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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

'The General' speaks about the much-celebrated 1970s

When Bob Knight came to interview for the position as head coach at IU, he only needed 15 minutes with athletics director Ed Cady to outline what would be the platform for his next 29 years. \nHe wanted Cady to know how he would stress defense, something the fans weren't used to. He wanted no interference with the way he ran the program. And he wanted Cady to know what kind of kids he was looking to recruit: talented and committed ones.\nKnight got the job. \nFor three decades, Knight won more games than anybody in the Big Ten. Here's a quick look at some of the special moments in the first years of Knight's career, the years before the coach's relationship with the people of the University began to change. \nBefore Knight arrived, IU's basketball team was known as "The Hurryin' Hoosiers." As the name implies, they ran up and down the floor trying to score as many points as possible, with little emphasis on defense. \n"We changed the style of play," Knight said. "Indiana had not been a defensive type of team. They ran a lot and shot a lot and we changed that. I think the favorite cry from the stands when I first came here was, "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Then I guess they figured out after awhile we weren't going to shoot all that much."\nKnight demanded to have a different type of player in his program. Players have had to follow three rules: Play hard, go to class and represent IU basketball in the best manner possible.\n"My goal, with any kid who's ever come here, is to have their parent come up to me after our last game and say 'thank you.'" \nIn Knight's inaugural year, the Hoosiers struggled early in their conference schedule.\n"We opened the (Big Ten) season with four straight losses," Knight said. "We opened at Minnesota, and they beat us 52-51. We lose up at Michigan State by 10. And I talk with the team after the game. It was a pretty harsh talk as I remember it. Then we won nine of our next 10 games. The only game we lost was to Purdue at the buzzer.\n"I look back over that season, and we gave a game to Wisconsin, gave a game to Minnesota, and we could have won our Purdue game. We came within a hair of winning 12 games, which if we win at Minnesota we win the league by two games."\nSenior Joby Wright was selected to the All-Big Ten team that season. But it was 6-foot-8 junior Steve Downing who left a lasting impression in Knight's memory.\n"In the Kentucky game he's playing with torn cartilage in his knee, and we played double-overtime," Knight said. "Steve played 50 minutes, scored 47 points and had 25 rebounds.\n"I think it's the best (single) performance ever given in a college basketball game."\nIU won it's first Big Ten title during the 1972-73 season led by Downing who was named the Big Ten MVP and to the All-Final Four team. Jim Crews and Quinn Buckner were freshmen on that team. \nThree years later they would win an NCAA championship. But in their junior year, they played on what Knight considers his best team ever.\nThe team broke a Big Ten winning streak by 10 games ' they won 37 consecutive games. But Scott May got hurt in the Purdue game that year, and injuries continued to plague the team.\n"It was a shame we didn't win the NCAA in 1975 because that may have been the best team to ever play college basketball," Knight said.\nBut it was the 1976 team that won the NCAA championship. It was also the last team in NCAA history to finish its season undefeated. \n Read tomorrow's IDS for a summary of the next era of Knight's career. \nIDS reporter Peter Newmann contributed to this report.\n

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