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Army discharges men's basketball coach

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by 2muchcoffeeman, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4499339&campaign=rss&source=twitter&ex_cid=Twitter_espn_4499339<blockquote>Army fired Jim Crews as men's basketball coach after seven seasons with the academy.

    "There was a series of events that led me down the path to determine that I needed to make a change in leadership of the men's basketball program and terminate coach Crews' contract," athletics director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. "I am very disappointed with some things that have come to my attention in recent days and I have decided that it is in the best interests of the basketball program and the institution to terminate our relationship."

    The timing of Crews' firing is odd considering teams were allowed to start team workouts for two hours a week beginning Sept. 15. Official team practice begins Oct. 16. </blockquote>Interesting. Any guesses why West Point is doing this now?
  2. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    Paging Bobby Knight.
  3. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Crews is a former Knight assistant isn't he?
  4. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Crews coached here in Evansville for a long time - 17 seasons. Had some very good teams, as well -- one that knocked out Gary Payton's Oregon State team in the NCAA Tournament comes to mind. Things started going bad here for him after his last NCAA tournament appearance, the year Kansas beat them in New Orleans in the first round.

    They were decent the year after that, then subpar, then 7-21 and then out he went, replaced by Steve Merfeld, who was even worse.

    I'd be interested to know what got him the boot in West Point.
  5. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Steve Merfeld was the bomb!
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I covered short Steve when he was at Hampton. Don't know what happened to him at Evansville but I fucking loved the guy.

    As for Crews - I covered a VCU game there years ago (ate at Mattingly's the night before. Don came by the table, was nice as could be and then stopped by to say hey at the game).
    Evansville slapped VCU pretty hard. Some 6-7 kid kept popping free for 3-pointers. Game ends and Sonny Smith walks into the interview room. He leans over and whispers to me, "This fucking guy is WAY too good a coach for me." I chuckle, thinking I can't use that but it was good for a laugh.
    Sonny gets up to the podium and his opening statement goes like this: "This fucking guy is WAY too good a coach for me." So it was fair game. I wish we could have left the "fucking" in there.
    Evansville was supposed to return the game but VCU was quick to wave off that one.

    Former VCU player called me a couple of days later and said, "I heard it was a clinic."

    Crews knew is shit. I, too, wonder what happened.
  7. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Merfeld made some recruiting missteps, notably with a class around '05 or so where several players they were depending on were dismissed for burglary.

    He brought some nice players into Evansville, but the Aces were never deep enough to put it all together. Evansville has probably consistently had the worst bench of any MVC team in my six years of being around the league.

    Plus, he had the misfortune of having a mediocre team at a time when the Missouri Valley Conference was at a four-bid high.

    He also had a weird personality that could be off-putting, kind of like Capt. Queeg from Caine Mutiny, but he could also be engaging. I never personally had any issues with him.

    To be fair, he also ran smack dab in Evansville expectations of success that are rooted in their Division II glory days and that are a bit unrealistic given their modest budget and tiny alumni base. He was also tied to the hip to an unpopular athletic director who did much to piss the Aces' fanbase off, including hiring outsider Merfeld. Aces fans stayed home in droves.

    Merfeld is now an assistant at Bradley. Evansville hired home boy Marty Simmons, who is doing a pretty decent job and is a pretty good guy too.
  8. Killick

    Killick Well-Known Member

    One of those recruiting missteps was a kid from my high school. Classic case of having a 10-cent head. He and his buddies got bounced for swiping laptops from dorm rooms. Dumbshits. IIRC, one kid already had a record, ended up doing some time. The others, including the one from my high school (Marcus Butler) got probation.
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Yep those were the dudes.
  10. Stoney

    Stoney Well-Known Member

    Good story. Those Evansville teams really were well coached. Crews was once a hot commodity in the late 80s and early 90s, and could've moved up if he'd wanted to, but then his star faded. His Knight-cultivated old school style doesn't really play these days (although if there's one place you'd think it would, it's Army). He didn't win at Army because nobody does, but I believe he did better there than anyone since Coach K and he had everybody back this year. It is a strange firing.
  11. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Wasn't Maggie Dixon also hired at Army for the women's team right before practice started? If so, it seems like Army, for whatever reason, likes to change right before the season.
  12. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    I looked up the VCU records, Moddy, and the year you came to town was February 1994, which means the 6-7 kid who burned you all night was Andy Elkins, who was a big-time high school player in Evansville, did well at UE, then had a short run as a HS basketball coach here in the city.

    He's an AD up Highway 41 in Princeton now, and that school won a state basketball title last year.

    Andy's good people.
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