Hoosiers fall 69-60 at No. 18 Illinois

As a corner 3 from Indiana freshman Jordan Geronimo sank, just feet away from his own energized bench, the Hoosiers were flirting with a bounce-back effort.

And after a loss to Northwestern in their Big Ten opener, at home, stealing one on the road at No. 18 Illinois would have been quite a day-late Christmas present.

But IU’s five-point lead with under 10 minutes remaining was far from safe. Not with Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu just about to get warmed up. Check that, more than warm. Blazing hot.

In a 69-60 loss at the State Farm Center, the junior guard went off for 20 second-half points, many of those coming during a 14-0 run that helped bury the Hoosiers’ hopes of an upset. A game of runs went Illinois’ way, and now IU (5-4, 0-2 Big Ten) has suffered consecutive losses to open the conference season.

Dosunmu finished with 30 points, while Illinois center Kofi Cockburn added 15 points.

“Their two studs produced,” IU coach Archie Miller said. “Ayo was the difference in the last 12 minutes.”

In the end, it was a game where Illinois just had more makes than the Hoosiers, who hit 39.7 percent from the field on the day. Miller was pleased with how the Hoosiers handled the ball at least, turning it over only eight times. IU just didn’t have enough shots go down.

Armaan Franklin was a catalyst for IU, hitting 8-of-12 on his way to 23 points. But Trayce Jackson-Davis was just 3-of-13 from the field Saturday, finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks.

After the Illini’s run to go up 58-49, IU had an opportunity to close. Jackson-Davis actually started a run with a post bucket. Franklin, who was 5-of-6 from 3, hit his fifth of the game, and Al Durham drove to the rim for two more to cut it to 60-57 with 4:10 left.

But the Hoosiers, who were in foul trouble, put Da’Monte Williams on the line for two free throw makes. Dosunmu hit another 3, and it was back to 65-57.

“He hit some tough shots,” Durham said. “He got going, he’s a good player … but we have to stop him from going to the right and getting those easy looks.”

Dosunmu closed, but both teams were cold out of the gate. Illinois (7-3, 3-1) rattled off seven straight misses to start the game. IU missed its first five, but one player, Jackson-Davis, would go on to miss his first six shots.

Franklin, who had 11 first-half points, helped pace the Hoosiers early. But after falling behind 15-9, the Illini hit eight of its next 12 shots, enough to claim a 29-27 halftime lead. Dosunmu finished the half with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting.Williams, who came into Saturday hitting 14-of-20 from 3-point range, hit a pair from deep during that late first-half stretch.

The Illini went cold again at the start of the second half, hitting just three of its first 12 shots. IU, on the other hand, benefited from some renewed confidence from Durham and Phinisee. Durham, who missed his first four shots of the game, hit three out of his next four and put IU ahead, 36-35.

Phinisee, off the bench, hit a couple of clutch shots of his own. Add that to Geronimo’s 3, a big play in his first extended Big Ten minutes, and IU was able to take a 49-44 lead, even with Jackson-Davis on the bench with three fouls for almost four minutes.

But then the Illini exploded, again, for a 7-0 run over the next minute. That included a run-capping 3 from Dosunmu, who would hit two more to push the run to 14-0, and the lead to 58-49.

“The bottom line is Ayo played MVP level tonight, made every big play for them,” Miller said. “And when you have a guy to go to at the end of the game like that, makes a lot of problems for everyone else.”

IU answered to close to three points, but some empty possessions made it hard to stay in the hunt. Forward Race Thompson had a missed shot in the post. Galloway had a 3 rim out. A quick pass from Franklin to Jackson-Davis in the post went through the hands and back to the Illini, and Dosunmu hit another 3 to push it to 65-57.

“Tough, hard-fought game. Thought our guys battled hard,” Miller said. “I thought Illinois, really, in the last six to four to two minutes of the game, stepped up and made the winning plays. Loose balls played a role in it, some second shots.

“I thought for the majority of the game we defended pretty well. Offensively, we played without turning the ball over, which is a huge step forward for us moving forward in the league.”

(above photo courtesy of IU Athletics)

39 comments

  1. Thought northwestern was going to be the worst team in the B1G this year. It’s us.

    Rob and Al are the two worst guards in IU history. They should stop playing basketball and start a contracting business putting up elaborate installations made of bricks. I’m buying a ticket to Al’s graduation.

