Indiana coach Archie Miller took the podium on Thursday morning at Madison Square Garden for his first Big Ten media day press conference.
Here’s the full video of his comments:
THE MODERATOR: Up now is Indiana head coach Archie Miller.
COACH MILLER: Great to be part of the inaugural MSG, Big Ten Tournament season. Very excited to get the season kicked off and underway at Indiana. We obviously have a lot of work to do in trying to instill what we’re doing every day. It’s a lot different for everybody.
But at the same time we’ve had a great response from the returning group, from day one, and that has continued all the way through our last practice.
And just trying to keep building, having great perspective on it’s going to take time to teach and can’t really be in a rush to get somewhere when you’re not ready. So we’re focusing in on the day. I like our group and looking forward, as the weeks progress, getting to the games.
Q. You’ve had a lot of success keeping your 2017 recruiting class together, had a lot of success in 2018 already, can you just talk about the message you gave the guys in 2017 that stay committed and what your message is to the guys in 2018 and how important this class is in 2018 to build?
COACH MILLER: Sure. Our 2017 class that was recruited by Coach Crean’s staff is a tremendous group of kids. They really are a great group.
And as you get ready to get started and you’re unsure on who is who or what’s what in your own program, the one thing you want to try to do is keep everything intact for as long as you can and inevitably you’ll run into some speed bumps. We were fortunate that the three guys in the spring loved Indiana, the university. There was a purpose for them all going to IU. It wasn’t just a basketball decision or coaching staff decision, all three of them were really bought into the university, they got locked in obviously to the tradition and the fan base, and they fell in love with it.
And it’s a credit to them and their families and also the great job that Coach Crean and his staff did in terms of their sell.
We had to recreate their vision on how we play and how did they fit. And we took some time on all that. And very thankful that their families and the kids all joined us. I think they’re all going to be a big part of the future as time goes.
Moving into the future and just recruiting for us, I think I said it for us, day one, recruiting at Indiana starts and stops with the state and it kind of moves itself out. And I operate or we’ve always operated that distance from home is a great factor in deciding.
And there’s unbelievable players within a three- four-hour radius of IU. Once we get them to campus the place sells itself. It’s an unbelievable place to represent.
So I think as time goes forward we’ll continue to stay with that philosophy and trying to get guys that can do what we’re asking them to do and that can play for our coaching staff and fit in our style.
Q. You inherited four scholarship seniors. Does that make the job a little bit easier for a first-year coach?
COACH MILLER: I think you hope so. I think the older you are in many ways you at least have some guys that have been in college basketball that have played in big games — Robert, Collin, Juwan, in particular — those three guys, being seniors and juniors have played in big games. They’ve won big games. So you know they’ve been there.
But at the same time, you know, they’re learning the same as our freshmen. And that’s the unfortunate thing, when you take over you start from scratch, that you wish your older guys obviously were the guys that were helping run the younger guys, that’s how it always should be.
But in this case everybody’s on the run. So we have a lot of thinking going on right now. So we’re probably not seeing the best out of all of our players, whether they’re older or younger.
But through the offseason, through our early fall and through, whatever, 14 practices right now, I can’t say a bad word about not one guy, but in particular the senior class has done a great job. They really are about the right things. I think you can generally see those guys wanting to go out in a positive way. They’ve been there, endured a lot.
My job is to push them. And at the same time my job is to help them kind of get to the end and feel good about themselves and their career.
Q. Just to finally get that IU/Purdue rivalry protected, obviously it’s your first year with the program, but what that’s going to mean for you and the state going forward?
COACH MILLER: Very early on as I got the job, I don’t know if it was on the recruiting circuit right away, on our couple of weekends or Big Ten meetings when I first got there, Matt really came to me and talked to me about it. And I felt that he felt it was very, very important for Purdue and Indiana.
He also felt, more importantly, representing the Big Ten for as long as he has, it’s great for the Big Ten. As I got the chance to kind of figure it out myself and look at our administration and their feelings, it’s a great thing for the Big Ten. It’s a great thing for college basketball when you have two programs that have obviously had great traditions.
Matt is as well regarded in college basketball as any college basketball coach. And to get started to be on the forefront a couple times a year is unbelievable for the state but it’s great for college basketball and in particular it puts the Big Ten in a good light.
Q. Wonder as you sit up here and get ready for the Big Ten and being a head coach in the Big Ten, can you reflect at all emotionally what this might mean to you as you’ve gone through your coaching career and you’ve been in the Midwest, but what it means to sit up there right now to be a Big Ten coach and getting ready for your first season with Indiana?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, I think you try to take a step back and try to reflect and think big picture on how far you’ve come and how you got here, really, to be honest with you. How am I sitting here? And as much as I sit here in awe about the opportunity to represent Indiana and all the great things that comes with that program. But to be a part of the league with an amazing stable of coaches it’s incredibly daunting.
But you think about how you got here. And the University of Dayton, where I came from, was an incredible place with incredible people who allowed me to flourish and go through the ups and downs. And we were able to create some unbelievable moments for our program and school there.
I feel very confident that as I sit here, you know, I think I know what we do works. I believe in what we do. I think it’s going to take some time, some ups and downs like every person, but just can’t deviate from it. So I’m excited.
At the same time I know I’m in an unbelievable league with tremendous coaches and players. And I’m going to have to figure out how our stuff works within this conference as time goes by. But at your disposal is Assembly Hall. At your disposal is one of the great fan bases in college basketball.
I think when you have that behind you as a driving force, that’s something that obviously puts you in a position to be successful. And to me that’s one of the reasons that I took the job, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to be here was to be a part of something that’s that big.
Filed to: Archie Miller