Hoosiers fall 74-63 at Rutgers

For just a split second, Rutgers’ offensive bombardment seemed to have ceased, as a missed Geo Baker jumper landed in the hands of Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis on a rebound.

The Hoosiers were just trying to hold on Wednesday in Piscataway. Seven 3-pointers in the final eight minutes of the first half had vaporized IU’s sizeable lead, and Jackson-Davis had this rare miss in his hands, twisting his torso as he tried to escape a sea of hands.

He couldn’t hold on, though. Paul Mulcahy popped it loose, pulling up for a short jumper just before the buzzer sounded. A two-point Rutgers lead turned into a four-point lead, which isn’t insurmountable. But as the second half went in a 74-63 loss for IU, it might as well have been.

Because when the Hoosiers came back out of the locker room, they were just unenergetic. Growing quieter and quieter. And the Knights’ 3-point barrage transitioned into rim-rattling dunks, as IU just completely gave way.

“I think it’s the first time all season our team has really looked fractured, where we didn’t know how to compete, what to do,” IU coach Archie Miller said.

“That goes back to me. I have to figure this out and get our team back up off the mat here.”

There is just little time to figure out how to salvage this season. IU (12-11, 7-9 Big Ten) has now lost three out of its last four games, including two in a row where the Hoosiers just caved in the second half. A disappointing loss to Michigan State has now been followed by an even more woeful defeat at Rutgers, and the Hoosiers’ NCAA tournament resume is taking blows.

Such is life in a brutal Big Ten conference, maybe, but it’s the manner in which the Hoosiers have competed as of late that’s most concerning. They just didn’t, at all, in the second half at Rutgers. They were completely ineffective on both ends in the final 20 minutes of the game.

IU finished the game as 36% shooters, including 30% in the second half, despite hitting 8-of-12 from the field to start the game. After a fourth 3-pointer from Al Durham — who finished with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond — the Hoosiers held a 23-8 lead with 9:42 left. But it flipped so easily.

Rutgers, which hit just five of its first 16 shots, ended the night as 49% shooters from the field. That included an 11-of-28 effort from beyond the arc.

Baker and Ron Harper Jr. each registered 20 points, with six 3s for Baker. Harper sank four.

“In our last two second halves, when things haven’t gone well, our defense, our tightness, our ability to communicate, our response hasn’t given us a chance in these last two games,” Miller said, “and both teams really opened the floodgates against us.”

IU was somewhat hamstrung by the absence of sophomore Armaan Franklin, who sat out the second half after reaggravating his long-ailing ankle. Franklin was 0-of-3 from the floor in the first half, while Rob Phinisee was 0-of-7 for the game. Khristian Lander was 0-of-3. Trey Galloway hit 1-of-4. Jerome Hunter was 2-of-7.

A lack of scoring from the backcourt — a frequent problem this season — was again a factor Wednesday, failing to complement the 21 points and 11 rebounds Jackson-Davis produced. Race Thompson, who was wearing a protective mask after taking a shot to the face in practice Tuesday, scored just two points. He added nine rebounds.

Once the Hoosiers cooled after a fast start, they just never recovered. Nine first-half turnovers didn’t help the cause, either, giving the Knights more opportunity to stay in the game and eventually pull ahead.

Miller credited Rutgers’ ball pressure, but he was also disappointed in how the Hoosiers responded to those turnovers. They didn’t get back.

As the Hoosiers’ offense suffered, so did their defense. Rutgers started sinking 3-pointers at an unreasonable rate, and IU’s lead just vanished.

“Turnovers are hard to defend,” Miller said. “I think when things aren’t going well right now, we tend to get more into ourselves and we tend to not get back, we tend right now to not fiercely compete. … There have been times where we’ve really responded well. Here lately, in our last two games, when things haven’t gone well, we haven’t responded with the effort we need.”

Now it’s about finding a way to turn the page, though there aren’t many empty sheets to change the story of IU’s season at this point. Michigan comes to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Saturday, which is followed by trips to Michigan State and Purdue to end the regular season.

It’s a tough slate, and the Hoosiers probably need another win or two to give themselves a chance to stay in the tourney conversation.

“We have a big finish, we have a lot of things at stake,” Miller said. “We have a great opportunity Saturday at home, but it’s not going to work — any game the rest of this season — if our competitiveness and our concentration when things aren’t going well doesn’t come back around.”

85 comments

  1. I kindly invite my fellow posters to look at my pre-game comments and score on the previous story [‘Brunk’].
    Quote of the night @ 8:29 of 4th quarter from Steven Bardo after C. Lander missed his 3rd layup attempt, failing to score in 5 straight games.
    “Indiana fans should be excited about this young man”.
    Rob (the Brick) Phinisee, by any legit scouting service, would not be considered even an average D2 player.
    Vegas had Rutgers a 3.5 pick,….thank you Scarlet Knights, you just made my next 3 car payments.
    “Archie,…we barely knew thee”. I guess he can move to Arizona and work for his brother until he gets canned.

