Highlights from Archie Miller’s radio show

After a three-week hiatus, Archie Miller’s radio show returned to the airwaves on Monday night.

Highlights from Miller’s time with Don Fischer follow:

— On IU’s recent funk: “What we’ve had at times has been a little bit of an edge about us. But for whatever it’s been, the grit and fight … that has left us just a little bit. We can get things back. It’s hard. You can lose them faster than you can get them back, at times. We have to continue to work and get those back for our group. The Big Ten season is so long and there are so many more games to be played in the back half of the league. It comes back around where maybe we can play a couple at home, then the next thing you know one turns into two. That’s your hope. But we’re working toward that.”

— On why this doesn’t look like the same team as the one IU had early in the season: “A lot of it has to do with confidence. Winning cures a lot of issues. Losing brings a lot of other things to the table, in terms of what you’re not paying attention to when you’re winning. Sometimes when you’re winning, it’s all good, but in reality, you had some of the same problems. You just had a different attitude as a group. You had a different commitment level to the process. That’s what we have to focus in on is our process. Are we having great workouts? Are we getting better within the practices? Are we evaluating guys that are doing the right things right now to get them confidence to get in the game and play because they’ve earned it? That’s what we have to get back to. Make no mistake. Every team in the month of January starts to do the road/home, the travel and the mental (fatigue) starts to dig in. When you have a younger group that hasn’t been through it as much, you’re gonna have to rely on your older guys to help you. Right now, our older guys haven’t really been in the mix, other than maybe Juwan.”

On team leadership: “It’s up for grabs. You don’t have to be a senior at this point in time to help grab leadership. All you have to do is lead by example, communicate and do the right things to be a positive teammate at the end of the day. Don’t let anything bother you or anyone else and you can kind of gravitate toward people like that. It doesn’t need to be an older guy. But I think Juwan needs to step out in the forefront right now and have more of a disposition to dominate not in the game, but in practice. Let’s go back to where we were at in October or November when we had a group that was trying to prove themselves that they were worth something, or that they were pretty good. So much of it becomes settling in and getting comfortable. I think we have to get a little more uncomfortable every day. Guys have to start challenging each other. … In February, it’s a big thing. January teaches you who you are right now. February is the time where you have to say to yourself, ‘This is where we have to go. Where we are right now is reality. Where we have to go and what we want to do is still in front of us. We just have to find that process again to get that edge back.”

On what he learned when his 2014 Dayton team went through a similar rough patch in late January: “One win lifted us and got the weight of the world off your back. You felt better about yourself and you’re able to go on the road for a second one and win it. Then you went on the road again and found a way to win a third one, four, five and six, and then all of a sudden you’re right back in the mix. That team ironically was dead in the rights on Feb. 1 and then in March we’re 40 minutes from a Final Four. It can happen. It takes an unbelievable commitment level. It takes players really, really embracing the fight and finding a way to do it together and enjoy it while you’re doing it together. We’re the only ones who can stop it. That’s what we figured out. It’s not just gonna happen.”

On Wednesday’s matchup with Rutgers: “They’re a really hard-playing team. Coach Pikiell does a great job. They’re as huge and as big as any team in our league, in terms of size and pressure defense. At home, they’re much harder to play against. They’re a big, hard-playing team. They rebound the ball extremely well. They’re young, but their guards have been very aggressive. Geo Baker has a green light to let the ball go.”

On De’Ron Davis’ recovery from a nagging ankle injury: “At some point in time we’re hopeful (he’ll return). He really hasn’t been part of our rotation (this month). If you watched him in December, he was in there playing more minutes and that gives us depth. The ankle injury in the Illinois game really set him back. If we had to do it over again, we would’ve shut him down (after the Illinois game). … His deal will be to fight back and get in enough shape where he can help.”

On facing Michigan State, which doesn’t play until Saturday’s game in East Lansing: “Why would we ever want an advantage on our end,” Miller said with a smile. “I’m sure Coach Izzo is really pleased after yesterday’s loss and I’m sure this week will be something with their team champing at the bit. I think we dealt with this last year. We caught them last year in a similar type of situation. Michigan State is one of the best teams in the country. They’re so deep. They have a player of the year in the conference in Cassius Winston. He’s either a first or second team All-American. This team, in general, can go further than the team they had last year because they’re bought into what they’re doing. They’re playing as fast as I’ve seen a team play.”

7 comments

  1. The players wouldn’t understand the reason, if you aren’t connecting in the everyday situations with the players to get them heading in a positive direction you may be beating a dead horse. I think AM learned that a long layover between games after the Christmas Break won’t happen next year.

  2. I just quickly scanned the article, but I didn’t see any comments/quotes from Phinisee who appeared in the latter part of Don Fischers show with Archie last night(there’s usually a player guest).

    I was quite taken aback by just how much Phinisee expressed to Don Fischer how the concussion impacted his season. You could hear almost resignation in his voice….”It really set me back,” said Phinisee in a soft low tone.
    But you almost had to hear it on the radio to truly feel how it seemed to shake him at the core.
    I think you could hear the fear and concern. It’s tough on a young kid to get a first taste of just how precarious every day being alive can be. So much of youth is walking on the clouds believing you’re immortal …..Suddenly you’re given a warning shot that so much of fame, fortune, happiness and health hangs upon such thin threads.

    Seemed like a really nice young man….

  3. I think Archie is as frustrated with the poor shooting as anyone; he said early on they would shoot themselves out of the poor shooting BUT I think he has come to realize this team is a BOATLOAD of poor shooters.

  4. I didn’t see/hear the show, but saw a mention on another site that Archie said they do expect to have Devonte Green back at some point this season. Did anybody hear that?

  5. While a college aged man can improve his outside shooting ability, I don’t believe bad outside shooters can become good outside shooters once they reach college age. Larry Bird was a great outside shooter long before he graduated from High School. He continued to improve, but he was already a great shooter by the time he started playing college BB. I don’t see anyone on IU’s roster who was ever a great outside shooter. Not a one! Archie needs to recruit better outside shooters, even if they might not be 5-star athletes.

    1. Victor became very good only in his 3rd year at IU! Juwan in his 3-4th years! Max in his grad year! Yogi in years 3-4! Those are just the IU recent players. Your theory is not rigorous: “bad” “good” in high school can’t be defined.

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