The Archie Miller era is underway at Indiana

  • 03/27/2017 7:33 pm in

Archie Miller made his first impression to the Hoosier fanbase when he was introduced on Branch McCracken court Monday afternoon.

There was no pizazz, streamers or balloons. Just Archie Miller and Athletic Director Fred Glass at a podium situated around the free throw line.

Here’s what we learned about Miller, and what fans should expect moving forward:

The three levels of the program

During his opening statement, Miller stated that his approach to the program will be three-leveled: with a focus on the past, the current and the future.

On the past:

“Every player, every former coach, every former manager that laid the groundwork for this place to be what it is today, we owe them a lot. Our effort level and our give-back have to be really unmatched, and they have to feel that they’re a part of everything that we do, and our players have to feel that power. That’s something we are going to really fight hard for.”

On the current:

“They’re our players. I didn’t recruit them, and as I told them, they are my players. We invest in everything, and they all matter right now, and I think that there is value to every single individual on our team.”

On the future:

“We have to dedicate ourselves to the high school coaches in this state, the high school talent in this state, the grass-roots programs in this state, and they must feel like they’re being dominated by Indiana University. You’re not going to get every player; you understand that. But if we want them, we should have a great chance of getting them because of the commitment level that we’re putting forth 24 hours a day at home.”

Staff and player decisions

One of the first steps Miller has to take as the head coach of IU will be to compile a coaching staff. Without going into too much detail, Miller lined up what fans should expect to see out of the new staff.

“They’re going to be diverse, versatile, completely eyes wide open at the level, and at the end of the day, they’re going to be able to totally develop our guys. It’ll go day by day, and as things happen, they’ll be announced.”

As for the current players, they all have decisions to make over the coming weeks.

Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby could elect to enter the NBA draft. Other players could transfer, some as graduates.

During the press conference, Miller reiterated the pitch he has already made to the current players.

“Like I told them, I didn’t recruit you, but you’re mine. So at that point, if you’re mine, then you have to do everything in my power to make sure that you understand there is a great belief and value in you here. There’s a clean slate. It’s going to take time. I think every coach goes through that when they show up at a place. It’s an awkward moment not only for them but for me, as well, but I think we’re off to a good start.”

Ramping up the non-conference scheduling

Indiana’s non-conference strength of schedule was consistently in the bottom half of the NCAA during Crean’s tenure.

Without delving into specifics, Miller appeared to set the tone for a more rigorous schedule.

“The non-conference scheduling component is probably the second most important thing you do as a coach other than recruit,” Miller said. “Here at Indiana University, non-conference scheduling is about finding a way to put yourself in a great position in terms of seeding. You know, you have to be the master of creating a non-conference schedule that, one, creates great excitement with your fans; two, challenges you at the highest level as you enter the Big Ten; and three, puts you in a non-conference résumé that stacks up with the best teams in college basketball. That’s what will be our goal.”

As for the possibility of renewing the Kentucky series, Miller stated that it may come sometime down the line.

“I know it’s an important piece to the puzzle here with our tradition,” Miller said. “But right now we’ll just focus on the day at hand.”

Miller was later asked if there would be a home-and-home series with Arizona (where brother Sean coaches).

“That’s something that down the line would be really cool,” Miller said. “(Athletic Director Fred Glass) actually mentioned it to me; we can do that. It’s just got to be right for both places.”

Future scholarship situation

Crean often over signed recruits, and the roster he left Miller is a reflection of that.

The 2017-18 Indiana roster is set to have 13 players on scholarship (15 if you include Clifton Moore and Al Durham, who have requested a release from their National Letter of Intent).

In future seasons, Miller brought up the idea of leaving a scholarship or two open.

“I don’t think we want to be a team that straps ourselves and limits options,” Miller said. “That would be what I would tell you. We’re always going to be comfortable playing between nine and ten guys, and if you have 12 or 13 on scholarship, you’re probably going to see some unhappy guys, and sometimes less is more in that.”

