Most of my conversation with Dan Dakich for Monday's column revolved around what he's up to these days. But naturally, we spent a little time talking about Indiana basketball, and Dakich made it clear that the IU program he took over on an interim basis after Kelvin Sampson resigned was not the same program he experienced as a player and assistant for Bob Knight.
"Let me put it this way," Dakich said. "Sometimes being with Coach Knight you think 'Well, maybe our culture is wrong. Maybe we work too hard and demand too much.' But after seeing what I saw last year, you better have the right culture or else the thing can really blow up on you. And when you talk about everybody gone from the athletic director to the graduate managers, that thing blew up."
It's common knowledge that the players at IU last season weren't model student-athletes, evidence being how Dakich and his successor, Tom Crean, combined to dismiss pretty much everybody who didn't leave on their on accord. Out of respect for the individuals, Dakich declined to get specific. But he did acknowledge the group of players didn't "fit the Indiana basketball culture."
"I feel bad that D.J. White never got to experience Indiana basketball the way it's supposed to be," Dakich said. "And I'm really sad for the players that ended up getting kicked out of here because they will realize at some point in their lives what a colossal mistake they made by not taking advantage of Indiana."