    Armaan is really coming to his own. Would anyone here have guessed that if he started averaging over 20 a game, we’d be 0-2 in conference and 1 game over .500?

    This program is in deep trouble.

  2. I U needs Joey Blunk to get well enough to provide some back up minutes, I U ‘s lack of depth and size in the back court players really was exploited by Illinois today. Our offense looked confused, no one was really looking for the shot, some really misfired shots late in the game and the time used on the shot clock before getting the offense in position. Based on what I saw today, its going to be a long season for I U. Last year I U had Green and he was always ready to shoot the ball he shot over 30% of the shots taken last year by I U as a team, need someone to replace his firepower.

  3. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

    My weekend was excellent with the exception of today’s game. But honestly, I’m not disappointed because I’m not surprised. My expectations for this team are very low.

    DD, I agree with your point above; I too think this program is in deep trouble. This roster is not constructed to beat Big Ten teams and there’s no indication that enough help is on the way to turn this around. Archie whiffed on the best recruits he targeted for the class of 2021, and none of this year’s freshman appear to be ready or able to address what this team lacks. Maybe the transfer will help a lot, but I can’t help but wonder if next season Archie will lose more talent than he’s got coming in.

    Well, thank goodness for Tom Allen and IU FB!

  4. A.M. is a competent coach at this level and at IU if one is ok with finishing in the top half of league as the goal and making March Madness tournament half the time as a goal. That’s as good as it gets with A.M. Same team, same pattern, same excitement, same recruiting, same coaching, same play, same, same, same, same, same during A.M. short coaching era at IU leaving short era and getting ready to enter mid era.

  5. I will say Indiana played hard against a better team. I think we will see that a lot. They will play hard, but their lack of talent will result in many losses. IU needs a transformational coach and Archie isn’t it. The program is in dire straits. We can make all the observations we want, but the truth is there are 50 college basketball teams that could beat IU. The poor recruiting this year really makes me wonder what is going to change. I am projecting a less than .500 record. I would like to see Galloway, Geronimo, Leal and Lander get a lot of playing time. This season will be difficult so we might as well see what we have to look forward too. Kelvin Sampson and Brad Stevens, where are you! Congratulations to Franklin once again. If he can develop better ball handling skills, he can be a star. TJD, where is the jump shot you were working on in the off-season? You can’t be a one trick pony and play at the next level. Anyway, Happy New Year to the Hoosier Scoop contributors!

  6. Agree with I U South…Brunk would’ve definitely helped in this game. Kofi is a lot to handle for TJD, although I thought we had a good plan as it turned out. He didn’t kill us. But he did take away TJD’s paint & offense.

    Kofi + Ayo had 46 & 17.
    TJD + Armaan had 36 & 10.

    Interesting choice to have our two best guard their two best all day.

    Illinois will be 1st or 2nd in the league when the dust settles in March. Nobody will beat them at home. Our 30 min. lapse vs. NW makes this 0-2 feel worse than it is. (We played well for 8-10 min. to start the 2H of that one.)

    Nobody wants to be 0-2 & 5-4 at this stage. But we haven’t had a bad loss & this team WILL get better. I predict 11-9 in the league, maybe 12-8. So, everyone just chill a bit & step off the ledge. Nobody will want to play us in March. We’re a bad draw in the NCAA.

    1. Lol. Excuses for mediocrity is now sealed for the men’s IU basketball program culture. Since navigation and getting out of the pandemic is the number 1 goal A. M. will be given a pass for another year. Then, I am sure A. M. will feel good about his gig and is thankful for the millions as he eventually exists as his blood pressure was always good going through the motions of running the IU men’s basketball program.

  7. AZ I hope you’re right.

    I’m not a negative person, but I’m not seeing much to feel good about. But I hope I’m wrong and you’re right!

    I see a team in year 4 that’s still scoring .95 pts per possession in league play. It’s always something with this team. A great game by one player, and complete nothing from others. The bench is giving us nothing and I can’t imagine that our guys who are averaging 35 min a game are going to be a problem for anyone come March. They’re going to be dead.

    Also, at best, this team is looking to finish around .500. In year 4, I expected much more.

