News and notes from Archie Miller’s radio show

  • 12/15/2017 7:56 am in

Inside IU basketball with Archie Miller was live on Thursday evening at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. Director of basketball operations Brian Walsh was the guest in the show’s final segment.

Below are news and notes from Miller:

· On final exams taking place this week: “It’s a very stressful week for your players because there’s a lot that goes into final exams with the preparation, the tutoring, the actual multiple days where you may have multiple things to do on those days. And throughout that week as a coach, you’re constantly looking for practice time and it’s a longer week, but at the same time, there’s got to be a little give and take and understanding of the mental fatigue, the actual exams and where these guys are coming from academically, mentally, there’s a lot that goes into that. It’s no different here than anywhere. We’ve had a good week of trying to mix in the practice time and giving them some rest so that they can finish them. We’re coming down the home stretch with our guys. The majority of our exams probably finish tonight.”

· Miller said that he’s had players that “have their worst week of practice” during finals week just because of the stress involved with the tests and then when finals are over, “they play their best game of the season.”

· Miller explained what a schedule could be like for a player during finals week. Prep for practice starting at around 2, practice from 3:30 until 5 or 6 and then tutor and studying from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. “That’s 2 to 11. You do that a few days in a row and you’re a young guy, it can really overwhelm you.”

· Miller said that the academic situation for each player is taken into consideration when determining tutoring plans. Miller commented that the resources at Indiana available in the academic area are “vast”.

· Once final exams end, Indiana will be on holiday break, which means that practice time is unlimited. “It’s a great time to be a player. If you’re a basketball player, it’s one of the best times in your career is the holiday break because realistically, you’re practicing and you get a chance to just be yourself and hang out with the guys on the team and mix in some games.”

· Miller said holiday break is a time where you can “really improve as a player” and “really improve as a team.”

· On the Louisville loss: “It was a hard played game. Guys did a really good job of getting off to a good start. Defensively, we were pretty locked in for most of the first half. And then Louisville’s going to make runs. It’s a game of runs, especially on the road. Felt good at halftime. I thought in the second half, Louisville did a much better job of attacking the offensive glass. They started to get some second shots on us. They probably had three or fouls balls that we had it in our hands and they got it. They ended up getting some of the 50-50 balls in the second half, which got them off to a good start in the second half. But, back and forth game, and then inevitably, just not being able to score in probably about the last six minutes, making open shots, finishing some things off, being able to keep scoring against their defense was something that was problematic the last four or five minutes. But I give our guys credit. Went into a hostile environment on the road and I thought we had some of our best moments defensively as the season has been going along. I thought we had some good things offensively, some guys have stepped up and played.”

· Miller said Louisville played a matchup zone primarily and that Indiana had to get the ball inside because you “can’t play on the perimeter against their length.”

· Not having Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis for a good part of the first half hurt Indiana offensively, according to Miller. “In the second half, it was a much more concerted effort to work the ball into De’Ron. And Juwan was very, very active again inside of the paint.”

· On the 15 turnovers against Louisville: “Probably four of them happened in the last two minutes. A couple of them were ‘pick-6s’ that went down to the other end. Just a lack of concentration, finishing the last two minutes with quality offense and trying to get good shots.”

· Miller said that you’re starting to see signs that Indiana is beginning to believe in the structure of its halfcourt defense a little more. “In general, we were a tighter team against Louisville, especially against their size.”

· On Al Durham’s five turnovers against Louisville: “As all young guys do, they go through the ups and downs of winning and losing, at home and on the road. I think, just in general, Al didn’t have a great floor game. He needed to be a little bit sharper, little bit stronger with his passing. And he’ll get better with that as time goes on.”

· Miller said he believes that Indiana’s shooting will come around. He said part of the struggles could be attributed to playing in a new style offensively.

· Miller said that Robert Johnson is “as consumed with being in the gym as any player I’ve been around.” Miller said that just based on the law of averages, you would expect Johnson to come around from the perimeter, but added that Indiana doesn’t want to make it a mental thing.

