Green means go for Hoosiers

He’s one of Indiana’s best practice players.

Getting Devonte Green to carry his practice approach into games has been one of IU coach Archie Miller’s greatest challenges this season. When it does happen, it looks like the performance put forth by Green on Tuesday night.

The sophomore guard authored arguably his best game of the season in the 74-70 win over Penn State, scoring 13 points and playing 21 minutes without a turnover.

With his mercurial style of play, Green has gone hot and cold during IU’s first 17 games. But against the Nittany Lions, he demonstrated how effective he can be, particularly when he plays within the framework of Indiana’s offense.

“If he practices every day like he does, there should be great translation in the game,” Miller said. “And that’s been the one frustrating thing. He has practiced really well. By far and away one of our more talented guys on a daily basis. He just hasn’t been able to really figure his role out, how he wants to play.”

That’s the great question that has loomed over Green since he emerged as a valuable role player midway through his freshman year. How does he balance his East Coast, playground style with some of the more rigid responsibilities placed upon him by his coaches?

It is, as many around IU’s program are fond of saying, an exercise in trying to simply hit singles rather than home runs.

“You’ve got to give Devonte his freedom,” Miller said. “He’s got to be willing to play through mistakes. As a coach, you have to give him some rope. But it’s the type of mistakes.

“Is it the home run, trying to go for the home run as soon as you get in, or are you easing your way into the game, making the right plays? Then when you take that chance four, five minutes in, it’s not so bad. I think that’s the big thing for him, is to get himself eased into the game and play like he did (against Penn State).”

Tuesday was only the second time in Green’s year-and-a-half career that he played 20-plus minutes without a turnover. Though with Green, it’s not necessarily the volume of errors so much as it is the kinds of mistakes that so often stick out.

He is Indiana’s most creative player, but that sometimes leads to attempting to do too much, or getting too cute. Green’s errors aren’t always reflected in turnovers, either, with his shot selection occasionally leading to incredulous reactions from Miller on the sideline.

But there was a lot to like from Green on Tuesday, including his finish.

When Tony Carr and Nazeer Bostick made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut Penn State’s deficit to one possession in the final 10 seconds, Green went to the line both times and made all four free throws to end the game.

“He was very comfortable out there,” Miller said. “Devonte, he’s a tough guy. He’s stubborn. I think the one thing about him he’s very intelligent and he knows the better he plays, the better we’re going to be. It’s not like he doesn’t want to play well or doesn’t want to get more minutes. He wants them. He’s just got to come our way.”

21 comments

  1. Green could be a really nice player if he would tone down his playground style and buy into the system 100%. I don’t really see that happening personally. I don’t think Green fits as player in Millers system, but that is just my opinion.

  2. Ben, I think if that were true, you’d be hearing a different tone coming from AM. I like that AM has his system, but as demonstrated by his comments, you can see how he’s individually coaching these kids based on their talents. He’s not that rigid (are you listening Romeo Langford!!).

    I’m sure he does all the right things in practice, but then he goes out in front of 18k screaming fans, sees the ESPN cameras everywhere and that playground side of him wants to razzle-dazzle his way into a highlight reel that trends on Twitter. AM is just dialing him back. I love his comment about giving him rope to make mistakes. Vs PSU, he saw how much more effective he can be when he plays like he practices. The homeruns will come, but only when he’s hitting a bunch of singles first.

    Great article, MM.

    1. When Miller took this job he probably wasn’t familiar with many of the players on the roster other than what he’d seen on the recruiting circuit a few years back. Didn’t take long for him to realize Gelon had no business in the big ten. Jones obviously didn’t fit the mold enough to make the rotation. When Miller was hired in April he wasn’t familiar enough with the roster nor did he have the time to recruit and rebuild parts of the team. He kept the players. He kept the recruits. He basically held it together to move forward and be competitive. At this juncture in the season he has to work with what he has. He knows by now he won’t be able to convert green into the type of player he wants him to be. At the same time Millers system may not bring out Greens strengths, so there has to be a compromise to get through the year and try to stay competitive. Even more so now that we are out a big man and Jones is gone. We will have to play 3-4 guards potentially. Miller is focusing on building, replacing, tweaking, and recruiting for the future. Phinisee and Durham are a solid point rotation. Hunter and Anderson are said to be recruited as big guards and then you have the potential of Langford. I personally see a coach just working with what he has this year which isn’t much. We have beat Penn State, Iowa, and Minnesota so keeping this group intact has worked. Compared to 08-09 we are in pretty good shape competitively.

  3. Yup, “you have to give him some rope”. Miller has a plan. Something like an old, deceased neighbor would say, before you can enjoy the mash you got to grind a lot of corn. He’s a mid-year Sophomore and the handle to the grinder is just starting to feel familiar to his hand. If he can step it up consistently and Justin Smith can keep his head plumb to the game while honing his skills good things can happen in “18”. I like what I’m seeing of Miller’s progression of growing young players to produce. Maybe now too a little bit of Clifton Moore will appear.

  4. Andrew Dakich lighting it up for OSU tonight….? 11 first half points and shooting around 75%.
    Did we go after Andrew? We could have used his outside stroke. Dad’s been getting a lot of heat…Wonder if it put a chip on son’s shoulders?

    1. I had asked the same question soon after the Miller hire. He is a 5th year guy who could of played immediately with Big Ten experience. I’m not sure weather he is a scholarship player at Ohio State or not. He wasn’t at Michigan to begin with but I’m almost certain he was awarded one.