  8. Brunk has sort of been a disaster transfer…Almost as bad as having another Priller. Damn silly to get a guy with the talents of Trayce Jackson-Davis and then not have any dependable force to give Tracye some wind and some back-up.

    I suppose teams struggle in the same way life can be a struggle….Sometimes it’s not about having the most talent. Sometimes it’s not living in that comparison trap but simply believing in everything you have at your disposal. It’s called having an edge. You can drive a garbage truck and still have that edge. I think much of it is simply innate.

    Knowing the game of basketball isn’t our problem now. It’s more about guys not displaying the sort of confidence/belief in the gifts at their disposal. I see flashes of belief but then it fades..It fades individually from player to player and, sometimes, collectively as a team.

    There is no edge on this team. Very little leadership to hone an edge when it does want to appear. Galloway is the closest thing we have to a Hoosier with the innate qualities of making the most out of whatever minutes of the total 40 he’s granted. He plays with a rare elegance to utilize everything at his disposal.
    Life can be a struggle…You must war against the expectations in your mind. You must hope you are wired to be happy with making the most out of whatever you love and possess without burdening yourself on limitations. Find happiness in the game. Find an edge. Strive to improve every minute of every moment. Easier said than done. When it’s done right, it can be very contagious.

  9. One final thought….Damn, Underwood is one hell of a coach. I recall many battles with Chet where he mocked the Illini and the coaching hire I said would turn Illinois into a force again.
    Underwood was at the top of my list before we went with Archie..

    Underwood has an edge and you damn better find your own if you want to take the court for him.

    Sadly, candy stripes have lost their crisp edges. They might as well blend the crimson and the cream together with some washing machine bleach bombs and turn the trousers to pink. Much of “the edge” begins with the head coach on the bench. Archie always looks trim and slick….Nice glitzy watches and he looks fabulous in those black pull-over shirts. But where is the edge?
    Where are the demands? Where is the hard-nosed love to give it to a kid straight when the talent has gone too much to the head or there is no striving to find the most out what you have at your disposal? You can be a master of the X’s and O’s…but still be short in the tools to communicate and mold eye to eye…and heart to heart. Sometimes it’s the very high expectations at IU which removes the down to earth qualities in a man. Maybe Archie has those qualities but IU is sort of smothering him from finding the comfort level to relate and demand.

  10. AWinAZ, a bad draw in the tournament?? You mean the NIT?? This team will not make the “Dance” at this rate!! Our recruiting has gone south for the season!! Can’t win without players of major caliber……..

  11. With this loss the Hoosiers fall to 8 – 27 in road games under Archie Miller. Only 3 offensive boards the entire game. Harvard is right …. no edge. After the next 2 home games vs Penn State and Maryland I don’t see many victories unless something changes. This team just doesn’t match up well with most of the B1G squads and it could end up being a long season. At least the Women’s team gives us hope.

  12. Did you guys see Underwood get into Cockburn during a timeout (deep into the second half..around 7 or 8 minute mark?).

    The game turned at that point. That’s a coach who got a young man to turn the lights on. Cockburn was unstoppable from that point forward. I rarely see Archie able to communicate with a kid in that fashion. Underwood gives a unique blend of enthusiasm/support and toughness/demands. When he thinks you’re sleepwalking, he let’s you know it in a hurry.

  13. AWinAz, my thoughts mirrors yours pretty close. I see a teams development improving every season. But I see every team in the B1G doing the same. Got to agree JB is a missing piece needed 12+ minutes a game. His offensive boards are cherished right now. Franklin and Galloway only get better over the course of the season just as team D will. Push the Frosh and start decreasing Al and RP’s minutes as they are not producing. Wished didn’t have to fill in as a 4 but without Brunk no choice. I’m 100% certain Davis must return next year for him to have a chance in the NBA. Of some slick talking agent will get in his ear. Sure like Race and his physical game. 6 more points a game from him would be big. Sure enjoy watching the teams scrappiness this year. AM you’re making progress. Just step on the gas a little harder.
    Go HOOSIERS

  14. Look at it this way…all of the so-called pundits had MSU as the cream of the crop in the Big Ten especially after waxing Duke on their home floor.

    MSU is 0-2 with losses to @ NW & Wisc.
    IU is 0-2 with losses to NW & @ Illinois.

    Are Spartan fans jumping off the moving bus?!?!

