No. 3 Duke rolls over IU, 90-69

DURHAM, N.C. — The dunk was as violent as it was beautiful, a singular display of brilliance that illustrated the gulf in power and athleticism between these two teams.

Who else could author such a moment but Duke’s Zion Williamson.

Williamson turned Robert Phinisee’s careless pass — one of many by Indiana — into a solo act of dominance with 4:17 left in Tuesday’s first half. He broke free to the basket without a single Hoosier in his wake, momentarily teasing the announced crowd of 9,314 at Cameron Indoor Stadium with anticipation of what was coming next.

In one fluid motion, Williamson threw down a windmill dunk that made this fabled gym bob and bounce with electricity, one of the many such plays in No. 3 Duke’s 90-69 victory over Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

On the other end of the floor, the Hoosiers merely watched as Williamson and the others in Duke’s star-studded freshman class took over. For Indiana, Tuesday was an opportunity for the Hoosiers to measure themselves against one of the most talented teams in the land. The loss alone won’t damage IU’s profile moving forward, but it did show how far — in terms of mental toughness and execution — this team still has to grow.

“We dealt with a team that can win a national championship,” IU coach Archie Miller said.

The Hoosiers latest trip to Durham went no better than their last in 2015, when they lost by 20 points. This time, the combination of Duke’s sheer talent and athleticism, coupled with 20 Indiana turnovers sent the Hoosiers (5-2) to their second loss of the season.

By the first media timeout of the second half, IU had committed 18 errors — the latest of which came on a poorly-angled pass into the paint by Romeo Langford.

After the whistle, Juwan Morgan, the intended recipient of the pass, fetched the ball from the baseline and slammed it against the court in frustration before handing it off and heading for the huddle.

A sloppy night in a venue where visitors can ill afford them hardly got better for Indiana.

The Hoosiers return to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall to open Big Ten play against Northwestern on Saturday at 1 p.m.

“I just think when one happened, I think we didn’t do a good job of just rallying together and moving on to the next one, to make sure it didn’t happen again,” Morgan said of IU’s turnovers. “In this type of place, in this type of atmosphere, you can’t stack bad plays. I think when you have a bad play, you have to just stop right there, put a period on that sentence and keep moving forward.”

Williamson finished with 25 points for the Blue Devils, who posted their 142nd consecutive non-conference home victory on Tuesday. Duke hasn’t dropped a non-Atlantic Coast Conference game on its home floor since February 2000.

The old gym was exactly as Miller, a former point guard at NC State, remembered it.

“I haven’t won here yet,” Miller said. “So obviously it’s the same. It’s a brutal place to play, not because of the crowd or the environment. They have an unbelievable coach and an unbelievable team that on most nights you have to go up against. That’s what we dealt with tonight.”

The game unfolded as poorly as it possibly could for Indiana on a night when it never led and saw both of its big men, Morgan and De’Ron Davis, on the bench saddled with two fouls by the under-12 media timeout.

Early foul trouble for Morgan has been a theme in both of IU’s losses this month, one that continued Tuesday and stole away Indiana’s most important player.

“It was just a lack of concentration,” Morgan said. “I have to be better myself. I put that on me. I have to be a lot smarter. I can’t put my team in that kind of position, especially in a place like this that’s tough to play in.”

Meanwhile, as foul trouble mounted, IU missed bunnies and Duke made 3s.

The Blue Devils used a 12-2 run to build a 24-10 advantage by the 10:53 mark, and IU never again cut its deficit to single digits.

A 13-1 Duke run across the final three minutes of the half helped the Blue Devils to a 24-point halftime lead. During IU’s 2015 trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium, its largest deficit was 25 points — and that came late during the second half.

IU’s struggles against Duke’s 1-2-2 trap were at the root of the problem.

“We’ve just got to have better concentration like J-Mo said,” guard Al Durham said. “Taking care of the ball, we’ve got to (put) more emphasis on that.”

The trap led to a tough start for IU’s ball-handling guards. Durham and freshman point guard Rob Phinisee combined to go scoreless through the first half.

At the same time, Williamson and fellow freshman RJ Barrett were far too much for Indiana to handle, and the two newcomers alone outscored IU 46-43 through the first 28 minutes of the game. Barrett finished with 22 points.

The duo helped Duke to a 27-point advantage prior to the second media timeout of the second half, when they threw down back-to-back alley-oop dunks.

