Phinisee on Miller: “He’s all about business”

  • 04/22/2017 12:10 am in

FORT WORTH, Texas – Robert Phinisee couldn’t help but notice the coaches in attendance for his first adidas Gauntlet game on Friday night.

He saw Indiana coach Archie Miller. He also saw Butler coach Chris Holtmann. And he also spotted an assistant coach from Purdue.

Many players insist that they don’t know which coaches are at their games. Not Phinisee.

“I don’t see how you don’t,” he said. “When you’re in warmups, you see them right away.”

What the coaches who watched Phinisee on Friday night saw was a point guard who is still undervalued nationally. He controlled the pace and got to the rim early and often. The McCutcheon and Indiana Elite guard scored a team-high 21 points in a narrow 69-65 loss to Game Elite.

The early Gauntlet loss means Indiana Elite will need to quickly bounce back on Saturday afternoon. Indiana Elite plays just once on Saturday before wrapping up the first Gauntlet session with a pair of Sunday contests.

“(We need to) rebound and just lock down on defense,” Phinisee explained. “Our scoring is going to be there. Play together and we’ll win.”

As far as recruiting goes, Phinisee wasn’t surprised to see Miller in attendance. He said IU’s new head coach told him he’d be watching this weekend.

“It means a lot. The head coach was here,” he said. “He followed through, not just an assistant coach. He said he’s going to watch me pretty much the whole weekend. We’ll see what happens.”

Miller making it a priority to watch Phinisee on the opening night of the April evaluation period follows a meeting one week ago between the two at McCutcheon.

It was the first opportunity for Phinisee to speak in person with Miller.

“It went pretty well,” Phinisee said. “He just told me he needs a point guard that can come in and play right away in 2018 because they’re graduating some guys. He just wants somebody to come in and lead the team. He wants to bring a national championship to Indiana.”

“I feel like he’s all about business. I feel like he can be your friend off the court and you can talk to him. But once he’s on the court, he’s all about business.”

Phinisee, who is now about 6-foot-1, said he’ll focus most on his level of comfort within an entire program when it comes time to make his college decision.

He intends to make his decision by next fall.

“Wherever I’m most the comfortable,” he said. “And connect well with everybody, the academic advisor and everybody around the staff.”

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  • Hoosier84

    Count it.. if he considering an academic advisor that cares it doesn’t get much better than Marni

  • Sghoosier

    He is suddenly 6ft 1in? Thought he was like 5ft 9.

    Quite the growth spurt.

  • Burt Macklin

    “He followed through, not just an assistant coach.”
    *cough* …Purdue… *cough*

  • IULore

    Looks like Newkirks replacement is Archies pitch to him

  • TomJameson

    A point guard to play right away. Not necessarily promising a starting position (still could be) but sounds like Archie is guaranteeing serious minutes. 2018-19 class could be pretty large, with maybe even a couple of one-and-dones (depending on a few factors).
    I think this coming 2017-18 team will be the start of IU rising to the next level, but the 2018-19 team could be the first major step in that direction. If he can get some quality players to stick around for a few years and work in his system, I think IU basketball is on the way to a glorious conclusion that we’re all aching for … another NC or two

  • I have a feeling that honesty, keeping his promises, and an infectious work ethic is going to serve Archie well as he recruits these top players. It probably feels like being a kid in a candy story for Archie, going after this kind of talent at a program that has a chance of getting them.

  • Lance76

    If there are not players leaving early this year, then I count 5 or maybe 6 for 18-19. Lots of holes to fill to turn the corner on recruiting. Just a guess, but it feels like CAM has a plan and I haven’t felt a plan in place with all IU coaches.

  • Shaggy_C

    In some ways the lack of open roster space for ’17-’18 is a blessing for Archie. Rather than spending all of his time trying to patch together a team for next year, he can spend these recruiting periods looking for top talent for the following years. While other coaches are still trying to fill up those last ’17 spots he is making up ground on the ’18 guys.

