Around the Hall: Archie’s Challenge, SI’s Big Ten projection, more

  • 10/25/2017 9:41 am in

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff.

Craig Fehrman goes in-depth on Archie Miller’s biggest challenge at Indiana for Indianapolis Monthly:

Archie Miller has yet to coach his first game at IU, but he’s already making a few offseason changes. While Crean had stopped doing team camps—high-profile events where dozens of high schools bring their squads to Bloomington to scrimmage each other—Miller revived them this summer. Coaches loved that he set the price lower than it had been in the past. Players loved the competition, in addition to seeing Assembly Hall and IU’s other lavish facilities in a calm, fun setting.

Miller’s camp drew some of Indiana’s top high school coaches, including Lawrence North’s Keefer. It makes sense to reach out to them through team camps, friendly texts, and office visits—all of which Miller has done in his first months on the job.

But those coaching relationships won’t determine Miller’s fate. In fact, his efforts on that front say more about his thoroughness—and maybe his understanding of the kind of stories old-school IU fans love to read—than about anything else. “The biggest thing Archie Miller has done is develop relationships with players and their families very quickly,” says the analyst who tracks Indiana. “He does a really good job of connecting with people on a personal level.” So far, Miller has secured essentially seven recruits—the three players from Crean’s final class, whom he convinced to stay, plus four more top-100 recruits he landed in July and August.

Sports Illustrated’s Big Ten projections are out and Indiana comes in at No. 8:

The Hoosiers’ long-term outlook under first-year head coach Archie Miller is bright, but they’re going to have to scrap for an invitation to the NCAAs this season. Combo guard Robert Johnson, frontcourt duo Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis and fifth-year wing Collin Hartman—who sat out last season with a knee injury—give the Hoosiers the foundation of an above-average offense.’s preseason power rankings are out and four Indiana non-conference opponents are in the top 20, including No. 1 Duke:

If everything comes together, Duke has the most talent in the country. But there are a couple of things to watch in the early part of the season: How Grayson Allen develops into his role as a leader on a team with mostly freshmen, and whether Trevon Duval is able to keep all the scoring options happy on the offensive end. has a list of 12 “hard to gauge” teams, including a pair from the Big Ten:

Maryland Terrapins
The Melo Trimble era lasted so long, it’s hard to imagine just how the Terps will lookout with him running the point. Sophomore Anthony Cowan returns after averaging 10.3 points and 3.7 assists per game last season which will solidify the backcourt for Maryland, but it’s still hard to imagine Mark Turgeon’s team being better this season without one of its most productive players in program history. Cowan and Justin Jackson form a dynamic inside-out duo that could totally surprise teams in the Big Ten and outplay their preseason projection of tied for fifth.

Illinois Fighting Ilini
New coach Brad Underwood has to replace the top three scorers from last season, but with a top-30 incoming recruiting class and a graduate transfer ready to start in Mark Alstork, the Illini have the makings of a formidable squad on paper. It’s too early to tell if the hodgepodge roster, however, will be able to come together to win big in Year One of the Underwood era. His track record of success leads me to believe Illinois could overachieve and be an NCAA Tournament team, despite the awkward blend of pieces on the roster.

In a Q & A with Brendan F. Quinn, Miles Bridges discusses being offered money during the recruiting process ($):

Brendan Quinn: You say you were able to navigate the recruiting process without succumbing to temptation. At the same time, you obviously weren’t blind to what’s out there. How did you come to grips with not cashing in on your own value?

Miles Bridges: I mean, if you get caught, that might be the end of your career. I wanted to play in college really bad. I don’t know — materialistic things, they don’t really get to me. So when people were offering me money, I would say no right away, because I wanted to be able to live out my college experience. But really, I don’t know, it is hard, especially because I was so young at the time — 17.

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  • Geoff_85

    Quick thoughts: Interesting read about the camps and Arch’s ability to build relationships quickly. Obviously a positive as there are a few recruits we’d like to see commit very soon…..Yes, the players mentioned can score, but so can a couple very important sophomores – Devonte Green and Curtis Jones. These guys are really underrated, IMO. It would be nice to see CuJo more consistently have a performance like he did against Kansas last year. Man, that was a fun game. And by the way, Indiana has a few real scrappy freshmen. I’m excited to see Clifton Moore on the floor. He could be the best Moore Indiana has seen since Daniel Moore. I kid, and I actually loved Danny Moore, but I think Clifton will be great. He has a nose for the ball like Emmitt Holt did…..Um, f**k duke…….Interesting that the Illini land on a “hard to gauge teams” least and Indiana doesn’t. One would think that Indiana would be as hard, if not harder, to predict given the coaching change and what I think is a pretty darn good roster……Man, we have not seen the last of this pay-for-recruit scandal. Might be High Point and Robert Morris in the championship game this year. Hold on to your hats boys and girls.

  • pcantidote

    It is really hard to imagine why Crean would have done away with those camps. It just seems like such an easy way to build relationships and have a positive impact on impressionable young minds. Could this have at least been part of the demise of the in-state recruiting under his reign? I can certainly imagine negative behind the scenes discussions at the local high school level.

