How IU lost its way: a 2018-19 season postmortem

Editor’s note: This story appears in Sunday’s print edition of the Bloomington Herald-Times.

There’s a short hallway that connects the visitors’ locker room to the press room at Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

As the clock neared midnight on Feb. 22, moments after Indiana’s 12th loss in 13 games, Archie Miller had no interest in walking down that corridor.

“About two (expletive) questions, and I’m out of this,” Miller shouted as he approached the door.

The IU coach just wanted to go home.

Miller’s frustration was understandable. A season of promise for Indiana was crumbling, devolving into one of the strangest campaigns in recent program history.

Inside the press room, Miller sat for roughly a handful of questions. Though he was aggravated, the IU coach remained composed. He tapped the palm of his left hand onto the back of his right hand while he sat on a dais and listened.

The first question was about Indiana opponents’ penchant for clutch shooting and the mental toll it was taking on his own players.

Miller, though, wasn’t having any of it.

“You gotta make your breaks,” Miller said, turning away from the reporter. “You gotta make your breaks, man.”

For the first two months of the 2018-19 season, Indiana did that. The Hoosiers overcame slow starts and locked in late, enjoying big shots of their own, followed by momentum-building stops on the other end. Indiana was winning, albeit by the slightest of margins. Things were good, and looking up for the Hoosiers, victors in 12 of their first 14 games.

Then, IU lost its way.

An ever-growing injury list sapped Indiana of its depth. An easily-repeatable game plan — sag off the perimeter and pack the paint — became the template that so many IU opponents began to follow. The shooting that Indiana needed never materialized. Players lost their confidence. Fans lost their patience.

And at the end of Miller’s second season, the Hoosiers found themselves wrestling with the same central issue that has undercut the program’s ability to restore its former glory.

Indiana remains too inconsistent.

Missing pieces
Most of Indiana’s practice jerseys are red and white. One is gold.

The gold jersey is awarded on a semi-weekly basis to IU’s most productive player in practice. In late October, it belonged to Jerome Hunter.

The former four-star recruit was the second-highest rated member of Indiana’s 2018 signing class, the first class at IU recruited and signed completely by Miller. Though in some ways raw, Hunter projected as the kind of the player that would immediately help this Indiana team with his athleticism, quickness and his long, rangy 6-foot-7 frame.

As the preseason concluded, Hunter was also demonstrating another much-needed quality behind the scenes. That’s how he earned IU’s gold jersey.

“He made shots,” Miller said. “He did. He made a lot of shots.”

But that shot-making ability never made it onto the court for Indiana. Hunter underwent surgery to address a “lower body condition” on Nov. 14 and eventually took a redshirt year to get healthy.

Details on Hunter’s condition have been scarce. Indiana has declined to disclose specifics, citing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and whether he’ll have any meaningful impact next year is unclear.

Hunter’s medical situation was merely one of the many Indiana was forced to contend with as the season progressed.

The Hoosiers played with 85 man-games lost due to injury. Race Thompson and Rob Phinisee each dealt with concussions. Zach McRoberts battled back and foot issues, and was never close to his best self during his final year of eligibility. De’Ron Davis, Devonte Green and Al Durham, too, dealt with their share of ailments.

Even with the injuries, Indiana made some noticeable strides as a program in Miller’s second season. IU has shaved its turnover rate from 21.4 percent in Tom Crean’s final year to 17.9 percent this season. Indiana also took advantage of opportunities inside the arc this year, making 53.1 percent of its 2-point attempts.

Perhaps most importantly, the Hoosiers continue to grow into a defense-first program, finishing 65th nationally in defensive efficiency in Miller’s first season and 28th nationally this season.

But as injuries mounted throughout the year, Indiana found its ceiling lowered and its gains gradually muted. Without a full cast of contributors able to help, the Hoosiers drifted further and further from their potential.

“We went through a lot of adversity this season with injuries,” Phinisee said.

The adversity didn’t end there.

A shot here, a shot there
Purdue’s Ryan Cline. Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon. Ohio State’s C.J. Jackson.

They all share a common bond, having knocked Indiana out of games with the kind of clutch shooting that the Hoosiers lacked.