    1. Even a broken clock is right twice a day….Senior Night @ Rutgers? It’s not like you went out on a limb…

      1. I wasn’t going to point out that you disparaged my 73-62 prediction by picking IU big,..but since you opened your pie hole…..a clock’s arm position is totally irrelevant.

        1. I think your position is pretty obvious….You want a coaching change. You got a prediction correct. Think you’ve had a few blown one’s on here as well?

          You’re trolling a struggling team …Is that so difficult?

          1. Wrong calls? I’m not trolling anything! I’m just a realist that doesn’t need to see the flames if already being overwhelmed by the smoke. Based on most of your ‘colorful’ posts, I can see where factual reality might hinder your perspectives. Didn’t mean to upset you personally…just don’t unjustly go after people that have differing, and in this instance,…accurate perspectives.

  2. One demoralized team vs a team with energy, feeling good about themselves and having fun. It starts with defense especially when offense goes south. Have to compensate with defense. Games are being lost before the game is even played unable to sustain play. It’s the pattern of a system because getting comparable or similar results with the best teams and more average teams regardless of opponent.

  3. It has all been said. Let’s at least recognize Al Durham for his staying all 4 years and, in my opinion, played hard. Next game he should join the 1,000/250/250 club. Well done.

  4. Another game with a big lead lost cause of bad coaching..AD Scott Dolson needs to make a change after the season ends in the Big ten tournament!!! Can’t see this team making the Big Dance after the last two losses…

  5. Why is RP still playing! He has no positive contributions for our team. 0 for all shots, 0 points, 1 assist. WTF! First 2 possessions- turnovers. Why does he play?

    1. He’s seeing ‘serious minutes’ because the soon to be ex-coach thinks he needs to be in there. That alone should explain everything anyone needs to know. I haven’t shot a basketball in over 40 years and would, with a ten minute warm up, play Phinisee a game of Horse, right now!

  6. Yes T, if you want to watch a REAL IU team, watch the women!! The men are terrible! Their turnovers are ridiculous, and their defense is nonexistent! I am finding it harder and harder to watching the men’s team? Not likely to win another game this year! Go Hoosiers???

  7. Clearly the team was disheartened and de-energized without Armaan in the 2nd half. I saw him go down late in the 1H & TJD helped him up under the Rutgers basket. It didn’t look good & he was wincing.

    Durham & TJD played really well. That ‘steal’ at the end of the 1H was a blatant foul that knocked TJD’s arm back to allow the ‘steal’ & basket. That was a big, big play. We go from having the ball with a chance to score to tie it to down 4 on a non call.

    We can’t hit 7 of 8 3’s in a row, particularly w/o Armaan.

    I would sit Phinisee for the next week. He is a complete disaster. Not only coughing up the ball on command but no playing perimeter defense at all. He is AWFUL right now. His head is not on straight. Lander may be even more lost, if that’s possible?!?! He missed 3 lay ups & continued his TO streak.

    Just absolutely terrible guard play, outside of Durham tonight. It is time for me to resort to my No Expectations Theory. It’s the only way I can get through the next 10 days.

  8. 52 min. amongst Armaan, Rob & Lander results in this;

    0-13 FG
    4 assists
    7 TOs

    How do you spell U G L Y ?

  9. Outside of TJD’s battling, rebounds and scoring….THIS particular team, after 4 years of AM ‘development’ qualifies as one of the worst D1 teams I have seen ever, anywhere. This would be bad if Luxembourg or Lichtenstein had D1 basketball. C’mon Scott. Step up to the plate and end this farce. Please.

    1. Don’t knock the Luxembourgians or the Lichtensteiners, that’s a fierce rivalry if there ever was one. But San Marino’s always the favorite for the title.

  10. It’s Groundhog Day once more! Same result day after day. I was going to comment on the game, but that would only be to vent frustrations. IU Basketball is in a bad place and I see nothing with the current coach, current players, and incoming recruits that give me any optimism in meeting expectations. Changes need to be made.

  11. I have been reluctantly on the “don’t fire Archie” side due to the high cost, but right now after watching this team actually regress during the season the buyout would be worth every penny. Please, some big alum step up and help out with the buyout. This is getting to be embarrassing.

  12. Local paper – Kory Alford lands first coaching gig. Huntington Collage here in Indiana. Not a fan of Steve as a coach, but what do I know. Steve’s dad, Sam took the job at Martinsville High School at one time. He than realized the Martinsville team at the time was not very good. Took off taking Steve with him. Smart move but a bummer for the locals.

  13. Even in his post game interview it appears that Archie has just given up. No passion or emotion, just like his players play.

  14. If we keep Archie then every year will be like this. Every game is a grind. He’s about 3-4 yrs away from figuring it out as a Big Ten coach (anyone else have the patience?). He’s simply overmatched. How are we such bad shooters? Makes no sense.

  15. After last nights game I think out tournament chances are done. We’ve gone through some difficult times over the past twenty years but this years team is the most disappointing. Say what you want about Tom Crean, but he came in when we had practically no scholarship players and by his fourth season we made the NCAA’s. Here we are in Archie’s fourth year and we are regressing, not to mention no tourney appearances so far. However, when Archie came in we did have some decent talent, and he should have done a much better job building on that. Was Crean a long-term answer? No. But he did rebuild the program. Is Archie the long term answer?

