Highlights from Archie Miller’s radio show

Archie Miller and Don Fischer discussed the current state of Indiana basketball during Miller’s weekly appearance on the Inside IU basketball radio show on Monday night.

Highlights from Miller’s appearance follow:

— On losing four consecutive home games: “It was a hard week for us, make no mistake about it. You’re coming off a hard-fought win and you have two opportunities at home. We played two different styles of games and we had a chance to win both games, but we weren’t good enough in certain areas or certain parts to finish it out.”

— On Juwan Morgan’s struggles to score vs. Ohio State: “He played as good as he had defensively to keep keep it out of there the best he could. He was guarding a much larger player (in OSU’s Kaleb Wesson). He did a much better job of keeping it out of there the first and second time. He rebounded the ball extremely well for us. Offensively, it was a very different game for him. He had four really good looks from 3 that he didn’t make. Then, his normal opportunities around the basket were eliminated just due to the fact of how they guarded us, whether they trapped us in the post or sagged some guys down there. It played a factor in his attempts. He drew seven fouls. He rebounded the ball and defended hard. It was just a tough game for him to get quality shots.”

— On Romeo Langford’s recent ability to knock down 3-pointers: “He’s feeling a lot more confident in shooting the ball. He’s shooting the ball better in games. He’s got to continue to keep that going for us. Regardless of how teams play us, he’s the one guy that finds ways to get baskets. He’s a naturally gifted scorer. He had a couple big 3s in the game (vs. Ohio State). He wasn’t able to get to the line like he normally gets to the line with the way the game was called.”

— On Langford’s ability to play with a taped right wrist/hand: “It’s something that he endured in his high school career that probably, at some point in time, should’ve been repaired. He’s got a ligament stretch in his wrist/thumb area and it causes him pain when he gets hit on it. He’s able to play with it. He came to school with it. It just gets aggravated at times when he gets whacked or bumped on the hand and it becomes sore. He’s playing through it. I’m sure it plays a little bit of a role in his comfort not having something around his wrist. But he’s played with it almost a year and a half now. To his credit, he plays through it, doesn’t stay anything and gets a special tape job every game to keep his thumb a little bit protected and doesn’t move as much to irritate it. It will be something that when the season is over, they’ll take another look at.”

— On De’Ron Davis boosting the team off the bench: “He’s the best he’s been all season, in terms of mobility and also being able to play longer stretches. He took a good two-and-a-half weeks off and didn’t do anything. He got his confidence back, in terms of having his base. The more he plays, the more he’ll get comfortable. He’s been a bright spot for us. … We’re able to throw him the ball, he’s able to make good decisions and it’s really been beneficial to us. The minutes he’s played have been productive for our team. It also gives us another guy on our bench. But he’s a Big Ten body. He’s comfortable catching and passing. He gets guys shots, too. He’s been a positive, and we’ll need him to play an even more positive role as we head into the back seven games.”

— On where he believes the team is mentally: “The big thing is confidence level. … We’re not as confident at home as we once were at one time. I think that plays a role. If you don’t hold serve at home, that really shakes you a bit. We haven’t been as good at home. When you’re not able to get over the hump, at times that can be deflating. Like I told them, there are so many more opportunities to play terrific teams. You just cannot go away from the everyday grind. You have to find that us-against-the-world mentality. … I cannot complain with our attitude and togetherness. I think our team is together. On game day, watching our bench and our huddles, you have guys really trying to do some things for one another in the right ways. It comes down to finding a way to create a little more offense at times when teams are playing us a certain way.”

— On team leadership: “I think Juwan is who he is in terms of his leadership style. He speaks to the team in huddles and in the locker room at halftime. He’s clearly the one guy who’s been through four years of Big Ten basketball. He knows what this feels like. You need your older guys. Devonte (Green) and De’Ron (Davis) are now back in the mix and you hope they can bring positive energy. I really feel like De’Ron, to be honest with you, the last three games has been a powerful voice, another confident guy who’s helped us. When you look at the remaining guys, you’re dealing with a lot of different personalities. It’s a young group. The freshmen and sophomores are not very vocal or emotional type of kids. They’re more reserved. I think Al (Durham’s) done a great job. He’s given us great energy and great body language. He plays the right way. We just need to see if we can get a couple other of these guys that are in there for long stretches to continue to give us positive energy and positive communication throughout the course of the game.”