    This league is a gauntlet this year, just like last. You could start a competitive NBA team with the top players in this league. Garza, TJD, Ayo, Weiskamp, Bohanon, Henry, Kofi, Harper Jr., etc…..

    And home court advantage will be down a few points due to the lack of crowds. I recall it being a 5.5 pt advantage in prior years. This year, who knows, but is definitely less.

    I still like our team & I like our coach. There are clearly things to improve. & we must get better. No question. But we have the depth to do so, more so than many other teams in this league.

  15. AZ, Spartan fans will stick with MSU because their coach has proven time and again that he can produce highly successful seasons. Archie has yet to prove that at IU. MSU has high quality recruiting classes year after year; Archie whiffed on all but one of his priority recruits for the class of 2021.
    Yes, this IU team may start playing better, but it is highly unlikely that they will finish the season in the top half of the Big Ten or win 20 games. And it is even less likely that this IU team will make it to the dance. Archie does not have good shooters, his teams are still relatively bad free throw shooters, and he has no athletic centers who can dominate the paint. And next year’s roster looks even less capable.

  16. I HOPE I’M WRONG. I really really want to believe. This is year 4, so I think we can all agree that we didn’t sign up for a bottom rung squad regardless of how tough the B1G is. We want to be competing with best and should be at this stage of the game.

    AZ and HC you have some great thoughts on how this team could potentially turn the corner to get out of the basement. I hope you’re right and I’ll be rooting for them to happen throughout the season.

    One area I’d like to mention that hasn’t been talked about is the development of Lander. I’ve been concerned by his lack of minutes, but I understand it. He needs minutes to develop his offensive rhythm. But, you find minutes on Archie’s teams by playing great defense and KL has been pretty awful there so far this year. Hence, the splinters in his butt. It does take some adjusting to the pack-line if you haven’t played it before, so it isn’t about effort. It’s about time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get much out of him this year if defense is the path to playing time. He’s got a long way to go.

  17. Not sure where the expectations on this game came from. After watching Illinois last week, they were really really good. KenPom had them at #7 and IU #21 so it was not the beating I was expecting. Galloway is impressive. Franklin even more so. I’ve been watching most of the B1G games waiting to see which teams could be a easy win. Not seen any yet. Rob seems to have lost any confidence he may have had. Al’s strength has been defense but has hit some big shots in the past. and he’ll hit them again. Free throws – no matter had bad it’s going the free throws should be going in. No excuse- unless you are Wilt Chamberlain. I was at a Laker game many yrs ago when he hit a free throw. The place went crazy. Watching a game last year, Arkansas (?) hit 25 free throws straight. Impressive. Anyway, the guys are playing hard and they’ll get it together yet.

  18. DD, your post above may help explain why so many of Archie’s top recruiting targets reject his offer and choose to play for other, less “prominent” (i.e., tradition rich) basketball schools. Star players coming out of High School may not want their minutes determined by how effective they play a certain style of defense, especially a defense that will not be played in the NBA. These kids want to travel the shortest, most comfortable path to the NBA. They want to showcase their skills, which usually means their offensive skills, and being highly effective in a backline defense is probably not a priority.

    As for Lander, I didn’t expect to see him get a lot of minutes (more than 10 per game) this season. And I never expected him to be a starter this season unless the roster got bit my the injury bug. Not because he lacks skill, but simply because it was obvious that he was not physically mature enough to handle the rigors of Big Ten BB. Lander needs a lot more muscle on his young frame. I just hope his reality (for playing time) this season is consistent with the expectations he had upon arriving in Bloomington.

    1. The interesting thing to me is that this team plays its best off of its defense & transition offense.

      Our 1/2 court offense sucks. Goes something like this….

      1. Walk it up, cross the 10s line at 22s mark +\- 1s.
      2. Dribble….dribble….dribble until there is 15s +\- 2s left on shot clock.
      3. Ball screen action at 3 Pt line with TJD out there where he is no threat.
      4. Penetrate, avoid wide open lay up & kick it to 3 Pt line.
      5. Clank, unless #2 shoots it, we’re going the other way.

  19. It is clear, now, why AM is ‘whiffing’ on garnering coveted recruits. With a couple of exceptions since he’s been here, players’ skills seem to regress. The pattern is set and won’t get better until he’s sent packing and Dolson hopefully is able to interest a suitable upgrade. If nothing else, IU basketball has had superior shooting. He’s even managed to spoil that. ‘The gang(s) that couldn’t shoot straight’ [or get an offensive rebound].