    Hell no. And it’s time to make a change.

  16. Yes men are so bad I cant even watch them,, now the ladies a different story with a different leader and fun to watch. For those that know or care women stand at #11 in both polls,, a 4 in bracketology and in the top 16 reveal for the first time and looking forward not behind them.

  17. IU men’s basketball a baffling question… Realistically, why does it matter if IU men’s basketball makes March Madness tournament? Why is that discussion even important? And why IU men’s basketball being a bubble team worthwhile?

  18. 4 years ago, if I would have said that Rutgers would be running Indiana out of the gym in year 4 to a 12-11 / 7-9 record, I’m sure there would be be universal agreement that isn’t what we signed up for.

    It doesn’t matter where you stand on Archie Miller. It has become too toxic for him to succeed in Bloomington.

    And, because I’m not a fair-weather Indiana fan who can only watch the team when they are winning, so I watched the dang thing on replay this morning after being off the grid for 4 days. About as bad a game as I’ve seen ever played amongst a team that wore the candystripes. Rutgers was flying around the gym, throwing alley-oops, shooting 3s off their back foot and talking trash all night. The Hoosiers just wilted. At least those first couple of Crean teams didn’t quit.

  19. Without, a blue ribbon panel and a simple drive to Terre Haute, Indiana at Bob Evans restaurant IU Men’s basketball could have hired Indiana State coach Gregg Lansing for a couple to few hundred thousand per year and achieved at least the same results if not better. (just a lot cheaper).
    Actually, though thru phone calls that’s how Fred Glass made arguably his best hire during his tenure T. Moren.

      1. It’s obvious from the anger expressed on this thread that the success that matters most at Indiana is Indiana Men’s Basketball. Fred Glass failed miserably at what matters most to the fan base. Simply take on look at ‘Conference Midwest Elite’ in March Madness during the Fred Glass years….While the entire Midwest (13 teams not Indiana University) was marching to the tune of a collective 30 Elite Eights and 17 Final Fours of national television ratings bonanzas, Fred Glass and his partner in hoops love produced zilch.
        We couldn’t come close to our Midwestern peers performances on the biggest stages of basketball …We watched overblown hype of over-ranked horrifically coached teams fizzle and never get to the second weekend of one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.

  20. I’m sure very few folks want to actually talk about the game, but for those that do, here’s what I don’t understand: why is Galloway getting a ton of minutes and Leal is getting almost none? Once the B1G season started, teams figured out how to guard him. Just lay back. He can’t shoot. He doesn’t have a very good handle and is meh on defense. Leal is about the same except for the fact that he does one thing the rest of the Hoosiers sans Armaan can do: shoot the 3.

    Why does Leal only get into the game for 7 minutes and Galloway gets to run around in circles for 26 minutes?

    And can we officially put the Rob Phinisee is a starter who needs 20+ minutes on the floor to rest? I feel bad for the kid. Really bad. Seems like a great guy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone struggle as much as him. It’s like watching Rich Ankiel with the yips. I hope Rob gets it together, off the bench, and finishes the year strong.

      1. And play Geronimo for at least 20+/minutes a game! He is good now and will be great. Also, despite the facts, play Lander 25+ minutes. This season is gone, The future could be bright (with a new coach)!

    1. DD, respectfully Durham can shoot the 3 (> 40%) and Leal can and does actually play D. He denies the ball with the correct hand and has good positioning. As for Rob, I completely agree. He needs to sit out right now. He’s a complete mess. What PG in any D1 school comes out and throws the ball away on the first 2 possessions? And doesn’t get replaced?!?!?!

  21. The scoopers who have staunchly supported Archie are very silent this morning. Hmm? Is it that they’ve finally been forced to see what some of us noticed weeks ago? I mean, how bad does it have to get before reality overcomes their stubborn belief that Archie is capable of leading IU back to prominence? New flash! IU BB is getting worse, not better. The program’s trajectory is down, not up, and there is no objective evidence supporting the belief that Archie’s program will significantly improve any time soon.

    I believe the emotional investment his supporters have made in Archie prevent them from being objective. What is it they see that continues to provide them hope? Are they so in love with the style of play Archie coaches that it creates within them feelings of nostalgia? It’s certainly not any objective evaluation of his team’s performance during games. It can’t be the news about his recruiting! I compare the scoopers who have continued to staunchly defend Archie to Navel Chamberlain, who in spite of the obvious and growing body of evidence, refused to believe that war with Germany was imminent. They’re good people, but they’re so emotionally invested in their “hopes” that they’re incapable of seeing the objective truth.

    Whether Archie is given a fifth season at IU or not, it is irrelevant. He’s not the coach we need to return IU to BB prominence.

    1. PO: Nice analogy,..but it’s ‘Neville’. It might be possible though, that he was looking at his ‘navel’ when getting his assurances from der Fuhrer? I hope AD SD takes more of the ‘Patton’ approach when dealing with AM’s replacement. No timidity, pray for blue skies and go for it!

