News and notes from Archie Miller’s radio show

  • 01/12/2018 11:08 am in

Inside IU basketball with Archie Miller was live on Thursday evening at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. Senior guard Josh Newkirk was the guest in the show’s final segment.

Below are news and notes from Miller:

· On back-to-back Big Ten wins: “I thought we played decent at Wisconsin for a good stretch, we just weren’t tough enough in the second half, doing the little things you need to do to win January conference games, whether you’re home or on the road. I thought we had a much better approach at Minnesota. A very tough-minded group that hung in there with a couple guys down. Really rebounded the ball well. Rob (Johnson) had a career-day, but I think Juwan (Morgan) and Justin (Smith) also had fantastic games. Penn State was really a team, collected group effort. There were a lot of hustle plays that went into winning that game, some offensive rebounding was a big deal, limited our turnovers and I think we got some timely baskets in the second half to keep the distance a couple possessions at a time where we were able to hold off a pretty talented Penn State team.”

· On ‘winning plays’: “These last couple games, some of the winning plays don’t go in the stat sheet. Whether it’s loose balls, deflected balls, a rebound here or there. Some timely effort-related things that go into winning this type of game. When you get into conference, everybody has seen you on film, you may play a team twice in (two weeks). They know you. Our group is learning how to play (without) De’Ron (Davis) and playing through Juwan a little bit. Justin is getting in there, Collin (Hartman) being able to play in the Penn State game, he gave us 27 really good minutes. We’re still developing, finding ways where we can get better, but I think the big thing is that consistent toughness and energy level that you need.”

· On improved defensive rebounding: “It starts with Juwan taking a lot of pride in understanding how important that’s going to be for him and his role throughout the course of the season. He’s gotta be a double-figure rebound guy. We talked about that at length following the Wisconsin game. He’s gotta be a big game rebound type of guy. So it starts with him and we’ve really just been preaching to our guards. The best teams have guards that defensive rebound. Rob, if I’m not mistaken, has 12 defensive rebounds in the last two games. That’s a big, big stat for us. We’re not the biggest group right now, we’ve gotta rebound collectively.”

· On winning ugly: “Finding ways to win games when you’re not playing at your best is sometimes the most fun. It wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the day, they feel the same.”

· On the Big Ten: “It’s going to sort itself out here as we start to get through the middle and end of January, there will be some separation. Some teams are going to go on the road and get a couple, and teams that hold serve at home are going to find a way to creep up. We’re right on the cusp of what we’re getting ready to see. Clearly, Purdue and Michigan State are Final Four caliber teams. They’ve played that type of competition and have shown throughout the course of (the season) that they’re two of the premier programs, and it’s great to have (them) in our league to be able to go up against, because you have an opportunity to play again them, and if you beat them, it looks great on your resume. It starts to go down from there with the Michigans, the Marylands and Ohio State in particular right now have sort of got themselves in a situation where if they take care of business, they’re postseason teams. Under those teams, there’s another group, which we’re a part of right now, has an opportunity to take a step up. If you win your home games, you keep finding ways to steal a couple on the road, you have an opportunity to creep up…It’s a wide open five-through-14. Rutgers had Michigan State last night, they could have come away with a big win. So 14 up through about 5, anybody can beat anybody on any given night. Once you get up into that other tier, it will be interesting to see if those teams can continue to hang in there with Michigan State and Purdue, who clearly have established themselves as a 1-2 punch.”

· On De’Ron Davis: “It was really just unfortunate, bad luck where he ruptured his Achilles on a turn where you hit the baseline and run the other way. Just one of those things where there’s no pain or anything, it just kind of went. So it’s disappointing for De’Ron that he’s not able to continue to evolve in his sophomore year. He had successful surgery yesterday and I think the prognosis is for a full recovery where this summer he’ll be back on his feet moving in that direction. He’s got a chance to take another offseason to really train and reshape his body, and hopefully, for next season, he’ll be starting off with a healthy bill of health.”

· On Clifton Moore: “He’s right there. He hasn’t had a chance yet, but I think it’s inevitable that Clifton’s going to get in Big Ten games as we move forward. He’s gotta stay ready. He works extremely hard in practice and is getting better. He’ll be ready when his number is called just because of how much he cares and what a good teammate he’s been. Right now, we haven’t had to go that direction. We’re probably playing Juwan a little too much, probably need to look at a couple windows where we can get Clifton in, so that when he does have that opportunity where he has to play extended minutes, that he’s prepared for it.”

· On Northwestern: “They can really execute. They’ve got a great player in Bryant McIntosh, everything goes around him. Last night (against Minnesota) he had 16 assists and zero turnovers, so he’s obviously a really big quarterback for them. He makes the plays. They’re also very skilled and big at the two and the three. Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey are two of the premier shooters for their size. They run them a lot off screens and they do a great job using Dererk Pardon down low … To not allow them to execute isn’t easy, but we’re going to have to find a way to disrupt them a little bit.”

· As a true sophomore at North Carolina State, Miller says he had back surgery: “It ended up being a little more serious than I anticipated. I had two herniated disks and a narrowing of my spinal column, which was really causing me problems in November of my sophomore year and required season-ending surgery. That derailed me.”

· Miller didn’t rule out going on a foreign trip in a future summer, but said they’re perceived impact now maybe overstated because of the time teams already get together during the summer.

· Miller said the team divides the game into 10 4-minute segments and looks at how they did in each.

