Quinones picks Memphis over Indiana

A frustrating spring continues for Indiana.

Archie Miller lost out on another 2019 recruiting target on Friday, seeing four-star guard Lester Quinones commit to Memphis. Quinones’ decision is the latest recruiting setback for the Hoosiers, who have struggled to secure help for their backcourt as the offseason has unfolded.

With only 11 scholarship players penciled in for next season, Miller has targeted some of the top remaining recruits in the class with his two open scholarships. So far, the returns have not been in IU’s favor.

Four-star combo guard Anthony Harris turned down IU to sign with North Carolina on April 23, four-star combo guard Harlond Beverly chose Miami over IU and a handful of others in mid-April, and five-star wing Keion Brooks picked Kentucky over Indiana in March. Indiana has also been in the mix with five-star forward Trendon Watford, but has not yet scheduled a visit.

To date, IU’s only spring roster addition has been Butler graduate transfer Joey Brunk, who joins an incoming class that features McDonald’s All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis, a forward from Center Grove, and three-star Cathedral guard Armaan Franklin. That class ranks 50th nationally and sixth in the Big Ten.

Since the end of last season, Indiana has lost three rotational players — forward Juwan Morgan, guard Zach McRoberts and forward Evan Fitzner — to graduation. Two more forwards, Clifton Moore and Jake Forrester, have transferred. IU is also moving ahead with the likelihood that star freshman guard Romeo Langford remains in the NBA Draft pool.

That leaves the Hoosiers with a backcourt that includes only three true guards returning: senior Devonte Green, junior Al Durham and sophomore Rob Phinisee.

It’s unclear where Indiana turns from here. One thing, however, is obvious.

Time is running out for Miller to add to next season’s roster. His available options also seem to be dwindling.

That’s concerning for a team that went 19-16 during the 2018-19 campaign and lost its top two scorers, Langford and Morgan. It’s also unclear what impact, if any, former four-star wing Jerome Hunter will be able to have next season after redshirting his freshman year due to an unspecified leg condition.

56 comments

  1. Unfortunately, Archie is missing out on one recruit after another. This coming season looks to be another disaster and I would say Archie will be given one more year. If he cannot recruit effectively for the 2020-2021 season, he will be gone.

  2. No surprise here. It takes 4 full recruiting cycles to build a solid foundation for a program. One and done players are not foundation pieces and recruiting them is just a waste of a scholarship and delays the process. Hopefully a lesson has been learned and some experience gained by the coaching staff. This ain’t Kentucky.

    1. may the swartzie be with us,
      Can’t be said any better than what you did. The whole idea has been to win championships, not run a nba daycare. If folks will look around as you have alluded to with KY, the one and done programs haven’t done so well championship wise. Sure hasn’t benefit Duke since they started emulating the KY approach. May win a lot of games during the season, but fold in the pressure of the tournament.

      Not so sure if IUBB didn’t dodge something on this one.

        1. Okay BP,
          What else do you call it? I don’t think the gang at the med schools are one and done’s as with the just passing through population on the way to the nba. Since the advent of the one and done rule, what exactly has college basketball become other than an nba daycare? No, not at every school, but if you are in pursuit of a 5* or 4* with potential, technically their parents just dropped them off at your school, and will pick them up at the end of the year on the way to the nba.

          Just one thought about the big nba daycares, exactly how many championships have Coaches Cal and K won combined since they totally sold out to building their teams exclusively on one and done’s?

  3. I don’t agree at all. 4 guards is thinner than ideal. But they will be effective players on both ends of the floor next season. I don’t see the doom and gloom with recruiting. A solid transfer who’ll be way better in the B1G than we enjoyed from Fitzner, Franklin a G who was in the running for Mr. BB and The Mr. BB prove AM can handle recruiting in the state of Indiana. To be in the final list for some of the best nationally gives him strong recruiting credibility. I’ll hang tough with Miller.

    1. Hard to get excited about that kid. He’s a scrawny kid with limited athleticism who played low level competition in western Pennsylvania.