Langford led IU with 13 points. Evan Fitzner added 12 points for Indiana, with each of those coming during the first half. The Hoosiers played better in the second half, outscoring the Blue Devils by three across the final 20 minutes.

But on a night when Indiana attempted to measure itself against a national title contender, the effort fell well short of where it hoped it might.

“Obviously, a very impressive performance by Duke,” Miller said. “They’re a very, very good team. Once you get a chance to see them up close and personal, their size, length and quickness, you can tell why they cause so many teams so many problems.”

73 comments

  1. Based on the train wreck we witnessed tonight, Archie has a long way to go before returning IU to elite status. That was embarrassing.

    1. po-dunker, KY claims that they are “elite” and they lost to Duke by more on a neutral court. Save the hysteria for a later date. This season is young still.

  2. All right! Looking at the bright side, I missed the first 4 minutes or so because I was (due to lack of knowing to change from ESPN to ESPN NEWS) enthralled, as usual, with Dan Dakich’s insightful color on the Michigan State game! So I did not see the first few dunks of Duke.

    I got it together and I did get to watch the dunking performance, but I was so joyous at not having to hear Dan anymore that it didn’t hurt that much.

    We are 2nd tier and need to remember “earlier in the game” to pass the ball to number O, who is really, really good.

      1. Well, that’s a brand spankin new justification to yet another embarrassing loss,, esp with young talent now. The tier system, seems the like of Duke, UNC, Gonzaga, MSU etc forget each year theirs to be a tier system. It’s long known fact for a decade, the elite programs, their young players produce from the moment they step on the court. Hopefully this was just a blip and this team steps up, again, I’m seeing some of the same excuses year after year emerging.

  3. Didn’t like it but it was about what I expected on the road at Cameron. Dukes athleticism drives their D. IU did a lot wrong, D, boards, TO’s, FT’s and tempo. Although they didn’t have near as bad a game as the refs. As it has been for over 2 decades if you’re from Durham and play round ball you’re going to get the calls. In 5 weeks and on a neutral court that game will look much different.

  4. We had and have no chance against this Duke team, tonight, tomorrow night, in 5 weeks, in Assembly Hall, etc… We are far inferior & have only 2 players that can hang with theirs (Romeo & Morgan). Simple as that. This Duke team is an anamoly in this day & age. Nobody lands 4 NBA studs in 1 yr.

    Those that went into this game thinking it wasn’t going to be the train wreck that it was are not realists.

    Let’s judge this IU team by what it is, just on the good side of the bubble come March. That means we’ll win about 15 more & lose 8 plus or minus a few depending on how many more games we have left. We’ll win at least 20 & lose at least 10. We’re the kind of team that’ll win 9 of our Big 10 games at home & win 4 or 5 on the road.

      1. What does 10 games have to do with it? I’m looking at the whole season. I may be wrong with the 10 losses given we only have 2 so far. If we lose 1 of the next 4 (likely) & 6 more on the road in the Big Ten (likely) that leaves us with 9 losses IF we win out at home in the league (a stretch).

        As I say, we’ll make the tournament, maybe even win a game. Heck, we might even finally win a Big Ten tournament game for once.

  5. I’ve seen a lot of knee-jerk reactions to this season, which are not helpful. Until this team is at full, or least near, full strength, no one can render a fair evaluation of it. Having this many injuries affect everything on the team. Tired bodies make silly mistakes, and so does lack of full practices. Is anyone thinking about the effect on execution when you don’t have enough healthy bodies to run full practices? If we can get the team back to full health and still see this kind of performance, then worry.

  6. I can live with the freshmen still getting out the kinks, but Justin Smith’s poor play thus far this season is plenty reason to worry. I’m baffled. I truly expected his game to have matured over the
    spring and summer.
    Did Anderson play at all? I missed some of the game…I did not see him get into action. Is he also injured?

    Wow. I knew we didn’t have Duke’s complete level of talent, but I never thought I’d see the turnover mess from an Archie Miller team. And we’ve been turning it over far too much before this game. What’s really sad is that most of the turnovers look like they’re the result of poor communication….rather than tremendous defense. No leader on this team …other than Morgan. Not having a leader in the backcourt is another cause for “worry” now. Guess we’ll have to settle for Crean’s old excuse….We’re young. …And it’s a mature and confident coach who is supposed to quell the unsettled stomachs of freshmen in the hostile environments.

    Leader in the backcourt…? Leader on the floor…? Leader from the bench…?
    Hell, where’s Derek Elston…? HE SHOULD BE PISSED and throwing that cute clipboard he carries around. At minimum, he should have tripped Williamson passing by the sideline.

