Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Curious Case of the Indiana Hoosiers



I was almost 100% sure the moment that Dan Dakich took over the Indiana Hoosiers that they would be a team to be reckoned with come the start of the NCAA Tournament. Now...? Not so sure.

I like Dan as a coach, I think he has a certain style of "tough love" that you don't see out of many coaches anymore. I witnessed it up close for 4 years at Bowling Green. He is a throw back to the coaches of yesterday. He just does things right. However, he's not the reason I thought this team had a least a run to the Sweet 16 in them.

I honestly thought DJ White would rally his teammates together to prove everyone wrong. Basically, to give a big "F-U" to the world after "the media" ousted their coach. They would do this for Coach Sampson, and then tell the world so in countless interviews afterword-virtually assuring their coach would get another shot a a head coaching job again.

But, instead of coming together...this team has fallen apart. Close victories over OSU and Northwestern, and blow out loss to Michigan State paved the way for a shocking loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten tournament. No offense Tubby, but Mr. Hoffarber should have never had a shot to pull off that miracle shot. The pure talent of Indiana should have lead them to an easy win.

So, here we are on selection Sunday and Indiana may be the most intriguing team to watch in the entire field. They have the great scorer in Eric Gordon, a big man- DJ White, and a nice supporting cast to put around them. That's pretty much all you need to make a run at a Final Four.

The question then for Hoosier players is, will you come together, or will you fall apart? I want to believe in you, the state of Indiana wants to believe in you, college basketball fans across the country want to believe in you. It will be a great story-the greatest of the tournament.

Hoosier players-will you answer the call?

(No pun intended)

-picture courtesy of boilersports.com-

3 comments:

T-ROD said...

Rob, I couldn't agree with you more. IU has all the talent in the world and should have been poised to make a DEEP, DEEP, run in the tourney... Dakich is a great man, an Indiana man, a protégé of The General, a hard nosed disciplinarian who, win coaching kids who have something to play for, can really motivate and light a fire under their asses. Eric Gordon is one of the most explosive scorers in the country and has the ability to pretty much score at will. DJ White is (or atleast was...) one of the best big men in the NCAA and is (again, or atleast he was...) a force to be reckoned with. And, they have a very capable supporting cast. However, with that being said, instead of rallying around their fallen coach, they've pretty much laid an egg. I watched their 'game' against michigan state (after which white talked about how much of an embarrassment that game was and how pathetic the effort was). I would have taken DJ White out of that game. I would have sat his ass on the bench and not have even thought about letting his feet touch the court. PERIOD. He walked around, didn't block out, didn't play defense, didn't move on offense... It looked like he forgot how to play basketball. Gordon is doing all he can to support this team, but a guard cannot do it all in this league... He needs a good big man, which he used to have in white. Gordon busted his ass, he is willing to try to show support for his fallen coach, exactly as you said you thought they might. But as hard as he tried, that was how little White seemed to care. Ever since Sampson left, he stopped playing. He has no drive, and doesn't really even seem to have any heart at all... HE is PATHETIC.

I have all the respect in the world for Dan Dakich. I think he is nothing but a class act that deserves the best. I was ecstatic when i saw that he was going to be taking over at IU. He deserves it because that man is one hell of a coach. I hate the fact that these players aren't playing for him. That is not Dan's fault. These kids are just showing that they have no heart. It sickens me to know that Dakich won't get any consideration for the job next year unless he wins the tournament, which won't happen. The main sports writer for the Indianapolis Star wants IU to do everything they can to lure Tom Izzo away from Michigan State, which I think is absolutely ludicrous.

Currently I have IU losing in the first round to Arkansas. This might change, entirely based on what I think this team COULD do. If they start playing, IU has the potential to cut down the nets in San Antonio here in a couple of weeks. Do I think they will? No, but god knows, for Dan's sake, I really, REALLY, hope they prove me wrong (by winning the first round atleast... an upset of UNC would be nice, but Kansas is going all the way).

T-ROD said...

called that shit didn't i? IU lost first round and the Jayhawks cut down the nets... ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK (of course the year i don't get my pool going for the tourney is the year i picked the winner and entire final four (i had ucla over memphis though) correctly)

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