As referenced by Caleb in the comments section of the IU’s No. 82 post below, rumors are running rampant right now that former NBA player and Duke grad Roshown McCleod (pronounced Ray-shan McCloud) will fill the final vacancy on Tom Crean’s staff.
McCleod certainly appears to be a possibility. We heard that he may have been in town earlier this summer to begin the process of interviewing for the job. Unlike Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer, McCleod has no previous working relationship with Crean. And as Crean has said repeatedly, he was not in a rush to fill the spot since whoever got it could not recruit through July 31st.
You can be sure that Crean, having endured the mess left by Kelvin Sampson and his staff, will go out of his way to vet a new hire. Plus he needs to know the new person will fit in with a close-knit staff.
So there’s nothing to indicate that McCleod is the only candidate at this point.
There’s plenty to indicate that McCleod would be a solid choice.
The 6-8 forward played high school ball for Bob Hurley at St. Anthony (obligatory plug for one of my favorite books ever, The Miracle of St. Anthony, comes now). I’m not sure there’s a more universally respected basketball coach on any level than Bob Hurley.
McLeod then played two seasons at St. John’s in Queens before transferring to Duke to finish his career under the tutelage of Coach K. He wasÂ drafted in 1997 by the Atlanta Hawks and played under Lenny Wilkens before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, where he played briefly for Larry Brown.
Hurley. Krzyzewski. Wilkens. Brown.
McLeod’s NBA career ended abruptly when a pinched nerve in his knee left him unable to plant his feet correctly, leading to a torn achilles tendon.
Though McLeod has only one season of college coaching experience â€” at Fairfield in 2002-03 under former Duke assistant Tim O’Toole â€” he’s been working in basketball in the Atlanta area. And according to this Q&A he did with Duke blogger a year ago, he’s interested in becoming a college coach again:
Â If the right opportunity comes along.Â I coached at Fairfield under former Duke assistant Tim O’Toole for one year.Â That’s when I realized I wasn’t ready yet.Â I was thinking like a player and not like a coach.Â So, I spent time with my family but eventually came back to the game realizing how much I missed it.Â Now, I’m prepared mentally.Â It’s tougher being a coach than it is being a player, so you have to prepare.
One of the players McCleod has worked with a bit is Derrick Favors, a top-10 player in the 2009 class. I spoke with an Atlanta source earlier today who told me that Favors, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound power forward, has recently become interested in IU but has no plans to attend the Elite Camp in Bloomington on Aug. 23.
Another player Indiana is apparently making a push for in the class of 2009 is Dominic Cheek, a 6-5 guard who recently played with the U.S. Under-18 team. He attends St. Anthony in Jersey City.
(Crean, it should be noted, has frequently gone after St. Anthony players.)
So, there you have it. That’s a summation of what’s being talked about on the street. And the message boards.
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