  7. I thought we would take better care of the ball and not look so young and star struck. I do think Duke is a special team that has transformational player in Williamson. The early season trend that is most troubling is Morgan’s foul troubles in basically every game. I think Archie didn’t have them prepared and for some reason this team already looks tired. It is a long season and plenty of time to make changes and recharge.

    1. JH,
      Why wouldn’t they look tired? Right now they are essentially playing everyone with only half of the team! There are 2 potential starters out injured and some of your key backups down as well. CAM is running with basically a 7 man rotation, that will wear a team out quickly with so many getting too many minutes. When you have members playing all 40 minutes of the game, it will take a toll and quickly. Especially when you just played 3 games inside of a week that way.

      1. The real weakness brought on by all the injuries is having sufficient # of game rotation rotation bodies available to execute normal practices. I’ll double down on my statement above, ‘in 5 weeks and on a neutral court that game will look much different’.

        1. HC,
          You and a couple of others are seeing this clearly. Even though most of the team was back on the floor last night, this is the 1st time in how long we’ve had that many team members available? You are right, there is no way the team can be back to game shape first game back for so many players. So much to be worked out on the floor, and you’re going to do it with Duke at Cameron? Not likely even in the best years of IUBB. Seem to remember a regional final with just one player recovering from a broke arm on a prior to undefeated team. Didn’t work out well there either, with how many other 1st team All American caliber players on the team?

      2. UT Arlington and AC Davis aren’t games….They’re scrimmages.

        The injuries are a problem…but the bigger problem is the quality of talent found in the injured players once they get healthy.
        BACKCOURT: Just not a Devonte Green fan…Has the NBA bloodlines and is very athletic but no shot and careless with the ball. I’ve seen him 100% healthy and it’s the same thing as last night…Even when not turning it over, he’s a heartbeat from near turning it over(and it’s my heart that is stopping every time I watch him attempting to start the halfcourt offense). Just not fundamentally sound with the ball. I’m 10 times more confident when Phinisee is running things. Phinisee going to the bench is what hurts us regardless of a first game back for Green or a 100% green.
        FRONTCOURT:
        A healthy DeRon Davis is still a rather cumbersome and slow back-up post player. No evidence of a mid-range game. He is one-dimensional and isn’t the sort of guy most teams will believe problematic. Two feet from the basket is where he operates decently, but there’s not much else.

        Justin Smith? Baffled. He’s yet to show any improvement over last season. He has Oladipo-type athleticism. Sure hope he gets it going but I expected more out of the gate. There’s been plenty of evidence prior to Duke of his substandard evolution/improvement since last season.

        Fitzner? I would want him on my team in a game of ‘Around the World’…Unfortunately, the BigTen/ACC ain’t St. Mary’s. Again, he’s more of DeRon. Slow defender. Quick fouls because he’s getting outplayed by \athletes with more versatility and more refined skill sets.

        Duke? Their weaknesses are perimeter shooting and defensive mindset. They’ll go down again before the season’s over. ’76 is plenty safe.

        The outcome of last night had nothing to do with injuries. They may have run us out of Cameron even more with the healthy ‘wrong’ players on the floor. This was Duke, my Hoosier brothers. You don’t go tentative when wearing candy stripes. We played with zero chip on a shoulder and zero swagger. Cleveland State would have gone into that environment less tentative. We have the talent…..but some on this team seem to think they’re fashion show runway models for the NBA rather than gritty Hoosiers who hate Duke with every capillary of their existence.

  8. Great points. Our rebounding was stellar. Let’s hope that transitions to no turnovers and overall sloppy play. They all play AAU ball so they play 3 games in one day on occasion. I don’t think 18-20 year olds get tired do they.

  9. Don’t know why anyone is shocked by this loss. IU men have not won a non conference road game in the past 7 years. Last non conference road win …. Nov 30, 2011 at NC State. Playing patsies at home doesn’t help grow this program.

    1. Playing patsies at home doesn’t help grow this program.

      Couldn’t agree more….Playing patsies builds a patsy mindset…which can lead to ‘falling to pieces‘ (no offense to the best Patsy ever).

  10. Please stop making excuses about players being tired and the refs. The only chance IU had to win was slow the game down make few turnovers and shoot well from the 3-point line. That didn’t happen. The talent difference was too great in addition to the incredibly poor play by IU. Phinisee played scared and Justin Smith is a turnover train wreck. Romeo tried to force too much, but I feel he sensed no one else was doing anything positive. When Archie can replace many on the current roster with some more of his own recruits, IU will take the next major step forward. Still remain optimistic.