Lofty expectations

After Tom Crean was fired, Glass laid out the lofty expectations the next coach would face. Miller, when asked about those expectations, seemed to understand the burden that he’ll soon face.

“I don’t think you come to Indiana if you don’t want to live in the neighborhood,” Miller said. “If you don’t want to move into that neighborhood, then you shouldn’t be here. If you like the neighborhood, then you come, and I think, like I’ve been at a high level at a lot of different spots. I’ve been with great people. I think I’m very confident that what we do works, and I’d like for the opportunity to try and make it work here.”

Filed to:

  • Ole Man

    Archie is going to make IU proud.

  • Ms hoosier

    Welcome to the neighborhood Archie!! I think you will fit in just fine!! Sounds like one tough cat!! “Oops” I mean Hoosier!

  • Jeff Crowder

    Season can’t come fast enough.

  • Olde Hoosier

    Indeed!

  • Mark Bando

    I’m thinking more players will stick around then we originally thought, so here is my ridiculously way too early starting lineup: Green, Davis, Smith, Morgan, and newkirk

  • bball at nick’s

    Don’t worry, he’s good friends with Cali the Cat. LOL.

  • bball at nick’s

    I have a feeling OG will be back.

  • Mark Bando

    Ok, then he replaces smith. I hope you are right

  • Ms hoosier

    Yea I forgot. I just can’t be friends with him or them!

  • Ms hoosier

    I hope you guys are right

  • Show-Me-State HOOSIER

    I sure as heck hope so! Special young man!!!!

  • No RJ?

  • Still can’t decide if I like Arch or Archie better.

  • Donnie Vick

    This is weird. But I had a dream last night that Crean’s 16-17 team played Miller with the same roster. Guess who won? The rosters were identical but Blackmon quit playing for Miller because defense was demanded…Maybe I’ve been thinking too much about the Hoosiers the past few days. HA!

  • Yes, that is definitely weird.

  • Doug Wilson

    And his Wildcat wife likes to pick on Northwestern.

  • pcantidote

    6.5 months until practice starts. I am getting old and don’t like how fast time flies. This wait might actually make it feel like time is slowing down…

  • sams212

    I’m all in on just Archie. I know you you’re a proponent of CAM but I think I’ll keep it simple this time around! lol

  • Oh, no, I moved on from CAM ages ago (yesterday evening). I was set on Archie, and then Archie said most people call him Arch. So that’s actually his official official nickname. I think I like Archie better, however.

  • Arch Puddington

    Comparisons are always unfair, but I’ll lob this out there: he reminds of Mark Few. Both are very serious and straight-faced, neither seems prone to easy smiling or laughing. But both ooze passion and sincerity, and I won’t be a bit surprised if Miller’s program ends up looking a little like Few’s: not necessarily a lot of McDonald’s All-Americans, but one really solid 4-star after another mixed in with the occasional one-and-done. And that excites me. IU has never been the glam destination for the super high-end guys, and I don’t think we can truly play that game with Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas. But Gonzaga has sure done well, as have programs like Michigan State, Villanova, and more recently Oregon. If that is indeed where we are heading, count me in.

  • pcantidote

    Interesting. I am not as familiar with Few. I saw a young Izzo up there. Tough, blue collar, no nonsense. As you state, I think it is reasonable to recruit like MSU. Win the in state battles and an occasional out of state studs. That’s exactly what Arch (the real Arch) said he wanted to do.

  • SkidMarks

    I think CRAM or RAM

  • Mark Bando

    I keep thinking he is gonna leave because he is graduating

  • Mark Bando

    In gonna guess the miller team won by two because the crean team couldn’t inbound the ball on their final possesion

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    LOL… “The real Arch”
    Don’t worry Arch, we know YOU were here first!
    =)

  • Shawn Wagner

    Welcome the Arch Knight.

  • Arch Puddington

    It’s clear that this will be an ongoing identity crisis for me.

