Hoosiers looking for balance from Green

Archie Miller waved his hands in the air, a futile attempt to signal his desire for a timeout.

On the other end of the court, with 30 seconds left before halftime of Saturday’s game at Louisville, Devonte Green locked his eyes onto the basket.

The sophomore guard was wide open on the wing when he accepted the pass from teammate Robert Johnson, pausing briefly before hoisting a 3-point attempt that rimmed out and gave Louisville the ball and an opportunity to close the half with possession.

When V.J. King’s last-moment 3-point attempt clanked off the iron and the horn sounded, Miller immediately walked up to Green, likely voicing his displeasure with the youngster’s awareness and clock management.

This season, Miller is asking Green to do “the little things” better than anything else. A month into the campaign, that objective is clearly a work in progress.

“He’s a talented guy and we’re trying to maximize everything that we’ve gotten out of him,” Miller said. “I think the big thing for him is to focus on doing the little things and the things to prepare and help our team win. I think when he does that, good things will follow.”

Green’s first 10 games, evenly split between the starting lineup and a rotational role, have provided flashes of brilliance that make him Indiana’s most creative player. He’s also been caught, at times, trying to unnecessarily increase the degree of difficulty when simple plays will do.

It’s a common predicament for young players, especially those who possess the kind of natural flare for the game that Green embodies. Harnessing Green’s creativity, while also allowing him to be himself is the balancing act Miller and Green are trying to navigate.

After his ill-advised 3-point attempt late in Saturday’s first half, Green sat for the first 10 minutes of the second period and played only five total minutes in that half alone.

Green finished the day having logged 13 minutes — his second shortest game of the year — with five points on 2-of-6 shooting with one assist and zero turnovers. He also had some critical lapses on the defensive end.

At one point during the second-half action, Green received a long talk on the bench from associate head coach Tom Ostrom.

“The biggest thing about Devonte is he’s one of our more talented players,” Miller said. “He has to come with the focus on doing the job. When he’s had unbelievable stretches in games, he’s shown what type of player he can be.

“A lot of it comes with his every day approach. When your every day approach is really good, good things will follow. I thought Devonte’s had a really good approach. Maybe Louisville wasn’t his best showing, just in terms of how we thought he approached the game or how he got into the game, but I think the big thing for Devonte is to stay with it.”

Miller felt good about Green’s direction in the days leading into Saturday’s trip to Louisville.

The IU coach called his 12-point, four-assist performance off the bench in the Dec. 4 win over Iowa Green’s best game to date. Most encouraging, Green followed up last Wednesday and Thursday with two of his best practices since earning Indiana’s “Gold Standard” practice jersey in early October.

“He wasn’t trying to do too much,” classmate De’Ron Davis said of Green’s practices last week. “He was getting everyone involved. (On Wednesday) he was attacking the paint and kicking out. That forces the defense to respect that.”

Green is also Indiana’s best post feeder on the team, as evidenced by his work in the Duke game on Nov. 29, picking up four assists on a steady line of passes into the paint.

On the other end, Green is IU’s leader with 10 steals in 10 games. And while he’s second on the team with 25 assists, he also has 20 turnovers.

Moving forward, the mission will continue to be finding a middle ground to Green’s game that suits all involved.

“He’s a guy that you feel should be able to get you a lot of stats: assists, he can shoot the ball, he can get to the foul line,” Miller said. “We’re always trying to work that consistency level.”

24 comments

  1. Archie Miller should go grab all the tape they have on AJ Guyton, lock him in a room, and just let him absorb them. AJ possessed to same skills. Part of the reason why AJ was such as lethal shooter was his play of the ball and his shot selection.

    That game winner vs Temple his senior year was tremendous. Passing around the perimeter his fake pass got his defender on the 3 2 zone chasing the corner. He just pulled up like he was hitting a free throw.

    I’m bullish on Green. Love Archie’s approach with him.

    1. I have some great pics of AJ working with my then 10 year old son on free throw shooting. He was really great with the kids.

      1. Isn’t Guyton the ex-Hoosier who wrote the long slobbery letter to Knight asking him to return for one of the Fred & Fled reunion parties?
        Bobby was never going to validate the way the game was being denigrated under Fred & Fled. I always thought AJ was being a little disingenuous in his pursuit to heal the “bad blood” knowing Knight could never stand one mile from such dysfunctional acts upon the game of basketball.
        If Fred was gone, I’m pretty sure Bobby would be willing to sit one row behind Archie.

  2. Agreed, Green is and will be the real deal. He’s young and pliable and Miller is good at molding those traits for success.

  3. He certainly has the bloodlines to make one think he’s going to follow in his brother’s footsteps….Then again, Crean also opened up a scholarship for a very athletic Jeremiah Rivers and the bricklaying never ceased while brother Austin tore it up at Duke.

