Dakich, players react to the loss

They are sad.

Indiana interim coach Dan Dakich took responsibility for Indiana’s struggles Sunday.

“Our players have been through a lot, and it’s my job to have them ready to compete in this basketball game,” he said.

But he also acknowledged how well Michigan State played. The Spartans were incredible the first half, hitting 78 percent of their shots. They cooled in the second half to only hit 47 perfcent.

“That’s what you do when you have the sort of program that Michigan State does,” he said. “You come out on senior night and you play that way. They played great. We did not, and that’s my fault.”

Eric Gordon, who had 22 points, could not figure out why the Hoosiers were so listless. He said Michigan State played “way harder” but could not say why Indiana responded with one of its worst efforts of the year in a game it needed to win in order to stay in the Big Ten title hunt.

“We just need to come together and play better,” he said.

Dakich didn’t thing there was any sort of hangover effect on the team from the last few weeks, which saw their former coach embroiled in controversy that led to his resignation two Friday’s ago.

“At this point it’s been 10 days,” Dakich said. “That’s no excuse. We have to be better than what we were today.”

Gordon also didn’t see Sunday’s result as the product of a team that is worn-out, both physically and emotionally. He said it was independent of what has been happening off the court.

“We just didn’t come to play at all,” he said.

Both Gordon and D.J. White said they were embarrassed by the loss.

But White, who will play his final game at Assembly Hall on Wednesday, was also looking to help the team heal quickly.

“You take losses, you put ‘em behind you and you learn from ‘em,” he said.


  1. This team has been on the brink of a bad game for a while. Kelvin was doing all kinds of things to just hang on and steal some wins. Late in the season he as still changing lineups, bringing in Tabor, trying out a zone defense, etc. Our margin was slim with Sampson but poor Dan is trying to keep a boat afloat that had a lot of leaks to begin with and now kids just seem weary. I hope they decide to pull together but it is late in the year to still be trying to find your identity.

  2. No one can be faulted here. Blowouts happen and they can happen to the best. Playing on senior day anywhere is tough and we hit them on an emotional high in their house. Don’t forget when they were in our house and we shut down Morgan and Suton and let Neitzel get his points while shutting most of the rest down, playing good D and hanging together.We have beaten them before and shut down some of their guns and if we meet them on a neutral floor at Conseco, I predict we’ll even the score a little with them and anyone else too, including Wisconsin. We’ll be OK and when we get back to the Assembly Hall on our own senior day then take on Penn State, we’ll be ready for the BT tourney and NCAA. Real Hoosiers shouldn’t give up on them yet.

  3. Jim, that’s profoundly optimistic. But I’ll go with you for now. I tend to agree with Mark, that an embarrassing loss has been just around the corner. This team has a lot of bad habits. But perhaps the previous wins, e.g., in Minneapolis (26 turnovers?????, and a win???) prevented the team and coaches from reckoning with the reality principle. No more excuses or ‘close ones’ now to let folks off the hook. I’m worried that our recurrent mistakes are now predictable enough for opposing coaches to plan (bait) for. For example, the first or second touches to Thomas always, I mean always, produce a turnover. So, Izzo has to tell his guys, let him get the ball. We’ll get it back instantly. IU should just save time and hand the ball over to the other team. And Gordon shows little if any sign of improving his ball handling skills. The coaches have to be plotting for at least one or another charge down the lane. Etc etc. Anyway, go Hoosiers. DJ and Bassett are men among boys.

  4. We were playing our best ball of the year against MSU and Purdue but then DD took over and we’ve had no fire.

  5. Actually, last time I checked, this was the Big Ten. People act like we were expected to go in there and win. MSU was the favorite than to add salt to our wounds, they happened to also have 20 foot wide baskets. So there was just no way we were winning this game. You can say they had too many easy baskets but take those away and we still get mopped off the floor. When IU scores 70+ pts, we usually win. Tonight we didnt because MSU was just shooting off the wall. I did notice the effort wasn’t up to snuff to where it needs to be when playing on the road but this was a game where it would have been beyond impossible to win. I mean 100+ pts people. The same thing happened to us last year where we smashed them at home and then they smashed us by more at Breslin. Last year we just forgot about the game and went forward so we have to do the same thing this time. This team will compete, lets just look forward.