  22. It is a maddening season. What started out as promise after a strong start to the season, has turned into a dumpster fire, at least at this point. The talent EXISTS & the depth is serviceable as evidenced by some great games (Providence, Stanford, Iowa x 2, Minn., even FL St.). But the inconsistency takes over during games and between games. In the first 8 min. last night we led 23 – 8, with as good of a playing stretch as we’ve had all season. Inside and outside were working to full potential. Then a complete collapse on both ends. 9 dunks & 6 lay-ups in the 2H per BTN postgame. All this leads to the negative emotions by all of us. So much promise, flashes of brilliance yet so much disappointment.

    My conclusion is that the perpetual inconsistency is all about mental attitude and approach. Archie talks about hanging heads and body language when shots aren’t falling. Last night after a tremendous start once Rutgers started hitting everything there was a lot of shaking heads, complaining to the refs, and stupid plays. Rutgers caught fire and pushed us around for 30 min.

    Quite simply, this team doesn’t have an alpha-dog or two to grab jerseys and pull the team together & right the ship. What they talk about during the mini huddles after a whistle is beyond me. Durham is clearly not that guy. Who is going to listen to Rob, who is in one of the biggest funks I’ve ever seen at IU? These are our 2 most experienced guards.

    For this team to improve next season this is what is needed;
    1. A grad transfer PG with an assist / TO ratio > 2.5. A leader.
    2. A grad or juco transfer C with some girth. Someone who commands the paint and makes you pay for bringing it to the rim.
    3. Lander, Galloway, Leal & Geronimo to hit the gym and improve like Franklin did.
    4. Trayce must stay and come back with a right hand and an outside shooting touch (which starts at the FT line). But, who could blame him for moving on at this point?

    1. Great post, AZ.

      Next season, there aren’t very many clear paths. Lots of bushwhacking to getting things back on track.

      1. A PG: yes. Archie’s offenses at Dayton relied on great point guard. His elite 8 team has Scootchie Smith. That kid was solid and exactly the kind of player that trives in his system. Almost 14 pts a game, but more importantly, 2:1 assist to TO ratio. A floor general and natural leader.

      2-4. Smooshing these together. NBA doesn’t draft on absolute performance. I think they know what they are getting with TJD and can see where his game needs work. I’d be really surprised if he came back next year. If IU was in a championship hunt, maaaaaybe, but another year of being a B1G bottom feeder? Not likely. I’m sure he’ll do his “NBA evaluation” and realize he’s probably going to get drafted at about the place he would be even if he spent another year.

      So, that leaves us with nothing at the 5. I’m not sure about Brunk even when he was healthy. I’d say we need 2 big bodies here next year.

      3. The freshman have to step into becoming B1G caliber players. When Crean was pulling the program out of the mud (no need for 500 word soliloquies about why, Harv–we’ve read it 5k times), the guys he recruited who were lesser talents, really stepped up. Oladipo is obvious, but Will Sheehey was someone from that class that added a ton. He was a reliable, hard playing kid who came off the bench and gave quality minutes. Remy Abell was also a kid that looked like he’d be ready for some serious balling. His loss really hurt Crean’s later teams.

      Lander should still be in high school. He’s really young. If he sticks around, I see a kid who can be really good. Pretty tough place he’s been in this year, but hey, regardlesss, you put on the candystripes, you have to be ready to play. Seems to be working hard and getting better. Excited for his future.

    2. AWinAZ, are you suggesting that Steward, our grad transfer guard is not the answer? Also, assuming Brunk comes back, IU would have two centers, one a six-year player and one a true freshman, but you’re suggesting that we need another, and that the center who transfers in will get a lot of playing time, if not be the starter. Some on this site would suggest that if such transfers are recruited, some players on the current roster would transfer out.

      1. I have high hopes for Stewart Po, but his actual vs. perceived impact, especially in the Big Ten are TBD. I agree he will help just by having another shooter to complement AF.

        I don’t classify Brunk as a rim protector ala Myles Johnson. A healthy Brunk will be an obvious asset. The kid coming in has good size & reportedly plays hard. That won’t hurt! I’m longing for someone to knock some Gs and Fs into the front row.

        Like H4H, I believe we’re a real good PG away from having 3-5 more wins this year. That equates to 15-8 to 17-6. A good PG executes the game plan. We have nobody that can do that. (Kudos to the post about S. Smith at Dayton. BINGO!)

    3. AwinAZ: What you’ve described is a complete re-make, coaching and players,..not a retooling. Man, the drill press is broken not just the bit. Since basketball, as the late great Tony Hinkle proclaimed: “Is a game in which the team with the most baskets wins”….whoever is in charge of recruiting might actually hone in on guys that can hit the iron, or at least the backboard.

      1. Rob actually hit the iron 3x & Hunter hit the backboard 2x. Where did that get us last night?

        Our 3 Pt % is just as good as our opponents in Big Ten play. But only because Rob & Galloway are sub 25%! Knight would bench guys who THOUGHT they could shoot but couldn’t.

  23. Grow up, Po. You aren’t some kind of grand swami who sees all that’s true, with everyone else bowing to your truth and wisdom. You have blind spots and fallacies just like the rest of us.