A year after IU shot merely 32.2 percent from 3-point range — the worst mark in program history — the Hoosiers were somehow worse this season. Indiana made only 31.2 percent of its 3s in Miller’s second season, and ranked dead last in the Big Ten with a perimeter shooting mark of 27.5 percent in conference games.

It all added up to a severely limited offense, even with a pair of All-Big Ten talents in Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan. When opposing teams buried IU with shots late in games, there was little to no response on the other end from the Hoosiers.

It’s incredible to think how this season may have been different had IU been able to drain a shot here, or a shot there.

Al Durham, who shot 28 percent from deep as a freshman, started the campaign with encouraging results. Durham made 48 percent (12-for-25) of his 3-pointers across his first eight games, then shot just 31 percent (28-for-90) from beyond the arc across his final 26 contests.

Langford never consistently added a 3-point shot to his game, as much as he tried. The blue chip recruit enjoyed one especially hot four-game stretch that spanned late January to early February, during which he shot 11-for-26 (42 percent) from the perimeter. But for the season, Langford was merely a 27 percent 3-point shooter, and opposing teams treated him as such.

IU’s best shooter by percentage? It was Devonte Green, Indiana’s streaky junior guard, who shot 41 percent from 3-point range this season. It was another season of wild swings in contributions for Green, who was shooting a rather pedestrian 34 percent from deep with four games left in the regular season.

He finished as the only Hoosier to shoot better than 35 percent along the perimeter.

A low success rate from 3-point range wasn’t Indiana’s only shooting deficiency. Indiana’s free throw percentage of .655 was its lowest since Tom Crean’s first team shot at the same rate during the 2008-09 season.

It’s a strange problem to have at a school such as Indiana, the flagship university in a state where shooting might be its greatest natural resource.

Miller tried to address the issue after his first season, bringing in St. Mary’s graduate transfer Evan Fitzner, a career 40-percent 3-point shooter prior to his arrival at IU. But outside of a 16-point effort in IU’s Nov. 14 win over Marquette, Fitzner didn’t produce at the level Indiana needed. He appeared to lose confidence as the season progressed, and more often than not was a non-factor by the heart of Big Ten play.

It seemed to be either a failure in talent evaluation or a failure in player development by Indiana’s coaching staff. As Miller moves, once again, to fill the holes in his roster, his choices will be given a more skeptical look.

Filling the holes
The roster Indiana closed the season with could look far different from the one IU takes into the 2019-20 season opener.

The turnover began on Friday, with little-used forward Clifton Moore announcing his desire to transfer. Moore’s departure opens one additional scholarship for next season, with potentially one or two more spots set to open in the coming weeks.

Indiana needs shooters, reliable Big Ten-ready post depth and a backup point guard. How Miller chooses to address those needs will become clear as the spring continues.

“Our recruiting philosophy is always going to be the same,” Miller said in mid-February. “We’re trying to recruit, obviously, the best players that make sense for Indiana and our staff. Part of what we hope is a future of the building blocks (are guys that) play through mistakes early in their career, they get better and they earn their stripes so to speak. But without question the skill level has to be there, the shooting level has got to be there and I think just in general as you watch college basketball, the size that you need to be able to endure a long Big Ten season is something that is fresh on the mind.

“We’re not done recruiting by any stretch of the imagination. Our teams will always have a chance to be bolstered at any point in time with adding new players. Our recruiting philosophy is fine, and we have brought in one class, have got a second one coming and hopefully that second one isn’t finished yet and we can keep going deeper. You want your classes to stack on top of one another and you want them to be able to get older with one another. That’s where we are sort of at the beginning stages of being able to stack a couple together here.”

Without question, Indiana needs to get older. The Hoosiers needed to get smarter and more skilled, too.

The Hoosiers had the potential to be more than what they were during the 2018-19 season. Injuries, poor shooting and low basketball IQ derailed Indiana’s early upward trajectory. Missing three consecutive NCAA Tournaments is not something that should happen at Indiana, and it’s up to Miller to make sure IU’s slide from college basketball’s upper crust doesn’t continue next season.

During a IU Board of Trustees committee meeting in February, Indiana athletic director Fred Glass was grilled on the low success rates of the school’s revenue sports, football and men’s basketball. Addressing the latter, Glass said he believed that, in time, Miller will prove to be one of Indiana’s iconic coaches.

