Highlights from Archie Miller’s weekly radio show

After a holiday hiatus, Archie Miller’s weekly radio show returned to the airwaves on Monday night. The Indiana coach joined Don Fischer to recap recent games against Illinois and Michigan and look ahead to the upcoming week.

Here are some of the highlights from Miller’s appearance:

— On IU’s seven-game winning streak (that was snapped by Michigan on Sunday): “I can’t remember it now. Forgot all about it. We had some really good wins in that stretch. We basically hadn’t lost a game since we played in Cameron Indoor. … We had a great opportunity to start off Big Ten play with (a win against) Northwestern. Got a great win at Penn State, then we were able to come back into the non-conference and finish off Louisville at home, then (beating Butler at) Bankers Life with a great finish. We’ve been riding an emotional roller coaster here.”

— On Sunday’s loss at Crisler Center: “We did not control the controllable things. Why are we getting in trouble early? Why are we taking punches? To me, the identity of your team for the full 40 minutes, how we start the race — we’re not running fast enough. We’re not running hard enough at the start of the race and then we’re playing catch-up. We have to come out tougher defensively and more disciplined on offense. The freelancing on offense in the first four-to-six minutes is not giving us quality offense. … We shoot too many perimeter jump shots, then we get back to what we do. If you watched the second half, we had a really efficient second half. We got great shots. We didn’t finish as well around the basket and we had some ones that didn’t go down (but) I think we had it to seven with 11 minutes to go. That’s a workable margin for us. Give them credit. They were on their game, too, on the other end. We struggled to defend on the pick-and-roll. There’s a lot to learn from the game, but we have to get back to work because going to Maryland is going to be just as difficult.”

— On Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford picking up early fouls at Michigan: “Romeo’s fouls were out of frustration, so he can control that. They weren’t disciplined fouls, they were frustration fouls. And Juwan, uncharacteristically, two of his four were on the shooter. … Both guys need to be in the game and need to be smart about it, because they are important to us. But we have to be better. When we sub and guys come in, they have to get the job done and play well. For us right now, our bench is just a little bit thinner than we’d like.”

— On whether IU’s lack of toughness at the start of games is partly a mental hurdle: “We’re a big game on the schedule. That we’re an improved team this year has made a heightened awareness of it. I felt it against Butler. I felt the charge in the Louisville game. I felt the charge in Crisler Arena. At the same time, it’s part of it to understand that we are a big game. For our team, especially at home, it’s understanding how ready you have to be to come off the ball and set the tone. Setting the tone, to me, starts with your upperclass players. For me, we’re gonna have to look at Juwan and say, ‘Set the tone and start demanding the ball.’ Our guards have to think more about playmaking ability rather than trying to shoot early in the game. Think about making somebody better. Make the extra pass. Drive not to shoot, but to pass.”

— On IU’s rapidly-thinning bench: “I think we’d like to start to see some guys do some different things. I think we’ve got to get Evan Fitzner going again much more aggressive early in the game. We’ve got to get him more windows. Damezi Anderson, to me, has to start to see some early opportunities in the first half if he’s going to find a way in a game at some point in time where he’s not nervous or shaky. He’s got to start to get in there a little bit. … With De’Ron’s health right now, Clifton got a chance to get in there yesterday a little bit and mix it up. Hopefully, we’ll get some guys back and become even deeper, but without question, our bench has to come into the game feeling confident. Zach, obviously, is battling his back injury right now, so he’s practicing 50-to-60 percent of the time, so he’s not as sharp physically. Hopefully he’ll continue to get stronger and get better in that area. His role and what he’s done for us all the time is obviously the winning plays. I thought in the Illinois game, he made some real winning plays for us. We have to find a way, obviously, to get some offense out of our bench, too, when they come into the game. Part of that is hopefully Robert will start to feel a little bit better here. Hopefully we can get De’Ron back a little bit. Those two guys would help the cause. We’ll see how the rest of the guys continue to hold up. If we get a little luckier and get a couple guys back, that will help our depth and bench.”

— On adjusting to the injuries as they’ve come: “It’s been tough. Every coach and every team goes through an injury (situation). Sometimes you lose a guy, but we’ve lost a lot. … It’s been hard on our guards all November and December just having one or two out consistently.”