  6. I don’t mind a blowout, if it’s simply a result of our team being outplayed. But that is not what happened. Our team simply did not show up, and that is inexcusable. A Big Ten title is on the line, and that is the kind of effort that they put forth? Maybe that was their symbolic “boycott”. Who knows. All I know is, Dan Dakich just “coached” himself out of the permanent job at IU. I’m not saying it is completely his fault that his players did not bring any passion yesterday. But, what kind of message does it send when he continues to leave them on the floor, despite their obvious lack of interest in playing anything resembling defense?

  7. OK. I posted this on another article and I will recount a bit. I told the team that if they give up, then I give up being excited about this year. I too, also find it difficult to understand the lack of effort. I mentioned that it reminds me of HPER ball. And most HPER teams do not have coaches. Run and gun with no defense.

    My recount is this……I will continue to be a Hoosier fan and I know they will come back. I stand behind them. Players…Please do not put yourselves in a position where you have to tell Doug and Chris that you are not sure why you were flat. Play with a purpose or stay home.

  8. So you are saying we played with no effort yet scored 70+ points? What am I missing here? You are just mad because we got blown out, plain and simple. If we would have won 73-43 you would have thought it looked like we played with heart. Sometimes you wake up and your game is not top notch but its not because we didn’t want it or didnt put any effort into it. Give me a break. You must not watch much basketball.

  9. Did you not read the players own admissions? MSU blew by them like they were standing still. I am not making any of this up. When 2-3 of the players admit they were flat and not ready, what would you think? Sure, the kids played the game and scored points. They are premier basketball players for their age. And yes MSU, was inspired at home and on Senior day. All factors. What game did you watch? I stand behind the kids. They are good players. But YES…..I do question the effort. Especially, when they admit it wasnt there. Right from the horses mouth Mr. Know it All.

  10. • GoHoosiers | March 1st, 2008 at 8:59 am |

    I think DD oughta copy “hoosier”’s? comments and post them in the locker room.

    In a very tough year, the only thing this team hasn’t done is QUIT. Credit to DJ White.

    I’ll predict somebody will win sunday, but the HOOSIERS won’t QUIT!!

    OK sometimes I sound like a nut, but I’ll admit when I’m wrong. I was.

  11. Furthermore…….if they had won 73-43 (as you hypothesize) Yes…..I likely would have commented on heart and effort, as holding MSU to 43 points would likely reflect those attributes. 100+ is a bit different. Wide open 3’s and driving past bewildered defenders is NOT good defense.

  12. There comes moments in every one’s lives where difficult circumstances are encountered. The choice then becomes whether we allow ourselves to be defined by the circumstances or chose to let our actions define us, in spite of those circumstances. Unfortunately, our Hoosiers have not shown the effort and desire necessary to shape their own identity. I can only hope they find the will in their remaining games to define themselves through their play. Since the tumultuous arrived in Bloomington, our emotions have better our intentions, and we’ve played like our demise was as foregone a conclusion as was Sampson’s departure. This effort is not befitting our potential nor Sampson’s philosophies. It’s time to show the toughness we’ve been sold on the past 2 years.

  13. If you are a real fan and know anything about basketball you can see that our defense left with Sampson and his buyout! We played the two best defensive games of the year against MSU and Purdue…ironically Sampson’s last games. We were playing that 2-3 zone and it looked soooo good. Now, we don’t play zone and can’t stop teams like Northwestern, Ohio State, and now Michigan State. No one should EVER score 103 in the Big Ten conference. Good luck Dakich, hope you get something figured out!

