BLOOMINGTON – Indiana has been having a hard enough time finding a coach. Now, it's having issues holding onto its players.
The Indianapolis Star reported Monday that Interim Coach Dan Dakich has dismissed junior Jamarcus Ellis and sophomore Armon Bassett from the team for missing a pair of team meetings last week.
HoosierNation.com sources indicate the first of those meetings was either last Wednesday or Thursday, although it's unclear if Ellis and Bassett missed the meeting or were simply late. That prompted Dakich to require them to report to Assembly Hall at 6 a.m. on Friday morning to run, with dismissal from the team the consequence if they didn't show up.
Dakich's decision to dismiss them sheds some light on their Friday morning decision.
Rumors first started circulating about the two players late last week, and IU Media Relations Director J.D. Campbell said on both Saturday and Monday afternoon that the two players' status with the team hadn't changed since the team returned from Raleigh, N.C., last weekend following their first-round NCAA tourney loss to Arkansas. Campbell couldn't be reached for comment following the Star's report.
After IU's 86-72 first-round NCAA setback, Dakich spoke of a lack of discipline on the team and said he planned to correct that issue as long as he remained the program's head coach.
"That has begun," Dakich said in Raleigh. "I mean, a lot of that has begun right now over the last three weeks, and it's going to continue as long as I'm the basketball coach."
While Dakich is trying to do some good by instilling some discipline, the moves might do some damage to IU's on-going coaching search. The next coach was already going to be dealing with the expected loss of All-Americans D.J. White and Eric Gordon to the NBA, while fall signees Devin Ebanks and Terrell Holloway have both been granted releases from their letters of intent and aren't expected to be with the team in the fall as well.
Now, that coach will presumably have to deal with the departure of Bassett (11.4 points, 3.2 assists) and Ellis (6.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists) as well.
Barring some additional spring signees and/or a change with the status of Bassett and Ellis, IU is slated to only have six players on scholarship next season – Jordan Crawford, DeAndre Thomas, Brandon McGee, Eli Holman, Tom Pritchard and Matt Roth.
Report: Dakich Dismisses Bassett, Ellis
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