To reach that rare air, Miller has his work cut out for him.

There was undoubtedly some progress during the coach’s second season at Indiana. The Hoosiers ended the regular season with six Quadrant 1 victories, including a pair of impressive wins over Michigan State. They played better defense and, after an embarrassing loss at Minnesota on Feb. 16, they rallied around each other to author a late-season surge that vaulted them back into the NCAA Tournament conversation.

At the same time, there were also enough losses and head-scratching moments to mostly mute those signs of progress. In two seasons, Indiana’s offensive approach under Miller has provided uneven and unconvincing results. And even after rallying with four consecutive wins to close the regular season, the Hoosiers failed to capitalize on their momentum with a one-and-done Big Ten Tournament appearance that, once and for all, ended their NCAA Tournament hopes.

“It takes time here in the off-season to really take a deep breath,” Miller said. “It’s a long year, and then we have to make sure that our players are all on same page as we move through the spring.”

Ultimately, Indiana’s 2018-19 season was inspiring and maddening, progressive and empty, and hopeful and frustrating.

For a program so desperate to return to where it once was, the past five months illustrated how far the Hoosiers still have to go.

64 comments

  1. Way to long and a bunch of pig slop. Just like coach K talking about college players getting paid in his post game presser and how much money is made off them. K talks about future changes. The reason k’s remarks are pig slop is because it’s always about more money for coaches and players and the whole sports industry. It’s never about coaches etc making to much money. It’s never about coach K saying we should only make about ONE TENTH the salary we make. If all the money was in a system where coaches and everyone towards the top of the pyramid made about ONE TENTH. That’s more in line to what they are worth and perspective would be more accurate and self righteous as coach K and so many others think they are. Then money across the board could be distributed in a way to DRIVE DOWN the cost of going to college for all. All these rich wealthy self righteous people who donate money sometimes multi millions to various causes and things. Why should they make so much money to have that much left over to make such huge donations? I get the many this and that reasons and arguments. If the ridiculous salaries that are paid at the top were never allowed to get so out of corrupt out of balance (and it is legalized corruption) then some of the problems for many others would be much more solvable and realistic. In this case lower higher education costs for each individual that sports represents. Think about it. Without the individuals that make up the colleges and universities sports wouldn’t even exist in their respective institutions. This is just one area of catastrophic imbalance. Others in the political arena, pharmaceutical industry, other entertainment areas, religious preachers are other examples among those who make donations and give back after making many millions of dollars thus keeping many millions for themselves. Coach K is just another self righteous jerk.

    1. t,
      If one has the ability to do what coach k is able to do then, go out and prove it. If not, we are all on the “pyramid” where our abilities place us. Sermonizing in this manner comes across as nothing more than jealousy. Talk about greed and self righteousness, there is nothing more greedy or self righteous than those who want to drag down to their level others who have worked very hard to achieve. Not had it given to them, and I know there are plenty of examples of such, but worked very hard to get to where they are at. Love him or hate him, Coach k has worked very hard to get to where he is at.

      1. His intent is not to bring those with integrity down.. He’s simply speaking honestly and from the heart. There is a ridiculous amount of hypocrisy in sports and a ridiculous amount never addressed by people like Coach K (and the other t references).
        A ton of agendas as well. Many of the “pyramids” were never constructed with integrity in mind. And many on top are rarely humble enough to truly speak of those they were lucky enough to be mentored by…or simply invested in them in a way many are not. It becomes a narcissistic disease on society where it’s all about “me” while never acknowledging mentors, family, economic placement…or simply good fortune along the way.
        A lot of fake pyramids defining what being “on top the world” or perceptions of “success” should even mean.

  2. You are exactly right. It is jealousy and we are all on a pyramid. YOU ARE EXACTLY WRONG. Whether it is a drastically overpaid CEO, athlete, coach, political figure and others that rely on donations, slanted legal corruption and illegal corruption, or a panel of guys guys in a high dollar suit discussing sports on tv or radio, or pretty much all media who says a bunch of pig slop for high dollars (irresponsible freedom of speech) think; you blindly miss the point. It is all about how distributing wealth perspective in society. Blessings yes. Fair no. Very slanted, rigged, and lack of perspective

    1. There are eight other Greek organizations on IU’s Bloomington campus that are currently on suspension:

      Wow…It appears our basketball program isn’t the only things being “wrecked” by destructive behavior. Eight Greek organizations?

