Senior speeches

Dakich is comparing D.J. White to some of the greatest players in IU history. He’s never seen a better combination of player and person, he says.

Here’s White. They’re chanting his name as he tries to talk.

He’s making his mom and dad stand. And the crowd stands for the parents that gave them D.J. White. He thanks his parents for driving eight hours to see games. He’s also thanking his sisters. They’re here, and excited.

An MVP chant breaks out. I’ll assume they mean POY. Same effect.

He thanks Sampson for “getting on my all the time, very, very hard, especially at the beginning.”

White goes through his teammates one by one and thanks them all. He says Eli Holman will somebody carry his torch.

He finishes thanking the guys by getting to Eric Gordon, calling him the other half of the best duo in college basketball. And then he calls him the best baller in American.

And the crowd erupts with the “One more year!” chant. Dakich encourages them.

White thanks the fans again, and blows them kisses.


Next up, Lance Stemler.

“There hasn’t been a single day that I’ve been here that Lance hasn’t show up to work harder than anybody on this team.”

Dakich says Stemler is the hardest-working kid he’s ever been around.

Stemler thanks the fans for making this the best basketball school in the country.

He also thanks both Sampson and Rob Senderoff, the departed assistant. Then he moves on to the current staff.

“I want to thank everyone who has kept us together and given us a chance to do something special.”

He finishes his speech by saying “We’re going to do everything we can to hang up that sixth banner.”


Now the one we’ve been waiting for. Mike White. His middle name should be loquacious.

Actually, I’ve never heard him say more than three words before.

“Mike White is truly his own man,” Dakich says.

He says, to no one’s surprise, that he will keep it short. He thanks his family, who couldn’t be here. He also thanks his junior college, the current coaching staff and Kelvin Sampson. And then he thanks all of his teammates.

And then, he’s gone.


Adam Ahlfeld is first at the mic. Dan Dakich says he’s never met anybody who cares more for people than Ahlfeld.

He opens with a joke, saying that the NCAA doesn’t count exhibition games in career stats and that’s why his numbers are so low.

He also plans to petition the NCAA to see if they will count high-fives, butt slaps and runs out to center court as stats.

“I think I could be in the record book for those,” he says.

He starts by thanking his coaches from freshman year on up. He thanks Mike Davis, Kelvin Sampson (and mentions the passion he showed) and Dan Dakich and the rest of the staff.

It seems as though Ahlfeld may be going the Todd Leary route on this thing. I think he’s got a few pages of notes there.

He thanks Errek Suhr, who’s here tonight. Walk-on love, ya’ll.

He’s thanking his roommates and other friends. And then he goes, “Oh, and my girlfriend.” Almost forgot. That would have been trouble.

He gets to his parents. He’s gotta be near the end. I mean, who can you thank after the people who gave you birth?

His teammates, for one. “I want to thank you for playing well enough to get me in the game tonight.”

“I know we’ve been through a lot, but we’ve come this far so we might as well keep going.”

And he’s thanking the ushers. He really is the nicest person ever.

Finally, he thanks the fans. Fitting.

He wants to throw out a stat before he goes: when he plays, Indiana wins. That’s a pretty compelling tidbit.

“If we want to put up banner No. 6, I’m going to need to keep playing.”


Now Dakich has the assistants and graduate assistants and strength coach stand to be recognized. This very well could be their last game here, too.


Dakich says he’s not sure how long he’ll be the head coach here, but that he wants to start a new tradition. He’s going to let the managers speak.


Dan Dakich at the microphone now. He’s explaining why it took a little while to get the seniors onto the court. He’s reminiscing to the time Iowa’s Justin Johnson score “like 18 points in 15 seconds.”

He’s thanking the fans for supporting the basketball team. “It’s been a tough year. A lot of things going on. But you have been here every single night.”

When Dakich thanks Rick Greenspan, there’s a chorus of loud, loud boos. But Dakich says, “Let’s just keep this on an upbeat note.”


They’re thanking the senior cheerleaders, band members and student managers.


It’s that time. I’ll do some recap of them here, and we’ll have video of them posted later on www.


  1. All thanks to the Big Ten Network I didn’t get to see a great group of seniors final game in Assembly Hall!!

  2. Wow. I didn’t realize Kellen Sampson was still there. I guess he’s under contract, too, but jeez that must be awkward. Chris, thanks for the updates!

  3. I had to look up *loquacious* on
    thanks guys

    PS. it’s spelled without the C before the Q

    i’ll miss Mike White

  4. Thanks out to the seniors for their contributions to IU basketball and for putting together the leadership necessary to lead IU towards and Big Ten Championship, and while we may not reach that goal, considering the Sampson Phone Follies, a 2nd place finish is commendable. Who knows, maybe Wisconsin gets beat tonight and we get a piece of the championship.

    Thanks to to EJ for amazing play and for stepping up and performing in the way we all know you can play. Sure he is in a slump but he finds ways to make plays on both sides of the ball, drive, get fouled, sink free throw after free throw. As the fans called out tonight “One more year!”

