BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Whoever takes over for Mike Davis as IU's basketball coach might have some work to do to convince both Robert Vaden and D.J. White that they shouldn't follow Davis out the door.
After Wednesday's announcement that Davis would step down as IU's basketball coach at the conclusion of the season, both White and Vaden sounded as if they might not be too far behind the coach that recruited them to play for the Hoosiers.
"As of now yes (I might leave)," said Vaden, IU's second-leading scorer. "I came here because of Mike Davis. I love Indiana and I love Indiana basketball, but right now Coach Davis is the only coach I know.
"Hopefully, I can go with him wherever he goes."
Vaden, IU's second-leading scorer this season at 14.2 points/game, originally verballed to Purdue as a freshman at Indianapolis Arlington H.S. After later moving on to Pike H.S., Vaden reconsidered his college choice and instead opted to play for the Hoosiers. He's long pointed to Davis as the biggest reason that he wound up playing in Bloomington.
"I love him as a coach and as a person," said Vaden.
White Vaden's Indiana ties long made him a potential Indiana recruiting target, there's never been any doubt why White was originally interested in playing in Bloomington. The 6-9, 242-pound sophomore knew Mike Davis and his son, Mike Jr., from Davis' assistant coaching days at Alabama. After Davis left Alabama to join Bob Knight's staff, the two remained in contact and Davis was able to lure the top-10 national recruit to IU two years ago.
With Davis now ready to leave, White says his status is uncertain as well.
"It affects me a lot," said White. "I came all the way from Alabama to play for Coach Davis, and him not being here, I feel it's going to be tough for me to play.
"I'm a Coach Davis guy. That's why I'm here."
While the players were obviously and understandably hurting for the announcement from their head coach, Davis said that one of the biggest reasons he decided to walk away at season's end was because he didn't want players to necessarily feel like they were anything but Indiana University players.
"What I want is for this program to be united," said Davis. "I don't want it to be Mike Davis players. I don't want it to be Bobby Knight players or Branch McCracken players. I want this to be Indiana. It's time for that."
Davis might want that, but time will tell if White and Vaden want that as well.
White, Vaden Iffy On Hoosier Futures
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