Notebook: IU media day roundup

  • 09/28/2017 7:32 pm in

One day before the teams can officially begin practicing for the 2017-18 season, Indiana held its media day at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Head coach Archie Miller was the first person up at the podium, and players soon followed.

Miller spoke for more than 25 minutes, touching on the FBI investigation, team expectations and more:

· Miller commented on the FBI investigation into college basketball, saying he had no knowledge of it prior to Tuesday. Miller is confident that Indiana will not be swept up in the turmoil. Inside the Hall has compiled Miller’s complete comments regarding the FBI investigation.

· On Robert Johnson, “I’ve never seen a guy as motivated physically to be where he’s at right now. He’s probably the best-conditioned player that I’ve ever been around, and that’s not to say our other guys aren’t doing a great job.”

· Miller said 75 percent of team workouts are focused on defense, but admitted it’s going to take time for the defense to improve. “I don’t expect on day one we’re going to be the steel curtain, so to speak, but I think we’re going to be a team that prides ourself on that. Our guys know that. And individual defenders will improve just like they do on offense.”

· Regarding the point guard position, Miller sees Newkirk as the primary one, with three other players getting time: Robert Johnson, Devonte Green and Al Durham.

· Clifton Moore has added 14 pounds since arriving on campus and now weighs in at around 220 pounds. Miller believes Moore can contribute as a freshman, but that he’ll have to improve his coordination. “He’s like a slippery guy on ice skates out there at times, just getting his footing. But you’ve seen him go in big, big jumps week to week where he is. From a conditioning level, from a mobility standpoint, he’s as gifted as any player I’ve ever been around, and I think that speaks volumes.”

· Miller said he believes the primary scorers will be De’Ron Davis, Juwan Morgan and Robert Johnson.

· With this season’s Big Ten schedule condensed and the non-conference slate filled with marquee games, Miller said it, “is probably as challenging of a schedule as anyone has probably ever faced…It’s going to put a real tax on the bodies.”

· Miller called Devonte Green an “east coast guard” with a lot of “city in his game.” Miller said he’s trying to tone the style down a bit, but raved about his ability to play both ends of the floor.

· Miller said redshirt freshman Race Thompson has to “rehabilitate, rebuild, and recondition his body,” while noting that he has been impressed by Thompson’s basketball IQ and passing ability. Miller also is confident that Thompson will become a 3-point shooter.

· As for De’Ron Davis, Miller spoke glowingly about his abilities on the offensive end and his improved conditioning, saying the team is going to make a concerted effort to feed Davis in the post.

Following Miller’s presser and the team photo, 15 different players spent time at the podium answering assorted questions from the media (redshirt freshman Race Thompson, walk-on freshman Ethan Lasko and sophomore transfer Vijay Blackmon did not speak):

· Several of the guards stated that Archie Miller’s experience as a collegiate point guard has been beneficial.

· Robert Johnson, “I think the energy he has when he comes around us, the fact that he played the game makes it easier, a little bit easier to relate to him.”

· Josh Newkirk, ” he can actually get out there and show us different things, how he wants it done. So he’s real interactive with us on the court. So that means a lot. He played at the college level, so he can teach us a lot.”

· Devonte Green, “He has a different kind of basketball IQ because he was a player, and he understands what works and what doesn’t in certain situations.”

· Junior Quentin Taylor remarked on Miller’s emphasis on offensive spacing. “With the speed of the game as fast as it is, if you know guys are in the right spots, you kind of know what to expect.,” Taylor said. “When you see the defense shift, you know what plays you should make. So he’s teaching spots. That’s helping us take care of the ball.”

· After spending the 2016-17 season on the sidelines, fifth-year senior Collin Hartman conveyed a desire to be an on-court leader. “I’ve been through a lot of basketball in my life here at IU, so I know what it takes to win,” Hartman said. “I know what winning looks like. So when I get the confidence up in my physical abilities again and get in the flow of the game and everything, then I can translate the vocal leadership to that and keep sharing it to these young guys.”

· When Robert Johnson tested the NBA waters last spring, he said NBA scouts told him he needed to play point guard at a high level and become a reliable primary scorer.

· Juwan Morgan said he’s seen a boost in confidence De’Ron Davis this summer. “He’s more willing to go at people instead of just saying, oh, I’m too tired or just taking a couple plays off,” Morgan said.

· Primarily a wing in high school, freshman Clifton Moore says Miller wants him to play more in the post. “In high school, I had free range to do whatever I want, but with Archie’s organized system, I just have to learn where to be in the right place and how to run it correctly,” Moore said.