      His ‘highlight’ videos consist mostly of shooting uncontested jumpers. Slowly.

      Watch his videos and tell me his style of play doesn’t look similar to Tom Priller.

  4. The solution is to have Leal agree to re-classify to 2019. Get him on campus this summer. Have him in our excellent S&C Program. Work with him on his 3-point shooting. He will be a great asset for next season!

  5. Some significant sour grapes posted on this string. Losing a coveted recruit is never a good thing, especially to a school like Memphis. I’m sure Archie understands that. And who said Lester Quinones is a one-and-done player? He’s a four star player, most of whom don’t turn out to be one-and-done.

    Archie just completed his second recruiting cycle. Unless his teams win more than 20 games per season, or unless his next recruiting class is a block buster, I don’t think he’ll get a chance to complete a forth recruiting cycle. His older brother has probably saved his job because of two things: First he has a history of building top-10 rated teams that win PAC-12 Conference Championships and making it to the NCAA tournament. Secondly, Arizona’s Class of 2019 is a top-five rated class. Archie does not enjoy the benefit of such history.

    1. My one and done reference was for last seasons wasted scholarship that could have been used for a building block. On the national level Archie is a babe in the woods and only time will tell if he will develop into a solid coach at this level. He has only completed one FULL recruiting cycle.

    2. PO-Quinones is the one who said he wants to be a one and done. Time will tell if this comes to fruition. Almost every year a 4 star turns into a one and done player. It is mostly the 5 star kids that are the one and done players, but you can go year by year and find one or two 4 star kids that were underrated by the “experts” and still go in the first round as a freshman.

      1. Only a small segment of five star players end up as one and dones. I believe it is around six per draft.

        By comparison, 24/7 Sports has 27 players listed as 5 star recruits this season.

        1. I should have stated ‘only a small segment of players end up as one and dones’, not just 5 star recruits.

          I don’t know about how many 4 star recruits go that route but you still only average around 6 total in the draft.

          1. Agreed that the number is small. I’m just saying that most years a 4 star freshmen ends up going first round.

  6. That crap won’t stick to the wall. As for his brother he is 10 years older and has been in Tucson 11 years. He’s never had the challenges totaled in 11 years that IU has furnished Archie over 2. Archie has done a good job while in Bloomington both coaching and recruiting. No complaints from me.

  7. In defense of Archie ( as if he needs or wants it) Quinones was on the inside track early on for Memphis the fact Indiana got to final 2 speaks well. Coaches name recognition of Hardaway may have helped but ask Chris Mullins how that “name recognition thing” worked out. When is a 5 star player NOT a 5 star player…. when his offense is predictable and he cant shoot past 15 ft . Romeo Started pre-IU season as a top-5 pick and after end you cant see him the the rear view mirror he so far down the draft board. There is a “selling” of these kids by Evaluators and put out in the public read space that does everyone involved a disservice…except the evaluators. After watching the “Wreck of the Romeo” last year..i would like to see Archie recruit on talent alone and leave the Stars to the Sky. Romeo is 1 season away from the G league.

  8. Fish ..he may go in first round BUT many NBA evaluators had him going in top 5 -7 before season started. Once they saw his deficiencies ( No mid range to long range jump shot and a Prevalent r-side dribble drive) they aren’t to hot on him other then PHYSICAL build. there is only a year for him to make the improvements he needs to make to stay in league. There are some one-and doners going to push him plus Seniors coming out like Kyle Guy at Virginia and Bohagen at Iowa that shoot lights Out . theres a 5 star guard at Illinois that decided to stay in Dosunomu that if he improves his game could push Romeo next year as well.. he isn’t going to learn much or improve if hes spending his time on the bench and teams aren’t going to pay himfirst round pay to do that either.

    1. Pretty hard to put a negative future in concrete for Romeo. Jordan in his 3rd year was just developing that outside shooting so necessary for a 6’6″ swingman to possess. I think Romeo will make it happen also.