· Newkirk, on helping mentor the freshmen: “They always are questions, trying to learn. It makes my job easier.”

· Newkirk said he hosted Freddie McSwain when he came on his recruiting visit, “Ever since then, we kind of clicked.”

· Newkirk said the funniest player on the team is Johnny Jager: “Just being a clown in the locker room, being a clown before the games. Just getting us hype, all those types of things.”

· Newkirk is majoring in liberal studies and hasn’t planned on what he’s going to do with the degree. He hopes to play basketball professionally first.

Filed to:

  • Tommy Morrsion

    These interviews are great. My big takeaway is that we should be expecting some Cliff Moore sighting soon. Archie seems bullish on his potential and character.

    Now I will be evaluating the game in 4 minute intervals as well.

  • Pat Smith

    Would love to see Clifton get some time.

  • Colt

    It would have been nice to see McIntosh at IU.

  • TomJameson

    I hope that Archie will take the opportunity for a summer foreign trip. I think that IU is up for one in the 2018-19 season. I think that would be fantastic opportunity with the great freshman class coming int. Practice is good, but nothing compared to game experience.

  • Arch Puddington

    While I agree in principle, I am not sure those foreign trips do as much good as we hope. I remember the one we went on in 2014, at a time when we had Yogi, JBJ, NZ, and even RJ. Everyone was excited about the bonding and the competition, and it seemed great when we beat Carelton College, the flagship of Canadian collegiate hoops. But that team finished 9-9 in conference (7th place), barely made it in to the tourney as a 10th seed, then lost in the first round. So if the big summer road trip helped, it wasn’t by much. Granted, next year’s IU team might be in position to benefit more than that team was, because instead of a group of veterans playing for a coach in his 7th year, we will have a large group of freshmen and sophomores playing for a coach in his second year. But in the end I’m just not sure that a few summer games really make a difference.

  • Colt

    I agree. Make them all come to Bloomington and work their tails off.

  • Ole Man

    The one nice aspect of the summer trips is the extra team practices spent with the coach. I think the number is ten. Considering how young next year’s team will be, that could be a good thing. Those extra practices with Coach could be huge.

  • Arch Puddington

    That works, too! Obviously the trips don’t hurt anything, and I’m sure they are fun for the players and coaches.

  • Arch Puddington

    I agree, next year’s bunch is more likely to benefit than others. Young team + new coach = time needed. I doubt it makes a decisive difference, but other than injury, no reason NOT to do it if given the chance.

  • Arch Puddington

    I LOVE Archie’s candor about his team’s position right now, and about the B1G in general. Nothing negative in the least about it, but nothing artificial or PC about it, either. Just a straightforward assessment of who we are and where we stand. And I love the sincerity of his thoughts about good teams like Michigan State and Purdue, including both the reality that they are better than us and the appropriate optimism that beating them, which we can do if everything goes right, is a great way to help our own cause. Can’t speak for anyone else, but if I was a player, this is exactly how I would want my coach to talk to me. Don’t tell me I’m great if I’m not great, and don’t run me down just to make sure I stay motivated. Let’s deal with things as they are, and work as hard as we can to move up in the world. Simple.

  • Ole Man

    LOL! I thought I was agreeing with you and just adding an addendum to your thought!
    Have to be clearer next time.

  • Arch Puddington

    I think we are both just saying the same thing over and over. Here, I’ll go again: “next year’s team will be young and might benefit from the extra time”.

    See there, it’s fun! I’ll alert you if I have anything new to say.

  • inLinE6

    FWIW, he was not highly recruited out of HS. Not ranked in the top 200. A great kid with solid fundamentals, but not perceived as Big 10 level talent.

  • Colt

    I know, but it still stinks seeing him play in Evanston.

  • sarge

    It stinks seeing any good Indiana talent leave the state. You watch these guys develop for years and you want to keep watching them in college. I can’t watch any other teams besides Indiana, that is treason. So if they don’t go to IU, I eventually forget about them until we play them or they blossom into a noteworthy pro. It definitely stinks seeing him play in Evanston.

  • TomJameson

    They’re going to do that anyway, the trips, extra practices, and [I]real game[/I] experience … will do wonders for that team. Especially with 5-7 new players. I say the benefits will be well worth it.

  • TomJameson

    I just don’t agree with the very minimal benefit you see. A lot of extra practices, real game experience, 5-7 new players … the benefits are just too much to pass off.

    As far as comparing the benefits this team will get to a team in the past, well, I was an a cruise once, and it didn’t bother me at all that a cruise in the past hit an iceberg. Different cruise, different results. That 2014 team, and results, has no bearing on this possible trip at all.

    It sounds like maybe we just disagree on the degree of benefit this team would enjoy.

  • VOXAC30

    I am on the border Xavier 40 minutes away and I absolutely hate that team. I have two nieces that attend Xavier and they love Xavier and they go to a lot of games. They are kind of witty the tell me that I have to, “Scrugg it off and because we Blueitt with those two.”

  • Bill Graham

    I think our season goes one of two ways.
    1. Rob continues to play like he’s capable of and the season looks like Creans season where we tanked at the beginning of the year and then turned it around. Overall finishing with a 4-5 seed and making the dance.
    2. Our consistency and gritty wins are only at home and we finish in the bottom third missing the nit


    There is something to be gained when it come to the off the court bonding and these days I’d say that that would be one of the biggest pluses, if not the biggest, to come out of a trip like that.