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  • We’reAllForYou82

    Great stuff. Archie really shared some info with us today. Refreshing. He already has some vision of how he wants this particular team to play. His comment about defense was interesting, saying he didn’t see us meshing as a unit for awhile. I guess CH isn’t quite back yet but I hope he will be soon. We can use his Swiss Army knife skills asap.

    (Shameless AD plug) Archie clearly said AD was back up PG. 🙂

  • Mr. Shep-dizzle

    I’m really looking forward to the season. I think we have a lot of quality players and with the right coaching we can be in position to make the tourney. They didn’t even mention J. Smith or CuJo, who were both 4 star recruits and should contribute. I think we’ll exceed expectations, imo. Thanks for the recap, Alex.

  • inLinE6

    Not to compare with anyone, but I like Archie’s presser a lot. Nothing wishy-washy, just straight to the point and say what he’s able to say. He’s not shying away from what he has in mind. It makes me willing to spend time to actually hear coach talk.

  • John D Murphy

    IU hoosiers dot com says 75% on offense not defense (the transcript…I read I didn’t listen) “We’ve spent, I’d say, 75-25 in our team workouts, offense to defense”

  • John D Murphy

    My apologies to Josh. I listened to that section and the transcript on IU hoosiers dot com is wrong. ITH is right. I should not have doubted.

  • Exactly. I found it very informative on several levels. Great insight into what’s going on and how things are going to shake out preseason. No wasted words and fluff.

  • KelvinSampson87

    No mention of CUJO

  • N71

    I’ve noticed 2 big differences so far; 1) Archie is a better communicator and 2) you can tell he’s played the game at a high level. Those 2 things alone are worth a ton.

  • TomJameson

    While I agree that those are two things I like about Archie, not sure you can tell how he’s played by listening to him speak. Matter of fact, there are a lot of good CBB coaches that haven’t played. The article I got the following names from was a little dated, so the schools might be different now, but here’s are just a few of the coaches who haven’t had any D1 success in college.

    Frank Martin (Kansas State)
    Rick Majerus (Utah)
    Mark Few (Gonzaga)
    Scott Drew (Baylor)
    Frank Martin (South Carolina)

  • bball at nick’s

    Every coach has his quirks in the pressers. Crean would always say “I need to watch film”. Archie’s quirk: “I might be forgetting some guys”. Maybe that’s his way of telling guys they need to EARN a presser mention. LOL.

  • TomJameson

    He was mentioned in the presser itself, just not in the notebook article. Archie mentioned him as a shooter, and lumped him in with the backcourt players that he thought highly of.

  • bball at nick’s

    For the record, it was players in the pressers yesterday that mentioned the importance of Archie having played the game, particularly the guards.

  • SCHoosier

    Three things that stood out 1) the work on defense and the players reactions to it 2) The straight out challenge to De’Ron re: being in shape so as not to have to “take some plays off.” 3) By the time Race gets thru a year of getting in “Miller shape” he is gonna be one big sturdy dude. I do believe the players are buying what Coach is sellin’. Excited about the future of D Green..Arch had more comments on him than anyone.

  • N71

    Having played isn’t a cost of entry but I think it makes a difference and has value. There are many little indicators Archie played…the way he smiles when he says Devonte has “city” in his game or he has “style”. To me, those are really little things that only a player or past player would pick up on and be willing to talk about out loud (opinion). Coaches who have played and had some success:

    John Wooden (UCLA)
    Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
    Bob Knight (Indiana)
    etc.

  • bball at nick’s

    Archie is transforming De’Ron into a Swiss watch … lethal precision and efficiency, and boy is De’Ron sold on it. Kid is so hungry he was about to eat the mic.

  • bball at nick’s

    Can we agree to call Archie … Archie? His players call him Archie. I didn’t hear any of them calling him Coach Miller, or anything boring like that, LOL.

  • TomJameson

    I think the point I was making, and you made as well by posting the other side, is that a successful CBB coach isn’t predicated in having played at the college level.

    I’m not saying it’s not helpful. An example is the presser where the players (as forever pointed out) liked his actual experience. But, those were guards who were thankful for Archie’s guard experience.

  • Oldguyy

    It’s well established that you don’t need to be a chicken to make a good omelet.

  • IdahoHoosier

    To be fair, the players mentioned it after being asked the leading question of “how does having a coach with D-1 guard experience make him a better coach?” or something to that effect.

  • mharv2631

    Romeo has cut Louisville from his list.

  • MGDC

    Not sure I understand this. All of these coaches have had lots of success at D1. No NCAA titles but all have had very respectable careers.