    Why do we always have to make our views on IU basketball so personal?

    “Are you and Archie supporter? Hater? Crean lover?” Zzzzzzzzz

    And this is also why iubb discussions go nowhere. It’s about signaling what side of the fence you are on, versus actually having conversations that involve nuance.

    And then there’s a whole group of fans that post 5 times a day in the iubb threads about how much they don’t care about iubb anymore. I don’t know what that’s about. Guess life must be pretty boring where you live.

    1. Looks like I touched a nerve! No DD, life is no more boring where I live than where you live. I just can’t resist responding to those scoopers like you, who direct immature little personal attacks at people whose opinions differ from theirs. Your “Grow up” comment is the latest example of such immature little attacks.

      Four years ago I expressed my opinion that firing Crean one year after winning his second Outright Big Ten Championship was a stupid, costly and counter-productive decision. I believed that at worst it risked damaging IU BB and at best it would not result in improved results for four or five years. It did not make sense to put $4 million at risk to fire a coach one year after he’d been voted Big Ten Coach of the Year and leading IU to it’s third trip to the Sweet 16. I opined that at the very least, given the other priorities that IU’s limited Athletic Department budget had, it was the wrong time to fire Crean. I was mocked by some for expressing that option, no matter the logic used to support it. And while I was never a huge fan of Crean, I was labeled a “Crean-lover” as if something was wrong with supporting a coach who had lead IU BB out of the toxic waste dump that it was in when he took the job. For some reason, my opinion threatened people who really dislike Crean’s style of play and his personality. It was actually amusing to observe adults behaving like a “click” of sixth-graders on a playground. Three years later, as I began to opine, supported by facts, that Archie was not making progress toward returning IU BB to prominence, some scoopers resumed those attacks. It’s amusing to observe such behavior.

      No one can predict the future. So Archie may actually pull a rabbit out of his hat next season and revive his moribund program. I’d love for that to happen. But that is highly unlikely. What’s more likely is that IU BB will continue to decline. Did you notice where the 2021 McDonald’s All Americans will be playing next season? Three of them will be playing for Michigan and one will be playing for MSU. But hey, six of those players remain undecided, so there’s still hope that one or two will decide to help Archie revive IU BB.

  24. AWinAZ. You’re outline for improvement is ok and good. Others have their own outline. However, it starts with the head coach and his staff plus administration. That’s what they are paid for to implement a system that presents a winning image. Eventually, a successful image presents itself or an unsuccessful image catches up. Things that are or not being implemented and this culture is catching up and are being displayed in unsuccessful performance on the floor.

    1. Image is not the issue, performance is! With Trayce low but free to out to 18’ to score; Lander at the Point, despite his pathetic stats to date; Geronimo at the FT line and Al, a healthy Armaan, Leal and Jerome rotating at the 2 SG spots; plus Race as a Big and Galloway and Rob as small subs, IU should win now; then add Stewart and Duncomb and Brunk and a new Coach, and an NCAA team is there for next year! Do it Dolson! Sorry Archie but you were well paid!

  25. AWinAZ,
    Good post. IU also would need an athletic wing, that could shoot and also take his man off the dribble. Geronimo, size wise, is more of an off guard. However, we can dream. I am now convinced Jackson Davis will not return. I am also now convinced Miller has to go. I have been reluctant to say that, but his performance is so disconcerting, that it’s time to get someone else, regardless of the buyout.

    1. Welcome to the club, Hopeful. But it’s going to very expensive for IU to dump Archie after this season. IU, like many other schools, is suffering from the reduced FB and BB revenue caused by COVID. Unless some deep-pocket boosters are willing to write big checks, I don’t think IU can afford to fire AM this year. I don’t know the details of his contract, but I’m guessing that since Fred Glass did his contract, it’s similar to the one Crean had when he was fired. In other words, IU will probably be on the hook for a 7-digits per each year until Archie finds another job. And if it’s a 100% buyout, than there’s no way IU can afford to fire him now. As much as I think IU needs to let Archie go, I predict he’ll be back for one more season.

  26. An improvement plan outline is to be implemented in a new era. A.M. gave a part of his when he first took IU job…to recruit Indiana kids from inside out which he had some success…though Langford and now Lander have not paid dividends and others have not developed including lack of team development. A. M. forgot other parts of any kind of outline, or did he have one, or he has not been successful implementing it.

    1. You are wrong! Romeo was 16 points and 6 rebounds as a freshman with a broken shooting hand and Lander is a high school senior with talent and growing pains!

  27. Here are the six McDonalds All Americans that remain undecided as to where they play in 2021/2022:
    * Pat Baldwin Jr.- SF, Sussex, WI
    * Michael Foster – PF, Phoenix, AZ
    * Jason Hardy – SG, Henderson, NV
    * Chet Holmgren – PF/C, Minneapolis
    * Trevor Keels – SG, Fairfax, VA

    Are any of these kids being recruited my IU?