      Parenting must be really on the decline…Kids raised in daycare centers finally sharing the dysfunctional stages of those raised in forgotten cities and crime-infested streets. No role models…No true investment. No emotional backbone of support. You can be comfortable …or poor and still have very little from those who should care most.

      It’ really all quite sad….how so many need alcohol to drown their everyday thoughts or to be happy.

      1. H’vard, that was a piece of trite drivel! Day care is organized learning. I used it for my 4 kids and they graduated from Princeton, Swarthmore, Smith College and Vanderbilt, all with zero debt!

  3. The points made in the article are well known and appreciated (possibly even taken to heart) by Coach Miller. He has heard the concerns from fans from all different directions, the press, probably even board of trustees. He does need time to build program inside out; for whatever reason tom Crean lost support and trust in the High School Coaches of Indiana. Crean had ample opportunity to recruit Trevon Bluitt or Kyle Guy. They both should have been easy recruits ;in fact the BEST talent left the state. The fact that the most of the BEST Talent has come BACK to Indiana in 2018 and soon in 2019 that the Coaches in state trust and believe in Miller more than they ever did AFTER Zeller. Even having AG and AO come back ,marching the “Candy Stripe” Alumni out to hand the new class did NOTHING for recruiting. Crean had to settle for the Tim Priller’s and Jeremiah April’s. There will always be hits and misses in recruiting but be glad the talent in the state is LISTENING to Coach Miller and not turning their ears to out of state Schools.

  4. He needs to coach offense better and guys need to sharpen up their offensive skills expand their games what happened to shooting 2 or 3 hundred jump shots a day

  5. It takes all college students (including parents or those helping with bills) for colleges and universities to exist. Decrease all coaching and university officials salaries and all those making money from sports including everyone and everything making money from sports from top by nine tenths and graduate the scale decrease downward for those making less money. Then , take all that money and drive down cost of going to college.

    1. t,
      Your assumptions are way off base. You are assuming that by taking all the money coming in from sports, it will continue to come in. Not happening. If you want to cut all the money being paid to coaches and university officials salaries, it is already out there. It is called Division 2, Division 3, and beyond. Not exactly at the same level of competition you have come to expect from Division 1 sports, is it?

      Pull the money out of D1 athletics and it will go somewhere else, but it won’t be to cut tuition. Remember the monies to fund the athletic departments are coming primarily from the revenue sports themselves. Cut the quality of the product on the floor or field and you will cut the amount of revenue. Quality however, is in the eye of the beholder and very subjective.

      The costs of tuition are being driven by something far different than college sports. Quite frankly, without college sports the costs would be higher and there probably wouldn’t be quite as many buildings on campus at a lot of schools. Do you really think all the donations for most universities come because of academics? Most of the high dollar academic donations in meaningful amounts are confined to a relative few institutions. Do a little research on this and you will find it is the same schools year end and year out getting dollars. The rest are driven by athletic programs in one way or another.

      1. You’re like many here. You like to tell someone with an opinion not your own as “off base.”

        Idea? You have “think” as part of your blogging name. Maybe say I “think” your opinion is off-base…? That would be a beginning…ya think?

        1. If that’s what you say Jester, I suppose it has to be true. However, failing to realize the problems with what society considers more important, in terms of compensation, is an influencing factor on the marketplace. Whether we like how the cash is doled out or not, the old axiom is very true. Money, like water, will always follow the path of least resistance. The problem is not the marketplace but rather what society considers more valuable.

      2. But when the money becomes completely insane in sports, it sort of destroys the perceptions and importance to the concept of valuing education …and striving to be a student-athlete.
        The dollar sign as salient in all things flaunts in the face of education and corrodes values to the importance of learning/mind over solely an entertainment value of something. Why is the ‘teacher’ of a basketball game so insanely more valued than a ‘teacher/professor’ in a classroom?
        We have lost perspective …and simply sell such lost perspectives on “whatever the market can bring” as someone’s value to society.