  11. After watching a few of the games last night, I would be willing to bet that Chris Mack gets Louisville back to the Final Four before Archie gets IU to the FF. As long as Louisville stays eligible, he is building a great program down there and has potentially a top 5 recruiting class coming in next year. So far the possibility of NCAA sanctions has not kept players away from U of L. Not that I dislike Archie, but I wish IU would have gone harder after Mack.

    1. If that game last night had been played in E. Lansing instead of the Ville I think the Green would have whipped the birds by a good spread.

      1. Well, that’s the beauty of great teams…They win on the road and fight tooth and nail in hostile environments. Great teams overcome….or their talent is simply so much stronger that they overcome.
        But I hate the word “talent” to describe great teams…..It’s not enough anymore. The talent must possess grit and high basketball IQ as the layer of frosting. They must defend. They must value the ball and value possessions. We were a train wreck from the tip-off last night. Talent in itself doesn’t overwhelm any opponent as quickly as we were overwhelmed. We didn’t dig ourselves a hole. It was already mentally dug and we merely jumped in it….

  12. I get the talent differential but that doesn’t explain the difference in intensity. The focus, intensity and effort was a complete embarrassment to the tradition of the program. (what shred of tradition is left at this point). Was hopeful we would not get the same effort that was put forth with UT Arlington and UC Davis but that is exactly what we got. Is that not a cause for concern for how these kids are coached? I so much want Archie to succeed, but this has my attention. Anyone notice he had his sport coat back on in the second half? What message was that sending? On a brighter note, thought it looked like Davis took a step forward last night.

    1. I have no anxiety for this team going forward. I think they now have enough healthy players to practice physically at 100%.
      Very pleased also what I saw from Davis and Durham. Never thought from past performance I would say that about DD. That’s a sign of good coaching starting to take hold.

    2. ^^^Another astute comment…rather than the injury/young/shorthanded fallback arguments we are all far too familiar from the last decade.

      We were sold grit with Archie. We were sold some guys quitting last year because they wouldn’t/couldn’t endure the toughness and focus an Archie team demands. Where is it?

      Where is the focus and grit I’ve been sold? Romeo is a supreme talent…but is there fire in his belly? Is there fire in our coach’s belly. It’s hard to watch something so counter to what was advertised. It was Crean 2.0 last night.
      It pains me to say this….but Georgia would have put up a grittier effort.

  13. Some perspective from a Alan Henderson tweet:
    “That’s just how the game goes sometimes. We have some work to do. So let’s work! 1991-92 UCLA blew us out by 20 in November. We smashed them to go to the final four come March. You never know? #iubb @IndianaMBB”

  14. IU basketball and (even football) fans are so deprived of that ego that comes along with winning tradition they base thinking on pure hope. Any time a football coach is hired it is self explanatory.
    However, the basketball program is a different animal. The hope for Archie Miller to bring back IU basketball is hope in its most pure form. Archieway is definitely making recruiting in roads in the Hoosier state. Almost everyone is making way to many assumptions on how successful he and IU basketball program will be. Rather, almost everyone is wishing and hoping for that traditional success to come back. In reality Archieway may or not be able to bring back that traditional success. In reality it is a wait and see to what degree traditional success or unsuccess will be brought back to Hoosier nation. Three or four years 2021 or 2022 there will be a much better understanding of the Archieway era in the IU men’s basketball program.

  15. It’s interesting that some folks are ready to assign IU to ‘second tier’ status because we lost to Duke by 21 on their floor.

    I don’t think Kentucky fans are writing off this season after losing to the same team by 34 on a UK leaning neutral court.

    It was a train wreck but it was one game where everything went south. It happens.

  16. I’m not panicked, nor am I surprised or upset. But I took my rose colored glasses off years ago. This team might win 21 games this season if certain players recover/remain healthy. It will be better than last year’s team, but won’t be good enough to get anyone excited about our prospects in March. But last night was revealing. After watching that debacle, how could anyone claim that IU “is a basketball school.” IU may have been a “basketball school” decades ago, but it hasn’t been ” basketball school” for a long time.

