Crean: Four players out at Indiana

By Bill Hodge - May 02, 2008

# Head coach Tom Crean of Indiana has announced that junior forward DeAndre Thomas of Chicago-Westinghouse, Ill/Chipola CC, Fla., will be dismissed from the team. In addition, suspended Armon Bassett, a sophomore guard from Terre Haute-South Vigo, Ind/Hargrave MA, Va; and Jamarcus Ellis, a junior guard/forward from Chicago-Westinghouse, Ill/Chipola CC, Fla., will not be reinstated.

This news comes a day after freshman center/forward Eli Holman of Richmond Cal., told Crean he will not return for next season. Holman became agitated once Crean explained the process for transferring. Because Holman was yelling and angered, campus police were called. Statements were taken but no charges were filed.

"Last night and this morning I had the opportunity to apologize to Coach Crean and today I would like to extend that to everyone involved in the program for allowing my frustrations to get the best of me," Holman said in a statement issued by the university. "I appreciate everything Indiana University and coach Crean have done for me and I hope nothing but the best for the program in the future."

Indiana lost freshman Eric Gordon to the NBA draft when he declared and signed with an agent and seniors D.J. White and Lance Stemler had exhausted their eligibility. The latest departures leaves the Hoosiers with three returning players in sophomores Jordan Crawford, Brandon McGee and senior Kyle Taber. Indiana has signed freshmen Nick Williams (a one-time Marquette recruit), Tom Pritchard, Matt Roth and JC transfer Devon Dumes.

Bassett and Ellis had appealed their earlier suspensions by interim coach Dan Dakich and, after Crean spent time with the pair, there was not enough support to reinstate them. Thomas was deemed not a good fit.

The Hoosiers finished 25-7 (14-4 in the Big Ten) and lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Arkansas under Dakich. He had replaced Kelvin Sampson who resigned in late February, a week after receiving a notice of allegations from the NCAA. Crean then left Marquette for the Indiana position. Sampson is expected to join the staff of Milwaukee Bucks for next season.

"Before you build a team you need to develop a family," Crean said in a press release. "We will go through the learning process, feel some growing pains and experience some bumps in the road along the way. We need the Hoosier Nation to rally around this program as we go through these stages."

"Our staff if going to ensure that anyone who attends this University and wears the Indiana uniform will make this privilege among their highest priorities and not treat the opportunity as an entitlement," Crean added.

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Posted by Bill Hodge at 06:34 PM on May 02, 2008

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