad enough, Crean’s crew faced a controversy of their own with three weeks into the season.

Assistant coach Wade Mason was suspended after an argument with player personnel manager Brian Fish during the first half of Georgia’s loss to LSU on February 16. Crane addressed the incident after Georgia played Ole Miss on February 19, saying, “Obviously, it’s an unfortunate situation that we’re dealing with, but it’s been handled properly and we’re trying to keep our focus on basketball.”

Crane’s situation worsened after addressing the media after the loss to the rebels.

Crean’s Zoom with the media remained running once the veteran coach left the table, allowing those on the call to hear Crean blaming the alumni assistant for an apparent news leak and making derogatory comments about Georgia goalkeeper Aaron Cook.

Crean’s tenure began with his first draft season 11-21 in 2018-19 followed by a stellar recruiting class that included selection for future #1 overall draft pick Anthony Edwards.

The Bulldogs took a step forward with Edwards the following season, but the team still finished the season 16-16, leaving the Penultimate Bulldogs in the SEC when the season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Georgia followed with a 14-12 record in the 2020-21 season.

Crane came to Georgia after taking a year off from training after 9 years in Indiana. In his stint as head coach at Indiana and Marquette, Crane had an overall record of 356-231 with nine NCAA Championship games.

Crean hasn’t made post-season—whether it’s an NCAA or NIT championship—during his time with the Bulldogs.

If Crane is, in fact, assigned to Evansville, the 56-year-old will take over the Purple Aces who went 15-53 in two or more seasons under coach Todd Lecletter. Evansville hasn’t participated in the NCAA tournament since 1999.

Lickliter was officially relieved of his duties on Thursday.

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