Indiana Expatriate Hoosier-turned-friar Delray Brooks Says He Isn't Bitter

Posted: March 26, 1987

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Delray Brooks left Indiana because he felt he wasn't playing enough. He harbored no bitterness toward coach Bob Knight then, and his feelings haven't changed. His playing time has.

Brooks and Knight could meet again Monday night in the NCAA Tournament championship game, with Brooks starting at guard for Providence and Knight

directing from the sideline for Indiana.

First, though, Providence must get by Syracuse and Indiana must beat Nevada-Las Vegas in Saturday's semifinals that open college basketball's biggest weekend.

Brooks, a star at Michigan City, Ind., who was co-Mr. Basketball in the Hoosier state, transferred from Indiana during his sophomore season. He said the parting with Knight was amicable.

"It's just that I wasn't playing," Brooks, 6-4, now a junior, said. "I

went to coach Knight and told him I had decided to transfer. He was sorry to see me leave and said he'd do anything he could to help me find another school.

"It's not too often coaches will do something like that, so that's a credit to him."

Brooks started 12 of 32 games as an Indiana freshman, averaging 3.6 points per game. Before leaving midway through his sophomore season, he was averaging 13 minutes and 2.4 points a game.

"I got some playing time my freshman year. But in a situation like Indiana, you have to take advantage of every opportunity you have," Brooks said. "There were some times I took advantage of that opportunity. There were others when I didn't."

His decision on where to transfer came down to choice between Providence and North Carolina State. Friars coach Rick Pitino talked with Knight before Brooks made his choice.

"One thing Bobby Knight said to me (was) 'If you're looking for a savior, go after Delray Brooks. If you're looking for someone who will work his tail off and come across as one of the nicest young men you'll ever coach, you're getting a quality person,' " Pitino said.

After sitting out the first six games this season, Brooks became eligible Dec. 20 and has started the 27 games since then. He has averaged 30.8 minutes and 14.6 points.

"Indiana works with its players. They just had other players playing ahead of him," Pitino said. "Delray Brooks came here and we could offer him playing time."

Brooks says the transfer angle is more important to reporters than to him or to Knight.

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