  • Outoftheloop

    IU will lose: James, Robert, Collin, Tim, Freddie, and Josh (6) to graduation at the end of next season; and probably Thomas (1) to the NBA. That is 5 open slots for 2018 recruiting (with 2 slots gone for 2017 scholarship crunch purposes). Archie will be sitting pretty! The 8 possible returning players are good: Justin, Clifford, and Aly; DeRon, Devonte, Curtis and Grant; and Juwan. IU will always need one great guard, one great scorer/wing,
    and one great Big in each recruiting class! Get those 4-5 star recruits!

  • Shaggy_C

    I’m actually hoping that Archie holds a couple of scholarships back next year, as the year after only JM will be graduating. Rather than classes of 3, 6, 1, and 4 from 2017 to 2020, I think IU as a program would be much better served with incoming classes of 3, 4, 3, 4 over the next four years. Any time you have more than four guys coming in should be a sign that something is wrong with your roster balance.

  • Piker

    Same thought and it put a big smile on my face

  • The Lights Go Down

    Assuming CAM intends to use all of those available scholly’s on that class.

  • Da Man

    He needs his type of guys on the roster. Fast. Majority of the TC players lack a fundamental ability whether it was dribbling, passing, or just a basketball IQ. The way TC teams turned the ball over and played defense.

    ION why is it most of the people wish TB and JBJ leave. Seniors and experience works in the college game.

  • TomJameson

    I know what you’re saying, but the 2018-19 class has a lot of talent in it, and I can see spending 5-6 scholarships on it. Plus, there is the good possibility that Archie can get a great one-n-done. (I just can’t call Archie “CAM” — that’s a so-so football player)
    I think Archie is starting out with a fantastic base right now, but if he can add another 3-4 really top-flight talented players in 2018-19 to stay for 2-3 years …. Well, that’s a great way to start out your own recruiting record.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t think most people wish TB and JBJ leave, most folks just realize those are the two that are most likely to leave early for the pro. OG hired an agent, so we know he’s gone.

    As of right now, without anybody else declaring they are leaving the team, IU has 15 players returning or committed. There has to be two drop from the team to make the 13 scholarships limit.

    I really hope TB and JBJ come back and the needed two are made up elsewhere, but I highly doubt that will happen.

  • TomJameson

    That’s a good point Shaggy. I see 5 graduating next year (counted fast so I could be wrong), but it’s still sound logic. It took a long time for TC to get a better balance in his recruiting classes because he didn’t hold back. Then that “movement” class really screwed everything up again. Balance in the recruiting classes is pretty important IMHO.

  • IUBizmark

    Yea, next season looks more promising to me than 18-19. There is a lot of potential leadership sticking around for next season. The one advantage that 18-19 season will have is one more year of experience under Coach Miller’s system, which helps a lot. I expect 18-19 will be a step back, but I’m not concerned.

  • IUBizmark

    And we know Coach Miller won’t fill up the roster with scholarships. So, those smaller class sizes you mention are probably more realistic. I’m all for it, assuming that positioning works on the recruiting trail.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Nice Shaggy!!! Point on and what a change that would be for IU vs the last 7 years of over committing.

  • marcusgresham

    Speaking of which, I hope the change in coaches didn’t have any bearing on Marni Mooney’s position. She’s such an asset for these guys.

  • Outoftheloop

    It is all guesswork until 5/24!

  • SCHoosier

    Dude..with the Ho0sier it ALWAYS needs to be about “bidness”. Like the kid a lot..good now..will be great later and a four year player.

  • TomJameson

    All recruitment is guesswork, for sure. I was responding to your statement that most people wish TB and JBJ leave. I just don’t see that, quite the opposite in fact. From comments made, I believe most want the two to come back, but realize the odds of them leaving are better than the odds of them staying.

    And of course, it’s a fact that with only OG leaving, IU has 15 Scholarships in returning/committed players. Two players need to drop along the way, we just don’t which two it’s going to be, or how things will play out in that direction.

    No big deal … just something else to ponder.