Highlights from Archie Miller’s radio show

Archie Miller and Don Fischer talked hoops on the latest episode of Inside IU Basketball.

Here are highlights from Miller’s appearance:

— On Zach McRoberts: “I would put him up against anybody in the league right now, in terms of being an all-defense selection.”

— On the ugly start to the Ohio State loss: “First four minutes, we weren’t ready for the bell. I thought Ohio State, clearly, was ready. They were purposeful in the way they started and we gave no resistance, defensively. The first four minutes offensively, were disappointing. Quick shots, empty possessions and lo and behold, eight minutes in, you’re in a hole.

— On Devonte Green’s career-high 20 points at Ohio State: “I thought Devonte came off the Purdue game a little disappointed he didn’t get as much run or opportunity to play. He took it to heart. He was engaged when he started the game at Ohio State. He played the right way and got into his role. He played, I thought, his best game of the season.”

— On the next one-day turnaround this weekend between Michigan State and Rutgers: “It’s difficult. We’re gonna play a late game on Saturday night and the guys who go through their treatments probably won’t get out of Assembly Hall or Cook Hall until well after midnight. We’ll depart at noon Sunday, so we’ll have to get ourselves situated in New Jersey for a workout. The one thing on the one-day prep, there’s not a lot of time to get on the court so you have to be smart with what you’re doing in the hotel and with film. It’s difficult to navigate. We’ve had more than most. It’s been an awkward schedule to navigate.”

— On the team’s morale during a three-game losing streak: “I thought we had a good practice today. I think we have great leadership right now. Rob Johnson has really stepped up his leadership. … Hopefully, we can regroup here Saturday night. The first time we played Michigan State, they made it difficult on us in a lot of areas. Our players remember that. They know what it’s gonna take to compete. We’re gonna have to have a tough mindset.”

— On Collin Hartman, who suffered a lower leg injury late last week: “He’s improving. I think he feels better. It’ll be up to our training staff on how confident he feels with a little discomfort. He did things on the floor running, moving. If he does play, it’ll probably be a gametime decision against Michigan State. If he’s not ready, then he has another one-day turnaround at Rutgers. He’s moving in the direction of rejoining our group.”

— On his philosophy for offering scholarships to high school freshmen: “If (there’s) a ninth grader and you offer somebody a scholarship, it better be Greg Oden or somebody where you see it’s absolutely a can’t-miss. You have to be really careful. You recruit a guy that early, so many things can change in a young guy’s life, whether his body stopped growing or his game stopped improving. … To offer a ninth-grader a scholarship, it has to be one where you know, right now, he can play in college. Very rarely have I offered a ninth-grader.”

— A fan asked Miller where he finds his greatest satisfaction with this year’s team: “I don’t think you’re ever satisfied in anything you’re doing. You’re always on a quest to be at your best. The one thing our staff is pleased with is our team has improved. I don’t think there’s been a moment in the season where we haven’t improved. Our guys in February are better than they were in December. The quest is, for another month, can we keep climbing the ladder slowly but surely.”

— On whether IU has any future coaches on its roster: “Collin Hartman could coach. I think he could definitely coach. I’d advise him not to. … I know this much: they love the game. We have more guys in the gym before or after practice than I’ve ever been around. They love the game. I think Al (Durham) has a real good IQ and feel. He could be a good college coach.”

— On which Big Ten players impact their team’s success the most: “Purdue has unbelievable balance, so they have a lot of different guys. When it comes to Purdue and the way they play offensively, the way they play off (Isaac) Haas clearly defines the game. It’s an unbelievable, difficult task to pick your poison against Purdue. … The most impactful player other than Haas is Nick Ward. When he has his way, he makes Michigan State as good as they can possibly be. When he’s at his best, Michigan State may be the best team in the conference in terms of depth and talent. … (Ohio State’s) Keita Bates-Diop is having a player-of-the-year type of season, if it ended today.”

— On Justin Smith’s biggest strengths: “Justin’s biggest strength is that he’s a really intelligent kid. He’s a really respectful and coachable guy. He loves the game, loves working his craft. He’s made some real improvements and he’s learning the college game. From a physical standpoint, you look at a guy who’ll hopefully (in the future) be higher energy, more contact-related, a guy who can drive and get fouled. He’s working on his shot. He’s got a lot of upside.”