  9. I’m a supporter of Archie. I think he’s a very good coach. But regardless of the obstacles that he faced upon taking over at IU, he’s getting paid a lot of money to return IU to Elite status (competing for Big Ten Championships). Three consecutive seasons with fewer than 20 wins would significantly erode his support throughout the Hoosier Nation. Building “a solid foundation” may take four recruiting classes, but in today’s instant gratification society and examples of fast turn-arounds being set by other college coaches, I believe people “expect” to see evidence of significant progress sooner than four seasons, especially for a program with IU’s “storied” basketball history. And the first barometer for fans is the strength of the coach’s recruiting classes.

    All this news about how corrupt money is being exchanged between coaches, agents, players and shoe companies makes me wonder if Archie is losing out on some of these highly rated recruits because he won’t play that game when other coaching staffs are dirty. I know Memphis has an NBA celebrity head coach who can attract NBA wannabes, but come on. Both as a school and the legacy of their basketball program, Memphis pales in comparison to IU.

    1. Memphis certainly has a checkered past. The good citizens of Memphis never seemed too concerned with the questionable actions of previous regimes. Probably a good forest to hide some trees in.

  10. Beilein is gone. Headed to the Cavs.

    Hard for me to think there are many incentives to stick around the college game. The system is so broken and rewards the cheats. Until the college game can adjust to the realities of the 21st century and the astronomical amount of money in it vs 1976, they’re going to see the good guys exhaust themselves and head to the pros. You know when a college coach leaves a really good program from a bottom feeder (in Cleveland for chrissakes), there’s something more to it. I loathe Michigan, but I really like Beilein a lot. He’s one of the good guys, far as I can tell. The B1G and college hoops in general will be worse off for this move.

  11. I think many are missing the central point. Many of the top players are not coming to IU, because they do not view IU as a premier basketball destination anymore. I think many recruits think of IU as a 2nd tier program. Archie was brought in to change that. So far the results have not been good as getting one top player is not enough anymore. As I said, I will be interested to see how he does with the next class, because at that point the excuses stop.

  12. Example of the “One and Done” players PUSHING the previous year One-ers out is Lester Quinones pushing Romeo off a roster IF..IF Romeo doesn’t get his shooting straightened out. If you think Hoosier Nation has little patience…the NBA paying a projected top 5 pick that slipped to 20 or lower to sit the bench is even less patient. Penny Hardaway is NBA recognizable name but so is Chris Mullins and didn’t succeed at St. Johns. like Kentucky..as long as they have a TUNNEL to the NBA the recruits don’t care about winning for the school ..they are looking for that pot of gold at end of rain bow. ALL you have to do is look at Vanderbilt and Garland.. Bryce Drew is gone and Garland STILL projected high draft pick even after injury; for many College is nothing more than a speed bump on way to NBA. IU and Archie deserve better than THAT.

  13. DD, HH & TJ, very good comments above, and I agree with each of them.

    Archie and IU fans absolutely deserve better and so do all college basketball fans. That’s why the NBA must be forced to eliminate the one-and-done rule. They need to step up and force their scouts to evaluate top HS players and, if necessary, pay these top kids to play in the D-league for a year or two. Let the kids who want to pursue an education play in college, and let the young adults who want to try to make it to the NBA go directly to the NBA. They can still have the option or turning pro after a year or two, but it would eliminate this “speed bump” scenario that TJ accurately referenced.

    Not sure how much Michigan was paying Beilein, but given what NBA teams are paying their head coaches these days, why not take a five year deal and work for a guy you formerly coached? Since Beilein is 66 years old, why not end your career getting the big bucks?

    1. I don’t know how they came up with it but I like the way baseball handles it. You can sign right out of high but if you go to college you have to stay 3 years.

      1. Chet,
        I agree with you, baseball has an excellent way of handling the issue. In the physical development area, neither basketball or baseball have the concerns found in football. When considering football, basketball, and baseball, of the 3, professional basketball (NBA) does the worst job of handling this issue. I think it boils down to whether or not the ownership and players unions of the particular sport have the kids best interests at heart.

