Q & A: 2018 point guard Robert Phinisee talks IU commitment

  • 08/19/2017 5:19 pm in

Indiana filled a position of need on Saturday when McCutcheon point guard Robert Phinisee announced his commitment to the Hoosiers.

Phinisee joins Jerome Hunter and Damezi Anderson in IU’s 2018 recruiting class.

The four-star point guard spoke with Inside the Hall shortly after making his decision public and discussed why now was the time to commit, his thoughts on the coaching staff and much more. Our full Q & A is below:

On making the announcement today and why he was ready to commit:

“I just felt it. It was kind of down to two schools and IU was on my mind for a while. So I called them yesterday and told them.”

On the reaction from the coaching staff:

“They were very excited. They told me I was one of the most important parts of the recruiting class. Getting a point guard in this class was a big thing.”

On how the class is coming together so far and thoughts on Damezi Anderson and Jerome Hunter:

“It’s coming together great. I know Damezi and I know a little bit about Jerome. It’s going to be a great class. One of the top classes in the nation.”

On building a relationship with the coaching staff and why he felt comfortable committing:

“Just being one of the first guys I reached out to (was important). They stayed in contact. Coach (Archie) Miller texted me two or three times per week. So did coach (Bruiser) Flint. Just building that relationship was a big thing.”

On what he needs to work on before getting to college:

“Just being an overall leader. In college, it’s a huge thing being an extension of the coaches on the court. Just being a leader and improving every part of my game.”

On how tough it was to come to a decision and how relieved he is to have the process over:

“I’m really relieved. You don’t really feel it when you’re playing (all the recruiting staff), but letting all of the other coaches know is a big weight off of my shoulders. It feels good right now.”

On the reaction he expects from friends in the area who are Purdue fans:

“I think a few will give me a hard time, but they’ll support me at the end of the day. At first when people find out, they’ll give me a hard time.”

On Archie Miller and what stands out:

“I’ve talked to him a lot and sometimes we don’t even talk about basketball. So I got to see the other part of him that people don’t get to see too much. He’s a great guy. He’s a big reason I chose Indiana.”

Filed to:

  • stuart j fultz

    I really respect your opinion my Hoosier brother. But I really believe that by the time Devonte Green is a junior that he’s gonna be our starting point guard. I know it could be said that DG right now is more of a combo type guard, but under Coach Miller I believe he’s gonna develop into a pure point guard when its all said and done. Robert is gonna have a fantastic career at I.U. though, I could see a three guard line-up in situations when it may give us an advantage. I think as it is now the physicality and strength of Green and his ability to defend will beat out RP in that starting spot. Very good points though on DG, time will tell us brother. Go Hooooooosiers!!!!!

  • RDD#76

    Yes, getting two highly rated instate kids when he was behind everyone in time recruiting these kids has been really impressive.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    This is fantastic news. Romeo Langford must love this. IU will have great guards and guess who benefits,,, ,,,a great shooting forward. Romeo next!!!! Welcome to IU Robert Phinisee!! Thanks to you and your family for coming to IU. AWESOME BABY!!!!!!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Way to go Bill Graham.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I don’t see him starting as a freshman unless they go to a 3 guard lineup. In my humble opinion, DG and CUJO start nearly every game their junior year.

  • CableGuy

    Very excited about Robert and how he fits. He does remind me of Yogi in that he makes up for his height with great quickness, body control, and leaping ability. I also think the national ranking services tend to overestimate height and length and underestimate toughness and floor game. I’ve got a great feeling about this one.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Alex, hello and I just watched Mark Rudner of the Big Ten explain the reasons why the entire Big Ten season is altered for the tournament to be at MSG. This is a huge risk for the Big Ten and I am not sure it’s worth it.