    2. Go ahead, get started. Good luck. Report back in 15 years about your achievements.

  6. The board is correct, the Revenue sports for Indiana University are failing and have been failing for the last couple of years. Maybe we should say they are rebuilding. But, I cannot see where the Indiana basketball program will improve (middle to lower Big Ten) in the next two to three years. Blame it on injuries, on Tom Crean, poor shooting, poor recruiting whatever you want, but it will take Archie Miller at least two to three more years to produce a NCAA tournament team or even a 20 win team. Indiana fans seem to have question about the talent level on the present Indiana basketball team, but like the article advises it could be the player development. In two years under Archie Miller, player development has been minimum.

    1. I believe it was Forbes, recently evaluated the value(net worth)of IUBB as #3 in the country. Let’s say there is the possibility that’s slipped a spot or 2 this season. We’re still able to advance again ahead.

    2. Two or three more years? For some perspective, despite all that went wrong for the team this season, they were ONE basket away from winning THREE games this season. I could easily argue that even one of those going in puts us in the tournament, which would’ve been less than expectations, but still successful given the adversity.

  7. It’s admirable on Archie’s part to not use players he “inherited” as scapegoats.

    But if a reporter is honest, a recruiting “class” is truly not a class if it’s supplementing only very few pieces atop something not of the new coach’s own desires/creation.

    Much of what Archie inherits “wrecks” any true evaluation of early recruiting and classes. It only takes one or two feeling disenfranchise…or one or two low on the basketball IQ…or one or two very poor/unreliable/streaky shooters to throw a wrench into the new talent on the new recruiting class/cycle.

    Archie is refraining from honesty to take the road of kindness and integrity. A reporter can still do the same, but be a bit more objective along the way. It’s not going to be a team fully made up of Archie’s recruiting intentions until its his own chemistry set…Crean may have started with a “wrecked” blank slate….but it was still his to create with no broken hearts or faces with uncertainty, loss or derailed emotional investment.

    This piece does nothing to address how much a coach is intertwined with the personalities of those he recruits. When those strong emotional ties are broken, things aren’t as simple as analyzing stats. Confidence and trust must be rebuilt…
    Some remaining talent sets(“holdovers”) will never fit what a coach would normally seek from his own recruiting parameters.

  8. think. I don’t expect you to follow and understand what you call way off base thinking. Sports represent a university therefore the revenue should be distributed in way to make college cheaper or affordable for all without the outrageous debt. Bottom line salaries associated with among other things SPORTS and cost of going to college are way way way out of balance. Rather than wanting to make it financially better for all who want to go to college it is always those like coach K for example and others in charge wanting to make things better for their specific entities not for the good of all (all college students). It is called distribution toward priorities and perspective. I am not concerned about quality of sports in this scenario. The unborn won’t know any difference other than college could be more affordable. Next person up for a more fair distribution.

  9. t,
    I know you are pointing out a problem with the cost of education but you are hitting the wrong target. The entire athletic budget of most schools would barely put a dent in the actual tuition costs. The problem you see is coming from a different source than the athletic programs. However, there is one thing you can be sure of, the money coming for the athletic departments is coming from revenues they generate themselves. The reason why the numbers are large is because of the revenue these programs generate. Take the individuals responsible for that revenue being generated (coaches, ADs, conferences, etc . . .) out of the equation, and the money coming in also goes away.

    College athletics, particularly basketball, is under enormous pressure from other venues to siphon off the best talent. If you think coaches such as coach k are being paid too much, guess what? If they can no longer make the money they are currently making in college ball, they move on to where they can. Perfect example is the IU baseball program for the last two coaches. Opportunities were not as viable at IU so they moved on to where the opportunities were better.

    If you lose the coach k’s of the world out of college FB or BB, do you really think the tv networks will continue to pay the megabucks they currently do? Players in college are transitory in nature so the only constant are coaches, they define college athletics. Professional sports are for the most part defined by the athlete, but in college it is the coaches. Lose their star power, like it or not, and you lose the viewership draw. Why do you think it is so important for IU to regain prominence in BB? It is because revenues are at risk. Can’t do it without a coach who can get it done, and to get/keep that coach, you have to pay the market rate.