    Thanks to Stemmie and especially DJ. You both are true representatives of what IU basketball is all about. Thanks!

    Thanks out to Coach Sampson for putting this team together, leading them to victory after victory, and for showing them the passion we all expect and appreciate of our IU coaches. It is a shame what happened, but I wish you nothing but the best in the future for you and your family!

    Finally thanks to the IU fans that make up the Hoosier Nation. I am honored to be a faculty brat, IU alumni and avid IU athletics fan.

    Now let’s get that last regular season victory, win the Big Ten Tourney against Wisconsin or Purdue in the final game and make a run to hang that 6th banner in Assembly Hall! Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  5. poor DJ…he had to endure more than any other senior ever has with scandal and coaching changes and all this instability. He will be one of my favs of all time because he worked his butt off and deserves everything he gets in the future!

  6. Zak, I really don’t think leaving out Mike Davis by D.J. was intentional. He didn’t mention the cheerleaders either as most of the others had done and I think he was just somewhat nervous and excited at the same time and didn’t remember to say anything about them. He doesn’t seem to be a vindictive kid and intentionally snub anyone. He seems to be a class act.

  7. Jim,

    I agree. But it was interesting, nonetheless, because I thought he would have mentioned Davis after originally coming here to play for him.

    It’s not that I think D.J. left out Davis on purpose by any means and I wholeheartedly agree with you that D.J. is a class act.

  8. Actually I thought DJ did thank Mike Davis. I know he mentioned a couple people down at UAB but I couldn’t make out the names on the radio.

  9. Its great to see all of you Hoosiers feeling better after that great night! Good luck Seniors!
    I really hope DJ finds a nice home in the NBA.

  10. Wouldn’t it have been something to have had Robt. Vaden on this team? I really think we would have been almost unbeatable. Can’t dwell on that though. Let’s take the B10 tourney and GO HOOSIERS!

  11. I understand Vaden has been having some knee problems from kicking himself every time he turns on Sports Center.

  12. Kicking himself about what? He’s been arguably the MVP of Conf. USA this year, and has set a record of 9 threes in one game. He also had 8 threes in two other games. He lit up Kentucky earlier in the year which is always nice to see. He’s been scoring at an unbelievable pace and UAB is now 22-8 after enduring a season ending injury to their most valuable player last year, Paul Delaney and Walter Sharpe, their best big guy, had to sit out 2nd semester for grades. They are now playing themselves right off of the bubble and into the NCAA Tournament. I think they play at Memphis this Saturday. Seems to me that Vaden has had a pretty good time down there.

    I recently read a quote that said he and DJ still text each other, and Vaden made sure to send some encouragement when Sampson “resigned.” UAB has all their guys coming back except for one next year, and they’ll probably challenge Memphis next season in their conference.

  13. DJ leaving out Mike Davis was a faux paux. Another miss was Dakich not including Landon Turner in the list of former players in attendance. While I am not a fan of former players commenting on coach situation, I think it is “neat” that so many showed for last night. Big Todd Lindemann would have been there but he forgot to get tickets. Whoops!

  14. Think about how sweet it would be be to Robert Vaden playing alongside DJ, Gordon and Basset…

  15. Chet, all that stuff he posted can easily be found by looking at a little website that started up a while back called They have a lot of sports stuff. They’ve also had a few games on TV, so he probably didn’t get it from the Birmingham newspaper. Maybe you should know a little about how the kid is doing before making a comment about how bad he must feel about his decision.

  16. You gotta love Adam Ahlfeld’s constant upbeat sense of humor! Especially the one about when he plays, IU wins so we need to keep playing him if we want that 6th banner. Maybe Dan Dakich would be wise to keep that tradition alive and have him play the last minute of each game when we’re ahead. When the fans start chanting his name, we know it’s time to drop the “A-bomb” and finish off the opponents. Just wish we knew about this secret weapon 4 years ago!!

  17. There are lots of guys that play for mediocre mid major schools that I don’t keep tabs on.

  18. What does you keeping tabs on guys at mediocre mid major schools have to with you being completely wrong about Robert Vaden “kicking himself”?

    You don’t keep tabs, yet you make an ignorant statement that doesn’t make any sense once you realize what the heck you’re talking about. Just admit, you thought you knew what you were talking about but in reality, you were completely wrong. Go Hoosiers.

  19. “it’s kinda tough, watching this team and watching that team. It’s kinda tough, but I can deal with it.” – Robert Vaden

    Sounds happy.

  20. Wow Chet, you’re a piece of work aren’t ya? Care to see the entire quote and the date attached to it? Okay I’ll provide it.

    “Sitting out, watching, seeing them doing good, trying to get out there and get ready to play for next year, it’s kinda tough, watching this team and watching that team. It’s kinda tough, but I can deal with it.” -Robert Vaden (February of 2007 (LAST YEAR) while sitting out as a transfer)

    You should be a writer for the National Enquirer, because you know how to take something out of context that’s for sure. Congrats on once again proving you have no idea what you’re talking about.

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