    We currently simply need shooters far more than “creativity” and “flare.”

    Gotta be cautiously optimistic …..I mean, if Lonzo Ball can get more hype than Jordan or Larry Bird in their most dominant days because he finally hit a couple shots and scored 17 points…? How can anyone not be “bullish” on those already stamped with an NBA ticker?

    Next level type talent ….? There are hundreds. But this is Indiana University. We need the right mix of talent meets grit meets high b-ball IQ to get to the “next levels” in March. There is a nauseating tendency to always deflect the absence of great teams by salivating over individual talent. I hope Archie continues to distance himself from allowing McCracken to simply be “upside” audition stages serving the dysfunctional and narcissistic “Road to the NBA” culture that was infected upon Bloomington under Crean. Some of the guys are still functioning under that mindset….Someone on Scoop recently referred to the differences between Archie Miller and Tom Crean as simply being rooted in “styles of play.” I tend to think the biggest challenge for Archie is to find hearts that believe in IU..The biggest challenge is to change the definitions with regard to a “reason to play.”
    You can’t make the right decisions on the court if you’re playing college ball for all the wrong reasons.

    1. H4H,

      I agree with what you are saying but there has to be a balance in what your are doing to achieve the desired level of success. Finding the right recipe is the challenge. If we look at recent championship teams, in most cases they found the right mixture of NBA level talent and those who had other aspirations after actually graduating in the traditional method. For all the ballyhoo of so many number one recruiting classes stock full of one and done players, the folks down in Lexington don’t have much to show for it other than one championship. Kind of reminds me of the Atlanta Braves several years ago. Pitching staff full of future Hall of Fame Pitchers and only one World Series title to show for it. Dynasties are not built on that kind of thinking.

      1. Nothing wrong with the “aspirations” to play the game for gazillions beyond college.
        But a coach is rarely going to win at the college level if he’s mainly known for locating high potential talent well behind the curve on b-ball IQ. Do you believe there is any correlation between attempting to accelerate the development of raw high-fliers/sought after wing spans(guys like Williams, Perea, Sheehey, OG, and Oladipo) and massive turnover tendencies, problems with team chemistry, and stalled tournament results? Do you want bragging rights because your university can be tied to latent talent that finally matured their games when reaching the NBA..? I don’t call that a style of play. Many of these guys were coming to Indiana because we provided the visibility to audition their POTENTIAL to the NBA market.

        We need to recruit more matured talent. Anyone can locate an athletic phenom with unrefined fundamentals and raw understanding of the game less matured than an average middle school baller. That type of recruit will never challenge the competence of the blackboard teaching offered by the coach. They are at IU for one sole reason….and the coach is deceiving the fan base with slogans of “because it’s Indiana.” Indiana is the farthest thing from what is at the forefront of the “aspirations.” Collective goals become nonexistent. Those with great selective skill sets(clutch performers, marksmen, leaders, experts at all the intangibles) are the chopped liver on a roster while supreme “upside” guy who will be a star in the NBA in 10 years commands our bamboozled attentions and admiration.

        There was no balance over the last nine years. There was low interest in accelerating Indiana back to the elite “levels” of college basketball. There was only concern with accelerating the individual and those latent stars-to-be. All of IU’s rich banner traditions and storied history as a rare place to get an education in the game put on hold so a so-called “coach” could have one claim to fame(a very bogus claim at that) in finding another D-Wade.

        It’s a mindset Archie is still dealing with…It’s rarely about Indiana. It wasn’t about Indiana immediately after Sampson…and it wasn’t about Indiana last March. It was only about using our stage for personal gains(coach and phenoms alike); a stage once built by great teachers of the game. In the process of such adulation for the few, the game along with the rest of a roster gets fracture and trivialized. It’s not a recipe for winning…And it’s not a recipe for building character(individual or team). It’s only a recipe for our stage to build millionaires.

        1. As you can tell, I have been thinkingaboutit. But after watching Crean at the helm for only a few months, there wasn’t much to thinkabout. Cody Zeller and Hulls…and Yogi all helped prolong the train wreck. But they were all functioning within a very broken mindset. But there were other factors that wooed them toward their supreme leader. Maturity was always absent. Maturing involves questioning and challenging(not only yourself but those who direct the charge). A degree is only a sheet of paper…A basketball court is only a place of maple floorboards. If they are conquered without challenging the preconceived notions and norms of the day…? What’s really the point of it all? And, in my humble opinion, I knew we were not maturing as an institution(and certainly not a team), when we abandoned common decency from Day 1 of the Crean hire. Life should never be so demeaned and trivialized as to call anyone…or any stereotyped group as “thugs” or “wreckers.” Decency was abandoned at Indiana. And it was that abandonment that distanced my heart that always thought we stood for something other than the cowardice of building our temples on the backs of scapegoats.