  28. I have seen lists of top recruits. IU men’s basketball will get one committed (and not the higher one at the top). Then, Michigan and other top programs have a couple already committed (higher than IU at the top of the list). IU will not be on the list of uncommitted top recruits. However, Michigan and other top programs will have another uncommitted player or 2 players on their list. Doesn’t take long to create program disparities unless there is another successful strategy in place.

  29. When I heard BTN was airing a Hoosier special presentation titled ‘The B1G Trip,’ I thought to myself…good for Derek Elston.

    1. That’s an argument on the other side of this debate and is valid. I remember that time period. The difference is B.K. era had a track record. B.K. was creative and of course doing things trying to correct basketball team (Smart and Garrett example and then got them to buy in and coached them). And of course he was being his own character self, fighting with and for team and whoever wanted to fight with him…B.K. was just trying to be competitive.

      1. Things can be and are very situational.
        The coach K example.
        Brad Stevens example
        Knight example
        Wooden example
        Petino example/s
        Bird as a player example
        it’s a never ending list…Circumstances and things are very situational.

  30. According to Zach Osterman of the IndyStar from an article written Feb 20th:
    “Were Indiana to terminate Miller’s contract without cause before March 31 of next year (2022), he would be owed whatever remained of those three pools of compensation. For reference, on April 1, 2021, that number would add up to approximately $10.35 million, that number subject to change as portions of Miller’s compensation are paid out monthly across the life of the contract.”

    Start passing the hat guys, otherwise pray that a very wealthy IU booster writes a very big check.

    1. The great vibe surrounding our sudden found conference dominance in football leaves Archie very safe….Decisions to fire someone is always a product of overall frustration across the two major programs. Why do you think the fan base was content with football irrelevance when Knight’s teams were dancing to the biggest stages so frequently?
      Moral of Story: Don’t ever wish for something too much….or you might just get it. I’m just thankful our football program had its most productive season after Crean was released. Had football blossomed just a little more quickly, we would have been stuck with weaves to nowhere for 20 more reunions and 3 more Hoosier Rising DVD releases.

      We’re a football school now. Archie couldn’t have more job security as the balance of power shifts. I’d say he’s sitting almost as pretty as basketball coach at a Georgia Bulldog football-only school. Basketball just becomes something to do in the cold months while our main moneymaker program, football, takes a brief winter nap.

    2. And as reduced by future basketball related income. Archie is a good basketball analyst and ok on TV.

  31. No recruiting violations…
    Far removed from the scumbags who use “agents” to pay recruits under the table..
    By all appearances, the team seems like a great bunch of guys…
    Rarely does anyone play dirty (purposefully trip a guy, etc).
    At the end of the day, I don’t think we’ve gone four years with kids who represent Indiana any better than this bunch.
    Durham stuck out his four years with a coach who didn’t recruit him…and his effort every night should be commended.

    Franklin has improved immensely…Trayce still struggling to find a 15 ft. shot but the rest of his game has vastly improved. We lost Brunk …and that didn’t help. We are shy one or two difference-maker guys…but there is a very strong foundation of 4-year guys who will get nothing but better.

    I’m sticking with Archie Miller. I like the fact we’re not influenced/distracted by the boring chatter of who from our roster is ready to desert candy stripes for the dreamy life in the NBA….The focus is back on the college game and maturing rosters. That’s a “style” I can stay patient with, at least, until this group has a graduation night. One or two key surprise pick-up’s or transfers in the next season or two, along with a recovered Brunk, and this team could get exponentially better in a quick way.

    1. AGREE…Whoever leads IU basketball the team individually and as a whole number one priority must be a college focus. Of course players want to play NBA but while in college total focus has to be on college. Under T.C. it was an unfocused NBA Top Hat party affair. And Langford I would put in that category as well under A.M…lack of dividends for IU basketball. Just shoe company and NBA focus. And for Lander no dividends yet TBD.

    2. I’m with you Harv. I see the positives & think the negatives can be fixed with some luck & determination & missing pieces. I like having a 4 yr base to build around. We are the 2nd youngest team in the Big Ten, after Purdue. We simply don’t have good PG play nor the “you won’t beat us tonight” mentality. The last thing we need is to change course at a stage when the experience base is building. We’ll start over with nothing & endure yet another rebuild.

      Indiana is still a special place to play & coach. If it weren’t we wouldn’t have all this passion, disappointment and noise surrounding the program.

  32. How on earth did college basketball’s world renowned tournament ever become a servant toy of Moe Howard (a.k.a. Joe Lunardi)? First four out? The four eyeballs of Larry and Curly after a nasty poking from Moe?

  33. IU should be a special place to play based on its history, Everett Dean, Branch McCracken, Robert Knight. Unfortunately what the polyannas on this site keep conveniently disregarding, IU is no longer even regarded a ‘blueblood’ in spite of its 5 Championships. Except for a 1 year blip as a runner up to Maryland in a frozen Atlanta, the basketball program has been in freefall for decades. Samson, Crean and this guy should never have been hired for various reason. Even if AM weren’t to blame it is crystal clear that this roster is bereft of ‘good basketball players’,…with an exception of maybe 3 people at most. This will go down as the ‘Gang that couldn’t shoot straight’ (or much else for that matter). Miller isn’t suddenly going to don his Mark Few cape, while Phinisee, and others like him, will contine to be brick layers. The ingredients to this ‘stew’ just don’t make it to the dinner table. It needs to be addressed, thoroughly disenfected…then rebooted. The entire direction of the program. If you think IU should, at least be a special place to wear those 5*’s on the back of your trunks, you must concur. This program since at least Mike Davis’ tenure has been a product of desperation, bad judgment, chicken wire and Elmers glue.