— On playing at Minnesota’s Williams Arena: “It’s a great place to play, in terms of one of the most historic venues. It’s an odd place to play because the floor is raised so high. As a coach, you’re standing there and no one else is around you. You gotta sit on a stool and it’s just an awkward setting. But it’s loud. It’s a very hard place to play. Minnesota is a good team, so they make it harder to play.”

— On whether the concussion Rob Phinisee suffered in December is still impacting his play this month: “I think Rob has been really impacted by his injury. It’s been a very tough road back for him. I think the last two weeks, he’s starting to feel like himself, conditioning-wise. He had some good drives yesterday, in terms of getting to the basket. He was able to make some plays against Iowa’s zone, as well. He’s getting his burst back. The Ohio State game, we probably needed Rob to let a few more go. … He’s one of our best shooters and I think as the games continue to progress here, he’ll get more and more attempts because he’s starting to look more like the player we had in December.”

— On how he alters the practice schedule late in the season: “You trim your time down and start to focus in on a 90-to-75-minute block. Day after a game, maybe it’s 45 on the court, 45 in the film room. You’re looking at much shorter times. Your October and November practices are two hours and a little harder. This time of year, you really condense the time just because the players need to have fresh legs and fresh minds, as much as anything.”

— On playing De’Ron Davis and Juwan Morgan together: “It’s definitely something that has had success for us. I think just having De’Ron be back in our rotation (has helped). They have played significant minutes together. Juwan went out vs. Michigan State, so De’Ron played a lot of minutes. Iowa, they were playing a little bit together. Some of our best segments (against Ohio State), De’Ron and somebody was in the game. Sometimes it was Juwan.”

— On the impact Evan Fitzner could have on the team if he could consistently make perimeter shots: “He hit a big one vs. Ohio State and at Michigan State. We need to find ways to have him out there with De’Ron and Juwan and maybe even Justin (Smith). He’s a guy that can really shoot the ball. If he can hit a couple, it really changes the game.”

— On Jerome Hunter’s recovery from November surgery: “Jerome’s doing well. Jerome is still responding, I think, pretty good right now from his recovery of his two procedures on his lower leg. Right now, he’s working through conditioning to see how his body reacts. At times, he’s had some more setbacks. And at times, he hasn’t had any setbacks. It’s just a wait and see approach with him. We’re taking it slow. It’s unfortunate for a young guy that loves the game so much (that) he’s been set back. But we have great doctors and an unbelievable training staff and the care that he’s got has been really, really impressive.”

— On Race Thompson’s ability to help the team down the stretch: “Race is back. Race is back in practice and we’re trying to gear him up in terms of trying to keep his spirits up right now. I know he wants to help so much and we’re looking for that opportunity. Without a doubt, we’re gonna have to end up playing Race at some point in time due to the fact that he really wants to contribute, and I think he can. It’s just due to the fact that he just hasn’t had a real fair shake in terms of the practices that he’s been able to get repetitions. When you don’t play for so long, you don’t have that evidence as a coach. But you’re gonna have to have a little bit of faith that maybe at times you give him windows — shorter windows, longer windows, once a half, or at least early in the first half to give him a go and see how he does. I think he’ll respond because I do think he’s back to form in practice of looking like he’s a confident player.”

19 comments

  1. What a bunch of BS. Doesn’t seem like he is talking about a team that has lost 9 of 10 ball games and has put together some of the sorriest performances in Indiana history. Sounds like a guy with his head in the sand.

  2. Have any of you ever actually listened to the Don Fischer show(where the audience questions and comments from Archie are originating)?

    It is sort of ‘BS’ with respect to the soft questions filtered and fielded before given to the coach. It’s more soft than Downy fabric softener. Heaven forbid if one slightly harder hitting/critical comment from the audience or emailed question is open for discussion with the coach. Baby showers get more powder blue, pink and pastels than the ‘Coach’s Show.’

