CEDAR LAKE | Dan Dakich is a proud to be from the Region.
The former Indiana University basketball player, assistant coach, head coach and current ESPN radio host and Big Ten Network analyst comes back to the area often to host basketball camps and attend various functions.
"I love (the Region). I talk about it on my show all the time," Dakich said. "It's home. That's the easiest way to put it."
Dakich, an Andrean graduate, was at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake Sunday to speak at a fundraiser for the Andrean basketball program.
"Anytime Andrean asks me to do anything, I'm flattered and I always say yes," Dakich said. "The time I spent there was the most fun of my life and I owe the place a lot."
Dakich had high praise fellow Andrean alum and current Notre Dame senior Luke Harangody.
"Luke is, in my opinion, the face of college basketball," he said. "If you want to show a kid what he can be, Luke is the guy to show him."
Another Irish forward from the Region, Valparaiso native Scott Martin, was lost to a knee injury during the preseason. Dakich said the void will be tough to fill.
"I think Scott Martin is a terrific player," Dakich said. "I think Notre Dame got really hurt when he went down."
An injury also makes Purdue interesting, Dakich said. Guard Lewis Jackson had foot surgery and may miss the rest of the season.
"It weakens their depth, but it gives them the opportunity to play other guys," Dakich said. "A bunch of freshmen are going to have to play. If they do what Matt Painter wants them to do, they won't miss a beat."
Dakich said the Hoosiers are in the middle of a rebuilding process.
"People have a tendency to have short memories (with last year's 6-25 record)," Dakich said. "But as a former player and a former coach, I know what was left when Tom (Crean) got there, and I think he's going to do a great job. But it's going to take a little time."
As far as Dakich's own future, he says he just loves what he's doing now.
"I do a lot of work on the weekends with the Big Ten Network when they ask me. My show's going well. It's been fun," Dakich said. "It's so different from coaching, that for a while it was kind of a shock to my system, but now that I've settled in it's really fun."