Indiana coach Tom Crean did his best Monday to defuse the uproar around the altercation he had with Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer after the No. 3 Hoosiers’ 72-71 win at No. 6 Michigan on Sunday.
Crean and Meyer, who was an assistant at IU under former coach Kelvin Sampson, got into a verbal spat as the two went through the handshake line and the run-in resumed at midcourt before Indiana assistant coach Tim Buckley separated the two and got Crean off the court.
Crean was quick to address the situation during Monday morning’s Big Ten coaches teleconference, saying he called Meyer on Sunday night to apologize.
We discussed a couple of things, Crean said of his conversation with Meyer. I apologized for that, and in retrospect wished I never would have had addressed anything after the heat of battle in a game. We have moved on.
Indianapolis TV station WRTV showed footage of Crean clearly yelling at Meyer: You know what you did. You helped wreck the program. You helped wreck our program.
Crean’s remark likely stemmed from the NCAA sanctions imposed on Indiana while Sampson was the Hoosiers’ coach. Sampson and former assistant Rob Senderoff were penalized by the NCAA, but Meyer was cleared and joined the Wolverines’ staff five years ago.
Michigan coach John Beilein said during Monday’s teleconference that he only saw the confrontation on video, and he wouldn’t go into details about what happened or confirm whether Crean called Meyer.
I’m not going to comment on another coach or another university, Beilein said. I will say that Michigan is always going to win with class and they are going to lose with class. We are never going to use victory or defeat to vent any frustrations we’re going to have.
Indiana and Michigan could meet for a third time this season in the Big Ten tournament, which begins Thursday in Chicago. IU won the two regular-season games.
The Hoosiers (26-5), who won the outright Big Ten regular-season title, are the No. 1 seed for the tournament and at noon on Friday will play the winner of Thursday’s game between No. 8-seed Illinois and No. 9-seed Minnesota.
If IU wins Friday, and No. 5-seed Michigan (25-6) defeats 12th-seeded Penn State (10-20) and fourth-seeded Wisconsin (21-10), the teams would play in Saturday’s semifinals.
Notes: IU forward Cody Zeller was named the co-Big Ten player of the week with Ohio State guard Aaron Craft on Monday, and Zeller was named a third-team All-American by the Sporting News. IU guard Victor Oladipo was named a first-team All-American by the Sporting News. IU will play in the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project next season. IU will play host for a regional round Nov. 14-17 and meet Connecticut, Boston College and Washington in the semifinals at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 21-22.