    1. This is objectively untrue. The only player who fits the category of “regression” would be Rob Phinisee. He doesn’t seem to be the player he started out after a major concussion. Jerome Hunter hasn’t exactly “regressed” as we have no idea the impact of his injury and health issues have on his game.

      Every major player has improved who hasn’t had health issues. This narrative about AM players not getting better is absolute BS. The numbers don’t support it.

      And the revolving door of transfers we saw under the previous regime has ceased. There will always be transfers. Every program has them. And, btw, Archie has handled those situations with grace saying really great things about those kids after they made their decisions to leave.

  20. Lemme pull back from the comments that seem a little too far for me. I still believe in Archie, but I want to point to some accountability. I feel more towards the hopeful side of things because this team is playing really hard. It’s a weird year. Shooting will understandably be an issue when no one has been able to practice. Our pack-line, defensive scheme requires time working together, in a year where you can’t practice, together. So our freshman have understandably been behind the curve.

    I’m feeling much better about this team moving into 2021. They play as a team, TJD is emerging as a leader and has been taking responsibility for keeping everyone moving and getting better. He’s the first real leader with some heft, who has emerged since we jettisoned the last coach who we shall not name because that tends to bring out 5,000 word essays heading nowhere.

    Will the shots start falling? Armaan is answering the call. Anyone else? Lander? Upperclassmen? RP or AD? I’m bearish on the latter, but we’ll see.

    Looking forward to the rest of the B1G gauntlet. This is going to be a fun league with a ton of surprises. MSU 0-3. Wisconsin losing to a not so great Maryland team at home. Minnesota looking tough as nails. Rutgers can ball. The B1G champ might win this year with 6-7 losses.

    I love it. I love watching great teams play. Archie is a solid coach. This will be his toughest test and the year he needs to show he can be great. Let’s see if IU can make the leap. Go Hoosiers.

  21. DD, I think you’re in the minority of Hoosier fans right now. Speaking only for myself, my enthusiasm and optimism for IU BB this season is very low. While I agree that the players’ skills have not regressed, I will say that they have not improved enough. IU is still a bad outside shooting team. IU still struggles to score at the rim. IU is still not a good Free Throw shooting team. IU’s guards are still below average in the Big Ten. We don’t have a highly effective Big Man who can dominate the paint. And as for the future, we’re not getting enough of the right talent to change things going forward. The majority of the most talented recruits Archie has targeted have chosen to play for other schools (like Creighton for God’s sake). So in all probability, next year’s roster will be weaker, less experienced and less effective than this year’s roster. IMO, the immediate future of IU Men’s BB is not too bright right now. How many years does Archie get to demonstrate that he can build an elite college BB program?

    1. Po, I couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks.

      Archie has had a bad recruiting year. Prior to that, he’s brought in Mr Indiana basketball 3 years running, 2 McDonald’s All Americans and a his prized class hasn’t transferred out 2 years later. So, he’s generally up re: recruiting, but the trend is concerning. Mason Miller 80% lean on Creighton since Day 1. Brooks is a big reason why UK is 1-6 this year. AM got beat out by Purdue this year after basically running the state of Indiana for the prior 3 years.

      2021 has been a disaster, though. But at least he isn’t panicking and running to fill the roster out with likes of Jeremiah April and Tim Priller.

      We do have a very interesting, proven transfer coming in starting Jan 1, so that’s good.

      How many years does AM get? I said: “I still believe in Archie Miller, but I want to point to some accountability…” and “This will be his toughest test and the year he needs to show he can be great. Let’s see if IU can make the leap.”

      It’s year 4 and we are all watching and will evaluate after the year is over. You gave Crean a decade-long leash and you would have given him a longer one. I think this year, the Hoosiers need to show that they can play at the top of the league to feel good about the future.

      We’re only 2 games in to B1G play and there’s a lot of basketball left. You have a conclusion as to what will happen with the rest of the season already. I read some thoughtful posts by other people and think, not only is the season far from over, there are some things that could make for a really great season for IU.

      But let me be the first to say, “I don’t know. We’ll see.” Also acknowledging that I haven’t loved what I’ve seen so far this year.

