Coaches on Hot Seat: Time's running out on Indiana's Crean and Co.

by | College Basketball Insider
  • College Basketball Insider Gary Parrish also contributed to this story.

Everyone loves the Hot Seat -- except for those who get tossed on the list. For those reading, we're NOT saying that all these guys will be history after this season. We're saying that they desperately need to win this season or else the pressure will mount, fans will likely become restless and they won't be long at their current homes.

We're also betting that based on our track records, about half these guys won't be at their current places of employment a year from now.

With all that, we give you a dozen Coaches on the Hot Seat this season:

1. Tom Crean, Indiana: We know he signed a 10-year deal in 2008 and has a bunch of talented young kids locked up, but this is Year 4 and there hasn't been much progress on the court. Crean, who took over a major rebuilding job, has won eight league games thus far. With the Big Ten turning over, I expect the Hoosiers to break into the top half of the league. However, if they finish ninth or 11th in the Big Ten, as IU has in all three of Crean's years in Bloomington, fans could be clamoring for a change.

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2. Darrin Horn, South Carolina: A former Crean assistant, Horn won 21 games in his first season in Columbia and went to the NIT. However, the Gamecocks have finished under .500 each of the last two years. The 38-year-old Horn sorely needs a strong showing in 2011-12.

3. Derek Kellogg, UMass: This is Year 4 at his alma mater and it's time for DK to produce. The first three years have been sub-par: 39-53 overall and 19-29 in league play. The Minutemen have yet to finish higher than seventh in the league and fan support has also dwindled of late. UMass doesn't necessarily need to get to the NCAA tournament this year, but it does need to make progress.

4. Stan Heath, South Florida: We all know this isn't an easy job, but the Bulls will need to do better than 10-23 and 3-15 in the league -- which was the result last season. Thus far it's been four years and one NIT appearance. The good news for Heath is that he signed an extension a year ago through the 2015 campaign.

5. Frank Haith, Missouri: It sounds nuts to put a guy on the list who hasn't even coached a game at the school, but with the Nevin Shapiro allegations from his days at Miami, Haith can't fall flat on his face -- especially with a veteran team that will be in just about everyone's Top 25. The recent season-ending injury to veteran big man Laurence Bowers didn't help matters for Haith.

6. Herb Sendek, Arizona State: With the help of James Harden, the Sun Devils were relevant a few years ago. However, Sendek has just one NCAA appearance in his five seasons in Tempe and he'll need to make some headway after last season's 12-19 record. The question is whether he has enough talent to get back in the top half of the league this season.

7. Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois: It seems like an eternity ago that he started off his career with a trio of NCAA tourney appearances. Since then, he has struggled -- including four consecutive seasons without going to the Big Dance. The record over that span: 59-67.

8. Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest: It's unlikely he would be forced out after his second season, especially since he was hand-picked by athletic director Ron Wellman, but the Demon Deacons were a mess a year ago to the tune of 1-15 in ACC play and it may not get much better this season after a bunch of forced defections.

9. Craig Robinson, Oregon State: He started out well with an impressive 18-18 record in his first season, but it was almost a kiss of death -- raising expectations. He has gone 25-38 over the past two years and this season the Beavers will need to take a step back in the right direction.

10. Trent Johnson, LSU: He won 27 games and went to the second round of the NCAA tournament in his first season, but the Tigers have won just 11 games each of the past two years. He'll need to show improvement in Year 4.

11. Matt Doherty, SMU: The Mustangs coach won 20 games a year ago and went .500 in league play, but he can ill-afford for the program to take a step backward. His record is 67-90 in five seasons at the helm.

12. Jim Christian, TCU: Made the mistake of leaving Kent State for TCU. Has won 38 games in three seasons with the Horned Frogs and the pressure is on to do something this season, especially with the Big 12 on the horizon for the program.

2011-12 Season Preview
Oct. 13Preseason Top 25 (and one) Nov. 1Top freshmen
 Projected NCAA tournament field Nov. 2Top transfers
 Goodman and Parrish bracket picks Nov. 3Under the radar players
Oct. 14Team profiles: 'Cuse | UConn | UK | UNC Nov. 4Breakout players
Oct. 17Preseason All-Americans Nov. 5Best shooters
Oct. 18Top 100 players Nov. 6Best defensive players
Oct. 19Positional rankings: Point guards Nov. 768 things ...
Oct. 20Positional rankings: Wing men Nov. 8Ranking the preseason tourneys
Oct. 21Positional rankings: Big men Nov. 950 can't miss games
   Nov. 10Coaches on the Hot Seat

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