Dan Dakich is loving this

Dan Dakich shoots over the crowd.

During a lull in the practice action here at the RBC Center, Indiana interim coach Dan Dakich has challenged the North Carolina crowd to a free-throw shooting contest.

So far, he has won twice. He’s currently competing against an Arkansas fan that is probably about 3-foot-5.

After his first win he said, “Indiana 1, North Carolina 0.” That drew a laugh from the crowd. Most of them are here to see the Tar Heels practice in a few minutes. Many of them probably remember him guarding Michael Jordan. Have you ever heard that?

“It’s either sit around and wait for a press conference or have some fun,” Dakich says.

Dakich has been wandering around the arena since we got here. He was in the press area, snagging some of the free popcorn.

He addresses the crowd and says, “The one thing I forgot was to ask them their ages. We’re from Indiana, so we have to be careful. We can’t have a high school kid out here.”

A recruiting joke. He actually went there.

Laughs all around. The one thing Dakich should always be remembered for — no matter how long his tenure here lasts — is that sense of humor.

Now he’s digging at the media (we might deserve it).

“This will be my last one, because I’ve gotta go get asked for the 100th time what it’s like to be the interim coach.”

He’s called about 30 kids to the floor for the final game.

“Can you imagine how mad the security guards are?”

He’s encouraging the kids to try to distract him with screaming, or by waving their arms, while he shoots.

He hits the first three, misses the fourth. They crowd him for the fifth shot. He hits it.

Now, his challenger. Misses the first. Needs to hit four in a row. Banks the second. Hits the third. The fourth shot bounces off the back of the rim.

Dakich, at least in this contest, is the winner.

12 comments

  1. just wanted to comment about something you said in your earlier chat. your suggestion that greenspan should have quit if herbert overuled him on hiring sampson instead of stallings (greenspans first choice)is absurd. how old are you? if your boss tells you you have to do something, unfortunately, you have to do it. grown men have responsibilities, ambitions, bills, mortgages, and children’s tuitions to consider. forget the probability of never working at a major D1 job again, as well.

    you must be young because you think like a child. if herbert superceded greenspan’s choice, the responsibility for the sampson debacle is herbert’s alone.

  2. Dakich’s defensive gem against Jordan in the NCAA tourney gave him an instant identity, which only grew stronger as MJ’s career went forward in the NBA. Anyway, I’m certainly torn with this situation. IU is in a bad spot in both the tournament and the program; and Dakich is right in the middle. No coach in his position could have kept the kids on track after what happened with Sampson. But although I’m not sure he’s the right guy to lead us, I don’t question his dedication to our program. The question that begs to be answered: Does IU go out and get the hot, new name in coaching? Or do they get what many alumni are calling for; the IU soldier that has the program’s best interests in mind?

  3. For Dakich’s sake I hope we win tonight. All he has been portrayed as doing is clowning around and making fun of our current situation that forced us to get rid of Sampson. While he seems like a likable guy, George W is a likable guy too…doesn’t mean that either of them are good at their jobs!

  4. Coming from a Purdue fan; this is one of the nicest and best stories about IU basketball I’ve seen in well over a month. And it’s March!!!!

    Think twice about sending DD on his way IU, he seems like a real class act. Painter and DD would be 2 of the classiest guys in the NCAA.

  5. Gotta love the guy who just HAS to complain about something (“cough” #2fan “cough”). I don’t think we should hire Dakich either, but Good Lord, he’s just having some fun.

  6. IU Jimmy…I just don’t believe that our “interim” head coach should be having “fun” at the expense of the school’s name and tradition.

  7. And what about NCAA violations at the expense of the school’s name and tradition? Lighten up. This may be his only NCAA tourney as a head coach.

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