  • Lance76

    I watched the scrimmage @HH and found it hard to gage. I don’t know if it was new system, players or excitement but it looked a bit labored. Really looking forward to seeing the game this weekend. I feel confident that we will get better by March but may take a few lumps along the way. Success to me will be KenPom in the 30’s, top 7 finish in Big Ten with an invite to the dance.

  • Ivan Renko

    very reasonable projections. i’d say KenPom in the upper 30s, maybe low 40s. hopefully strength of schedule helps us out there. top 7 finish I think we definitely get into the dance, I can’t imagine the BIG 10 sending fewer than 7 teams

  • Geoff_85

    One would have to imagine that assumption is correct. There were rumors that he didn’t have great relationships with coaches across the state due to not reaching out on his end. Rather perplexing that a coach wouldn’t want to have relationships with these coaches. It just doesn’t make any sense. I won’t speculate as to why, but I certainly can’t think of a good reason.

  • Ivan Renko

    obviously all speculation. maybe TC assumed recruiting would come much more naturally after his early successes with Zeller, Yogi (and the few in his class who will not be named), JBJ (even Trey Lyles until he decommitted and ran to UK…) TC may have thought “oh the indiana HS coaches will be knocking on my door instead of the other way around.”

  • Geoff_85

    I definitely understand that feeling, but I wouldn’t fret too much. Keep in mind there were a couple starters out (Newkirk and Hartman) and there were walk-ons who got a lot of minutes. There were a few players playing some good ball – I thought Devonte treated it like an NCAA Tournament game. Then there were others that kind of took it easy. I wouldn’t read much into it. This weekend will be a better game to gauge them on, but we have to remember it’s an exhibition game – rotations might seem weird, defense might struggle, etc. They’ll likely be far from a well-oiled machine, but I’m excited. A new era is about to begin…

  • I want to see the dookies get into a bench brawl between Grayson Allen and some their freshmen, due to on-court confusion and frustration, forcing the entire team to forfeit early in the first half at Assembly Hall. Hopefully one of dook’s freshman punch Allen in the face.

    That is all.

  • Ole Man

    Not sure that DG and CuJo can score on a consistent basis, yet.
    After the Kansas game, CuJo basically did nothing the rest of the year.
    DG showed flashes, but needs more than “flash” to help this team.

  • HH is always a mixed bag. I share your hopes, mainly the invite to the dance. I think they’ll be alright in the end. But really, I’d LOVE to see a few Cinderella non-conference upsets first. Then land those recruits. Everything else would follow from there…banner #6.

  • “He has a nose for the ball like Emmitt Holt did.”

    Man I really hope so. I frankly didn’t catch that myself (in HH or highlight vids), but absolutely loved that about Holt. Players like that are hard to come by. With his size, shooting, and mobility, that would make Moore a major player by the end of the season. I just hope he can help out on defense this year, in all honesty. I’m skeptical of how well he’s going to be right away and expect him to be banged around and out of his league for a while (on defense). We’ll need him to be better than that. I do expect great things from Moore, but think he might take a while to find his groove on defense. He won’t be shy shooting the ball, for better or worse.

  • sarge

    haha, glad you are posting more often

  • Ivan Renko

    sounds like a 30 for 30 topic. “Brawl in the Hall”

  • sarge

    This pic is awesome. It makes me think Archie gave a great speech, got the crowd on its feet, and mic drop.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I went to my local college’s version of HH and the “scrimmage” was really just a dunking and 3 point shooting display. The coach told them mainly “don’t get hurt”. Can’t take much stock in how the team will gel or the offensive scheme from HH. Good fun though!

  • Geoff_85

    Yeah, Moore probably won’t average much more than 15 minutes per game or so this year, but I’m excited to see where he’s at and how his game will develop. Regarding the Emmitt Holt comment…he got a loose ball rebound in the corner at one point (if memory serves) and I remember saying to myself, “it’s like the ball finds him” which is something I used to say about Emmitt Holt. Man, he really had a knack for that.

  • Geoff_85

    I’m not sure they will, but I do think they’re capable. I definitely agree that CuJo essentially disappeared after the Kansas game. I am excited about they depth both bring. There are so many unknowns with this team. I mean, we don’t even really know who Josh Newkirk is yet. It felt like he ended the season much stronger than he played throughout a vast majority of the season.

  • iubase

    Miles [“so when people were offering me money” – who? how much?Where? I am sure the FBI will be looking into this. Oh by the way it seems that IU Kentucky and MSU were in the hunt. Doubt IU offered him money. Apparently UK offer didn’t go through

  • SCHoosier

    Not sure what happened to him after the KU game. Every time he had the ball in his hands..(especially when initiating a play) he looked totally lost. Missed a few 3’s and his confidence went too. Potential is there..hope he reaches it this coming season.

  • Dasstoni

    There is not a Bon Jovi’s shot through the heart and your to blame that this team does not make the tournament. The additions by subtraction of Thomas Crean and JBJ will do wonders for the Defense as will the addition by addition of Coach Archie Miller and Colin Hartman.

  • iugradmark

    The Monthly article was a very good read and unfortunately validated what a lot of fans were seeing / feeling.

