Knight back at Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS ó Bob Knight felt right at home in Indiana.
For more than 90 minutes Thursday night, Knight recounted tales from his coaching days, stories from the recruiting trail, lessons he passed along to players and, oh yes, even a new critique of the NCAA.
Just like old times, except this speech had some poignant moments.
“You know, I’ve always been a Kenny Rogers fan and I always liked that song where he says ‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run,’ ” Knight said. “I’ve tried to follow that philosophy, and I should have run at Indiana when the trustees and the administration had gotten too far apart, and that’s probably as much my fault as it was theirs.”
Knight, who wore a green sweater instead of his trademark red one, said he had been advised by three different people early in his career that he was too strong-willed to stay at Indiana forever. Instead of heeding that advice, though, Knight said he couldn’t find a better basketball environment and stayed right up until the moment Myles Brand fired him in September 2000.
It’s close as Knight has gotten to admitting he may have made a mistake in Bloomington.
Those who paid $50 for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame fundraiser didn’t come to hear Knight offer regrets; they came to hear the man they still revere, and Knight welcomed the two standing ovations he received.
“I’ll always take great pleasure in having been part of the heritage of basketball in Indiana,” he said.
It was a rare trip to the state where Knight was treated like a royalty, and it was his first public appearance in Indiana since skipping his own induction into the Indiana University Hall of Fame last month.
Before the induction, new athletic director Fred Glass made a personal plea to reunite The General and the university, to no avail. Knight said then that he didn’t want to distract from the induction of others into the Hall of Fame.
It may not have been the only reason he didn’t go.
“I would have loved to have seen him back for the induction,” said longtime broadcaster Chuck Marlowe, who writes to Knight on a regular basis. “But he explained to me that, ‘You do know there are still reasons why I cannot do it.’ ”
Knight lobbed memorable one-liners at some old targets.
He said integrity is lacking in college basketball and cited Kentucky coach John Calipari as an example.
“We’ve gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that’s why I’m glad I’m not coaching,” he said. “You see we’ve got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he’s still coaching. I really don’t understand that.”And very few people know this, but a kid can play the first semester as a freshman, pass six hours of anything and play in the NCAA tournament without ever attending a class in the second semester. I don’t think that’s right.”
Massachusetts and Memphis were both sanctioned by the NCAA for violations committed during Calipari’s tenure.
Florida State 76, Auburn 72
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ó Florida State’s Solomon Alabi was causing problems for Auburn even before the two teams took the court Thursday night. Then he made things even worse for the Tigers.
Alabi equaled a career high with 22 points to lead Florida State. The 7-foot-1 Nigerian was 7-for-10 from the field and 8 of 10 from the free-throw line. He also led the Seminoles with nine rebounds.
“It’s hard to simulate what you’re going to get from him in practice,” said Auburn coach Jeff Lebo. “You just can’t simulate that size and strength and length. When they need one they go to him.”
Alabi scored all but two of his points in the second half but got little help as the Seminoles (9-2) blew a 14-point lead. In one stretch, he scored nine straight points, including a pair of free throws that broke the last of two second half ties at 63.
Appalachian State 113, Milligan 91
BOONE ó Donald Sims scored 23 points to lead five players in double figures for Appalachian State.
Sims was 7-for-9 from the 3-point line and made both of his free throw attempts. He is 41-for-43 from the line this year.
Kellen Brand scored 19 points, Isaac Butts had 17, Jeremi Booth added 14 and Andre Williamson finished with 10.
Appalachian State won 112-47 last season against the NAIA program.
Davidson 90, College of N. Jersey 49
DAVIDSON ó Jake Cohen scored a career-high 23 points and blocked four shots, and Steve Rossiter had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wildcats (3-7) snapped a two-game skid, went 14-for-32 from 3-point range and had 33 assists.
TCNJ, a Division III school, had not played a Division I opponent since losing to Princeton 59-50 on Jan. 26, 1998.
Bryant Barr added 18 points for the Wildcats and JP Kuhlman had 13.
James Madison 78, Gardner-Webb 57
BOILING SPRINGS ó Denzel Bowles scored 37 points and had 15 rebounds to lead James Madison.
Bowles, a transfer from Texas A&M playing in his second game, was 17-for-25 from the field.
Gardner-Webb (3-6) lost its sixth straight game, its longest streak since joining Division I in 2000-01. C.J. Hailey had a team-high 19 points.