    1. You are wrong about both Sampson and Crean! Sampson is a great coach who was not well monitored by the athletic department suits and whose misdeeds are all now LEGAL! Crean was great for IU! From the dumps to the upper echelons: 2 B1G Championships and 3 Sweet Sixteens! Archie is 4 swings and all missed!

    2. I do enjoy your colorful presentations and your metaphors, Brad.

      It’s sort of difficult to be a “special place to play” when its been gutted its lifeblood, fans, pep bands, cheerleaders during a pandemic.

      Just don’t know how any reputation for the program remains intact when you let a coach go after uncontrollable circumstance denied a March Madness opportunity last season and added anything but normalcy in the lockdown and restrictions faced this season. These young men are not robots…Understood that all teams are facing varying degrees of disruption…but maybe younger teams have it a bit tougher to have trips going home denied, etc?
      I don’t think it’s any coincidence in seeing so many topsy-turvy results (BigTen football as well) and some of your aforementioned ‘bluebloods’ basketball programs are having real struggles.
      Put Mark Few in the BigTen……Let him test those shark infested waters during a pandemic. The conference is brutally deep this year and I doubt it’s going to change anytime quickly.
      MSU was shark chum just a few weeks ago….Izzo appeared he was going to need a bigger boat. Suddenly, they morph back into their normal self, flip from bait to perfect predator, take down AWinAz’s flawless Buckeyes (gulp)…and make the BigTen waters increasingly shark infested.

      Hell, Penn State is even a very good basketball team. Outside of Nebraska, there isn’t a team in the conference that isn’t a legit tournament team (though three or four will be left delegated as “losers” with substandard seasons). I was around during the Knight years…There was never this sort of balance and loaded teams top to bottom. Feed the pollyanna sheep to the sharks…but don’t pull the wool over my eyes.

  34. I don’t have a dog in this fight. The only reason is that I try not to live my life tying myself to outcomes that I can’t change. I have opinions, but they’re pretty loosely held. But I try to be objective, with as much as much dumb brain can process, and that means that seeing clearly always means looking at a big mess. And when it comes to IU basketball since 2000, it’s a veritable steaming, lit landfill of garbage.

    The tide is shifting. I had three friends call me yesterday and they are all pissed…

    Just kidding.

    I think the Crean era showed what an energetic, highly-motivated, unorganized, quirky, Diet-Coke fueled sub-optimal basketball mind could do with one of the biggest budgets and top level facilities in college basketball (Cook Hall opened in his 3rd year). What you get is inconsistency leading to tiring. Crean always seems to pull a few rabbits out of his hat to keep the boat moving, but his personality and style wears on people and it seems like the more time people spent around him, the less they felt about him as a coach. Ok for Marquette or University of Georgia, not good enough for Indiana.

    Archie came in and checked all the boxes. He was a young, up and comer and was being considered for every major opening that came up. Besides his brother, he was an assistant for Matta’s best teams. He was a player himself. His dad was a solid basketball mind. He was determined to win “the Indiana way,” with local kids and 4 yr players, sprinkling in the occasional 5 star. Dude talked and gets people who really understand the details of the game of basketball to listen and nod. Unlike Crean, the more people are around him personally, the more they like him. His integrity has been nothing but stellar so far. He takes responsibility and doesn’t throw his players under the bus when the team hits rough patches.

    Yet, crap, here we are at Year 4 and looking at maybe, barely, eeking into the tournament after two misses and being borderline bubble team in covid cancelled season. It’ll likely take a win vs the likely Big Ten champion to do it. And there isn’t really a major reason or two that anyone can point to. No one can really articulate it fully or figure it out. Anyone with easy answers is engaging in solipsistic internet armchairism. But Indiana Basketball looks like crap and I don’t really see how a few tweaks make this a championship basketball program again. At best, Archie gets one last year in a make or break season. He’s going to need slew of transfers (who’ve never played together) to do it and for the freshman to collectively make a giant leap next year.

    I’ll be pulling for him, because I like the guy and hope he does well in his life. But I want Indiana Basketball to rule the world again a lot more. Hope Archie is that guy, but I think when it comes to college basketball, when you’re doing more hoping than experiencing, you’re looking in the wrong direction.

    1. Excellent post, DD. But I truly do not understand why people say they “like” Archie. To me, he’s boring and has the personality of a stone. I don’t dislike Archie and believe his personality is irrelevant. I recognize and appreciate his integrity and sense of personal responsibility, but those are minimum requirements for any IU coach; kind of like employees showing up to work on time.