  • IdahoHoosier

    If you read the full thread they are talking about NCAA success coaches have had as players.

  • bball at nick’s

    But it helps if you’ve eaten an omelet before making one. LOL.

  • bball at nick’s

    Yo, buddy, some people around here don’t know that I’m Forever in disguise, LOL.

  • bball at nick’s

    True, but players tend to not volunteer a lot of opinion either, unless prodded.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Exactly. They most likely wouldn’t have said anything at all in terms of comparing coaches unless they were prodded a bit by the questions. Which they were. The players just want to play and focus on right now and looking forward. Only the media (and maybe we fans) find it interesting to look backward by bringing up past coaches.

  • AndyCapp

    With a lot of useful tools!

  • AndyCapp

    Hoosier Hysteria takes on even greater significance now. Hope the student’s are vocal as heck and that Garland and Romeo develop a relationship and can see how we love our players. Reel ’em in Archie!

  • Every forum poster has his quirks too.

    LOL.

  • bball at nick’s

    Ha ha LOL ya LOL.

  • marcusgresham

    Correction—Louisville has cut itself from Romeo’s list. 😉

  • Donnie Vick

    That gets people fired around Btown

  • Outoftheloop

    Excellent and important points are being made by Archie to his team. We fans need to be patient, but still excited!

  • Outoftheloop

    Thanks for the info.

  • Outoftheloop

    Same person,Frank Martin, at his last two schools.

  • Larry Brown

    Tom Izzo, Rick Pitino ….

  • VOXAC30

    No matter how it Shakes out the Louisville fan got screwed royally. They are a pretty loyal fan base and we share our hating of UK.

  • Ivan Renko

    Man, this is going to be one scary team in 2-3 years. We’ve got an amazing crew of seniors that’ll make this transitional year a success (albeit with lots of ups and downs), but IMO the team with Juwan Morgan as a senior along with DD, Clifton, and Race running the front court and the amazing long-term core of kids coming in… that’s the team that’s going to be turning heads around CBB.

    Add in hopeful recruiting successes with Romeo and/or Darius in the 2018/2019 season, we’ve got ourselves a March-made team. 2019/2020 with some more recruiting successes, and we’ve got top 10 written all over. Go Hoosiers!

  • Ivan Renko

    Indeed. I always hate to see loyal fanbases go through such times, as we did during our own dark ages… but that’s what truly tests the word “loyalty.” We’ll see what additional punishments/sanctions get thrown Lville’s way, but no program with that history and resource support ever ceases to be irrelevant.

  • TomJameson

    I’ll buy into that.

  • bball at nick’s

    I believe there is a good chance Juwan will go pro after this year, if he is healthy. Which is doubly good news, because it would also mean we will have exceeded expectations this year.

  • Ivan Renko

    If juwan goes pro, that means we have exceeded expectations beyond our wildest dreams. I expect him to play for 2 more years…. as IU fans, we know what he’s capable of, but his stats simply won’t wow NBA scouts. Hoping for the best.

  • bball at nick’s

    Exceeded expectations, but not beyond our wildest dreams, since he is expected to be one of our main producers/scorers.

  • Ivan Renko

    I agree Juwan will be one of our main producers, but he hasn’t shown anything close to NBA talent/ability. I wish him the best, however, and I believe he will play at the next level somewhere. But I stand by my original post

  • bball at nick’s

    Well, since you said “we”, I just wanted to make sure you exclude me, LOL. I’m not trying to change your mind, just telling you what I think.

  • bball at nick’s

    Juwan has been playing with injury and in the shadows of other players. Everything I’ve been hearing, whether about his health (knock on wood) or about his readiness to be one of our three main stars, tells me that this kid is bound for glory, and sooner than you might think.

  • Ivan Renko

    Hey totally understand. I surely hope Juwan shows the talent and ability to contribute at an NBA level. We just haven’t seen anything yet to suggest he’s ready. Lots of great college players don’t make it to the next level. Take Kansas’ Perry Ellis for expample. Great all around 4 year player in college, outstanding leader and example, but wasn’t even drafted.

  • bball at nick’s

    I watched an interview with Juwan in Adidas Nations. He envisions his eventual pro game as something of Draymond Green’s. I will make a prediction: if he stays healthy, Juwan is a pro in the making, and as early as the end of this season. Not to mention that he has a fantastic background having grown up in a military family … born in Germany and dual US German citizen, has lived in South Korea and a bunch of other places. I’m just so excited to see his game (and the whole team of course), but this kid is a hidden treasure.

  • VOXAC30

    Nice post!