Highlights from Archie Miller’s first radio show

Archie Miller still feels like the new guy in Bloomington.

For his first radio show of the season, the new Indiana basketball coach went to the wrong hotel.

“That’s how new it is,” Miller said.

Upon (correctly) arriving at the Bloomington Holiday Inn for his weekly show, Miller dished on all things IU basketball. Highlights from his first appearance follow:

— On the culture of the team: “The one thing that these guys have had at their disposal, and I think coach (Tom) Crean deserves credit, is a tremendous work ethic.”

— On assembling a staff this spring: “Indiana is a place that, I think, should have the very, very best of everything. Our players deserve a staff that is very experienced and player-driven, and also has been at a very high level in terms of previous staffs and careers. I think we have a great blend of that.”

— On Collin Hartman coming back for a fifth year: “I figured out how important Collin was to the team. Learning about him, he’s a coach. Hopefully he doesn’t coach, but he’s a coach on the floor, coach in the weight room, coach in the locker room. He’s a great kid and I want him to have the opportunity to experience a real senior year.”

— On his takeaways from last week’s exhibition win against Marian: “As you evaluate the game in full and watch it a few times, I was pleased with our guys. I though the intent to do what we do every day in practice was good. Defensively, we weren’t anywhere we need to be, but I thought we took a step in seeing ourselves against someone else.”

— Miller said the team continues to take it slow with injuries. Al Durham has tweaked his hamstring twice, so his status for Sunday’s exhibition against UIndy sounds questionable, at best. Meanwhile, Collin Hartman also sounds questionable for Sunday. If he plays, Miller said, Hartman will be on a minute restriction.

— After Devonte Green claimed IU’s first gold practice jersey of the preseason, Juwan Morgan earned it last week.

— Miller offered insight into three of IU’s late roster additions, walk-on guards Vijay Blackmon and Ethan Lasko and freshman forward Race Thompson, who reclassified from 2018 to join Indiana this year: “Vijay was looking for a situation to change course. The opportunity to bring a walk-on that has some athleticism and skill and has a relationship on campus, I felt that was a good idea. Vijay’s done a great job. … Rather than play smaller basketball in college, (Lasko) always dreamed about maybe playing at a blue blood. He wanted to go to an Indiana and be a part of something that was big. Once he was accepted, we added him. He fits in well. … Race came in and was beat up physically — knees, ankles and things. I could see why. He’s with Tim Garl every day. He’s with the strength and conditioning coach every day. … He’s cut body fat already. He’s already down 10 pounds. … He had his best practice (on Wednesday).”

— A fan asked Miller if he has any personal traditions he plans to carry over from Dayton. “One of the things that we haven’t approached with the team yet is starting lineups.” Miller says he’d prefer to announce the starting five to the team as a group during the pregame huddle rather than have the spotlight treatment of individual introductions. I’m told nothing has been decided yet.

— As far as musical taste, Miller says he was a big fan of the band Alice In Chains during his youth. “They were big, growing up in Beaver Falls (Pa.).”

— Another fan asked which players have adapted the quickest to Miller’s defensive approach: “Josh Newkirk is a guy that has a definite feel for what we’re trying to accomplish. Devonte has the talent level to be a really elite defender and has great feel, too. The frontcourt guys, it’s different. Freddie (McSwain) has shown early enough that he can play the type of defense that we like to play and Juwan is also in that category. … The freshmen are where freshmen normally are. Al (Durham) is ahead of everybody. Really impressed with how savvy he is on the defensive end.”

— One of Miller’s final fan questions asked how IU will get good post play with a guard-heavy roster: “I think I’ve asked that question a lot, too. We’ve put a lot of pressure on our frontcourt guys, especially in that last few days. They not only have to be a presence in the post, but a presence in transition.”

5 comments

  1. If he went to wrong hotel ad new coach how is his players going to find there place in his new (to them) system?

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