· On where this Indiana team is compared to his first team at Dayton: “The first season at Dayton, we inherited a veteran group. It was a little different there. There was a lot of experience returning, I think, with four seniors who had all played a lot of minutes. We had a fourth year junior point guard who sat out, Kevin Dillard, who was a first team all-conference point guard. We had a lot of guys who had already played a lot of minutes together. Our systems and teaching them, probably the same results. We saw great moments on offense, we saw choppy moments on defense. It was a team that won 20-something games, but it was a team that was really an older team. That’s the big difference with this team. Yes, we have some upperclassmen, but we also have a ton of sophomores and freshmen that are mixed in with those guys and haven’t played a ton. They’re learning things for the first time. It’s a different type of team just based on the experience level and the on court chemistry that they already had. They were already a winning team. They were already coming off of NIT championships and NCAA tournaments as juniors and seniors. I think that’s the one difference. We probably started four seniors and a junior, maybe.”

· Miller said this team could grow more than his first Dayton team because of the experience level that they will keep gaining.

· Miller said that Indiana has gotten better every week and gotten better “almost from every game.”

· Miller said he’s only played Notre Dame as an assistant coach at North Carolina State and “that would have been a while ago.”

· On the biggest key for Indiana’s reduction in turnovers: “There’s an emphasis on it every day in practice. There’s a penalty for turning the ball over. We only give our players seven turnovers a practice per team, red and white, and then they have to run. So you’re putting some pressure on them daily to do it. The other thing is just understanding how we want to play. What’s a good shot? What’s a good read on this play? For the most part, we’ve been keeping them down a little bit.”

· On Bonzie Colson: “He’s a matchup problem.” It has to be a team approach from Indiana defensively against Colson, who can score in so many ways.

· Miller said that he doesn’t plan to change much defensively, but added that the team “just has to get better at it.”

· IU’s assistant coaches each have a core of three or four players on the roster. Miller called them “core player groups.” “They’re responsible for a total understanding of what that player is going through every day from his home life to his academic life, his health and basketball. You have to be in charge of that guy. That’s your core group that you deal with.” (An example): “It’s like, ‘Hey coach, Devonte had three tests today. He might be out of gas. You might want to give him a break.'”

· A lot of the work for Ed Schilling and Tom Ostrom is with the guards and Bruiser Flint focuses primarily on the frontcourt guys. “We can always break away and change and move.”

· On the three upcoming non-conference games: “I think we’re searching for depth, searching for more answers. We’re looking for guys to try to break through and get a little bit more consistent. As you get through Notre Dame, you’re coming on a one-day prep for IPFW, which will be a big one for us, then turn around and get two more in before Big Ten play. We’re trying to use as many bullets in our gun as we can. Right now, we’re settling in a little bit with our rotation, but like I told the guys, there’s always room for you to improve. Once you improve and get an opportunity to get in there, that’s your time to take advantage of it.”

Filed to:

  • ’11Hoosier

    IU’s assistant coaches each have a core of three or four players on the roster. Miller called them “core player groups.” “They’re responsible for a total understanding of what that player is going through every day from his home life to his academic life, his health and basketball. You have to be in charge of that guy. That’s your core group that you deal with.” (An example): “It’s like, ‘Hey coach, Devonte had three tests today. He might be out of gas. You might want to give him a break.’”

    This is great to hear. Really glad each of these players have someone to turn to and have someone looking out for them. I think we can get caught up in the game of basketball but we always have to remember these are 18-22 year olds who have an academic and home life too.

  • dennis powell

    I have been impressed with the improvement defensively. It’s actually fun to watch IU play defense again. Unfortunately the offense has not been good. I personally think it’s a personnel issue but others disagree. In the Louisville game it didn’t look like we played well with Hartman and Morgan in the game at the same time. With them on the floor at the same time we have two very basketball savvy players with really contrasting games who should compliment each other. Davis is coming along. It’s the guard play that is suspect. You can’t be a good team without good guards. Go IU!!

  • SCHoosier

    Think how busy those NC tutors must be writing all those year end papers for the players!):

  • Tommy Morrsion

    I know I couldn’t do what they’re doing when I was in college! I was a bum.

  • TomJameson

    Man, tell me you don’t believe that and are just kidding. There is no way in the world, that is happening at IU. Tutored, yes, but positive that those players are doing their own work.

  • Randy

    Feel free to win a game crean couldn’t win any game now coach.

  • inLinE6

    I thought some fake classes didn’t even need any paper.