      And I think it is a mistake for the Hoosier Nation to place so much emphasis on recruiting from within the state. Yes, I want the best players in the state to play for Indiana, but only if they’re good enough to play at an elite level. Some of the best BB players in IU’s history did not graduate from an Indiana High School, and that does not diminish the national championships they helped IU win. IMO, continuing to place such importance on signing in-state kids is a formula for continued mediocrity.

      1. Steve Downing….Larry Bird…The Big O….George McGinnis….Scott Skiles….countless Crispus Attucks alumni who became Harlem Globetrotters because denied chances of playing a white man’s college game at the time.

        I beg to differ. Give me Indiana kids. I’ll go to my grave with believing in our melting pot of farm ballers and city dwellers mixed together into the finest batch of basketball at its ultimate purpose of a tournament diverse and open to all. Give me Hoosiers….and those outside the borders who get it.

  35. Ick, so many typos. I have to stop commenting on my phone. The flaming pile of burning garbage is in my post as much as in the Indiana basketball program.

  36. Archie will get a fifth season at IU simply because the cost to buy out his contract is too expensive. I’ll be shocked if IU fires him in April. But does it really matter? Archie will be a lame duck. And then, even if he gets extremely lucky, snags a top recruit or transfer, and retains TJD for a third season, will it be enough to change the trajectory of the program? Archie would have to produce one of the greatest turn-arounds in college BB history just to keep his job for a sixth season. His team would have to win 24 or more games and be in the running for the Big Ten Championship before anyone could justify keeping him for his sixth season. And unless IU miraculously wins a Big Ten Championship or makes it to the Final Four next season, Archie would still be a lame duck, because it would be insane for IU to extend his contract after next season.

    I believe in miracles, I just don’t count on them happening very often.

    1. And, as some are suggesting, Archie has lost the Indiana “Nation”/fan base, then it’s only fair to wait until fans return …so we can witness the masses booing Archie off the floor.

      If this is the worst basketball production in McCracken’s Banner Broadway history, then we must hear those in the seats express their voices of displeasure by the thousands….rather than relying on the ‘Grand Poobah of Scoop’ and his ‘Loyal Order of Three Buffaloing Buffaloes’ (Brad, Beat Purdue and stubbydigit) to give us the barometer reading from the Crean & Crimson Buffalo Lodge.

  37. Good thoughts, Double Down. You’re very diplomatic on your assessment of what Archie inherited.

    I also think the brutal depth in the BigTen conference (the sex appeal of programs on the rise who weren’t so long ago the ugly ducklings never asked to prom…or dances) has played into what you are seeing as a dumpster fire. Not sure if many of the best coaches in the land (bring their current teams right along) would fare a lot better. There isn’t an analyst, commentator, newspaper journalist, former blueblood coach turned guest commentator who hasn’t hammered home the quality and depth in the BigTen throughout the conference. It’s beyond brutal….and when you subtract fans from the equations, it throws another very unpredictable wrench into the emotion cycle of every home/away contest, making for increasing unpredictability and destabilization of talent and emotions searching for fuel and momentum outside a realm of any environment ever experienced. These really aren’t college basketball games. They are hostile sparring matches in silent gyms.

    Could we ever imagine our once storied high school singular basketball tournament without fans? The pulse of every game flows from court to highest rafters and back to the hardwood again….The emotions and the big shots of every Cinderella making shocking history are forever married to the fervent screams of a fan in the cheapest seat.

    I don’t fire a coach during two seasons of scrimmages.

    1. I agree with you on what Archie inherited. I also agree with you about the strength of the B1G this year.

      I think when people reference Crean’s 2nd B1G Championship, they don’t remember how bad the league was that year. Not a single B1G team got past the Sweet 16 (Indiana was one of them). The following year, Crean missed the tournament with 2, 5 stars and 1, 4 star on his roster. Not even counting OG who was a 3 star and got hurt before B1G season. All of those guys but Morgan left for the NBA and Archie had to play with a pretty weak roster with scholarships given to a lot of guys who didn’t belong on a B1G team.

      I know in this place of internet arguing, it seldom becomes about what is rational anymore. I have to admit, that I’m nervous about the trajectory of the program, but there are some very smart hoop people here who still think he can make this happen. He’s likely going to get that 5th year. I’ll admit to being nervous, but genuinely, I don’t have the hoops chops like some of you. My blind spots are bigger. I sure hope you’re right.

  38. Excellent Comments DD..I would add that I U has a young basketball team; 3 freshmen ,a red-shirt Soph, a Sophmore . the alpha dog Archie mentioned would be the JR and Senior . Rob is a mental case that has allowed that to affect his ball playing and then consequentially affecting the team as well . Durham seems to shrink from that responsibility and Brunk is out. Like you said the Freshmen get older and experienced and hopefully TJD would stay 1 year more to be that “Upper level leader ” this year’s team sorely needs. I said on different post that Archie’s hands are tied with Rob; if you cut him THAT sends the wrong message to the team BUT he isnt dependable and some think his better playing days are past because of the concussions; he plays scared. The “on the court’ leadership is missing and there isnt the “on the court” experience bind the team together and there is only so much preparation a coach can give IF no one wants the responsibility.

Comments are closed.