      Just look at Ohio State in general. 14-4 overall and a 5-0 big ten record including a 16 point win over #1 Michigan State. That’s extremely for a team with similar preseason projections of a big ten basement finish. Holtman has turned out to be the best big ten coaching hire so far by far. Not only is he exceeding expectations, but he was hired unusually late. Like Matta, Ohio State tapped the Butler pipeline again with positive results. I like Archie, but one has to wonder if IU should of tapped in that Butler pipeline and stayed instate and hired Holtman.

      1. Seems Ohio State fans were upset IU got AM before their coach called it quits. Believe OS had a number of strong team members in place, but, WOW, he is proving himself as a big-time coach.

      2. The “loud mouth’s” son is a walk on in Columbus.
        Also consider this, the distance in the style of play between AM and TC is a longer journey than the 1 between Holtman and Matta. For the same reason I suspect Holtman would not be tearing it up in Bloomington.

        1. Just so everybody knows….it’s Holtmann….Double ‘n’.

          Ben_M makes some interesting points about the recruiting “pipeline” to Indiana. If Langford ends up at OSU, we’ll all s___t a brick. The last time OSU hired a former Butler coach, he sucked Indiana of two top recruits from Indy(Oden & Conley)…and OSU proceeded to march to a Final Four.
          We can also be assured that “loud mouth” on ESPN will sell OSU as shocking the world far more than anything he’ll tout about the Indiana Hoosiers.

          Positive in-state recruiting ground/relationships lost because of Crean…
          Holtmann’s 5-0 conference success thus far…
          Dakich’s constant negative spin aimed at IU…
          Pundits looking at Purdue as a potential Final Four team….
          MSU very strong….
          Butler way…
          UK..Somewhat down year but always a factor in luring the best away.

          A lot of Midwestern programs on the uptick. Archie has his work cut out for him to lure the best recruits within the borders and adjacent to the borders. It’s not just the “health” of the program he inherited, but the perceived and realized health of surrounding competition.

          1. 1 n or 2 it’s pronounced the same. Oden and Conley were lost because of an incompetent idiot named Davis who couldn’t even talk. Talk about no relationships. What an image.

  5. I hate these Sunday dates…
    Unless it’s March Madness, I think they kill crowd enthusiasm. Most are in ‘get back to work’ or ‘get back to class’ mode by Sunday afternoon. Weekend buzz/excitement is on the downward.
    Not a good time to play a dangerous Northwestern team.

  6. The myopic statements regarding Holtmann’s situation at OSU vs AM at Indiana are staggering. I thought Indiana people were supposed to be superior at seeing through the BS.

    Crean was fired not just for his on the court performance. He was fired because his recruiting kept dipping. And he left a bare cupboard.

    And the Big Ten sucks right now. It sucks hard. So we can start talking about Holtmann at OSU being the next best thing ever after 5 Big Ten games, or we can sit back and take the long view. AM is doing just as much with what he’s given as CH is at OSU. And it is going to be a great rivalry for many many years.

    Funny, speaking of which, next year, Indiana has the #1 player out of Ohio coming from Columbus to IU. Then that kid from Bloomington North is going to OSU (he was never recruited to IU). They’re both 4-stars. Welcome to 2018.

    Harv, Langford hasn’t even sniffed at OSU. Quit drifting silly things to make Indiana look bad.

  7. The Big 10 sucks right now? #5 Purdue and #4 MSU are both very solid teams..and could go very deep into the NCAA tournament.

    Doesn’t matter if fans can see through the BS. Recruits don’t always see through the BS…Just look at those bamboozled by Crean’s carnival talk.

    Romeo is still undecided. All the pundits choose to believe he has it narrowed down to Vandy or IU…but things change. This kid is keeping things very close to the vest for a reason. OSU’s continued success(and shocking upset against a loaded MSU team seen as one of Izzo’s best in years) makes them more attractive to any top talent still on the fence.

    I simply think a lot changed when OSU hired Holtmann very late in the game….They knew what they were doing when going after a coach from central Indiana…(and a program that has had for more appearances on elite stages over the past decade than IU).

    Any bordering program gets far more tapping into our basketball resources than the opposing dynamic. It’s critical that Archie lands many of the best the state has to offer…and that means Mr. Basketball recipients and Mr. Basketball runner-ups. We just can’t afford more stall game.

  8. This ain’t Dayton…You can’t grind and centipede your way to survival in this conference. Sweet 16 ceilings need to be erased from memory quickly.
    It has nothing to do with shortsightedness. The last ten years had everything to do with long term denial and securing the agendas/relationships having nothing to do with the “long view.” The faithful and long term supporters of Indiana Basketball were shortchanged by a hiring decision rooted in friendship/cronyism. We lost the long view and lost invaluable time.

    1. The only reason we heard anything out of the FBI was because they made arrests. They don’t advertise their investigations.

      The NCAA is toothless. No subpoena power. No arrest power. They rely on volunteered information. The worst they can do is take away eligibility or put a program on probation.

      The FBI is serious. They can subpoena, compel testimony, and send you to prison. But, they don’t care about the mission of the NCAA.

      Apple’s and oranges. That being said, I would assume the NCAA can consider the FBI findings in their actions. That is probably what the Louisvilles of the world are afraid of.

  9. Exactly, Ron….Do you get the feeling that the NCAA protects certain programs/coaches from major violations penalties (ghost classes, mafia money to recruits) while destroying reputations of some for frivolous digressions (3-way calling)? Think there’s certain Establishment members of the NCAA with strong allegiances to programs always getting off the hook?
    And when the University of One and Done in Lexington had their best team of NBA players a few years back, what bracket did they place that little irrelevant candy stripes team attempting to get some nice publicity with a deep tournament run?
    National Collegiate Agenda Association.

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