  • Kyl470

    Agreed. I like the fact that he isn’t crazy about over signing. It seemed that CTC threw out scholarship offers to anyone he looked at. I also agree that you should only be playing 8 to 9 guys not 10 to 11. I will say this though. Once he gets his program up and running if he truly only has 10 scholarship players I hope he picks out 3 walk ons and gives them a scholarship for the year so it doesn’t go to waste. Nothing wrong with helping cover those guys expenses for a year.

  • I’m a bit more optimistic about possible returnees. RJ for one maybe unlikely to depart. Maybe two others go pro. I’d love to see Hartman surprise everyone and return. And I haven’t seen enough of Smith to say he’ll be starting yet. Either way, there should be a solid group returning, making IU pretty competitive next year, at the least.

  • I wish, but I expect the injury experience is going to push him into the pro’s. I’d love to be wrong.

  • Yup. I would love a roster full of Juwan Morgan-type players every year. With time, that’s a very successful formula.

  • Ole Man

    Like that idea!

  • Ole Man

    In the press conference he referenced “Arch”.

  • IUMIKE1

    Oh well, everyone does something that they’re not real proud of. lol If that’s the worst thing about him I can live with that.

  • IUMIKE1

    In my own selfish way I hope you’re right, but he’s probably weighing coming back and seeing how much more CAM can improve him against what he has seen JBJ go through when it comes to injuries and him having gotten injured twice last season.

    Can’t really blame him if he goes and if he can be pretty certain that he will be taken fairly early it’s probably the right thing to do.

  • John D Murphy

    He also mentioned t’fers (in) and redshirts (not a TC thing). So, I took it as the idea is to 10 -11 players available but still using 12-13 scholarships with 9-10 guys in the rotation off and on. Said in other words, the way most coaches do it.

  • IUMIKE1

    Caption for this pic ? Mr. Miller my a$$ is on the line with this hire and if you get up there and say something completely different than what you and I talked about I’m gonna take you out back and thrash you.

    Glass has that serious as hell look on his face in this one.

  • bball at nick’s

    If the NBA wants him in the first round, he should probably go. But I’m not convinced that he will be drafted as high as most people tend to think. We’ll see. Just want the best for him, and I think he’ll shine wherever he goes.

  • Yeah, as in most people call him that. I do like Archie better, but I’ll bow to the will of the collective.

  • I’ll call him Archie in deference to you. I mean, you WERE here first.

  • IUMIKE1

    Just depends on where he would go in the first round. IF he was going to go well below mid first round to bottom of first round I think he would be better off to come back and try to assure him a spot in the better guaranteed money.

  • Bob,notBob

    I think Miller addresses all the points that Crean was not. His teams value the ball, prioritize fundamentals, play sound defense. He’s addressed prioritizing in state recruiting, improving relations with the Indiana coaching community, and removing this silly 300+ rpi non-con match ups from our schedule. All things that Crean neglected. The question is,what will we miss that Crean brought in? I suspect we’ll miss the Victor’s and the OG’s and the Thomas’s of the world…the NBA talent that Crean both found and developed. We’ll miss the fast paced action of the neoHurry’n Hoosier. (we won’t miss the +20% TO rate)

    I’m not knocking Miller, but rather crediting Crean. He did bring some pretty fun players and play to IU. There may be things we miss in time.

  • Arch Puddington

    The stakes are high for everyone. Careers will be made (or broken) on this call, and there are a great many fans whose lifelong passion is being tested. We aren’t there yet, but the fact that Alex even felt compelled to ask others if we are still a top 10 program makes clear that our brand has been diminished, and that somewhere out there is a point at which we are no longer a premier basketball school. I think everyone, including Archie Miller, gets that.

  • Ole Man

    Dayton’s tempo last year was 162. IU’s was 164.
    I don’t think pace of play will be a problem as he wants to attack on O and attack quickly.
    He’ll find and develop his own set of players.
    Give him a chance.

  • mckillio

    CArch maybe?

  • Bob,notBob

    wow, that truly surprises me, both for what Miller is and what Crean was not. Although, IU without Yogi was a much slower offence.