Highlights from Archie Miller’s weekly radio show

The second episode of Inside IU Basketball with Archie Miller aired on Thursday night at the Bloomington Holiday Inn.

Here are some highlights from Miller’s chat with host Don Fischer:

— On his takeaways from IU’s two exhibition wins: “I thought that the first exhibition game we were pretty dialed in. Guys were really trying to do what we had worked on all the way though. Then last week, as it sometimes happens, I didn’t think we made the jump in the second game that we needed to. … I think we’ve worked hard to come off that game and understand those slippages will really, really cost you.”

— Now that the season is here, Miller will tailor his practices to avoid fatigue. Practices will still be difficult, but they won’t last as long as they did during the preseason: “We have to be mindful of their bodies, be mindful of mental fatigue.”

— Miller expects Indiana State to provide a decent season-opening test to begin the year, especially given its good guard play. On getting the Sycamores on the schedule: “The opportunity to play Indiana State really sort of came about with a common date. We were pinned up against our schedule, not knowing certain days in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and the Gavitt Games, not knowing which day we’d be playing. When you’re choosing a home opener, you want to get that opener set as early as possible. … From an appeal standpoint, this should get everyone’s attention. It should get Assembly Hall ready to go for a big game. … Not sure this is the best opening game I’ve scheduled. … They’re a new team. Their 1-2 punch at the guard slot with (Jordan) Barnes and (Brenton) Scott. Here in the early part of their season, they’re equating to 35-36 points per game between them.”

— On overcoming a smaller frontcourt: “No. 1, we’ve really stressed how important it is to play inside-out. It gives you good balance, gives you an opportunity to get fouled and give you the ability to, I think, really collapse a defense and make them commit. If you can play through the post and not always rely on the outside shot, you have more opportunities to impact the game, whether it’s getting fouled, offensive rebounds or quality shots.”

— Miller continues to be pleased in De’Ron Davis’ ongoing physical transformation. Davis began the offseason at 271 pounds. On Thursday, he weighed in at 246.

— A fan asked Miller to name one thing about Dayton he’d like to bring to Indiana: “I definitely would say our ability to be tough-minded, to be a team that’s hard-playing and connected and find ways to win and make no excuses. There was no glamour around some of the guys we had, but we always found a way. If you can have that type of resolve as a team, I think we earned that right. I thought when teams played against us, they knew they had a handful.”

— Another fan asked Miller on his defensive preferences: “All man-to-man. We’ve traditionally never really played a ton of zone ever. I think whether we’re in full-court pressure, half-court pressure, out of bounds sets, there’s always scouting and a system to how we do things and why we do things. It’s a system of play with man-to-man, which our rules very rarely change.”

— On practice drills Miller uses to illustrate whether or not the team is ready: “One of the things we try to do with our teams is obviously value practice. We always say we want to start practice with a bang. … We try to set the tempo with a full-court warmup that requires teams to make either a certain amount of layups in a certain amount of time, or we have a laundry list of drills like layups or weaves in a certain amount of time.”

— A fan asked Miller to name a rule he would change and why: “I really think the international game is much more free-flowing. College basketball is really trying to make it more swift, but I like the wider lanes, deeper 3-point lines and the shorter clock. Maybe 30 in college is good. I also like that when you get an offensive rebound, the clock goes right back to 15 seconds.”

— Does Miller have a favorite punishment drill? You bet he does: “Losing teams on the line. They always run a 22 — down and back, down and back in 22 seconds. That’s usually the consequence of not winning a segment in practice.”

— Will Miller stick with the current three-guard lineup consisting of Josh Newkirk, Robert Johnson and Devonte Green? “I think, right now, the three-guard lineup puts our best practice players on the court at any given time. … Now that we have Al (Durham) back, we have two more guys with Al and Curtis (Jones). Zach (McRoberts) may be moving in. All-in-all, whether you start or not, guys will have great opportunities for roles. For the most part, as we go into Friday night, that’s what you’ll see.”

— On his emotions going into his first official game at Indiana: “I think there will be a lot more made out of (it). To me, I’m the same pretty much every day.”

3 comments

  1. No more man to man and then to zone in the same defensive set? That was probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in basketball. The only thing it ever did was confuse our own team.

    Miller has his hands full with this group. Iu fans must remain patient. These aren’t his kids although they are great kids. Any fans with more than NIT expectations are delusional.

    1. Put me fully in the delusional category! So what are your credentials for giving out extreme labels? Thought so, zero. You are negative, I am positive. That sounds about right. Neither one of us has seen a game yet!

      1. We haven’t seen games that count but Indiana State always gives their best effort against Indiana. We’ll learn more from this game at this point than we have with both the preseason games. I’m guess I’m in the delusional group because I expect somewhere in the 3 to 6 range in the Big Ten.

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