  • Arch Puddington

    He doesn’t have to be better than Yogi, just better than the guys we have. I’m not saying he is or will be, just saying that how he compares to Yogi isn’t really the issue. RP will be the only true PG on a roster full of small forwards and combo guards, and may get a run at starters minutes for that reason alone. Even in an era of increasingly versatile players and “positionless” basketball, there is an important role for a true PG who can coordinate the offense and set other guys up.

  • TomJameson

    I respect your opinion as well Stuart. I actually value all opinions even if they are different than mine. Sometimes especially if they are different than mine. Can’t learn anything at all if things aren’t discussed. 🙂

    I am really high on Devonte. I would not be surprised if his Junior year isn’t his last year before going to the NBA. But I still don’t think he’ll be out PG. I’m not saying he can’t do the job, but he is (IMO) waaaay too valuable as a shooting guard. I can see a 3-guard lineup at times as well, and most don’t agree with that. Remember though, ALL the guards will be playing the point at some time or another. Whoever the point is can’t play it for 40 minutes, plus, once they get past the half-court line, the position between 1 and 2 guard can blur a bit.

    You are absolutely right HB (Hoosier Brother), speculation is fun, but time will tell.

  • TomJameson

    I did try to emphasize the “just a tad” part. Nobody at all has been saying we shouldn’t have gone after him, just some are more excited about it than others. Mostly it’s because (I believe) his rankings have leveled off or dropped. It’s all good though, this speculation is what we have until they start playing the games.

  • Lance76

    what do you think about a grad transfer big so that scholarship only tied up for that one year?

  • sam

    I would hope the staff could get one in the 18 class but if not that would be ideal…

  • sam

    I would hope the staff could get one in the 18 class, but if not that would be ideal..

  • The Enforcer

    You Romeo people crack me up. Romeo isnt coming to IU no matter how much you hope and dream. His parents have no ties to Indiana and weve pretty much been a joke for 25 years. Hes going to Duke. Period

  • The Enforcer

    You sure do. Especially from know it alls like you

  • bball at nick’s

    LOL

  • bball at nick’s

    Thanks Mr. Know-It-All! Any deep insight into Garland?

  • Koko

    I love your name….it confirms (in different language) what I thought about you after reading your post. Period

  • stuart j fultz

    Yeah, good take on how the line can get a little blurry on who the point is in the half court game. I think no matter how we cut it we’re gonna have a very taleted roster!!! I also think the roster we have this year has been a littler undervalued, i’m scoffing at some of the writers who have us finishing 8th place and such. Go Hooooosiers!!!

  • Joshmofo1

    There are no 2018 big men really. The class is barren of talented bigs. The biggest guys were really in on are 6’8″.

  • “You Romeo people…”? For realz?

  • Outoftheloop

    And you “know” nothing! So be a little more humble in your opinion.

  • Outoftheloop

    I really like Robert. I think that he is very close to Garland in PG talent! But that is only my opinion.

  • Outoftheloop

    I know that you are not afraid to say that you were wrong. I am the same. But I see Robert starting or playing 22 minutes by mid-January of his freshman year. We shall both see what actually happens.

  • Outoftheloop

    A PG, a Big and 3 really good shooters or scorers is always a good college team, as long as those 5 play relentless, intelligent defense!

  • bball at nick’s

    Just teasing, Loop. After reading up on Robert I see that he might very well have a starting role. I think one argument is that he’ll be the only “pure” PG on the team in his first year. But a lot can happen in 2017-18, and I’m sure Archie will decide on minutes and roles according to what constitutes the best winning combination.

  • Outoftheloop

    Absolutely!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    He won’t be going to Duke. Keep dreaming.

  • VOXAC30

    The value of a Point Guard cannot be over stated. Yogi gave us two BIG10 titles. I know there were a lot of studs on those teams but he was our floor general during that time. He also steadied the ship when things went off the rails. I don’t know how RP compares to Yogi on the court but if that is his barometer and he is in that range it is massive!

  • VanPastorMan

    Watching Yogi making passes to Washington Indiana’s own Cody Zeller was a thing of beauty.