    Did anyone watch Coach K’s press conference after the game? After acknowledging that Duke scored 90 points, while shaking his head he said, “but we left a lot of point out there tonight. A lot of points.” Duke could easily have beaten IU by 40 points and scored 110 last night. And while IU will obviously improve over the next few weeks (can’t look much worse), this IU roster has no chance of beating this Duke team, regardless of where the game is played, who the refs are or when the rematch occurs. That’s an elite basketball program. IU has a long way to go before it gets back to that level.

    Here’s what I’ve witnessed so far this season. IU is sloppy with the ball and makes far too many turnovers, even against “weaker” teams. IU is a bad 3-point shooting team. We have one grad-transfer who can be relied upon to make a 3-pointer. IU is bigger than last year, but still not big enough to play with the elite teams. And lastly, IU is a terrible free-throw shooting team. Our big man missed four or five (I lost count) free throws in a row toward the end of the game. He can expect to get hacked a lot more in the post, especially when the game is close in the final minutes. What was he working on when his recovery prevented him from running and jumping? You’d think he’d have focused on becoming a better free throw shooter!

    1. Hoping for 21 wins this season seems seems quite optimistic considering a .200 winning percentage on the road to date in the Archie era. As Harvard stated this group is one serious injury away from from nothing. Unless Romeo transforms into the second coming of Larry Bird this team may win 16/17 games. Making the NIT would be an accomplishment. It’s going to take 4 recruiting cycles for Archie to make his mark.

  17. We’re one injury away from having nothing….(if you want to focus on injury).

    Morgan injury? Romeo injury? There is nothing to fill such a void. And that’s the difference, folks. We’re far from being a Duke, UK, Gonzaga, Michigan, UNC….We have a couple really nice players. The best of the best have an entire roster’s worth.

    And if our other backcourt players don’t start to show some scoring/shooting skills, Romeo is simply going to garner more physical and tenacious attention from opponents. His game was frustrated last night because a lack of supporting cast to score the ball.

  18. Perhaps more work on the OFFENSE in the offseason and less focus on defense would cut the turnovers down and improve the passing and passing angles.

  19. I Fall to Pieces
    Patsy Cline

    I fall to pieces
    Each time I see you Duke again
    I fall to pieces
    How can I be just your [Bobby Knight] friend?
    You want me to act like we’ve never kissed
    You want me to forget [Rupp in 2002] (to forget [the 17 point lead you blew])
    Pretend we’ve never met
    And I’ve tried and I’ve tried
    But I haven’t [despised you enough] yet
    You walk by and I fall to pieces
    I fall to pieces
    Each time someone speaks your [Duke] name
    I fall to pieces
    Time only adds to the flame [flaming out]
    You tell me to find someone else to love [to guard]
    Someone who love [not to dunk on] me too
    The way you used to [easily] do (used to do [without Williamson too])
    But each time I go out with [substitute in] someone new
    You walk by [without a traveling whistle] and I fall to pieces
    You walk by, [dunk], and I fall to pieces

  20. I’ll finish by saying….Williamson did more ‘Dunking and kissing Mr. Glass’ than Peyton Ramsey and Tom Allen.

    1. It’s sports opinions…not medical treatment.

      It’s good for us to be all over the map. Otherwise, we would take ourselves seriously.

    2. Wrong about what…? Everything? Did I miss something or are we having those private email ‘Hair Performers’ conversations again?

      Speaking of hair improvements…How about the Kyle Guy guy? Now there’s the Hoosier we needed to be a Hoosier. 15 first half points…Wow…Simply lighting it up for #4 Virginia. Oh, how Jay Bilas loves to keep talking of the spanking Duke gave Indiana last night….But in all his glorious adulation for Kyle Guy’s game tonight…along with his deadly quick release deep three balls being buried in this prime time game, does he give one hint or mention of where Guy is from? Hell no. Just more promos of EstablishmentSPN’s upcoming “Last Days of Knight’ special.

      ‘Last Days of Knight’….? Might as well call it ‘Last Days of IU’….because we haven’t done sh__t since Bobby’s heyday.

  21. Perspective.

    If Gonzaga hadn’t provided the blueprint right off the bat how to address playing Duke people would be tossing around “unbeatable” discussing this team. Mark Few is a great coach and he pulled a rabbit out of his hat.

    Remember the Hoosier kicking in the teeth of the Tar Heels not so long ago?

    Name one player you would compare to Zion. He is Shaq with touch, ball handling skills, and hustle.

    If these guys don’t win the title it will be Coach K’s biggest failure.

    No need to hyperventilate.