  14. Its one game! Who didn’t see this coming? If you didn’t, you’re blind. DD is doing the best he can people. He deserves an “attaboy” right along with all the players. Good job Hoosiers..

  15. Number one: It is dangerous to insinuate that the players threw a game simply because they were not happy with the coaching change (referring to the boycott comment). To make comments like that demonstrate an incredible amount of ignorance or an equally disgusting amount of callousness over what has transpired over the last year or so. Berating these young men into realizing the achievement of unhealthy vicarious dreams is pathetic. Every alum wants IU to succeed and win a national championship. We all want our team to be the best in the business. But, good grief, are we willing to sell our souls to gain it.

    Number two: What happened last night is as Dan Dakich stated. It was his fault and there are no excuses for it. Everyone expected a loss. No one anticipated a blow out. IU looked like a rudderless ship. Poor planning on the coach’s part does not equate to poor performance on the part of the players. Coaches earn respect over time by demonstrating a proven track record of consistent success. As I understand it coach Dakich has yet to prove that. Trust between players and coaches is a huge factor in determining the success of any athletic program. That principle was violated here (whatever perspective you decide to take.). Unfortunately for coach Dakich, he does not have the luxury of time to prove himself.

    Number three: Basketball at IU is an institution. It is so much bigger than the players and the coach. It includes the athletic director, the president of the university, the trustees, the students, and the alumni. This brings me back to my original comment. The inept leadership in addressing the second round of allegations is what has ultimately led to what you are witnessing today. Consequently the players are struggling to trust the coach, the athletic director, the president, and perhaps the trustees. This is the second go around for some of these players. Unfortunately I don’t believe the drama is over and I would not be surprised if we suffered at least one other regular season loss. To make matters worse as I understand it the NCAA is considering assigning harsher punishments for major violations. It is entirely possible the NCAA is going to make an example out of our great school. Welcome to Valley Forge.

    p.s. After all that has been said and done, to see Rick Greenspan remain at the helm speaks volumes about how serious we were about addressing the compliance issues. If we truly thought major violations were committed by former coach Sampson and that he lied about it enough to deny him public due process, then why is the man who hired him, and did not exercise better control of his staff still around. Short of a major Athletic Department shakeup I don’t see how we can avoid stiffer sanctions next year.

  16. It’s not one game Juan. This team has looked like crap since Sampson left. We almost lost to a Northwestern team that was winless in the Big Ten. We almost lost to an average Ohio State team at home that played their worst game of the year. Then they go up to East Lansing, and lay another egg (an egg that made me a lot of $$$).

    The players have just flat out stopped trying, and it is incredibly irritating. One thing I just won’t stand for under scholarship athletes is a lack of effort. I will take Northwestern’s team right now who actually play hard and want to win over an IU team that is playing right now “just cause”. It is enjoyable to watch guys who do things right, play hard, neither of which our team does. And that’s sad, to see how we have transitioned this past decade.

  17. Hoosier, we lost our head coach… Do you expect us to do better with an assistant running things? Stick to gambling, not analysis…
    Maybe you have a solution you would like to share with us?
    We are fortunate to even have all of our scholarship players return after this whole situation. DD has coached 3 games. I suppose he should have them playing like TN or NC huh?

  18. Juan……….At this juncture of the season, and with their talent, they should be playing like TN or NC, or like other top 10 teams. Should not matter who the coach is. DD has been there all year. Their mistakes are glaring. Things they have worked on and suffered from all year. If it is emotion, or lack of effort, then call it that. If it is not learning and growing then call it that. Who knows?

  19. ww, all their talent (besides DJ) is in the form of freshmen.. We haven’t played like a top 10 team all season. I don’t know why you think they should be playing at that level after losing KS.. Losing a coach makes professional teams fall apart. I consider us all extremely lucky to be 2-1 with DD…

Comments are closed.