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"TO SIR WITH LOVE"
It's hard to believe that last season's Hoosiers were a Bob Knight-coached team. Their defense was lousy, their rebounding was awful and they were losers in the Big Ten. For a coach who doesn't even enjoy winning if it's not done right, 1984-85 must have been unbearable. Indiana won one game of consequence in the Big Ten. "The coaching staff was pretty upset with the season," says leading scorer Steve Alford (18.1 points per game). "They have mentioned that they don't want another one like it."
In this context, "mentioned" takes on a whole new meaning. Last season Knight threw Mike Giomi off the team, threw a chair on the court and all but threw away a game when he started four freshmen against Illinois.
Indiana has lost its top rebounder and shot-blocker, Uwe Blab, but that may be cause for optimism. "Last year we were more of a two-man team—Uwe inside and me outside," says Alford, "and the other people stood around."
The Hoosiers got a jump on this season's regrouping effort by taking a 39-day, round-the-world tour, with playing stops in Japan, Yugoslavia, China, Finland and Canada. "I think we got to know each other a little better," says Alford. They needed to. Indiana used 21 different starting combinations last year and 18 the year before.
In addition to talented freshman Ricky Calloway, Knight brought in 6'9" center Todd Jadlow and 6'6" forward Andre Harris from junior colleges. And if his troops don't fulfill Knight's expectations this time around? "The coach has let us know he won't put up with that again," says Alford. "He has made it very clear."