The Knight Effect: Woodson and players remember the legendary Indiana coach

Mike Woodson, Calbert Cheaney, Trey Galloway, and Xavier Johnson addressed the media on Coach Knight’s impact on them, and the IU basketball program.

“Time is undefeated.” 

From the moment Bob Knight was hired as the head coach, to the moment he was fired, his time at Indiana University has never been forgotten. 

This evening, an emotional Mike Woodson took to the podium tonight to discuss the impact the “General” Bob Knight had on him, and Indiana basketball. 

“When you lose a legend like Bob Knight, who meant the world to me, man, in terms of my growth, I mean, he basically shaped my whole career. I wouldn’t be sitting in this seat today if it wasn’t for Bob Knight.” 

| Bob Knight, legendary IU men’s basketball coach, dies at 83  >

Coach Knight had an ability to get the best out of his players. With a basketball mastermind and a determination to be the most prepared team out on the court, Knight demanded for his team to win. 

Now serving as the head coach of IU, Woodson says Knight’s ability to get the most out of players is something he now tries to do to his own team. 

One of Woodson’s most memorable moments with Coach Knight was on the famous Puerto Rico Olympics trip. 

“I remember playing Puerto Rico, and we were up, I think, 13 with about four or five on the clock, thought we could really coast out and win the gold medal, and they made a hell of a run to cut our lead to three.”

A game that Knight desperately wanted to win. 

“I was the captain of that team, and I remember him calling a time-out, and he grabbed me by my jersey, and he pulled me into his face, and from the viewers’ eyes, you guys probably thought, hey, he’s up to no good. He pulled me, and he said, Woody, don’t let us lose the gold medal.”

Woodson acknowledged that not every player who played for Coach Knight could handle it, but his playing career at IU and relationship with Knight after he graduated is something he’ll forever be grateful for. 

Coach Woodson was then followed by team captains Trey Galloway and Xavier Joshnon, and then by Director of Player Development Calbert Cheaney.

Galloway, born and raised in Indiana, touched on what it was like to see firsthand the relationship between Woodson and Knight. 

“I think just the impact he had on Coach Woodson we can see every day, and he shows the love and gratitude he had for him, and it was really cool to kind of see the connection that they had and how it’s really formed him as a coach and as a person.” 

Johnson also noted that when Knight attended practices, the energy in the gym increased. 

“I know one thing, that when he came to practice, our practices were probably one of the best practices we had honestly because when he came around he it was just like a peacemaker. Seeing a guy you know built this foundation is big.” 

Finally, former player Calbert Cheaney took to the podium last. 

Cheaney played under Knight from 1989-93, and still holds the record at IU for most points scored. Knight’s competitiveness and drive to win fueled Cheaney’s playing career. 

“His idea of putting his arm around you was he’d hit you in the back of the head. He’s got his National Championship ring, and he’d National Championship you to the back of the head and hurts, but that was his idea of love.”

Cheaney says he still has his notebook from his playing days full of Knight’s teachings and plays. 

He noted that “everybody wanted to play for Coach Knight and play for their state back when I was growing up. To have an opportunity to play for the man and to be recruited by him, I think that’s unbelievable.”

The General will never be forgotten by anyone in the world of college basketball. His passion, eagerness to win, and ability to get his player’s best performance is admirable and is something that has not been seen since his coaching days. 

The legendary coach left his mark on everyone who he met. He now rests, but his impact will live forever.