— Miller added that the one area where Smith needs to show more immediate improvement is his rebounding and ability to secure 50-50 balls.

— On having Victor Oladipo back for the Purdue game: “I don’t think, from top to bottom on our staff, did we ever anticipate a guy investing his time that much for coming back for a ceremony. He was in the office with coaches for 20 minutes talking. You can tell how vibrant he is.”

— Miller added that Oladipo spent time with the team before and after the game, while also carving time to mingle with visitors. Host Don Fischer asked Miller if he saw Oladipo feeding grief to the officials after a few calls didn’t go IU’s way. Miller said he saw. “I wish he would’ve grabbed the guy or something,” Miller joked. “He was into it.”

— On what Miller believes will be the biggest difference between Year 1 and 2: “On the floor, more younger players coming in. When you build a program, sometimes in Year 2 you get younger. We’ll have an influx of new bodies that haven’t been here as much. You hope that with how you run the program that your offseason develops the guys that are returning so they can teach the new guys.”

— On any comparisons between himself and Bob Knight: “First of all, I can’t coach an ounce of how Coach Knight did it. He, to me — and I study the game and have a father who studies the game — when you start to talk about a Mount Rushmore, he’s on it. The ability to coach the game on offense and how he did it over the course of his time, most people will tell you he’s the best tactician to ever coach college basketball. It’s very difficult to duplicate the things he did here.”

7 comments

  1. Promise I’ll read beyond the pictures…but the picture got me.

    a. Is that Landon Turner?
    b. When was that photo taken?

    What a triumph in grace and dignity…..I’m tellin’ ya. There is character….and there is character. Sure ain’t anything that can be taught or spewed into language.

  2. Loved Archie’s comments in the last paragraph…..Wow. What a concept. Some humility. What a friggin’ breath of fresh air. No snide…No cynical facial expression. No attempt to put himself anywhere near another man’s accomplishments. I gotta almost pinch myself….Haven’t seen this in Bloomington for a very long time.

  3. I’m pretty sure that photo was taken prior to the Purdue game, and yes that is Landon Turner. And I also really enjoy Archie Miller’s style. We have a good Coach.

  4. It was one of those deals where I ask the question already knowing the answer…

    a) as a means to give extra credit to the great work of the photographer and …
    b) to point out what very few people probably noticed or even know the significance(the tale behind the man/photo).

    How many fans under 50 years of age even know the story of Landon Turner? Most students at the game would likely ask…”Who’s the dude in the wheelchair?” It’s a great photo(love how it appears Archie is slapping Landon on the shoulder while missing the “let’s knock fists” gesture because he’s already focusing toward the court) but it’s placement in a piece mentioning the wonderful visit of Oladipo is beyond odd…to the point of near insult. All the talk of what guy’s risk if they don’t get out of Bloomington soon enough….Maybe they’ll blow out a knee, etc. and an NBA career could be flushed. And then you see Landon Turner….a man who always looks so positive in the face of so much left at one fateful night on a winding road in Brown County. What choices in profits and exploits never make a man. What a soul chooses to be without the exploits is what makes the man. We slobber on the NBA achievements while Landon’s fist reaches through as a truly undaunted purpose resting in the upper regions of unnoticed beauty; a humble and enduring spirit with zero regrets. Choices? Choices don’t make you. Choices are the gravy.

  5. You place a photo of Landon Turner atop your Hoosier story …while making no mention in the story of Landon Turner being at the game(not even a caption)? O-LAAAAAA-DIPO! Wonder if there would be a caption if it was Brooks Robinson?

    Why not try to get an interview with Landon Turner…? What do you think of the new coach, Landon? Nice to see you at the game, Landon? Did you get a chance to talk to the guys in the locker room, Landon? Have you seen some of your former teammates recently, Landon? Any memories of great battles against Purdue, Landon? Any locker room speeches from Coach Knight during Purdue battles that you’d like to share, Landon? Wait a minute, Landon. I have to do this chant thing…O-LAAAAAAAAA-DEEEEEPO!

  6. Great posts, Harv. I’m glad you clarified. Thank you.

    I will never forget the thrill I had during the Maryland game, where I realized that our team had come together and we were on our way to the NCAA Championship. That truly was a season where our team got better, and better, and better, becoming the best.

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