Dave's Sports Views

Analysis, humor and opinion on the sports world

Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mike Davis' burden

Indiana coach Mike Davis stepped down today, effective at the end of the season, but his days at Indiana were numbered the day he took the job. His only mistake was that he followed a legend like Bob Knight. But Knight wasn't just any legend; he was a lightning rod that inspired strong emotions in anyone who dealt with him. Nearly six years after his firing, lots of Hoosiers still can't let him go.

Never mind that it was Davis' recruiting that helped make Knight's last years more productive. Never mind that he got the Hoosiers to the Final Four in 2002, meaning he's been to the same number of Final Fours in this decade as Lute Olson, Rick Pitino, or Jim Calhoun. Davis had to measure up to the same yardstick that Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty did at North Carolina, or a host of coaches since John Wooden did at UCLA, or whoever has to succeed Mike Krzyzewski at Duke will have to do.

You just can't meet the expectations of a fan base for whom second place means the first loser. Beyond that, Knight won in a singular way, inspiring undying loyalty from many and venomous hatred from others. In either case, Davis couldn't match Knight's mercurial personality nor shake himself from the long shadow of his predecessor. Give him all the credit in the world for hanging on as long as he did.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe with Bloglines