        The NFL and their players understand the HS grad is not physically ready for the professional football at that level, and professional baseball knows once the kid turns professional there is no turning back. Basketball, on the other hand, seems to have no concerns as to how many Jay Edwards stories they create. Adopting the Major League Baseball rule would certainly seem to be an appropriate way for the NBA and their players association to correct this problem.

  14. A lot of the comments in this thread reflect the eras in which people became fans on Indiana. Definitely skews to an older era. I’m 40-freakin’-2 and IU basketball was past it’s prime. A few, brief flashes, but nothing that made you think that the program was beginning to feels signs of changing.

    For those who love IU Hoops, it is hard to see the forest for the trees with 24 hr news and the constant recruiting battles. When AM was hired, I always felt this was going to be a long process. The program was in far worse shape that just missing tournaments. Also, I’m just as frustrated with the losing. I hate it. But also understand that no coach on earth was going to come in and turn things around in a year.

    Po, I agree with you. Next year, regardless of roster, AM has to get Indiana back into the tournament, or he’s gonna lose everyone. But I think we’re going to see the payoffs in terms of the long-term thinking that AM has brought to establishing a firm foundation for the program. He took a huge risk going this route. I think we’ll be fine next year. More than fine. But we’ll see.

    “Lucy, please hold this football…..”

  15. As for poaching Michigan’s recruits, does anyone know if Archie went after either Jalen Wilson or Cole Bajema? Bajema would seem to be the obvious priority for Archie.

  16. John Beilein, as sited by The Dailey Hoosier, in response to a question about how a coach turns a college basketball program around.

    ““But you also need other teams to go down, you gotta have teams that go through stuff,” Beilein said. “We were fortunate that a few programs went down in that era. It was right after that Indiana had their rebuild. You can do everything right, but if nobody goes away. Wisconsin’s not going away, Michigan State’s not going away, Michigan’s not going away.”

    That’s exactly what I’ve been saying for some time. Before IU returns the Elite status, some of the current elite coaches are going to have to retire or, like Beilein, move on to the NBA. If Beilein is right, it supports Archie getting more time. Regardless, no matter who replaces Beilein, him departing for the Cavs is good for IU Basketball.

  17. Penny is doing something down in Memphis. Just got a former Duke commit to change to Memphis. Ellis is his last name. Don’t know much about the kid, but taking players from Duke will raise some eyebrows.

      1. History repeating itself.

        Every few years Memphis gets on the cusp of greatness before their malfeasance is discovered and they fall back into obscurity.

  18. Well, let’s be honest, you’re not going to choose Memphis for the quality of education you’ll receive, the beauty of the campus, the rich basketball history or the coach’s track record. These young men are being recruited by a guy who is selling his ability to make them ready for the NBA and get them drafted. So yes, Penny is emulating Kentucky in that regard. That type of recruiting strategy puts schools like IU, which requires its student-athletes to go to class and “pursue” a legitimate degree while on campus, at a significant disadvantage. But it’s not Penny’s fault! He’s just taking advantage of the corrupt and counter-productive rules that the system has allowed to exist. Eliminate the one-and-done rule and programs like Memphis and Kentucky would dissolve within two years.

  19. Just heard this morning that Memphis has signed another top recruit, giving Penny the clear #1 ranked recruiting class in the country. Wow, that’s impressive for a new head coach! What’s he doing to create such a transformation in recruiting? I must admit, especially given Memphis State’s history, having that type of impact on recruiting so soon after taking over as head coach does make me wonder. Those are not sour grapes, just a statistical anomaly that begs the question, “what is Penny doing to produce such results in a short amount of time?” Is he selling his experience and relationships within the NBA? Does he possess such a magnetic personality that kids simply can’t resist him? Has he earned a reputation of being a great teacher of the game? Obviously he’s not selling the quality of education available from the University of Memphis, the city’s safety record, the beauty of the campus, or the college experience his players will have while they’re enrolled? Maybe it’s the quality of Barbecue served in Memphis and the perception that he can present the shortest path to an NBA contract?

