ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
58°
Sunny
H 64° L 39°
  • clear-night
    58°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 64° L 39°
  • clear-day
    64°
    Today
    Sunny. H 64° L 39°
  • clear-day
    68°
    Tomorrow
    Sunny. H 68° L 42°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb news on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Wsb weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

College
Georgia basketball’s Tom Crean: Through lens of friend and mentor Tom Izzo
Close

Georgia basketball’s Tom Crean: Through lens of friend and mentor Tom Izzo

Georgia basketball’s Tom Crean: Through lens of friend and mentor Tom Izzo

Georgia basketball’s Tom Crean: Through lens of friend and mentor Tom Izzo

Georgia basketball-Georgia-UGA-Tom Crean-Tom Izzo

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean is no stranger to rebuilding programs, and no one knows that better than College Basketball Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo.

Izzo, who has led Michigan State to a national championship along with seven Final Fours and 13 Big Ten titles, remembers making Crean his first hire when he took over the Spartans’ program 23 years ago.

RELATED: Tom Crean shares shocking UGA history

“Tom Crean helped me build this thing, he was phenomenal,” Izzo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and DawgNation in an exclusive interview. “I had gotten Time hired as a graduate assistant (1989, when Judd Heathcote was still ahead coach), and as soon as I got this job, he was the first guy I went after.

“I knew he was a relentless worker, good recruiter, a very good Xs and Os guy, and he was driven.”

Crean has show those qualities to Bulldogs fans already this season with Georgia off to a 7-4 start including last Saturday’s impressive 70-59 road win at Georgia Tech and the 76-74 near-miss against a Top 20-ranked Arizona State team earlier this month.

RELATED: Georgia gets key road win at Georgia Tech

Current situation

Izzo has taken note of Crean’s early success after taking over a downtrodden Georgia basketball program that has been to the NCAA Tournament just once in the past seven years.

“I’m glad he’s not in my conference, but I’m also glad he’s back in it,” Izzo said. “I think people there will enjoy him, and I think he’ll build it, they just have to give him a little time and let him get all the people in there he needs.”

Izzo said Georgia can build a basketball program alongside its championship caliber football program, much like he has been able to do at Michigan State and Florida and Ohio State have done.

“I think this is a football school 1A, and 1B, it’s a basketball school, Florida got to be the same,” Izzo said. “Ohio State is probably a little more football, but it’s a pretty good basketball school.

“There’s no reason at Georgia you can’t do that. I know there’s players in the State of Georgia. Atlanta, it’s like Chicago an Detroit, lots of people recruiting the city, but the players are there.”

Football background

Crean, like Izzo, has an innate love of football that works to his advantage at the college level.

“Tom is smart and he has a lot of good football friends, pro and college, and he uses football to help him in basketball,” Izzo said. “I think he’ll do that at Georgia, because I think he’ll get along with the football guys.

“I don’t think there will be jealousy because he’s been brought up a football guy.”

Indeed, Crean is married into the Harbaugh family, and maintains close relations with Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh and Baltimore Ravens football coach John Harbaugh.

Just as Izzo is a regular at Michigan State football games, driving through the parking lots on a golf cart and visiting with fans each Saturday of the Spartans’ home games in East Lansing, Crean has made himself available at the Bulldogs’ home football games.

“I think why he’ll be successful there is he can coach, he’ll demand some things,” Izzo said, “but importantly, I think he’ll embrace football, where a lot of coaches get jealous of it.”

Back then

Izzo remembers the characteristics Crean help instill at Michigan State that have led to the Spartans becoming a national basketball power.

“In football terms, he’s an incredible offensive coordinator, and he has a very good offensive mind,” Izzo said. But he has the base to be a great defensive coach, like he was here.”

Izzo’s programs are known for their defensive prowess and physical rebounding nature.

“Tom brought some of that rebounding here every bit as much as I did,” Izzo said. “This program was team built — Tom, BG (Brian Gregory) and Stan Heath. But Tom was absolutely instrumental in helping me build this thing.

“That’s why I’ll always appreciate what he’s done for me.”

Competing with Crean

When Izzo says he’s glad Crean isn’t in the same conference, he’s referencing the rivalry the two coaches built after Crean took over and re-established Indiana basketball.

“He did an unbelievable job at Indiana, and I think he had to rebuild it,” Izzo said. But in that state, it’s 19 years after Bob (Knight) was there, and there’s still people talking about him. There’s been a couple guys who have been there since Bob Knight, but nobody has really replaced him if you know what I mean, and Tom was the closest thing.

“But it was ugly from Day One, he had to deal with the (NCAA) issues that were there, and then he had the wrath from the Bob Knight fans, so I think that was hard on Tom,” Izzo said. “That’s unfair for any coach, just like it will be unfair for the guy that follows Mike Krzyzewski.”

Georgia, however, offers Crean a unique opportunity.

“You know, even when he was at Marquette going to that Final Four, there were still some Al McQuire whispers around that program,” Izzo said.

