Before the ousting of former coach Kelvin Sampson, Indiana interim head coach Dan Dakich was an assistant. Previously, he was a head coach at Bowling Green University for ten years. He certainly is a Hoosier through and through serving as team Captain his junior and senior seasons under Bob Knight and as an assistant coach under Knight for 12 seasons. What Dakich is most famous for however, is his stellar defensive effort on Michael Jordan in MJâ€™s last collegiate game. He did a fine job limiting the greatest player in history. Now Iâ€™ll be the first to admit that most press conferences can be far from exciting, but Dakichâ€™s first post game presser as the head man was fascinating, exciting, and emotional. It accurately articulates the fallout and aftershocks of THE major national story in college basketball. Here Dakich opens up his heart and soul about a nationally powerful program in extreme turmoil and rough transition; a program he has devoted most of this professional life to.
On how comfortable he feels calling the shots and the national media coverage of how he came to powerâ€¦â€¦â€¦..
â€œIâ€™ve done it. Iâ€™m not here as a guy thatâ€™s been an assistant and never done it. On terms of on the court, during the game andÂ practice, in terms of â€“ no, one thing I wasnâ€™t comfortable with was the entire weekâ€™s articles and speculation that I talked to Coach about that earlier in the week. I wasnâ€™t comfortable with that. I didnâ€™t talk to anybody,Â Â but in terms of the coaching part, â€¦.these kids, the time I have been here, theyâ€™ve made me very comfortable as a coach. I have been working with the kids most of the year; the whole team has made me very comfortable.â€
On how the scandal/coaching change has affected his teamâ€¦..
â€œThis is the first time with this team that Iâ€™ve ever seen, this is a loud team, a team that has real personality. This is the first time weâ€™re on the plane today and everybody is sleeping. And I looked at Jeff, what is this? Truly I think that when the plane took off, the strainâ€¦..itâ€™s been a tough week on these kids.â€
On the emotional toll on his teamâ€¦â€¦
â€œI knew how it was going to carry over quite frankly, anybody thatâ€™s been around knows. What Ray said at halftime, â€˜We knew this wasnâ€™t going to be easy.â€™ That was exactly right.â€
On how the program is dealing with itâ€¦.
â€œ I donâ€™t think itâ€™s something you put behind truly in 24-48 hoursâ€¦.weâ€™re talking about noon yesterday; this takes time. This is a resilient group. They played Kentucky without D.J., D.J. was out the other night against Michigan State.â€
On the bittersweet chain of events that led to him getting his ultimate dream jobâ€¦..
â€œItâ€™s not the way you want to get a job. There is a responsibility with it that I accept on a multitude of levels, mostly the players, the fans. If they want me, I am going to do it with everything I have. I havenâ€™t even given it thought simply because itâ€™s a difficult situation.â€
Â Below is what some Purdue Boliermakers think of the Indiana situation….