  10. Daniels at Purdue seems committed to stabilizing tuition. Maybe it’s just talk, but at least he is talking about it. And maybe they have a more aggressive PR Department but I hear more advancement announcements from Purdue than IU Rare to hear anything non-athletic from IU. STUCK in Dothan, Alabama last spring – tornadoes. Purdue has a half hour agriculture show between the local and national news. Impressive presentation academically and their athletics.

    1. Before he was Indiana governor, Daniels was the architect of the Bush recession.

      I made a fair amount of money betting against him.

  11. Ron, it more than talk by Daniels and Purdue University there’s some very interesting programs regarding tutition costs at Purdue. My main point for logging on how there’s no “One and Done program in the Final Four this year!

  12. It’s a great Final Four…Elitism doesn’t always win. Texas Tech, Auburn,
    Virginia and MSU.
    No Duke, No UNC…No UK. Yippee. No snots. No fake classes. No Narcissistic gloat with his NBA camp. Actually, a very good weekend for college basketball(as good as it can get within the insanity of the many issues t so well addresses).

    It proves much of what I’ve always said…Talent everywhere and beginning to disperse more than ever. Strong coaching always emerging and shining against many assumed to be a notch above.

    If we wouldn’t have played wiffle ball and accepted poor coaching for almost a decade, we could have easily been in the same position of a Texas Tech, Auburn, UCF…or, dare I say, Purdue. The so-called “elites” were being thoroughly tested in far earlier rounds than typical. The landscape of college basketball is changing. The pyramids are flattening. It’s a shame we fumble around for so long…Thankfully, the apologizing, witch hunting, pious behavior and resting on slogans and laurels has been thrown out the door with Archie.
    I still think we should have had a change at AD as well….He was hired by the last head coach. He should have resigned ..or left with him. Give someone else a shot. You’ve had your decade’s worth shot.
    28 Elite Eights to your 0 from Conference Midwest Elite over the last nine seasons, Mr. Fred. I repeat…28-0.

  13. Now that I’m old I find myself reading the obituaries. Today’s noted Hugh Thimlar, 93, one is the old Indiana High School coaches had passed away. He was instrumental in starting the Indiana / Kentucky HS series. Moved to Florida and coached for 20+ years at Edison Community College. He founded the City of Palms Holiday BBC Tournament which used to be the big one for High Schools, not sure how “big” it is anymore. I met him a couple times during meetings at Edison, knew he was the coach but had no idea about his Indiana background. He is in Indiana BB Hall of fame and Florida Hall of Fame.

  14. Those who actually believe Archie’s teams aren’t improving are ignoring the statistical evidence.

    “Perhaps most importantly, the Hoosiers continue to grow into a defense-first program, finishing 65th nationally in defensive efficiency in Miller’s first season and 28th nationally this season.”

    If you are THAT good defensively, you are going to be in a lot of winnable games. That’s what we had this year, and frankly the only reason we beat MSU & had so many winnable games.

    Offensively, we were just that….offensive. But it wasn’t because of lack of good shots. The poor shooting is well documented from everywhere but the paint, which is curious given our lack of height. Fix shooting & keep the defensive mentality in tact and we’ll be climbing the ranks.

    As for Glass, I think he’s clearly on the hot seat. Whenever the trustees start asking questions the seams are being stressed.

    1. Indeed good shots were worked for, smartly taken but did not drop…that can be worked on, fixed and improved…just as TO’s and rebounds are being driven in the right direction the past 2 seasons…injuries delayed all 3…

  15. I believe the comments have veered into something important. The participants of the final four this year does help. A team coached by a RMK disciple, a pack line defense, and a team beaten by IU both times makes for a pretty good IU day even if you can’t be there yourself. IUBB is improving, the only thing missing is lack of shooting skill both at the RT line and from distance. Fix that this past year and you have a top 25 team all year long. An injury free year and a deep run into the tournament was a possibility.

    AWZ & H4H, your are right, Glass is on the hot seat, but the only way this occurs is for the trustees to be on the hot seat. Note to Hoosier Nation: Don’t like the way the school and athletics are running, pay more attention to who is being put on the Board of Trustees and what they represent.

