Mike Davis Big Ten Teleconference Verbatim

Indiana's head coach addressed a handful of issues during Monday's Big Ten Teleconference, including his comments last week about Indiana needing "one of their own," how the team has responded to his decision, and how he expects to be greeted at IU's two home games this week.

Opening Statement:
This is a big week for us. We have two home games. We're sitting here at 5-7 in the conference so it's definitely important that we take one game at a time but try to take care of our home court.

What's this last week been like for you?
It's been…it was time. It was time for it to happen. But it's been good. I thought our guys really worked hard the last couple of days of practice. I thought playing at Illinois after this past week wasn't the thing you wanted to do because it's an unbelievable crowd that they have at all their games and it's a tough place to play and they have a very good team.

I thought our guys went in and played hard there under the circumstances. Now this week we can move on and get things going our way.

Have you sensed that there's a weight of their shoulders? Yeah, I can definitely see it on their faces. What we have to do now is get back to playing basketball. Going to Illinois, it could have easily been a 30-point game with what we went through last week. But we cut it to 10 on several occasions. I thought our guys fought hard, we just didn't make shots. I'm looking forward to this week.

There are five teams within one game of each other in the Big Ten with two weeks to go. How do you think it will shake out these last two weeks?
I have no idea to be honest with you. I'm just trying to focus on us. I know this is a tough league, anyone can beat you anywhere and that's been proven.

We all knew it would be a great race in the Big Ten this year, and it's definitely at that point.

Do you want to coach next season with what you've been through, or would you think about taking a year off?
No. I love coaching and that's what I want to do. This has been a great, great, great experience for me being here at Indiana. Right now I'm focused on these games. I think we still have a shot at doing something. When the season is over I definitely want to coach, but I'm not looking right now or even talking to anyone right now. I just want to finish the season out. If it works out for me, I think my future will take care of itself.

Last week you said you thought Indiana would be better off with "one of their own." Why do you think that? What is it about that place where they might need someone who is an alum?
I definitely want to clarify what I mean by "one of their own." I heard someone thought it was a black/white thing. It's definitely not a black/white issue for me. I've been here for six years as a head coach and for two years before that. Indiana is a special place, and they have a special place for each other. I think now I will be a part of this family, but it will be from afar.

I've never seen alums, no matter where you go, tell you that they were with the Indaina Class of '92, Class of '95. They always say that. There's a pride and a love for this school that only the Indiana people can explain and know and feel.

To me, that's wonderful. That's why I said that. This is a great program. It can be one of the best programs in the country again, but that's going to be up to Greenspan and whoever is going to make the decision on the coach. I just said that because I know the love that they have for each other and for the school.

This is a Penn State team that you played less than a week ago. Is that a good thing to be playing them this quickly?
It's good to have a home game, no matter who it is against. It's just good to have a home game and get back to our crowd. It's good to play a home game more than anything. It doesn't matter who we play. We had our chances in that game, and they made some big shots down the stretch and we missed some shots. So I'm just looking forward to the game on Wednesday night.

Marco Killingsworth has had a big year for you. Talk about his leadership role and what your expectations are for him during this final stretch of the regular season?
We just need him to give us that inside presence. That's the key for us because our outside shooting is not going well right now. We're not shooting the basketball the way that we shot it earlier in the year. A lot of teams have made adjustments defensively versus us. But we definitely need him to score at least 20-25 points for us from here on out and try to free up our outside guys. So now, he'll be double teamed and get us some open shots.

How do you think you're going to be greeted at the home games, and do you pay much attention to how a crowd reacts, one way or another?
If I said I didn't pay attention I'd be telling a story. It's done. I've made my decision, and I made based on what I think is best for Indiana basketball. Hopefully they'll appreciate some of the things I've done here. But the most important thing is the boys. Our players deserve all the love and support from the fans. I've definitely appreciated my opportunity I've gotten here. Hopefully everything will work out. We have two games left and home, and both of those games are this week. So hopefully we can get two wins.

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