    1. Christ, Chet…They were in Hawaii. There’s your perspective. Granted it’s the most talent I’ve seen on a Gonzaga team, Duke was simply on more of a vacation than Gonzaga.
      Duke will have their way with them in a meaningful game. Duke is beatable…but not on a Duke court where they will get the home cookin’ calls as we do in Assembly. Williamson gets himself in foul trouble and its anyone’s game against the Coach Anteater. Five fouls in the college game….That one less granted foul is one of the biggest differences that still remains between the college and pro game. There is no such thing as foul trouble in the NBA. Three fouls in college and you’re either tentative or benched.

      1. Pretty sure Bankers Life Field house is still in Indianapolis.

        That’s in Indiana.

        It’s pretty close to Kentucky.

  22. Two words: Iggy Braz….

    How does Beilein do it? Year after year he gets the high energy, fun as hell to watch, guys who will take you to a Final Four. McGary, Wagner, Iggy.

  23. UNC just got drubbed by 17 by the Wolverines.

    I imagine Tar Heel faithful are pretty much writing off this season. After a game like that.

    1. Meatchicken is a BB force this year. Watched them 3 times and they are for real. They also took Villanova apart at Villanova. Proving JB’s chops as a big time HC and to a certain extent minimizing those of FB HC Harbaugh.

  24. So Damezi came in with 1:43 left…? Baffling. Is he in the doghouse for something? This young man has been referred to as a true scorer…Odd that he saw basically zero time in a big game. Scoop journalists’ know what’s up?

    1. Thought it was well known his D is poor. Guess not to everyone who claims to be a fan. Dookies would have broke a 100 if he’d been subbed in.

  25. #3 ranked player in the state….

    Damezi’s high school coach:

    “He’s a high-energy guy and when he gets going, he’s really fun to watch,” Brand said. “He can come in and be instant offense. And he’s got a great smile. He’s not super flamboyant, but just his game and the style he plays is fun to watch.”

    Hard to provide instant offense when you’re inserted with 1:43 left and your team is on the wrong side of a blowout. Maybe he has the flu…or something.

  26. I’ve always thought Beilein was a hell of a coach….Getting Mathews from UK is certainly adding to the punch of this year’s team. One of the best pivoting turnaround jumpers I’ve seen in a very long time…Kobyesque.

  27. While we’re all slobbering over Beilein, let’s all remember it took him 5 years to get the program back on its feet again. Missed the tournament in years 1 & 3 and never got passed the 2nd round. Then, in year 6, after getting beaten by Tom Crean twice, he takes Michigan to the Finals.

    2007–08 Michigan 10–22 5–13 T–9th
    2008–09 Michigan 21–14 9–9 T–7th NCAA Division I Round of 32
    2009–10 Michigan 15–17 7–11 T–7th
    2010–11 Michigan 21–14 9–9 T–4th NCAA Division I Round of 32
    2011–12 Michigan 24–10 13–5 T–1st NCAA Division I Round of 64

    I don’t think we can appreciate how badly Tom Crean’s recruiting and roster depletion was at the end of his term. Besides his quirky in game “coaching”, his roster is a mess. He burned every relationship in the state of Indiana, it required a Californian wildfire-fighting crew to put it out. It was going to take more than a Top 5 high school recruit to turn Indiana into a national contender again. I think Indiana and Michigan programs were in similar position when AM and Beilein took over their respective programs.

    I’m frustrated with mediocrity, too. The Duke game was sickening to watch. These aren’t excuses.
    It’s the reality of where the Indiana program is. When I hear Archie talk, I hear a guy who sounds like a basketball coach who knows the game as well as anyone, can coach it and hold his players accountable. Like all of you, I’m only armed with a remote, so we’ll all wait and see how it all plays out. I think Archie has the right stuff to get the program back to national prominence. This year? That seems like an unreasonable expectation by any measure.

    In the meantime, I’m sure there will be plenty to complain and fight about. So, have at it internet warriors.

    1. DD,
      It probably won’t take H4H too terribly long to weigh in on your comments. Kind of like waving a red flag in front of a bull on this subject. Being quite realistic, changing the culture of a program does not happen overnight, and let’s be honest, the IUBB program culture has been a problem for a very, very long time in many different ways. TC proved incapable of solving the problems he inherited, and over the long haul, not much better than smoke and mirrors. If we take the proverbial rose colored glasses off, the program has been in varying stages of dysfunction since the early 90’s. AM can’t wave a magic wand and fix that overnight, going to take 3-5 years.