“Georgia, in a lot of ways he gets to build his own program, and the canvas blank there and he gets to paint his own portrait,” Izzo said, “ and he gets to put his mark on that program, because it’s not like he’s replacing a legend.”

What’s next

Izzo wants to see Crean do well at Georgia, because he believes he has earned it.

“Here’s what I know for sure: I know he’s a phenomenal working recruiter,” Izzo said. “He’s a very good basketball coach, and he’s a very attention-to-detail guy.” “

Crean’s intensity is unmistakable, and he’s already made it clear he wants the Bulldogs basketball program on an accelerated path to success.

Izzo believes the year Crean spent away from coaching will serve him well as he build his brand in Athens.

“He did a great thing last year in that he got away, he visited a lot of programs, and he had a chance to sit back and evaluate,” Izzo said. “When you’re in this job, you’re on the treadmill and you never get off. But he got to sit back and say, ‘how did this guy handle that, or that guy handle this.’ He got to hear how other people think about other people and look at things constructively.

“It gives you a better perception of who you are.”

Izzo believes Crean was sometimes misunderstood at Indiana because of the ever-present pressure and speculation that comes with the Indiana job post-Knight.

“I think now at Georgia, he has to take things one step further,” Izzo said. “He needs to let himself enjoy the people around him.

“I’ll be shocked if he’s not very, very successful there.”

DawgNation Georgia basketball

Georgia wins 4th straight in Georgia Tech rivalry

WATCH: Tom Crean preaches winning ways to UGA

UGA learns its lesson from Tom Crean, holds off Oakland rally

Tom Crean positive about Georgia basketball modest start

Bulldogs get hot-shooting night from Tyree Crump, rip Texas Southern

Guards play well off bench in Georgia basketball win over Kennesaw State

Tom Crean says Georgia basketball has ‘long ways to go’ after Cayman Classic

The post Georgia basketball’s Tom Crean: Through lens of friend and mentor Tom Izzo appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More