      1. This is what happens when you use too many initials when referring to our roster….. Free Race Thompson Line. Tried to tell you this weeks ago when I looked at one of your posts and asked to buy a vowel from Sajak.

  16. Well done, Mike. Thoughtful article.

    There are a lot of diverging opinions on Indiana’s future, but I think we can all agree on the immense frustration felt watching our biggest rivals run deep in the tournament, while we are waiting on “next year” again.

    It is a total fallacy for those who aren’t fans of Archie, to think that those of us who do, are accepting mediocrity. That’s untrue. I think many of us just see the rebuilding process being a lot bigger than just getting a one and done player to carry the Hoosiers through one of the hardest Big Ten seasons in recent memory.

    There’s a lot of fear about the roster next year. I see some young guys who found their way towards the end of the year, bringing elevated game to assembly Hall next year. We haven’t seen a team take care of the ball like we did towards the end of the year. Amazing given the lack of shooters. Love the defensive stats, too.

    Obviously, none of us know, and we’ll see how things play out. But I’ve been a part of some business organisations that were run into the ground with poor leadership, and had big turn arounds with leaders who came in, owned the situation, trusted their abilities, but most importantly, offered a steady hand to right the ship. Archie is sober about his program, while offering a calm, steady presence that’s needed in the midst of a fan base that’s short on patience and fiercely, strong, and sometimes overconfident opinions. I see characteristics in him that make me believe he’ll get this righted. I’m willing to give him a few heartbeats to do it.

    But I get the frustration. I get the doubts. I could be totally wrong. However, I’m really looking forward to our team next year, while curious about how our recruiting wraps up. But even more so, curious to see some guys who are being dismissed now, as guys ready to step up and make big leaps next year.

    Let me already get ahead of it and say I fully admit I’m a total idiot who doesn’t know anything about anything. It’s easy to be cynical in these times, especially in anonymous comments on the internet. Perhaps my hope is that of a fool. But I’m pulling for Archie hard, not just for the sake of returning Indiana to relevancy again, but because he’s exactly the kind of guy I want to root for. Your mileage might vary, and I respect that. Now it’s up to him to deliver.

    It’s safe to say that if we do find ourselves at the top of the Big Ten again, we won’t be cutting the nets down after a bad home loss, raising solo narcissistic banners to single teams who underachieved, nor throwing kids under the bus. These previous events were symptoms of insecurity and a lack of foundation. I believe we’re going to win again. And win a lot. And it’ll be done in an Indiana way that most long time Hoosier fans will feel proud about.

    Or we’ll suck so bad, that I’ll have to turn off the internet and go fishing forever. I’m sure that make a few folks happy.

    1. Opinions are like fish on hooks. Once someone sets a hook into an opinion they’ll fight it to the boat with all their might in hopes it’s as big as it feels…And then they’ll mount it to the wall or tell tales too tall if it happened to get away.

      e.g.

      But even more so, curious to see some guys who are being dismissed now, as guys ready to step up and make big leaps next year.

      Duh…You set your hook heavily into Green. You still hope to mount it to the
      Scoop trophy wall. Personally, I think it’s shore lunch and already fried.

    2. I must say that I did enjoy your last two paragraphs/summation, Double Down.
      My only reservation/concern is how all your assertions(cutting down nets after losses, banners for underachieving teams, throwing kids under buses) are never met with examining the true ‘leadership’ at IU (AD and the president). I find that sort of odd.

      Chris Beard is pretty good…Wonder if he has a “greatest mentor?”

    3. I’m totally on board with Archie. If we don’t improve over the next few seasons then that would indicate I was wrong. It the results show that to be the case I will change my position based on more information.

      For the time being…Go Archie.

      1. Maybe Archie should go after Butler’s Brunk ….?

        We could have an Archie Brunker.

        Hmm…Another Butler guy is transferring. Doesn’t look too good for the head coach. Alford to Butler?

