Let’s end it with this from Sampson: “It might be a little bit of a hostile environment.”
Yes, he’s talking about the Illinois game.
Well, there’s time for a few calls.
The first one is hard to decipher. The caller wants to know, ultimately, what time the team plays on Thursday. That’d be 9 p.m.
Now Sampson’s answering a question about why his kids have fun playing together. He says it’s because they like being together.
But Sampson finally says: “I’ve found the best way to have fun is to win.”
“We’ve gotta become more junkyard dogs on defense,” Sampson says. “We need to have more mud in our blood.”
He also wants somebody on the front line to start rebounding the ball.
But then Sampson is asked about Lance Stemler, and he praises the senior’s ability to motivate his teammates and fans: “I’m always trying someone at the four for obvious reasons but it always seems we come back to Lance.”
Sampson’s explaining that Landon Turner, the former Hoosier who has been in a wheelchair since a car accident, is around the team frequently and often talks to the players.
Now Sampson’s discussing Knight.
“He’s a giant,” Sampson says. “Directly or indirectly, he’s probably influenced more coaches (than anyone else), especially guys my age. There are Hall of Famers, and there are Hall of Famers and I’m not so sure there are many on the same shelf as he is.”
Sampson’s now explaining why he started Kyle Taber on Sunday. He was just trying to shake Indiana from its funk by inserting a different player in the lineup.
“Sometimes you just need to jolt ‘em a little bit,” Sampson said. “You need to do better, you need to play better.”
Northwestern, according to Sampson, is not an easy team to play against.
He’s comparing them to Princeton and their great coach, Pete Carril (who once coached in my home town of Reading, Pa.).
Basically, when you play a Princeton-type team, you’re not following the usual rules of basketball. They change the game on you and it’s up to you adjust.
Indiana, of course, did that by going to zone.
I interrupt this stirring retelling of the radio show to tell you this: Bob Knight’s coaching career is over. He has resigned.
Hey, they’re going to talk about basketball.
“Wisconsin’s a hard team to play against,” Sampson says.
“They don’t have one player that really jumps out at you,” he says. “They just have a really good team.”
Sampson thought the Badgers were strong. Physically strong. Push-you-around strong.
Here’s what Sampson took from the Wisconsin game: his team needs to play like it did during the 17-2 run. “We played faster,” he says, “and execute better at times.”
Now Sampson’s discussing the transformation of D.J. White into the player he is now. He says it started in the NCAA Tournament, when White fought hard against Gonzaga and UCLA. Then, Sampson’s staff put together a tape of all of White’s rebounds and gave it to him and told him to watch it. “D.J., this is what we need from you,” Sampson told him.
Sampson’s calling on Jordan Crawford to play better. “He’s capable,” Sampson says. “We’ve gotta find a way to get his confidence going.”
“You always worry about kids hitting the proverbial freshman wall.”
Then, just as Sampson is about the say the most insightful thing he’s ever said on any radio show during his 25-year career, Don Fischer sends it to break.
Sampson claims that he picked the Giants to win.
“Maybe that’s because I always like the underdogs,” he says.
Claims he told a national radio station that he thought the Giants were equal to the Patriots after watching the two teams play in the final game of the year.
Sampson says that the Jets beating the Colts in Super Bowl III — after the Joe Namath guarantee — was the greatest Super Bowl upset of all time. He was a Colts fan.
He credits the work of New York’s point guard — the quarterback, Eli Manning — with leading the Giants to the win.
It’s that time again. Your favorite and undoubtedly mine . . . The Kelvin Sampson Radio Show!!
Actually. He’s not here. He’s late. For his radio show.
Hey D.J. and Eric and Armon and Jordan: make coach run the lines tomorrow.
At the Hoosier Den in the Foster Quad.
Broadcast on 105.1 FM in Bloomington.
Updates here once the show starts.