Texas Southern head coach Mike Davis returned to his former stomping grounds on Monday night as his Tigers faced his old program, Indiana. The return of Davis marked the first time a former head coach faced the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall and one of the big questions surrounding the evening was how Indiana fans would react to the return of their former coach?
The Indiana faithful gave Davis a warm ovation, with many of the fans in attendance standing, even though Davis left the program after six years and a lot of scrutiny. Indiana ended up beating Texas Southern, 83-64, on Monday night as freshman guard Robert Johnson scored 21 points for the Hoosiers to lead four starters in double-figures.
Davis compiled a 115-79 record over six seasons at Indiana, and made the national championship game in 2002, but he had the nearly impossible task of following Bob Knight and his Hall of Fame legacy. Indiana fans also took issue with Davis because in his final three seasons he only made one NCAA Tournament appearance and he lost at least 12 games in each of his six seasons in Bloomington.
At some programs that might cut it, but not at Indiana. One of the final straws might have been when Davis missed on Indiana natives and prized recruits Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr., who both went on to Big Ten-rival Ohio State and helped lead the Buckeyes to the national championship game in 2007.
By that time, Davis had already moved on to UAB, where he spent six additional seasons as a head coach before taking the Texas Southern job that he currently holds before the 2012-13 season.
During his time in Bloomington, Davis and Indiana’s fan base didn’t always seem on the same page, but at least there was a nice moment and some shared memories on Monday night as the former head coach stood standing and waving in appreciation.
(H/T: Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo. Video shot by Alden Woods.)