    2. Then, in year 6, after getting beaten by Tom Crean twice, he takes Michigan to the Finals.

      Beilein is a very good coach, but it was McGary who ‘took the tournament by storm’ in that first Final Four run. And he was just getting himself healthy after a near full season of hardly tasting playing time until late in his freshman season campaign.
      He didn’t cower on the big stage…It’s where he thrived. The fact that he had a very limited freshman season made what he did in the NCAA tournament far more incredible(at least for five games).

      Beilein? Great coach…but they’re not in a Final Four without riding the heart, skills, and energy of McGary (no matter whatever “footprint” Cody stamped on his forehead in the regular season as McGary began to get his PT and confidence back). Let’s keep in mind, he was a freshman who had gone a season full of limited appearance when Crean’s #1 team beat them twice.

        1. The only people here that should be embarrassed are those who defended/denied/apologized for the nine years of disgracefully coached basketball which urinated upon our lore and dedicated in the face of those represented by the banners over McCracken.

          Those who supported the catastrophic clown show know who they are (hint, hint).

          Would I expect narcissists to ever have such an ounce of admission or reflection…or “perspective?” Hell no…..That’s an easier answer to determine than seeing Crean coach for two weeks and realizing it’s an actor/impersonator all the same.

        2. Damn right I’m sure….

          There were only a handful here who knew just how bad a coach we were shackled to…thanks to Fred’s gushing pen and extended contracts. You were not one. You were too busy talking of your full court in your backyard outside of Ashville.
          90% of you were in zombie land…or at war on Scoop with those who preferred well-coached basketball instead of slobbering over Galileo’s next D-Wade to put on his Barnum & Bailey resume.

          I will give credit where credit is due…DoubleDown has stuck to his guns. He was sickened by the ineptitude and the soft scheduling. He finally helped move many of you into the light.

  28. We all hope Archie is a man “who knows the game as well as anyone.” We all hope that Archie “can coach and hold his players accountable.” I was one of the first, if not the first person on this site to write that IU should and would hire Archie Miller to be our BB coach. I’m invested in Archie. I’m a fan in every way you can be a fan of this man. Based on what I’ve heard, seen and read, I like everything about Archie Miller.

    I think Archie has and will continue to improve recruiting. But so far, what I’ve seen on the basketball court over the last 13 months has not impressed me. It’s not the number of wins vs. losses, it’s not the humiliating loss to Duke the other night, or getting beat by Ft. Wayne last year. It’s not the ranking of his first recruiting class or that he does not have a roster full of 5-star-rated recruits that will all play in future NBA All-star games. It’s simply the way his two IU teams have played thus far. Honestly, I’m not seeing them do the little things well. They’ve yet to demonstrate that they’re strong on the fundamentals or even improving their fundamentals. Far too many turnovers, even against weak teams. Way too many missed free throws, failing to block out, not finishing at the rim, accurate shooting (not a little thing), stupid fouls, terrible passes, etc. I’m not seeing improvement in the many important little things that I expected to see by now. I’m not seeing improved discipline and refinement. I really don’t care how many wins Archie’s team produces this year (we’re not going to make it to the final four). But I want to see his players demonstrate that he has improved the quality of their performance, both individually and collectively, on the many little things that are essential to winning games, regardless of the amount of talent on the roster.

    We’ll give him time. We’ll understand that his team is young and that the rebuilding process takes time, probably a lot longer than any of us would like to admit. And we’ll forgive the losses, for now. But we need to see that his coaching is having a noticeable impact on his players’ performance, both individually and collectively. I’m not seeing enough of that type of progress yet, and that is more disappointing to me than watching IU get blown out by Duke.

    For anyone who was around back then, think back to the transformation of Landon Turner’s play during the 80/81 season. Half way through that season, Turner, in spite of his enormous athletic talent and size, was a bust. He simply could not do anything right, and failed to perform the many little, fundamental aspects of the game. He was riding the pine a lot and the primary target of Knight’s wrath. But toward the end of the regular season, Landon Turner had transformed into arguably the best, most dominant college basketball player on the planet, and was, in my opinion, the reason why IU won its fourth National Championship that year.

    1. Po,
      I believe AM is the guy to get the job done, but as I said to DD, it is going to take time. If he doesn’t there will be a lot of us who believe in his ability to get the job done very disappointed.

      1. What are you basing such a belief….? Because he passes the more forehead than ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ test?

        1. Historical track record. The things which he has emphasized, not only here but at Dayton as well. Will it translate from Dayton to IU? Only time will tell.