  22. Well, if our new transfer can hit 40% of his 3-point attempts, IU can win some games that they would otherwise lose. Other than that, and maybe Brunk coming back healthy, I’m not seeing reason for great optimism.

    “A bad recruiting year”? One Indiana-based sports writer described it as a “disaster.” And I have to agree.

    As for Archie’s predecessor, I’m not going to reiterate all the facts that contributed to the dumpster fire Crean inherited upon arriving in Bloomington, but I will remind you that he did lead IU to the Sweet 16 in his fourth season, and he did win the first of two Outright Big Ten Championships in his fifth season at IU. What are the odds that IU will make it to the Sweet 16 this season? And how much would you be willing to bet that IU will win the Outright Big Ten Championship next season, Archie’s fifth at IU? So let’s do this; in April of 2022, let’s compare the achievements of these two IU Basketball coaches after their first five seasons at IU.

  23. Crean failed at IU.

    Archie grade thus far “Incomplete.”

    I don’t know what the future holds for us this year. Looking forward to watching it all unfold.

  24. Also, you don’t read very well. I said in my previous post: “2021 has been a disaster, though.”

  25. Could be worse. Could be Tom Izzo and MSU right now. You want to talk about spiraling downward? So glad I don’t have to watch that creepy dude give love hugs to Crean anymore.

    Yes, tell the world what a great coach Tom Crean is….That’s a wonderful strategy to keep candy stripes down. Add in some Harbaughs in the stands to make us feel important while “weaves to nowhere” take up 3 hours Saturday afternoon?

    Have you ever noticed how very few of our peers around the Big Ten are telling us what a fine coach we now have? I my humble opinion, we couldn’t ask for a better indicator of the quality we possess. Who wants to let you know you have something/someone good?

    What competition usually wants is to tell you is that you have a gem when they know it’s a turd…..”because it’s Indiana.”

  26. Pre-Conclusion: A.M. and IU men’s basketball program will continue to strive to perform in the middle of the big ten. Probably continue struggling against Purdue or trying to play them even. A.M. recruiting has lost many recruiting battles. Overall, recruiting has not been good because IU has taken 2nd and 3rd options as 1st options go elsewhere. Recruiting Langford impact was minimal and Landers is a no impact player this year because in reality he is not ready at this level. Then, add coaching and team development is not happening nor there is no indication that it will happen. Comparison (Wisky) a team at one time IU beat over and over again for many years along with Northwestern. Now N.W. beats IU in the IU gym. A.M. will probably continue for at least another year due to pandemic as this scenario continues. Eventually, as A.M. exits this gig he will speak graciously, be thankful for the millions of cash and precede on to his comfortable life and his next gig. IU basketball is no more than just a apathetic participation men’s basketball program in the big ten. And the next hire will incorporate a huge set of challenging circumstances that will put a stamp on the new AD.

  27. A few responses to the above comments. Regarding players regressing, that is not true. The fact is they were not very good players to begin with. Other than a few times during Crean’s tenure when IU had some success, IU basketball has been a poor product for 20+ years. It gets down to recruiting and great coaching. I put recruiting first, because if you don’t have the players, little good can follow. I live in the KC area after having grown up in NJ. I follow Kansas basketball. The expectations are great, and KU meets the challenge. First and foremost, they get the players. 5 star recruits and 4 star recruits. Bill Self takes the talent and meshes the players into a cohesive unit. He is one of the best coaches I have seen making adjustments when the game isn’t going well. No matter the player, Self will sit him down if he isn’t hustling or makes dumb plays. He is tough but fair. Archie Miller and Bill Self might as well be from different planets, when it comes to basketball. The interesting thing is I remember when IU was part of the elite; Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, UCLA and Kentucky. The world of college basketball has changed, but everyone on this site has to believe IU can be great again. The state produces amazing talent. What is it going to take Scoop contributors?

  28. The Hoosiers have finished 6th, 9th, and 11th in the B1G (in that order) under Miller. Not exactly trending in the right direction. Their best finish was with the players recruited by Crean. How much longer do you stick with Archie? In the real world with that type of leadership/production he would have been canned already.

