INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The new era of Indiana basketball looks a lot like the past. Dane Fife, one of the most prolific 3-point shooters in IU history, is reintroducing himself to Hoosier nation.
“So many stories come back to me, funny stories during practice with Coach Knight or Coach Davis, just not much has changed … and that’s what’s really unique about it,” Fife said.
But a lot has changed in the last 15 years since Fife has actually been a part of the Indiana program. In fact, the last time IU made an appearance in the Final Four was the last time Fife took the floor in candy stripes. So, as Fife spent the last 10 years in East Lansing under Tom Izzo, he kept an eye on his alma mater. He always knew he wanted to return to Bloomington.
“Coach Izzo has always known that my dream is to coach at Indiana,” Fife said. “I’ve always felt that in Indiana basketball, the Indiana basketball job by and large should be coached by somebody who played or coached here or spent a lot of time here. I think we will mend a lot of fences here, just by having [head coach Mike] Woodson here. “
A former player at the helm of the Hoosiers, surrounded by other IU alum, is Fife’s formula to restoring Indiana basketball to its former status and mending the fractured fan base. Fife said he believes there is a culture issue surrounding the state of Indiana basketball, and he heard the fans who booed the team out of Lucas Oil Stadium following the loss to Rutgers in the Big Ten Tournament.
“I think that some people forget so I think it’s a good time for me to be here to remind people that Indiana fans don’t typically boo, you know, it made me mad and I’m not afraid to lecture a few people, cause this is my program. This is your program. This is coach Woodson’s program,” Fife said.
Other than lecturing, Fife’s main focus is adjusting to Woodson. Prior to his hire, the two were only tied together by their Hoosier history.
“I’m not even sure we’ve met. I’ve known him. I’ve known of him. Lots of respect for him,” Fife added. “Coach Woodson comes from the NBA. I’ve got to figure out what types of players that work best with him. We’ve got to dig in with people and figure it out.”