EVANSTON, Ill. -- Just a day after
"At Indiana you're expected to do two things, win and win the right way. You've got to find someone that fits the bill," said
After a whirlwind week in Bloomington, Ind., when speculation of Sampson's future dominated the conversation, most Indiana fans in sold-out Welsh-Ryan Arena were already past the Sampson era a day after he took a $750,000 buyout to resign. They said they were ready to move on with interim head coach
When Dakich walked out of the tunnel onto the floor about two minutes before tipoff, he received a huge ovation from the crowd, which was more than two-thirds Indiana fans. When he walked to his bench across the court, he got a standing ovation and the crowd cheered with an arena-rocking force. Chants of "I-U" dominated in what was technically a road game.
"All along, I thought Dakich was kind of Plan B for Sampson when he was hired," said
At first, it didn't seem that the team shared those sentiments -- reportedly in Dakich's first practice Friday afternoon, six players, including
"I was a little worried," Wysocke said at halftime. "I mean, they're idiots. That's not going to prove anything, not showing up to practice. It's not going to change what happened. They play for the school, not for the coach."
Throughout the game,
Matuga was part of a group of four men who called themselves "The Boys." The 1987 Indiana graduates came from northwest Indiana, Wisconsin and New Jersey to watch the game. When asked what they thought of Sampson's resignation, one of The Boys,
"I am extremely happy," Matuga said. "Of all the things IU is about, one thing we're not about is cheating. And I'm happy to see Sampson gone. He's a great coach, a great recruiter, but I'm happy to see him out of there."
With Indiana down 37-35 at halftime against the Big Ten bottom dweller, Jefferies said he was a little nervous about Dakich's start.
"IU looked out of sync," he said. "They looked out of sync with a new coach."
"But I don't think we're worried," Matuga added.
With the majority Indiana crowd going out of its way to show support for Dakich and the team, the ill will toward Indiana came from the Northwestern fans, especially the student section.
"We're thinking about asking [Indiana freshman]
While Indiana fans tried to take over the arena, the Northwestern student section continued to taunt the Hoosiers. When Gordon took free throw attempts at the 12-minute mark of the first half, the Northwestern student section became silent, then held up their cell phones and began chanting "Sampson's calling." Gordon made both free throws.
After Indiana escaped the Cats, who are winless in the Big Ten, with the 85-82 victory,
"It was a hectic week in Bloomington. That's all you kept hearing about, is Sampson going to get fired? Is he not? Is he going to resign? Is he not? I'm just glad that they got the W," he said. "Dakich doesn't want too many more games like that though. I know that for a fact."