  29. Chris Collins ain’t doing too bad with transfers..Remember when he got that really hyped guard from Indiana? McIntosh (like the apple)…? Suddenly, Northwestern has a basketball team. Was it based on targeting some kid since 9th grade and looking sweet based on level of his recruiting class a couple years ago? I don’t think so. He found a transfer for his backcourt that nobody in the BigTen can stop…from William and Mary of all places.
    BigTen teams are suddenly “Chasing” Northwestern. Oh, how the world can change so quickly when a superstar can join a relatively solid roster.
    Archie has been duped a bit…The Indiana “superstars” and “Mr. Basketballs” didn’t live up to the hype so much. Archie did everything right. Romeo was no superstar (also had an injury but he still didn’t match the billing). TJD has limitations in mid-range and outside game. Leal? To be determined but do you see superstar?

    The latest transfer Archie landed may be more important than any effort Archie put in while wearing the soles his shoes off to land so-called top Indiana talent. Parker Stewart could make us far more dangerous. Could make us Northwestern dangerous…Can’t believe I just said that.

    I guess what I’m trying to convey is that recruiting is very fluid with changes in transfer rules..A pandemic makes things even more fluid. I’d rather have a quality X’s and O’s coach who preaches defense in very unstable and dynamic recruiting environments.

    Chris Collins has gone from toilet water to walking on water …Northwestern hung with him when it would have been easy to dump him over “failed” recruiting. Now Collins is smiling from ear to ear. Out of nowhere, Northwestern looks like a contender in basketball.

    Bottom Line: Be a bit more patient with Archie. He knows how to coach the game. He gave the Indiana fans what they wanted by landing 3 successive Mr. Basketballs. Did they live up to the hype? What happens if Romeo gives Archie a full injury-free season…or a sophomore season? Archie was duped…Many are duped when they come to Indiana.

  30. O.K. DD, for the sake of argument let’s agree that “Crean failed at IU.” I guess “failure” is relative to expectations and every IU BB coach is a failure unless they win a National Championship. Winning Outright Big Ten Championships doesn’t represent failure to most people, but I won’t quibble.

    So, according to you, if “Crean failed at IU,” any objective comparison between Crean and Miller would suggest that unless Archie leads IU to winning 27 games and making it to the Sweet 16 this season, and then wins the Outright Big Ten Championship next season, he will be a bigger failure than Crean! If those achievements don’t happen, and Archie is deemed a bigger failure Your word, not mine) than Crean was after five seasons, does Archie deserve to keep his job? If you say yes, on what basis do you justify that?

    People refer to Miller signing three Indiana Mr. Basketballs. That’s nice, but it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if the team isn’t competing for Big Ten Championships and makes deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. I hope Archie gets the program turned around quickly, but there’s no indication that’s going to happen.

  31. Po…H4H has it right and it also goes back to what I said earlier about players being over ranked ( that in part to the travelling tourneys and in those tourneys you have /had team mates recruiting players for schools..I think coaches have less impact on recruiting than we the fans think. Oh of course the kids say the proper things but I do believe that what is said on social media platforms and locker rooms of the AAU leagues have more influence. It appears to me that kids with offensive skills stay for 1 year and those that realize that defensive skills are needed stay longer BUT the road for those teams nd coaches are harder and rockier ..than the team that puts 5 Rick Mounts or Larry Birds.

  32. TJ, I haven’t quit on Archie, I just enjoy pointing out the hypocrisy and double standard applied to IU BB coaches by so many Hoosier fans. As I’ve argued for years now, to them it’s not about wins so much as it is about the style of play they coach and their demeanor. That’s what is most sacred to so many Hoosier fans. Archie will not win 27 games in this his fourth season as IU’s coach. But Crean did! He will not lead IU to the Sweet 16 this season, but Crean did it in his fourth season. It is highly unlikely that Archie will lead IU to winning the Outright Big Ten Championship next season, his fifth at IU. But that’s what Crean did. And yet, most Hoosier BB fans will refuse to admit that Crean was more successful during his first five seasons at IU. They’ll make up all sorts of excuses to defend AM. They’ll blame Crean for the roster he left in his wake, the soured relationships with Indiana HS BB coaches that damaged recruiting, etc. If AM’s teams stay on their current trajectory, it will be impossible for any IU fan with an ounce of objectivity to claim that Archie is a better coach.

    I really hope I’m wrong, but I think after next season, IU BB’s “failure” under Crean is going to look pretty good in our rearview mirrors.

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