          1. Useful piece of information Jeremy, not sure if Brunk is the right guy, but who knows maybe he is.

  17. Enough of Doookich today after 10 minutes. Doookich totally supporting M Painter decision to foul at end of regulation. I get it and there are two lines of thinking. I disagree and in that game situation Doookich is wrong. Noted KY, Purdue, Texas Tech, Virginia, MSU, and Auburn success.
    Doookich like many others most years they say somewhat the same thing.”it’s the greatest games making it to elite 8 and making it to final 4 weekend he or they have ever seen.” Yes, they were excellent games and rank up there but that statement seems to be made in sports after the last tournament or playoff many times. Then, Doookich had to take his jab at the failure of IU football and basketball. After 10 minutes already tired of Doookich expertise wanta be.

    1. Dan Dockers-itch has failed to even learn from, arguably, the best to ever teach the game.

      Just ask yourself, Dan…What would Bob do? Then ask yourself if you see any banners hanging at Purdue.

  18. DD excellent writing may I add (as I read a thought came to me ) while we all watched with painful grimaces the shots not falling and the shooting being horrible….so did Hunter, Devonte, Rob, Race Justin and Dmezi..as well as Franklin and TJD. They heard the frustrations of Hoosiernation. I truly believe they will be diligent in effort to improve. I think many freshman thought shooting is shooting and to something that’s true BUT the individual defense and the defensive schemes are MUCH tougher and that naiveté contributed to the failure of the perimeter offense.

    1. Well, seeing how it was an online article probably written on a computer, I bet there was no ink wasted.

    2. t- I agree with you too much. And where the hell were these “What have you done for me lately, Hoosiers” during the Crean era?
      Now they’ve decided to pull their collective thumbs out of their butts?

      Dan Dakich Show(today)

      Dan: “Jared Jeffries liked to brag about having a lot to do with bringing Archie Miller to IU. Wonder if he’s still bragging about that?”

      OUCH! At the end of the Wichita State game, Dan makes a claim to the ESPN national audience that Archie was out-coached. And now this on his radio show today…? Wow. Think Dan has an ax to grind? Meanwhile, he theorizes of Painter soon getting offers from UCLA. Even if Painter got an interview, he’d intentionally foul it up….

      1. Excerpt of an interview with Jared Jeffries:

        On Crean: “His inability to reach out to the fan base in a genuine manner really concerned me,” adding that Crean at times over-signed scholarships, which resulted in players leaving the program.

        “I was never a big fan. I knew he was always hunting for new jobs. … I don’t respect that. If you’re going to be at Indiana, you’ve got to be two feet in.”

        Jeffries said IU athletic director Fred Glass sought his input in the process that led to Miller’s hiring (courtesy: IndyStar).

        Dan was right….Jeffries claims that Fred sought him out appear to be documented.

  19. I am normally not a big fan of Ken Bikoff, but I thought this particular piece of work was excellent.
    Especially appreciated the blurb about which former players get big crowd reaction at the “I’m a Hoosier” spots.
    Article says a lot about where IU basketball actually is right now.

  20. Final summary of ‘Conference Midwest Elite‘ 2010-19.

    Elite Eight Members (11 teams): Butler, Kentucky, Louisville, Loyola, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Xavier.

    Conference Midwest Elite (Elite Eights): 28
    Indiana: 0

    Conference Midwest Elite (Final Fours): 17
    Indiana: 0

  21. How can colleges and other entities and tv preachers ask for donations???
    Lifetime contracts and being paid ambassador upon retirement. Talk about getting paid for breathing. Insanity and it seems it will never stop and has reached the point of no return. Buyouts and offers to the new different coach….and how can universities say they need money or ask for donations. It is long gone past the point of no return….And this country tries to tell other countries what their priorities and belief systems should be.

    1. Well t, it is like this,
      I don’t see very long lines of people trying to leave this country, but I sure do see some long lines of folks trying to leave a lot of other countries to come here. That might be telling you something.

    1. Some refuse to speak against the insanity and the real walls built of gross inequities and greed …because it’s the insanity which protects and promotes the future of their elite class.
      They con and distort such walls of inequity as if they were constructed on the principles of democracy. Once in the positions of power, they narrow the roads for others while gating up liberty like an exclusive coastal neighborhood retreat. They add multiple levels of bureaucracy they never had to scale…Those on the inside of power and privilege stay on the inside…The walls impeding true liberty grow taller and taller….Border walls are like cheese on a freedom mousetrap.

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