  4. fg 9/26 3pt 1/9 Wow…Brictor Oladipo revisited his old reliable stroke against OKC.

    Only Tom Crean threw up more prayers on Twitter tonight….

  5. I disagree with the above comments. Devonte Green is a liability and should be placed firmly on the bench until he learns that he is on a TEAM and is not there to improve his individual skills at the expense of his TEAM. Devonte Green should remember Troy William’s mother’s famous text-message and act on it ASAP….for the good our our TEAM.

  6. Team? What’s that? We only care about Dipo’s numbers on the Pacers….and OG…OG….OG Wan Kenobi.

    “Oladipo has come home….” Hearing that a lot lately. What the hell does that mean? He’s not from Indiana. His home is Maryland. Dustin Dopirak wrote a sloppy piece about Victor “going home” when we were traveling to an East regional site in another failed NCAA trip.
    Now his home is the Hoosier state because he was on an under-performing and overly hyped bunch who topped out at Sweet 16’s for a fired coach?

    You should know better…We don’t care about teams. We are an audition stage for the leftovers and late bloomers Duke/UK/Michigan/MSU/Kansas/Villanova/ND would never recruit.

  7. And never forget….Once they get to the NBA they just don’t have little “chips” on their shoulders as something to prove. They are big men with big multimillionaire “boulders” on their shoulders to prove all the naysayers wrong about how they walk on basketball water.

    Gosh, sure wished they had those boulders on the shoulders and in the jockstraps when we were getting spanked by Syracuse. Sure wish we had all the gumption when it came to the pursuits of greatness as a team.

    You know who has come home? Archie Miller has come home. Finally, the game of basketball has come home. Rest in peace, Olasheehey…and the ‘hola me-me’ world that had descended upon Indiana Basketball.

    1. You were the one who brought up the NBA.
      Then, when your argument is tossed to the curb you ask why we are talking about the NBA.

  8. …and the game before Vic had 47 points on 15/28 shooting including 6/12 from the three point arc to go along with 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.

    Everyone notices that you only comment on Victor on those rare nights he doesn’t have a great game. That’s great because it cuts way down on your comments. You are such a clown.

    Tell us more about Mitch McGary…

    1. Other Hoosiers who are not originally from Indiana.

      Quinn Buckner
      Isiah Thomas
      Scott May
      Kirk Haston
      Troy Williams
      DJ White
      AJ Guyton
      Keith Smart
      Jeff Newton
      Brian Evans
      Eric Andersen
      Archie Dees
      Christian Watford

      …and so on.

      Perhaps you’d like to take a moment to talk trash about them, as well.

      1. I was a big supporter of Watford …

        While others on this blog were constantly throwing him under the bus and berated him with classless claims that he played “lazy” ball (before he hit the biggest shot of Crean’s tenure… later followed by the biggest block of Crean’s tenure in a game against Temple), I continued to believe he was a young man of character and heart for the Hoosiers.

        Seems like you boys conveniently forget the many Hoosiers that were non-Indiana kids who I defended vehemently while others here flapped their negativity chops and hateful comments their way.
        Also remember one of our resident basketball experts commenting “VJ SUCKS!” immediately after a game.
        Of course, I tend to forget how the rest of you are perfect, forever decent, and flawless(not to mention tremendously successful and all with hot “missises”)…My bad.

        Loved Jeff Newton’s game as well….but that was long before the narcissist ball/mindset that had descended upon Bloomington.

  9. Yup, the biggest hyped game of the season….and he bricked.

    Last time I checked, McGary led his team to an NCAA title game. That’s what college ball is all about, Mr. I Speak for Everyone.
    Most of the banners in Assembly have little to do with NBA success stories. And the biggest NBA success story to ever come out of IU was Isiah Thomas…Huh? How ’bout that? He participated in a Final Four and was the centerpiece in bringing another banner to Assembly and the candy stripes.
    Last time I checked, we’re blogging on college basketball and supporting a college team.
    Only clowns care about narcissistic players with narcissistic pursuits only using IU as their audition stage. He had his shot to be something special at IU and he exchanged his remaining shot for bragging about a boulder-sized nothing on his shoulder.
    Banners and Final Fours are the proving ground for stud performances. NBA accomplishments as added footnotes on Crean’s resume wouldn’t make for much of a “feel good” story at Duke….(or, hell, Northwestern for that matter) . Give me some Hoosiers with a primary quest to take Indiana to the next level.

    Hey, did you notice Northwestern hired Guyton?

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