  • Exactly. Not sure what that is, but you can’t teach it and it’s a huge asset for a team. He would have been awesome.

  • Pow!

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Who will lead this team? On court and lockeroom leadership has been an on and off issue for years without a above average player on the roster it will be almost impossible to make NCAAs

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    either way, i’ll be there for iu.

  • Brad

    Another reason Crean was a moron. He burned a lot of bridges with high school coaches in Indiana and that is fact whether you like it or not. The clown is gone and Archie the kid is in. Time to saddle up and hang on for the ride.

  • cbags05

    It’s SUCH a punchable face.

  • Old Hoosier

    I thought the same about the scrimmage, however that is normally the case when your playing your team mates I guess?

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    A forfeit is the last thing I want. I want IU to beat them soundly on the court. No mercy. No excuses.

    If Allen gets punched in the locker room by one of his teammates after the game, I’d be ok with that too.

  • John D Murphy

    Rock on. Duke is young and IU is old and the hall will rockin’. I give the Hoosiers way better than a punchers chance. I’ll say it will be a single digit game inside of three minutes

  • We’reAllForYou82

    I think Archie has been working out with Clif, he is showing some guns in that pic

  • Ivan Renko

    Lol give me a break. TC certainly isn’t a moron. More BIG 10 championships the last 5 years than Izzo, Matta, Bo/Gard, Painter, Beilein, Turgeon, and every other BIG10 coach. They all morons too? Pathetic take on the topic

  • TomJameson

    Haha .. I think you’re right. You know, I think that I would too, if I had that opportunity.

  • TomJameson

    Juwan and Collin will be the vocal leaders on-court, Josh will be the “general” in that he’ll be the PG, but they all need to be more vocal in the communication part. You know, calling out screens and the “normal” BB on-court talk. (IMHO)

  • TomJameson

    I really wouldn’t read too much at all into the first public scrimmage in front of 12,000+ fans. Not for the team in general, nor for the individual. Some things yes, but just not much. There is nervousness, excitement, lack of focus, and yes, playing against your own teammates. This upcoming game will show a lot more of what to expect for the upcoming season.

    Even at that though, it’s probably going to take a few games to really gauge where this team is now, and where they’re heading.

  • TomJameson

    I think you just showed everybody who the real moron is. Oh, and I guess I need to let you know that it’s you because … well, you’re a moron and can’t seem to get past your irrational hate.

  • TomJameson

    Crean said later that cancelling those camps was a mistake.

  • Neil Dixon

    Only look to Davis and the unheralded Justin Smith out of Chicago and you will find your “above average” players. This is perhaps the most underrated IU team in over 15 years. They will be much better than people realize.

  • Outoftheloop

    The following is a list of seriously “above average” players on the IU roster: DeRon Davis, Robert Johnson, Juwan Morgan, Devonte Green, Curtis Jones, Justin Smith, Clifton Moore, that is 7. Most fans would include Josh Newkirk and Collin Hartman on such a list. Apart from MSU, which B1G team has more?

  • AndyCapp

    Unlike past years I doubt that leadership is amongst the biggest issues we have this year, in fact it is one of the reasons I continue to be bullish.

    One thing the SI article does NOT say is how good D (doesn’t Coach call it “Hoosier D”, as if it were a natural adjective!?!) is likely to impact our W-L column. I predict that we will win some games BECAUSE we finally have defense back.

  • AndyCapp

    Endgame! 😀

  • AndyCapp

    Weird rotations? After the past several years of them they will seem commonplace 😉

    I expect by January Coach will have enough data points to solidify a starting rotation and first 3 off the bench. Assuming everyone stays healthy he makes an impact in the B1G and starts to coach em up for higher seeding and post season play.

  • AndyCapp

    Moron? Please! If anything he was probably TOO intellectual and didn’t possess the skill to distill it down to something teachable to the players. I am not a CTC apologist but personal attacks on the man should NEVER be your first (or last) comment. Edit BEFORE posting Brad.

  • Geoff_85

    Haha yes, that part of my response was calculated lol. I wanted to get it out there before I started reading stuff like “different coach, same problems” or something to that effect. I expect Coach Miller will have a solid rotation come January as well. I also expect this team to be pretty darn good. They definitely face a touch schedule, though.

  • 5 Banner Btown

    Just goes to show that as long as ur a good guy and put in the effort u will always be appreciated and get the respect from us IU faithful even if u thing ended poorly like they did for TC. CTC was a good guy who did alot of good things and did them the right way so fans shld be greatful for that especially with what’s going on in college basketball right now. I know I’m greatful that Archie took over for someone like TC and inherited a clean program. Imagine if AM had to take over for Kelvin Sampson in 2017 lol

  • 5 Banner Btown

    I did see that Clifton Moore is on a handful of NBA draft boards within the next couple of years going mid to late 1st round. He has big upside and the ideal stretch 4 for today’s NBA

  • AndyCapp

    Yup they do, especially early. If we can weather through January – – win all we are supposed to, steal a couple we are not – – I expect that we will be in pretty good shape entering the second half of the season.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    The other 9 that will finish ahead of IU in the B1G standings…