Andrew Dakich finds himself in an unusual position with Ohio State’s football game with Michigan looming. After four seasons playing basketball for the Wolverines, Dakich graduated and transferred to the Buckeyes for the 2017-18 season.
Two games in, Dakich is growing more accustomed to having traded the maize and blue for the scarlet and gray. But his unique allegiances beg the question: Who will he be cheering for on November 25?
“Wherever coach (Urban) Meyer has gone, since Bowling Green when they lived right behind us, I’ve been a fan of (him),” Dakich said at today’s basketball interviews. “Obviously the past four years I’ve gotten closer with some of the football guys on the team, so it’s going to be difficult, but not all those guys are there anymore so I know less guys on the football team so I’m rooting for the Buckeyes.
“I probably should’ve said that first.”
Junior forward Keita Bates-Diop, seated to Dakich’s left, nodded and chuckled in affirmation. The son of former Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich, whose time coaching the Falcons overlapped with Meyer’s, Andrew Dakich is assuming a key role as a backup point guard on this year’s Ohio State team. Through the first two games, he has averaged 14.5 minutes, is second on the team with seven assists and has one point.
The basketball team will be in Portland, Oregon, taking part in the PK80 Invitational this year while the football game is being played. It will be a different viewpoint than Dakich experienced last year, when the Buckeyes won in overtime 30-27, in part thanks to a controversial spot that awarded Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett a key first down.
What did Dakich make of the game and the call?
“We had a game that day and we were eating our pregame meal and I just remember we were all standing around the TV, we weren’t even sitting down to eat anymore,” he said. “It just wasn’t a happy room. Let’s just say that. The refs had to make the call and we weren’t happy, that’s for sure. That’s all I’m going to say about it.”
In addition to a bigger role on this year’s team, Dakich has had to answer some good-natured questions from his teammates about his dad’s prediction for this year’s team. In a preseason poll on ESPN, Dan Dakich listed the Buckeyes as one of his Final Four picks and stated on his podcast that he did so in large part because his son convinced him of Ohio State’s merits.
My guy @daycheck3 told me last yr at this time that DJ Wilson would be a 1st Round pick..the kid knows Hoops https://t.co/7aAFMurpYd— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) November 7, 2017
“Some guys have come up to me and said, ‘Is he serious?’ ” Andrew Dakich said. “He did the same thing last year and we struggled at the beginning of last year too and then we made a run. I want to be the first to say: I didn’t guarantee a Final Four or anything like that. I said we have a good team that could make a lot of noise because I think we have a lot of experience and guys who could really make some noise on the court with either our freshmen or Keita hasn’t played in a year or two. I think we have the pieces to have a really good team and exceed expectations everyone has for us.”