Four-star guard Robert Phinisee talks IU coaching change, junior season

  • 04/06/2017 9:36 am in

It didn’t take long for new Indiana coach Archie Miller to reach out to one of the state’s top underclassmen.

McCutcheon’s Robert Phinisee, a class of 2018 guard who was recently named Associated Press first team all state, told Inside the Hall on Wednesday that he’s already hearing from Miller.

As a junior at McCutcheon, the 6-foot point guard averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 assists, 5.9 rebounds and three steals as the Mavericks won their third straight sectional championship.

Phinisee, who held a scholarship offer from the previous coaching staff and had a good relationship with Tom Crean, said the coaching change in Bloomington won’t hurt Indiana’s chances in his recruitment.

“I know Indiana is a great program, so even with the coaching change, I’m still interested,” Phinisee said.

Miller, who was officially introduced in Bloomington on March 27, didn’t waste any time getting in contact with Phinisee, the No. 93 prospect nationally according to the 247Composite.

“He reached out to my AAU coach and he called me on Saturday or Sunday,” Phinisee said. “And then we texted a little bit after the national championship game on Monday.”

In his introductory press conference, Miller stressed the importance of recruiting with an “inside-out” approach. In recent years, Indiana had fallen off in recruiting the state. In the 2017 class, none of the state’s top 100 prospects committed to the Hoosiers.

“I know it’s pretty important for them (to recruit the state),” Phinisee explained. “He (Miller) told me he’s going to try and see me in the spring and the summer whenever he can. And just making me a priority is a big thing.”

The four-star prospect, who plays for Indiana Elite on the adidas Gauntlet circuit, is very familiar with the Indiana program as he’s made several unofficial visits to Bloomington in the past. Last season, he was in attendance for IU’s win over North Carolina.

“The intensity there, I went to the North Carolina game and it’s probably the loudest crowd I’ve ever heard,” he said. “They get pretty hyped up.”

Phinisee said he envisions his recruitment wrapping up sometime in the next six months, but his list of suitors continues to grow.

In addition to Indiana, he mentioned Butler, Purdue, Virginia, Ohio State, Iowa and Nebraska as some of the schools involved his recruitment.

Butler, Purdue and Virginia have all offered scholarships.

After helping lead McCutcheon to the Class 4A state championship game in 2016, Phinisee’s role was a little different as a junior at McCutcheon. The Mavericks lost four seniors to graduation, which led to Phinisee taking on more of a leadership role.

“Everyone stepped up and did a great job filling their role,” Phinisee said. “Individually, I feel like I did a good job of leading the team and being a better vocal leader than I was as a sophomore. I just have to keep improving.”

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  • IULore

    Come on Archie! Git em boi!

  • Show-Me-State HOOSIER

    Yessir! Looks like he has great court awareness! Speed up his shot release and he is going to be a huge force to deal with in college.

  • Arch Puddington

    First impression: he’s not terribly explosive, and his shot is a bit flat, but he seems to do many things well. Great awareness at both ends of the floor, plays well in transition, plays well in traffic, passes well, seems to be the kind of player who makes a team more cohesive. It’s a highlight tape so who knows how representative it is, but if this is the “real” him, it seems like he would be a good fit for our new coach and his approach. Strong defensively, aggressive offensively, tough.

  • Zach

    Go get him coach!

  • HoosierEconomist

    I’m interested in understanding how Nebraska sells their basketball program to any sought after recruit.

    Flat campus?
    Cheap popcorn?

  • HoosierEconomist

    I made sure to put cheap popcorn instead of free. The last thing Nebraska needs is a NOA concerning “impopper” benefits.

    Ok I’m done.

  • Alan Raul

    I live In Nebraska now.
    Their sell is brand new arena and practice facilities….plus the renovation of downtown around the arena… It is nice… Coach is good.. Popcorn better.. lol…

  • John D Murphy

    You think Nebraska popcorn is better than Indiana popcorn? All corn-based products from Indiana are the best in world and anything else is heresy. 🙂

  • John D Murphy

    His shot has a little hitch right in the middle but it doesn’t seem to it’s accuracy. If you could get the hitch out, it would come out quicker though which may be helpful against longer defenders. I like that he seems to drive under control instead of too quickly. Old NBA guards know it’s about angles not speed.

  • Alan Raul

    Lol… would be nice to steal him from purdues backyard

  • calbert40 – AC000000

    That crowd at the Anderson game was dead! Sure different than the heyday of the Wigwam.

    He’s extremely smooth. Really enjoy how he seems to play under control. Very good court vision. Still…I can’t help but thinking that recruiting a player from McCutcheon to IU would be like Painter recruiting a kid from Bloomington North to Purdue. Seems like a difficult recruitment.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Orville Redenbacher is all Valparaiso!!!!

  • TomJameson

    If not IU, then anywhere except PU. That would really stink. (yes I went there 🙂

  • Zora Clevenger

    No kid who grows up in Tippecanoe county wants to go to college in WL. It’d be like punching a guard on your last day in prison and getting another 4 years.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Someone who remembers the Wigwam. That by itself gets an upvote.

  • mharv2631

    I was hoping to see this article about Romeo. First priority in my book.

  • Jeffery W. Johnson

    This is the guy I’d like to see as IU’s coach. Home grown and loyal. Calvert Cheaney

  • BruceA

    That’s corny.

  • Donnie Vick

    I don’t like the M on his shirt; looks too much like Michigan.

  • Russ Mary Southard

    Wigwam (Anderson), Chrysler (New Castle) and my home of North Walnut St Field House (Muncie Central) In the day there was no better high school ball in the country. Miss those days

  • timamac

    New Castle Fieldhouse is the World’s “finest and greatest high school gymnasium in the world”.

  • timamac

    Truth. I’m a Trojan that lives in Muncie, but this area had the greatest hoops passion in the world.

  • William Stephens

    The only ones we need to steal are the great ones, he may be one of those. If he is IU needs to get him. I can’t see why any good Indiana kid would want to attend Purdue. Unless it was to become an engineer. It’ a great school, but in modern times the basketball has been second tier. Still no NCAA titles or almost titles!
    GO IU!

  • Rick Pearson

    Bring your talents to Bloomington Young Man Go Hoosier’s !!!

  • AZMBNZ

    The second coming of Yogi!