News

  • A Florida man is facing child sex abuse charges after officials said he paid over $800 on an Uber to bring a teenage girl to Apopka. >> Read more trending news Police said 25-year-old Richard Brown raped the 17-year-old girl in his parents' home over the course of several days. The two met over Instagram after he told the victim that he was a 19-year-old Instagram celebrity and that he would 'take care of her.' The victim told Apopka police that Brown paid for an Uber to drive her from San Antonio, Texas, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In Louisiana, she got into another Uber that dropped her off in Apopka on Sunday. Brown would later show police receipts showing the second part of the trip that amounted to over $800. According to arrest documents, Brown told police he was 'only friends' with the victim and thought that she was of age and 'in need of a place to stay.' One neighbor couldn't believe the accusations. 'You might never know about it and now the cops are here,' said Amanda Trail. 'That's crazy for the parents.' The victim said once she realized Brown wasn't 19 or 'Instagram famous' that she wanted to go home. Brown then allegedly told her, 'no you owe me now for bringing you all the way here.' She later told officials that she escaped on Wednesday when Brown fell asleep and while she was on Snapchat with her mother. Police would locate her near Ustler and Wekiwa Preserve Drive, but said she wasn't able to point out which home belonged to the victim or what his name was on social media.  Brown's attorney took issue with the story, citing 'several inconsistencies.' Brown faces six felony counts of child sex abuse. 
  • A jury has acquitted Michael Rosfeld Friday night in the trial of the white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teen fleeing a high-stakes traffic stop outside Pittsburgh. >> WPXI LIVE UPDATES: Michael Rosfeld Trial Rosfeld was charged with homicide for shooting Antwon Rose Jr. during a traffic stop last June. Rose was riding in an unlicensed taxi that had been involved in a drive-by shooting when Rosfeld pulled the car over and shot the 17-year-old in the back, arm and side of the face as he ran away. The panel of seven men and five women — including three black jurors — saw video of the fatal confrontation, which showed Rose falling to the ground after being hit. The acquittal came after fewer than four hours of deliberations on the fourth day of the trial. The Rose family’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, had urged a murder conviction, saying before closing arguments that it’s “pretty obvious” Rose was not a threat to Rosfeld. Rose’s death — one of many high-profile killings of black men and teens by white police officers in recent years — spurred protests in the Pittsburgh area last year, including a late-night march that shut down a major highway. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • A photo taken of a mother and daughter on the flight deck of an Atlanta-bound Delta Boeing 757 has gone viral. >> Read more trending news The duo, Capt. Wendy Rexon and First Officer Kelly Rexon, can be seen smiling ear-to-ear at the helm of the duel-engine Boeing 757, which seats around 170 passengers. The photo was taken by Dr. John R. Watret, the chancellor of Embry-Riddle Worldwide, a world-renowned aeronautical university, who just happened to overhear that there was a mother-daughter flight crew. According to a release from the university, Watret, who was a passenger on the flight, overheard a mother and kids coming from the cockpit talking about the “mother and daughter” flying the passenger airliner. “I thought that was amazing. I was in awe. I asked if I could visit them, too,” he said in the press release.   This was especially meaningful for Watret because of Embry-Riddle’s commitment to creating more opportunities for women in all areas of the aviation industry. “There has to be more diversification in the industry. It’s crucial and one of the key factors we focus on. When there are more opportunities, everyone wins,” Watret said in the release. Delta airlines official twitter account also replied to his tweet: Kelly Rexon’s sister is also a pilot, according to the release from Embry-Riddle.
  • Tulsa firefighters have returned a cat to its owner after it hitched a ride in a car for about 100 miles. Officials said they were called to rescue a cat but quickly learned it wasn't 'your typical cat stuck in a tree call.' They believe the cat jumped into the car's undercarriage in Mustang, Oklahoma, and likely rode along near the engine. The driver said he heard a noise that he thought was his child's video game, but it turned out to be the meowing cat. >> Read more trending news Firefighters made calls to the Mustang area to see if anyone had reported a lost cat and eventually found the family. They drove up to Tulsa on Friday to collect the cat, whose name is Snickers. KOKI-TV was at the fire station Friday for the reunion.
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a letter on Friday that the city council’s attempt to have her administration investigated for potentially misusing city funds to hire her campaign staff was itself unlawful. Bottoms specifically pointed to a sentence in a resolution that the council approved on Monday that authorized the ethics officer and auditor to hire an outside law firm to assist with an investigation. “A grant of authority to hire legal counsel, such as is contained in the Resolution, violates the City of Atlanta Charter,” Bottoms wrote. “The Charter designates the City Attorney as the chief legal advisor of the city.” The letter represents an escalation of a power struggle over the mayor and city council’s respective roles to help restore public trust amid an ongoing federal probe into corruption at city hall. The resolution requesting the investigation came in response to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article published last weekend. The article found that six Bottoms campaign staff members were issued payments for a pay period in December 2017, before the city had formally offered them jobs. That article reported that political supporters of the mayor were given job titles based on desired salaries, not their job qualifications or responsibilities. And it found that Bottoms’ former campaign manager Marva Lewis was briefly made an Airport Deputy General Manager and received payments out of airport funds, in possible violation of FAA regulations. The council resolution approved on Monday requested that the auditor and ethics office to determine if the manner in which campaign staff were hired violated city code, state law, the state constitution or Federal Aviation Administration regulations. City Auditor Amanda Noble confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that she and the ethics office had initiated an investigation. Noble declined to address the contents of Bottoms’ letter. Council President Felicia Moore said resolution was not a binding order, but an expression of the council’s will to see the matter reviewed by the city’s oversight officers. She said the auditor and ethics officer are independent and have the discretion to investigate matters of their choosing. “The law department may have to assist in their getting outside counsel,” Moore said. “The reality is that neither the ethics officer nor the auditor need the council’s resolution to conduct a review.” Moore said one could read the resolution’s call for the ability to hire outside counsel as an implied request for the city’s law department to cooperate with the investigation. The law department, at least in theory, reports to both the mayor and the council. Bottoms has until early next week to decide if she will sign the proposal or veto it. If she doesn’t act eight days after it was passed, the resolution is automatically adopted. The mayor’s letter, which mentions a possible veto, was itself a veiled threat that she may take such action against a resolution that she claims violates the city’s charter. The letter itself seemed to be a preemptive attempt to call into question an investigation, which she claims grew out of a resolution that violates the city’s charter, would be allowed to move forward. Bottoms said that because of the resolution the auditors and ethics officer’s findings “would be rendered useless due to their unlawful origin.” Moore sees no reason why an investigation shouldn’t move forward. “As far as them doing their review and having the access to all city records, there should be no reason why that would change,” Moore said. “They already have the authority.”
  • Here is the letter Barr sent to leaders in Congress after he received the results of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian Collusion during the 2016 presidential election. Dear Chairman Graham, Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Feinstein, and Ranking Member Collins: I write to notify you pursuant to 28 C.F.R. 600.9(a)(3) that Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has concluded his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and related matters. In addition to this notification, the Special Counsel regulations require that I provide you with “a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General” or acting Attorney General “concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.” 28 C.F.R. 600.9(a)(3). There were no such instances during the Special Counsel’s investigation. The Special Counsel has submitted to me today a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. 600.8(c). I am reviewing the report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend. Separately, I intend to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller to determine what other information from the report can be released to Congress and the public consistent with the law, including the Special Counsel regulations, and the Department’s long-standing practices and policies. I remain committed to as much transparency as possible, and I will keep you informed as to the status of my review. Finally, the Special Counsel regulations provide that “the Attorney General may determine that public release of” this notification “would be in the public interest.” 28 C.F.R. 600.9(c) I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you. Sincerely, William P. Barr Attorney General