  29. IU will certainly play better than they did at Duke. That being said, I am still on the AM bandwagon. I would have liked Chris Mack as my first choice but Archie is going to need 3-4 years to turn this mess around. Besides Langford and Morgan, what other player would see significant playing time at the top programs?None! Durham, DD, Green, Smith, McRoberts would be lucky to get on the floor at all. II still believe Phinisee will be a good player but not necessarily a star. IU will need to recruit a dynamic point guard for competition. It would be great if IU lands the two 5 star forwards that are currently trending their way. As said this will take some time. The Big 10 looks tough this year. The next 4 games will tell us how this season goes.

  30. The difference between the team that lost by twenty to Indiana State was totally different by the end of the year. No progress under Archie? Juwan Morgan went from being the 8th guy on the floor to being one of the best players in the conference. Scoring some serious points in the paint all the while not having a guy on the floor over 6’9″ and not a guard in site that could throw a basketball in the ocean.

    Another note, Morgan when he’s on the floor, has played well this year. He is asked to guard the opposing team’s 5. And he’s the only one who seems capable of doing it. But there’s no coach in the NCAA who ideally wants a guy who is 6’7″ 205 guarding the opposing team’s biggest player. No wonder he’s had foul trouble.

    Indiana has looked shaky in their last 4 games. No doubt. I think Arkansas and Duke were bad match-ups because Indiana can’t handle teams with size. Arkansas had an all SEC center that just dominated us. Duke has a player that might be the best player we’ve seen in 10 yrs, who is the size of a truck who moves like a ballerina surrounded by three more guys that will go in the Top 10.

    We aren’t getting worked because Indiana isn’t coached or prepared well, in my opinion, it is because of glaring weaknesses in the roster. With each passing year, Archie will own this problem. Right now, he’s having to work more with what he was given: which was a empty cupboard by his predecessor. He’s bringing in a much better class of recruits, but the roster still has massive holes, Romeo or no. Like Beilein’s 5th year, he’ll own the roster issue completely.

    Still, my hope for this year is solid. The team that showed up and ran Marquette out of the gym played in a way I haven’t seen basketball played in Assembly Hall since the “guy who says all the naughty words very loudly” was coaching on the sidelines. I, too, am holding this coach to an absolutely standard of performance, but you aren’t looking at things critically if you think Archie’s team hasn’t improved with time. Last years team crapped out in the B1G tourney because the seniors just gave up. But that team was playing a LOT better at the end of the year. When they had a sliver of a chance to make the tournament, they were played a TON better. They won 5 B1G games in a row. And roster was horrendous.

    I’m not ready to make a judgement this year, only 7 games into this season. There are concerns, which I’m happy to discuss, but making broad sweeping conclusions isn’t all that constructive in discussing things. People just end up arguing over nothing that can be proven.

    1. DD,
      Don’t know if the line is original to you or I’ve been asleep somewhere and hadn’t heard it, but I had to laugh out loud at the “guy who says all the naughty words very loudly,” line. Classic description.

  31. It’s funny hearing the praises of Chris Mack and his success at Louisville.

    Nine days after IU pounded Marquette into oblivion the Golden Eagles downed the Cards on a neutral floor.

    Louisville has played three decent teams so far and they lost to two of them. By what measure has Mack done anything substantive?

  32. Anyone remember back to the season when IU lost two games to the MSU team with Magic Johnson? IU played really well in both of those games but still lost. We were simply outmanned by superior talent. Bob Knight was not upset with his team about those two losses. He said at the time that his team played about as well as they could, but that they were just up against unusually superior talent. Archie could not say the same after this recent loss to Duke. While his team was up against unusually superior talent, they didn’t even come close to playing their best. In fact, they played terrible.

    1. Po,
      Normally I would agree with you, but in this case I think you are being too hard on them in some respects. Were there inexcusable mental breakdowns? Absolutely! Were there terribly tired legs from the core players over the preceding games? Absolutely. Biggest problem I see, was they were totally out of sync with the influx of returning players. Out of position, not sure what the other guy was doing. All smacks of not enough full go practice time or in game experience together.

      Responsibility fall on the coach? Yep, but what’s he supposed to do under the circumstances? When nearly half your team is down for an extended period of time, you can only do so much. Let’s also not forget, playing an extraordinarily talented Duke team at Cameron coming off of their first loss. Not a good combination, recipe for a blow out loss and it happened.

Comments are closed.