    The entire journalism profession is jello pudding anymore. These coaches make millions upon millions of dollars and no question is ever allowed hinting to their responsibility for the performance of the team. Questions wrapped with ribbons and bows and everything ending in ‘maybe’ …or ‘suppose.’ It’s afternoon tea with the queen and never truckstop black coffee without cream.

    You wonder why there’s so much negativity in the world? Because nobody has to answer an honest question that’s not been put through three wash and rinse cycles of political correctness.

    And the coaches get robotic and as politically correct/soft within the “acceptable” and “desirable” format determined to smooth coarsest sandpaper into silk.

      1. You earn that after a few banners and final fours…..

        What’s truly amazing is that Fischer is still around…..Wonder who takes over when he retires into the sweet sunset of Hoosier basketball mediocrity post Knight years? Jeremy Price gets a new gig? Bring your jelly, Jeremy.

        1. Really? Because the Human Combover and Porkchop got/get the same softballs? You wanna come up with a new schtick or what?
          Fisch is an Indiana treasure and second only to some guy named Scully as far as play by play goes.
          Post Knight mediocrity. Lol. And still been to a NC game since then. More than I can say for Purdue, who haven’t been in my lifetime. Must be because they’re an Ivy League school.

          1. I’m familiar with Combover….Who’s ‘Porkchop?’ Fisch is a legend and he’s paid his dues enough to throw whatever the hell he wants.

            It’s really just time for Indiana Basketball to put up or shut up. I never listened to the dumb shows with Knight. Weren’t many of them with Chuck ‘Porkchop’ Marlowe?

            I liked the plaid jackets and the refreshing world that was once ungoverned by political correctness. I liked watching teams that executed and cared about winning.

            All this ‘BS’ on Monday coach’s shows is built for filling time …and validation via mastery of jargon. Who the hell cares? Do it on the court. I had enough of the last nine years of a so-called coach’s mastery of microphones rather than the 40 minutes of what matters in a game.

      2. Oh, just be quiet, marmalade. Bigger question: Does Calipari have to answer KY jelly questions?

  3. Caller: “Archie, Thanks for taking my call. I’m so tired of Indiana having substandard seasons while not making deep runs in the NCAA tournament like so many other Midwestern teams. More directly….Can you fix this spiraling into irrelevance plaguing Indiana Hoosier basketball? Can you make your coaching and recruiting and salary commensurate with a top product, at minimum, paralleling many of the successful programs in our conference and residing in nearby states?
    If not, will you promise to step away and not allow mediocrity to be the standard at Indiana? Oh, and if I could squeeze one more quick question in…..Will you bring back the Indiana vs. Kentucky storied cross-border rivalry game that was played for decades without interruption before it was selfishly stolen from the fan bases?

    Don Fischer: “Dagnabbit., I’m sorry that one got through, Arch. Blacklist that caller. Just go back and elaborate a bit more on the last caller’s question regarding the status of Devonte Green’s jammed little toe sustained during a hard dribble off of it.”

  4. Not sure if you’re more original or more predictable….? They’re both off the charts.

  5. Any of you see the ESPN ’30 for 30′ featuring KY’s Calipari? Wonder if those one-and-done’s will turn to jelly in the tournament?

    1. Completely agree with your approach HC. The platform (ESPN) used to be real sports news. It was exciting. Now, it’s either the NBA, which sucks, or sportscasters trying to be comedians, which sucks. And since the NBA contract is with ESPN, they constantly open with NBA highlights of LaBron, Durant, Curry & Harden, no matter who they played, how good the game was, or any other logical reason than self promotion. The world would be better off w/o ESPN.

  6. Bring back ‘Wide World of Sports’….Spanning the globe. The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. This is WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS!

    ESPN is where the cable company mafia all began…Before ESPN…and, then, CNN, you’d just be having ‘All My Children’…or ‘Days of our Lives’…or ‘General Hospital’ playing as television background noise throughout afternoons.

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