  • IdahoHoosier


  • Arch Puddington

    Randy understands that 11 games into his IU career, missing the two best players from a team that lost 10 of its last 14 games last year, it is time to criticize Archie. Sure, he took over a recruiting train wreck that has produced a team with only 4 players who were ranked in the ESPN top 100, and sure, a 6’6″ JC transfer is our backup center and a walk-on is among our key reserves, but hey, a REAL coach could be winning by now, right? I mean, it took Mike Krzyzewski 5 years at Duke before he had his first winning conference record or made it past the round of 32, but around here we expect VICTORIES. Randy was just brave enough to say what needed to be said.

  • Arch Puddington

    Fort Wayne, December 18th. Book it.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I’m glad you are here to translate. I would’ve never extracted the deep and insightful meaning Randy cleverly hid in his unintelligible post. You are the man Arch!

  • Arch Puddington

    When it comes to unintelligibility, I’m your man.

  • Adam 01

    I love quality sarcasm:)

  • vicbert caladipo

    I like that Crean and Miller and the players they recruited take the academic side seriously. Somehow a quote like that coming from Calapari or Williams would seem a bit far fetched.

  • KingofKentucky

    How much do you charge by the hour for work functions? My business could really use you?

  • Randy

    Yes you right Indiana state is a power house down 31 at the Hall

  • Doug Wilson

    Randy…are you still pissed ya didn’t get offered the head coaching job at IU? It could be that Archie is still playing with the cards he was delt. The game switched from Rummy to Euchre. Coach will get a fresh shuffle very soon.
    We speak of IU having small shooting guards who could not get a look over taller Louisville Guards. (A problem that has plaged IU for a long time now.) Will not be the case by next season. Ya want proof? Watch as this season progresses where Justin Smith starts setting up on the court when he enters the game. Read about the IU recruit Damenzi Anderson. The comments Archie made about him suggests he will be working with the guards. So it might take a year or so before we see IU win the big games Tom Cream couldn’t.
    But then again, Cream did win some big games. But that is the past now. Cheers to the future, and watching Archie and Co. flying banner number 6. A championship will happen.

  • Doug Wilson

    Looking For depth? How does a Tom Pritchard not see minutes at Centre when DD has to come to the bench? Wouldn’t he be in the same Practice with Bruiser Flint.

    For you 87 Fans out there. Remember Myers? With bad knees and all he would only see the court for 5 minutes to spell Dean Garrett. He didn’t turn heads while on the Court, but he didn’t hurt the team either. I could see Pritchard doing that. Pritchard might be a great change up Center. IU will never know if he doesn’t see the court until junk time. When really no game plan is really fully being engaged. I personally think Pritchard would benefit from a motion offence. Just Curious! Archie did mention, looking for depth.
    What’s that ? Pritchard can’t score? Say that after he has been in a game Thirty-five minutes.

  • Doug Wilson

    Well said Arch. How ya liking this season of growth? Anything standing out you positively enjoy watching each game?

  • Doug Wilson

    Funny Man! That will be a fun game to watch. Hey Arch, do ya know much about Fort Wayne? Have they had much roster turnover?

  • jimmygoiu

    Pritchard graduated several years ago.

  • Arch Puddington

    I was at the game against ISU, and what I have seen since then has been encouraging. It was clear from the opening tip of that game that the team was uncertain and disconnected on defense, but there has been clear progress since then. Much more relaxed, much more instinctive and coherent in their movements. The numbers don’t yet show it, but the growth is real. I said in a previous post that this coach is the real deal, the only question in my mind is recruiting. If he can get the right players, big things will happen.

    That is what I think. What do you think?

  • Arch Puddington

    Don’t know a thing about them, but I am sure we will beat them!

  • Arch Puddington

    Exactly. One bad game was enough. I would have fired him on the spot.

  • Arch Puddington

    I resent the suggestion that my talents are mercenary. I am an honorable smart-a$$ who posts for the sheer love of the game.

  • Arch Puddington

    I am A+, prime sarcasm.

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Are you drunk or is this some weird satire? Don’t see the humor…

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Gotta respect an honorable man!

  • Vernon Aldrich

    Hey Tom, on comments you post, there’s a Delete option under the pull-down arrow on the right, which appears across from your name when you drag your pointer that direction…