  20. Watford chooses to attend LSU. Ouch!

    Watford’s going to play for a coach who was wire-tapped by the FBI discussing paying his players. As my Dad used to say, “something doesn’t smell right.”

    At least he’s not going to Memphis.

  21. Yes it is! But the question is why?

    Three sub-par seasons in a row might be part of it. Cheating programs might be stealing recruits Archie targets. Choosing a coach promising to make school as easy as possible while he prepares you to get drafted may be involved (Kentucky). Or either Archie or IU just aren’t competitive when recruiting more than one highly talented player per class.

    1. Po,
      It bothered me that Trendon Watford went to LSU as well. I could possibly see his not wanting to come to IU due to his brother’s legacy. Would be difficult for him always being compared to his brother and having to live in that shadow. Hardest thing for me was to see him going to LSU. A this point their program does not pass the smell test, but then again, since when has the ncaa operated in an appropriate manner?

      My biggest concern for IU basketball recruiting comes from a little blurb I picked up back in the Keion Brooks recruiting saga. Can’t remember where I saw it, but it was troubling at the time. It was an apparent story that Keion’s mother was quite upset with the way Hoosier Nation had treated both Archie and Romeo during the travails of this past season. We all know there has been a small but vocal segment of Hoosier Nation calling for Archie’s head this past year and were very down on Romeo. Whether or not this actually had an effect on Keion’s decision is anyone’s guess, but if that perception is out there, it’s a problem real or imagined.

  22. think, that’s an interesting comment. Suggests a players’ parent and perhaps even the player might be hyper-sensitive to the risk of criticism from a small minority of fans. But the other side of that coin is that the fans of a “storied program” have higher expectations. Do LSU fans care enough about their basketball program to criticize the basketball coach or the star players? I perceive LSU basketball fans to be like IU Football fans. Not enough of them care enough to demand better and criticize anyone associated with the program.

    Maybe Watford picked LSU for all the most obvious reasons; it’s closer to home, he hates cold winters, he wants to get out of the shadow of his older brother, he likes southern women, etc. Or maybe he likes the idea of playing in front of a fan base that does not have such high expectations and where he can develop without such intense scrutiny. Or maybe an LSU donor has slipped him a bunch of cash? Happens all the time with SEC football players, and anyone who says otherwise is very naive.

  23. Watford picked LSU because LSU closer to home and he would have decided earlier except for the investigation getting in the way. As far as the One and Done players; goes back to an assessment of the players. They aren’t Team Oriented. They are there for themselves and when playing on a team of NBA wannabe’s they play for themselves KNOWING that everyone else while playing for themselves also makes the others LOOK GOOD. Memphis will have players like an All-Star game .showing the scouts what THEY can do and at same time not bringing anyone down that’s around them. Archie has recruited 3 IN state players that KNOW what expectations are , know that the Hoosier nation wont accept excuses and teamwork along with hard work creates success. Unfortunately the recent down years must be shared with CTC. Tim Priller and the likes …Clifton Moore should have left the program when CTC was fired. I don’t believe he or Jake ever developed the energy or understanding of what playing at IU was about; IF they had they would have seen more floor time when the injuries mounted up. I hope Archie continues to recruit players that KNOW what playing in “candy stripes” is about and the responsibility of HONORING those players that came before.

  24. Po & TJ,
    Can’t disagree with either of you. I still think the best solution for the whole problem is to handle basketball the same way baseball is handled. Big difference is MLB owners and union are on the same page with the colleges thus we have a very workable solution for baseball.

  25. Understanding what it is to play men’s basketball in the candy stripes at IU is a relevant question that has turned into a long time ago.

    Now, what is playing men’s basketball in the candy stripes at IU really mean?

    Not sure to don’t know and actually not sure or don’t know if anyone else does either.

    Being able to recruit shooters, scorers, rebounders, ball handlers and accomplished defensive players at all positions that would play as a very close team that cared enough to practice accomplishing greatness would be a place to start….and that includes coaching.

Leave a Reply