— On the in-season feedback he gets from his father: “He’s good. He’s really good to talk to nowadays. He wasn’t as fun to talk to when you were young and playing for him. But since he follows the teams and has had a chance to come to a couple games at IU — he spends the month of January in Arizona — he’ll tell you what he sees and he sees a lot. He learns the team as the season goes along. He’ll see some things, but he’s not real critical. He tries to keep you positive after the losses.”

— On Justin Smith cutting his turnover rate: “He’s playing a lot smarter. I think, in general, he’s learning where he can be successful. He’s also really, really concentrating on a couple things we’ve emphasized. He’s also as improved defensively as any guy I’ve coached in a year. If you watch the game film from last year, he’s been unbelievable concentrating his game defensively on some of the best players in our league. I thought he did a fantastic job yesterday against Brazdeikis. … He is really learning how to play defense the way that we’ve taught it. He’s great there. He’s rebounding the ball better right now, as well.”

13 comments

  1. I would like to hear more about the condition of Race and Eric…Left to my imagination sure seems Race has a skull fracture with concussion consequences; And Eric should have healed a long time ago for a routine surgery unless he had subsequent infection. I understand HIPA LAW but the SILENCE is deafening. Are they being red shirted?? are they considering transferring? is that why no news AT ALL?

  2. Both Hunter and Thompson are on the floor in sweat suits when the team is warming up and are on the bench with team during the games. None of know the extent of Thompson’s head injury or the extent of the surgery that Hunter had. I attend the games at Assembly Hall and arrive 45 minutes prior to tip off so I see the pregame warm ups. We will have to wait and see what red shirt decisions are made.

    1. Apparently, Don Fischer mentioned on his radio show or maybe on air during a game that Hunter was redshirting. I haven’t seen that confirmed, though. As far as Thompson — he technically cannot redshirt again. If he misses the entire season, he can apply for an extra year after he’s been there for five years. But that’s a long way away.

  3. We may never know anything about Hunter’s surgery, but we have a few clues that suggest it may not have been performed to repair an athletic related injury. First, it was performed at the Cleveland Clinic, which is the #1 specialty surgical hospital in the world. Why go to the Cleveland Clinic for a routine surgical procedure, like most orthopedic surgeries are these days, when just about any hospital in Indy could provide the same care? Secondly, it’s being kept a secret, and rightfully so, but information about orthopedic surgical procedures is not usually such a closely-guarded secret, so that suggests that Hunter and his family want to keep it private, as we all would.

    So I don’t really care why he had surgery or what the procedure entailed. I don’t have the right to know. I just want the young man to be healthy, make a full recovery and live a long and productive life. That’s really the only thing, in regards to his surgery, that should matter to anyone who is following the young man.

    As for the concussion protocol that has been applied to Race, as discussed in a previous string, I believe that these days, doctors are being hyper-cautious in treating head injuries/concussions, both for the sake of the athlete and to minimize risk of legal liability to themselves and the school. There’s all this new science coming out about the affects of head injuries, proper treatment, recovery time, etc., and the medical “experts” really don’t know very much, so the fail-safe treatment protocol is to be very cautious and take lots of time in order to minimize the risks. It’s like the old saying, “we don’t really know what’s wrong, but we know how to fix it.”

      1. I mentioned before that I taught a graduate course in neurophysiology in the UNC system for 12 years and I worked with TBI patients for a couple years.

        I’m not guessing.

  4. P-Dunkers, you are wrong about the medical team’s treatment of head injuries. They know a lot. The protocol is simple but it can be time consuming. Increase the activity level and monitor all of the symptoms. If no symptoms then increase the activity level again. Keep doing this until the player is cleared to go full out. If you do have symptoms, then rest and restart at lower activity level. They know exactly what they are doing. It just takes time and no short-cuts!

  5. Devin Davis….Now that’s a story of inspiration.
    Kid was probably still suffering emotionally from a devastating brain injury that happened within a 100 yards of where he practiced his ass off every day….Treatment? That’s a laugher. He was treated with protocol…But he was never treated with understanding and a heart. Somebody still had a use for him.

  6. Yep, they knew a lot ten years ago, but look how the treatment protocols have changed since then. Yes, they know a lot, but there is even more that they don’t know, hence the appropriate caution.

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