The final score says it all. Indiana eked out a 3 point win over Northwestern on the road in Evanston, Illinois … 2 days after Coach Kelvin Sampson was let go by the university. Good on ‘ya, Dan Dakich. It was vitally important for you to get that first win as a head coach under your belt, and I’m glad you were able to prove yourself when it counted. I’m sure Coach Knight is proud.
Read at least a few hundred of the I’m sure thousands of words written about the game here in the Indianapolis Star.
There will be lots written about the closeness of the score against a Wildcats team that is winless in the Big 10 this year, while IU is in a 3 way tie for the conference lead. But look at the distractions that had to be overcome to get that win. Many of the players wrote “KS” on thier shoes in support of Coach Sampson (not Kansas), probably in violation of some NCAA rule or other. The turmoil surrounding the coach turned what would have been a game of only passing interest and what should have been an easy win for the Hoosiers into a slugfest on the national stage. I’m sure it’s not the head coaching debut Dan Dakich wanted, but it was the one he was given, and it turned out well.
I didn’t get to see the game, as it was only televised regionally. I saw highlights on ESPN, but it seemed like they focused more on the shoes than the actual play. But I think the team, and the new coach served notice last night. Hoosier basketball is NOT in its death throes for this year. Sampson, like Knight and Mike Davis, who took his Hoosier team to the final game of the NCAA tournament in only his 2nd year, is gone. Now, it’s Dakich’s team to lead. I wish him well.