Dick Vitale talks Mike Woodson at Indiana: 'It's a terrific hire'
Longtime ESPN college basketball analyst and commentator Dick Vitale is a fan of the Mike Woodson hire at Indiana. In a recent appearance on Indiana Sports Beat with Jim Coyle, Vitale talked about the newest head coach of the Hoosiers.
Woodson was hired to replace Archie Miller following the 2020-21 season. The program went the route of hiring a former player and member of Bob Knight’s teams in the 1970s to try to resurrect a program that has struggled recently.
Vitale says it was the right move.
“I think it was certainly a good hire, no question. When you look at it on paper, it’s a terrific hire,” Vitale said. “However, to be honest with you, when Archie Miller got hired, I was a big fan of that. I thought he did such an amazing job everywhere he was, including Dayton. I thought he was going to be a home run, I really did.
“Mike brings that Indiana love for the fans. He brings that unbelievable feeling. They loved him there as a player, he was a great player, he’s done well as a coach wherever he’s been. I think he’ll adjust (to the college game). One of the best things he did, right away, was hire Dan Fife. I think that was a terrific move.”
Indiana has not reached the NCAA Tournament since the 2015-16 season, never playing in March Madness under Miller. Since the 2016-17 season, the Hoosiers have lingered around .500.
Vitale says that, while Indiana is still one of the historic programs in college basketball, it doesn’t fit the blueblood description. The fall from grace is something Woodson needs to resolve.
“Indiana’s not a blueblood program right now. It’s not. It’s not because it hasn’t had the kind of success lately that would put them in that category like you can Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke and Michigan State,” Vitale said. “You can’t do that right now with Indiana because they’ve really lost that edge.”
Woodson will begin his first season with the Hoosiers in 2021-22. He comes to the college game after spending his entire coaching career in the NBA.
You can view the complete interview with Vitale below: