Geronimo commits to IU for 2020 class

A few months ago, Jordan Geronimo couldn’t have imagined he would be standing on the court at Assembly Hall, courted by the coaching staff at Indiana.

He wasn’t even recruited to his prep school in Concord, New Hampshire.

Geronimo, now a 6-foot-6 wing, arrived at St. Paul’s School as a 5-10 freshman. He joined the basketball team as an extracurricular activity.

“So yeah, all the offers just came in, I was like, ‘You got the right person?'” Geronimo said, recalling his rapid rise this past spring and summer on the AAU circuit. “It just shows all the hard work, getting up and going to the gym in the morning, it paid off.

“And I hate getting up in the morning.”

Geronimo, who wasn’t on the recruiting radar a year ago, just committed to the Hoosiers on Monday night. He is the program’s third commit for 2020, joining a pair of in-state guards, Bloomington South’s Anthony Leal and Culver Acadamies’ Trey Galloway.

Forgive him if this all seems a bit surreal.

It wasn’t until April that Geronimo received his first ACC offer from Boston College. Before that, he was staring at scholarship proposals from the likes of Northeastern.

How to explain this strange turn of events? Well, it wasn’t until a year ago that Geronimo linked up with coach Vin Pastore and his Mass Rivals AAU squad. At St. Paul’s, a smaller prep school, Geronimo mostly played down in the post, using his 7-foot wingspan to rebound and block shots.

Pastore, who just so happened to coach former Hoosier forward Noah Vonleh, gave Geronimo a chance to shine. He played him as a wing, displaying for college coaches his athleticism as a “3-and-D” wing.

He was consistently hitting three, four, maybe five 3-point shots in an AAU game. With his length, he could guard any position on the floor.

“He played and played hard from the beginning,” Pastore said. “Once he got comfortable playing at a pace, he started knocking down 3s on a regular basis. When you got that size and athleticism and you can extend the floor from deep, you know you have a talent.”

After Boston College jumped in, other high-major programs entered the fray. Georgia offered. Texas A&M offered. Virginia, the reigning national champs, were beginning to show serious interest.

IU leaped into the picture in mid-July, when Geronimo received a text from an unknown number after a tournament in California.

“It said ‘Dah-dah-dah, I want to offer you,'” Geronimo said. It was IU coach Archie Miller.

“I thought about it,” Geronimo continued. “This is Indiana basketball, you know what I’m saying?”

Geronimo made IU his first official visit this past weekend, and it ended up being his last.

“After my family checked into the Graduate Hotel, we looked up and saw the basketball chandeliers. There were old-school bleachers decorating the walls,” Geronimo said. “We were blown away by how deep and rich the basketball history at Indiana was.”

Geronimo has basketball genes. His father played the sport while he was in the Dominican Republic navy. His mother, Dawn Royster, was a women’s basketball player at North Carolina.

In fact, she was at UNC at the same time as Michael Jordan. That’s why Jordan Geronimo is named Jordan Geronimo.

Pastore admits, Geronimo is a long way from being Michael Jordan, or even Vonleh. While he’s an elite defender, great in transition, and a fantastic leaper, he doesn’t do much with the ball in the half-court yet. Again, he has mostly played down low for his high school team.

For right now, he’s a spot-up shooter. But he’s a late-bloomer, which means his potential is nowhere close to being reached.

“Jordan’s going to need some work and time,” Pastore said. “He’s going to be good, but he’s not coming in as Noah Vonleh. Hopefully, he comes out of school with options (to play pro basketball) like Noah after his time at Indiana.”

According to the recruiting site 247Sports, IU is getting a four-star prospect, the No. 85 player nationally in the 2020 class.

Thinking about what he can most improve before his arrival at IU, Geronimo pointed to his lack of aggressiveness on the offensive end. He’s also hoping to play more wing for St. Paul’s this coming season.

“I have always been an unselfish player. My parents say I pass too much,” Geronimo said. “I like to work behind the curtains, I like setting ball screens, all that stuff.

“But if I’m able to develop my handle and make good decisions off of ball screens, I can really be a dominant player on the court.”

And to think, playing basketball in the Big Ten was the furthest thing from his mind when he was a 5-10 freshman at St. Paul’s.

“Honestly, it’s a blessing,” Geronimo said. “This proves if you work hard, if you block out all the negatives — I was a sophomore with zero interest. Zero offers. I went to the Rivals practice, I ended up being picked up, and, you know, the rest is history.

“If you keep working hard, you keep your head down, when you look up, boom, all the opportunity is right there.”

62 comments

  1. Is he thinking about trying out for QB with muscle flex?
    I assume AM and IU are looking at upside on this player.

    1. IU wanted one of Cross, Geronimo or the third wing prospect. Any of the three would be great! Geronimo was smart enough to see his future in candy stripes! Every recruit is an upside with future potential, but Geronimo has freaky athletic talent. Now IU needs a Big: Garcia or Loveday! Which of these two will see his future in Candy stripes? First come first served! I love Geronimo right now. He will be a great Hoosier!

  2. Archie decides to unclog the East Coast pipeline. What the hell…? I guess “it’s Georgia….It’s Georgia… And that’s no bull, dog!” didn’t work for the hoops challenged Galileo.
    Noah-vonleh-olah-gerrrrrrronimo-dipo!

    1. Yes, as you suggest by the names you chose, it would be tragic to recruit another first round NBA selection.

      1. They don’t do a lot of good with low b-ball IQ’s and when the “upside” talent matures as soon as they’re enticed out the door. The round they are drafted matters of nothing. You’ll never see guys like Guy-Marc, Perea, A-Hope projects recruited by Archie. Don’t think Archie is into too many “under the radar” types. He wants high b-ball IQ, inside-out recruiting(meaning Hoosiers first if talent is available) and fairly seasoned ballers when they get here.

        There will be exceptions to the rule …but he’s not trying to make his name based on NBA potential of a recruit. He wants banners for IU…more than resume footnotes and using IU as an NBA development league.

  3. In Archie we trust. We don’t really have a choice but to trust his judgement about the potential of the players he’s recruiting. But on paper, this recruiting class will be rated very low and therefore less likely to attract top-20 talent in the 2020 or 2021 recruiting classes. O.K., this kid might be the next VO, and it’s all about getting the kids who fit Archie’s “system,” but it almost seems like Archie isn’t even trying to compete for elite talent in future classes.

    What I find interesting is the contrast between the players his brother Sean prioritizes in recruiting to AZ vs the players Archie is recruiting to IU. Sean’s targets are all elite talent, and I believe his 2020 class is ranked in the top five. Any thoughts as to what appears to be the difference in philosophies? Maybe I’m just not reading it correctly.

    1. Briefcases of money can make landing “elite” talent a bit easier.

      Let’s all hope Archie is never enticed to go the route of hookers for recruits or meetings with briefcases of loot.

  4. Present 2020 IU Rank
    Rivals Tied 7th
    24/7 4th
    I say load up on 4* that fit from anywhere.
    Be tenacious and greedy recruiting any 5* from Indiana and be smart, bold and discriminating from anywhere else. I like the trend Coach Miller is establishing. His brother has already had 1 brush with disaster.

  5. Po- Sean is trying to save his job amid scandals while Archie is trying to build a program where no scandals can appear. Do IU fans have the patience? However, Archie has one 5 star McDonald’s AA in each of his first two classes! So you are also misreading the facts! The 2020 class is not finished yet!

  6. BP, Sean has saved his job (for now) because of the quality of his 2019 recruiting class, ranked 6th by 247 Sports (and because without proof of a fireable offense, it would cost AZ a king’s ransom to buy out his contract). IU’s 2019 recruiting class is ranked 53rd by 247 Sports.

    Early composite rankings aside, according to 247 Sports, AZ’s in play for four or five of the top 50 ranked players in the 2020 class. By contrast, none (zip, zero, zilch) of the top-50 ranked players in the class of 2020 are considering IU. According to 247 Sports, Geronimo is the highest ranked player, at #98, that was considering IU. Zeal was ranked 100th. So unless Archie pulls off a huge coup, when the dust settles on the class of 2020, IU’s class won’t be ranked in the top 50 (again), while AZ could secure another top-ten class. Can anyone explain the disparity in recruiting between the two brothers? It is especially odd given the accusations made against Sean and AZ!

    1. Po,
      Don’t know where you are reading that, 247 has IUBB at 4th, and Rivals has them at 7th with the Geronimo commit.

  7. Think, the current team rankings for the class of 2020 mean nothing since most of the top 50 players have not yet committed. Five of the top ten players have not committed to any team.

    Go to “2020 Top Basketball Recruits” on 247 Sports. They list the schools being considered by each of the top ranked players (or where they’ve already committed). As I said, unless Archie pulls off a huge coup and turns a really highly ranked player, his 2020 class has no chance of being ranked in the top 50. Obviously, if your highest ranked player isn’t ranked in the top 50, you’re not signing a top 50 class.

    1. That’s exactly the point Po,
      Right now nothing is truly settled. Until the letters are signed things can change.

      As for the players AM is signing, the one thing in common is they fit the system he is installing. As for the number of top 100 players, you have to remember how many top tier schools are competing for those players. Obviously the Duke’s, Kentucky’s, and Memphis’ of the world are going to get a large number of those players, but Archie is not building to be just a nba factory. Looking at Archie’s approach can tell you one thing, he wants players who will stay with IU 3-4 years. In other words a team which will become very experienced. Recent history tells us those are the teams hanging the banners.

  8. Xavier is currently ranked #2 for the 2020 class. Does anyone really think Xavier is going to have the second highest ranked recruiting class in the country when the process is complete? Or how about Utah, currently ranked 3rd? No way Utah is going to have a top ten recruiting class in the country for 2020.

  9. I’m not very interested in 1 and done players at IU unless he is from Indiana. 3-4-5 year players is the model for elevating a program.

    1. Agree, plus it gives players/team to establish image/identity and connect to fan base. Then, it needs to continually recycle. Then, it is the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program. Whatever combination it is that wins championships = what pretty much all interested fan bases want for their respective programs including IU.

  10. Sour grapes aside, if you assume 247 Sports and Rivals are reliable sources for predicting which schools have a chance to sign the top-50 players coming out of HS, IU’s 2020 class is not going to be ranked in the top 50, and maybe not even in the top 75. And obviously, nowhere near 50 players in the class of 2020 are going to be one-and-done players, or even two-and-done players. Again, unless Archie pulls off a coup, which would confound 247 Sports’ projections, and obviously could still happen, at this time it does not look like IU’s 2020 class is going to be ranked very high.

    We can talk about a coach’s system all day long, but talent is talent. And does anyone think Archie’s going to be given four more years of producing mediocre seasons before his system starts producing Big Ten Championships and visits to the Final Four? Or have we surrendered those goals/dreams of IU returning to the ranks of elite BB programs just because we like Archie’s coaching style? And generally speaking, how many years should an IU Men’s BB coach be given before The Hoosier Nations is convinced that its beloved BB program is back amongst the elite?

    1. Cody Zeller has hardly been a blip on the NBA radar. His stars and rankings didn’t translate to being a star at the next level.

      Archie is doing just fine. Davis, Smith and Brunk will probably make us a stronger team than one Cody.

      I like our basketball team. I like how it’s being recruited. I like how our coach doesn’t act like he’s just been given the keys to the estate. I like his humble and low key attitude. I like the fact he stresses basketball IQ and team defense. He’s still building his own product. He barely has his feet wet. Comparing him to his brother is silly. The Pac 12 hasn’t done diddly in the NCAA tournament for years. Put Sean into BigTen schedule and he’d have his clock cleaned.
      Our basketball fans are the best in the world. Our fan base is not watching basketball between sun tanning. Indiana is the mecca for hoops. It always will be. Our hire was approved by one of the greatest coach’s to ever teach the game of basketball. We are rid of the charlatan who rode in like a gypsy found free lodging. We are blessed to be finally …and truly starting the rebirth of Indiana Basketball. Amen.

  11. One last question. What does it matter whether a five-star player is from the state of Indiana or not? Is a five-star player from Indiana more valuable than a five-star player from any other state? Talent is talent, and as long as the kid has good character, is a good enough student get into IU, and appreciates the opportunity to play for such a storied program, what does it matter where he grew up or played HS basketball?

    It won’t matter one bit to the majority of IU fans if every player on an IU team is from within the state if IU keeps producing 19-win seasons.

  12. After using my vitamix I feel it is the blend of talent. Emphasis should be on state of Indiana (a good mix of Indiana kids but the blend of talent star ranking can be from anywhere Indiana or wherever ( to clarify) (5 stars needed along with 4 and 3 stars). I have always said stars matter and they do. For years (21st century) except a couple times, IU is just not physical enough in basketball similar to football trying to play in big ten or at elite level plus just lack of talent and yes, even lack of coaching. That includes all of 21st century IU coaching staffs. (got to be able to coach) Yes, the jury is still out on A.M. However, so far not enough wins and even close to championships. 21st century IU basketball is just there and nothing special. Not even close to anything special, really. Currently, elite recruiting is not even close to happening. Not enough wins will finally catch up as time passes and then a another direction will take place. Not just at IU but pretty much every program everywhere coaches and some staff leave in financials good shape and new opportunities are there for them. That is the coaches and most of the staff.

    1. This is where I must disagree with you, t. There is nothing more special than to be granted a chance to play basketball in this state at a high level.

      If you could teletransport yourself from high school gym to Hinkle to McCracken…(and even to Mackey) into the madness of our basketball fervor at any point a Friday night or Saturday afternoon, the passion has never really faded. The gyms are still full…The love is still there. To don the candy stripes is something extremely earned, valued and deserved. It is beyond special. It is one of the few truly special things left in sport.

      Something beautiful doesn’t always translate into wealth or success…..A beautiful sunset staring out into the vast Pacific…A breeze under the shade of a lone sturdy oak tree planted by your father now serving as place for your grandkids to congregate, laugh and play….The sound of basketball pounding the ground on the old farm while mom watches from the window pouring her eyes of encouragement your way. None of these things make headlines. Headlines are not what makes something “special” breathe and live forever in our hearts. Indiana Basketball is truly something special. Far more special than any of my words could ever make it.

  13. You must have never attended an Indiana sectional, regional or state championship(especially in the heyday of ONE high school tournament for all towns and all schools) to not understand what it means to a Indiana Hoosier fan to see one of those heroic giants stepping onto McCracken…..said Damon Bailey…or Alan Henderson…or Steve Downing…or George McGinnis….or Kent Benson…..or Steve Alford…or Eric Gordon….or Yogi Ferrel…or Cody Zeller.

    Come on, dude. Half of those titles at UNC …and many other schools throughout the country were solidified because they ripped brilliant basketball players from our homeland while we were sleeping(see Larry Bird, Gordon Hayward, Matt Howard). They may not always be the flashiest in the world(though some are pretty damn flashy), but they are the glue and floor leaders who become integral to Final Fours, banner and deep March Madness trips.

    Get back into our high school gyms….If you don’t understand, then all I can say is you’ve never tasted the finer things in life. Crean may have been a great recruiter…but he didn’t truly understand the heart and soul of Indiana basketball and its most basic roots.

  14. He almost looks a bit like Oladipo….and same number of syllables.
    OL-A-Deeee-PO!
    GER-ON-eeeee-MO!

    Brilliant move by Archie….The king is dead. Long live the king. Long live the “wing.”

  15. JG seems highly underrated. As said in the article, he was only 5’10” as a freshman, but is 6’6″. Tenacious defender with a serious wingspan. Hard worker and a real passion for the game.

    Recruiting services do the best they can with the limited info they have. Once a player gets a ranking, it takes quite a bit to “move” in the rankings. With the way that JG is tearing up the competition in the summer, he’ll likely find his way up the rankings. If he held out and kept his recruiting open, I’m sure he would have gotten some serious attention from the Blue Bloods.

    Seems like AM is building his program out in the model of Beilein at Michigan. We’ll see if it translates, but I don’t think that our scholarship board has seen this level of stability since the Bob Knight era. Unless you’re willing to run out and recycle multiple one and dones every single year, this has a Virginia/Villanova/Beilein-UM approach. Seems to fit Indiana’s culture/expectations more than the burnout model, or even worse, doing the burnout model halfheartedly. Also, NBA is likely going to drop the draft age to 18, so the one-and-done thing looks like it’ll be a thing of the past.

    AM inherited a heck of mess with the roster when he arrived. He has taken the long road to fixing it. There’s no panic in this guy. So many, less-confident coaches would be looking for an easy turnaround, without building a proper-foundation. That’ll just pave the way for inconsistency at best. Been down that road before….

    BTW, the 2020 class isn’t that great. Especially in Indiana. AM has made some really strong connections with some studs in the ’21 – ’22 class. I’m sure they all have eyes on how things shake out this year.

    https://www.insidethehall.com/indiana-scholarship-numbers/

  16. ^^^Fantastic post. I would add Butler to your “model” though they are still recovering from losing Stevens.

  17. You can reshingle the roof or gather more curb appeal with a one-and-done…or the occasional distant traveler, but the foundation, the sturdy walls and backbone of the home, must be of Hoosier material.

    Try to put the best of our state into candy stripes. You’ll never go wrong. Still buy the Calipari flooding into our state insurance, but do your damnedest to build it right.

  18. Can you believe the first Finals run for Butler and Stevens was ten years ago this season? Time flies when you’re caught in the neverending weave-to-nowhere.

  19. Good post, DD. And I agree that Geronimo sounds like a great kid with considerable upside potential. As I first mentioned, he may be the next VO. I hope he is. I also agree that Archie may be taking the “Virginia/Villanova approach.” But if so, why? Why not try to recruit more top 20 talent? Why not go for higher rated talent that otherwise meet your criteria? Will the Hoosier Nation give Archie time to let the Virginia/Villanova approach play out?

    You don’t become IU’s Men’s BB coach at $3.5 million per year to finish middle-of-the-pack in the Big Ten Conference. You don’t get paid that kind of money to get your team invited to the NIT or win 19 games a season. You become the coach at a school like IU to win Big Ten Championships and go deep in the big dance on a regular basis.

    Three more consecutive 19 or 20-win seasons and The Hoosier Nation isn’t going to care how many Indiana kids Archie has signed or what approach he’s taken to build his program. Three more seasons like the last two and Archie will be gone!

    1. AM is absolutely going for, and landing, that type of talent. He’s gotten the highest ranked kids out of Indiana in each of his first 3 years. First coach at Indiana to get the Indiana Mr Basketball in candy stripes two years in a row since Knight (maybe 3 after this year?).

      The 2020 class in Indiana, and in the country in general, isn’t that great. But, AM targeted Caleb Love (#4 nationally) and has Indiana in his final 5 choices with UNC, Kansas and Louisville there. He visits Indiana officially next week, I think. However, I don’t know if the Hoosiers are a fit, as next year, Rob Phinisee will be a junior. If he wants to get the majority of minutes at the point, UNC just might be a better fit.

      Have a look at 2021. AM has really jumped in made some deep connections with two guys who are Top 20 in the country. One is Khristian Lander from Evansville the #1 ranked PG. Hence AM’s trip down there the other week.

      Either way, it is pretty hard to criticize the talent AM is bringing in. Recruiting is solid. Question is, when will it translate not just to getting back to the tournament, but making a deep run. We’ll see on that one….

  20. DD- He is still suffering from a very serious case of TCWOWS. Yes, TCWOWS him very much. (Tom Crean Walks on Water Syndrome).

    Somebody cue the cue cards…Clap on! Clap off! .. Call out a screen while you’re out there on the water.

    1. You know H4H,
      After RMK walked out of AH for the last time, it took IUBB 4 tries to get to what we think might be a good HC. Obviously the jury is still out on AM, but by all appearances he is building the program back the right way. In a world of, “We want it now,” AM’s very deliberate pace is a refreshing change. He is building the program carefully piece by piece with kids who appear to have an understanding of what IUBB is all about.

      HC said something very astute, AM is, “Planning his work and working his plan.” Those, like HC, with a strong business background would recognize what AM is up to immediately. He has a clear vision of where he wants to take the program, and is taking the necessary steps to achieve his goal. No flailing around like you favorite coach’s program spiraled down to, but careful steps. Even when everything went off track with all the injuries last year, AM stayed right on course despite the terrible disappointment.

      The only question in doubt is, “Has AM chosen the correct strategy for the era in which he is coaching?” If he has, given sufficient time and assuming no setbacks like last year, he will achieve his objective. If not, it will become obvious over the next couple seasons.

  21. Strongly stated comments mirroring my thoughts on the positive actions Coach Miller has taken to rebuild this proud program. 1st priority to recruiting “inside out” targets Indiana 1st. From my seat he is certainly planning his work and working his plan. Very impressed with present 2020 commitments.

  22. I guess a lot of people who are emotionally invested see what they want to see. Some simply place greater value on style over results? With all due respect thinkaboutit, I have to disagree with a couple of your conclusions posted above. First, “but by all appearances he (AM) is building the program back the right way.” What “appearances” are you referring to? The two consecutive sub-par seasons in which IU failed to make it to the NCAA Tournament? IU’s 53rd ranked 2019 recruiting class that was ranked 43 spots lower than the 2018 class! Numerous 4 and 5-star recruiting targets choosing programs like Memphis,West Virginia and Alabama over IU? Projections that IU will finish middle of the pack in the Big Ten again this season? I don’t see all those “appearances” that you’re seeing.

    It’s great that Archie has signed the best HS talent from within the state of Indiana. The question is, is that enough? Is that talent enough to get IUBB back to where The Hoosier Nation expects it to be? Remember, some of Bob Knight’s most valuable and talented players that helped him win championships came from outside the state of Indiana.

    The second of your comments I disagree with is, “AM’s very deliberate pace is a refreshing change. He is building the program carefully piece by piece with kids who appear to have an understanding of what IUBB is all about.” Are you kidding? Archie doesn’t have time for a deliberate pace. And your comment implies that Archie is getting all or most of the recruits he’s targeting. He’s obviously not! Are you keeping track of all the top-ranked players that reject IU in favor of schools with a far less accomplished history? Archies is losing out on most of the highest ranked players he has tried to recruit. Hence my question that started this discussion.

    If IU produces another 19-win record this season, Archie’s ability to recruit the kids “that appear to have an understanding of what IUBB is all about” will begin to diminish rapidly. Based on the data, it may already be happening. IUBB is all about winning, not finishing middle of the pack in the conference or failing to get to the NCAA Tournament. Bob Knight’s tenure at IU was all about winning, whether it be Big Ten or National Championships. The most talented HS BB players want to be a part of a team that wins championships. You are right, today’s culture wants it all and they want it NOW! That’s the problem Archie is facing! And from my vantage point, it appears his “deliberate” pace may be too slow for many of today’s most talented young basketball players and The Hoosier Nation.

    I was and remain a huge fan of Archie Miller. Long before it was announced, I predicted (on this site) Archie would be IU’s next BB coach. I believe Archie has the potential to be a much better coach than Tom Crean. But until Archie wins a couple of Big Ten Championships, is twice named Big Ten Coach of the Year, or leads IU teams beyond the Sweet 16, it appears his support is based on style rather than results. Style is less important to me; I want to see results.

    1. Po,
      You conveniently omit one crucial element in citing 2 “subpar” seasons. Please tell me which school could have done any better last year, or any year for that matter, with the amount of injuries IUBB suffered? Not to mention, to whom those injuries occurred in relation to the talent on the team. I would submit, no school could have done any better. Long winded way of saying, Archie gets a Mulligan for last year. Anything else in view of what occurred is to be irrationally unreasonable.

      1. Don’t forget, Crean had serious injury issues on his last seasons as well. OG being the major one. They didn’t function as an excuse then…and I’m good with injuries not functioning as an excuse for Archie(especially if he gets to a point of being at this for six or seven seasons).

        It’s not all on Crean(as horrific of an X’s and O’s coach he was/is)….The blowbags who all said they were here for banners baied on him. One more season of Zeller and Oladipo and we likely still have the worst X’s and O’s coach in the game….along with a sixth banner. It’s hard to imagine anyone stopping us with Zeller and Bryant teamed up together.

        Blackmon was an Indiana kid …and one hell of a shooter(probably better than anyone we have right now).

        The “everything hinges” and “movement” crowd tasted the richness of dollars over banners. Indiana is never going to be a revolving door of McDonald’s All-Americans…It never has been. Other than ’76, we’ve been rather fortunate and didn’t have the mega dollars of the NBA making staying in college beyond ridiculous. Back then, it mostly took true hardship for a guy to leave(e.g. George McGinnis)…Or, they left after the banner was already achieved(Isiah).

        There are no heroes anymore. There is only money and its lure. The system also favors cheaters more than ever before. It’s criminal that UNC is even allowed into the tournament after 15 years of ghost classes…NCAA makes an example out of a 3-way caller instead. Ludicrous.

        I have no expectations anymore…That’s why I simply want to watch kids that value the uniform …and a coach who knows how to teach the game.

        1. H4H,
          I agree we shouldn’t use injuries as an excuse, but in most cases, including OG, it was only one team member. Last year was something I cannot recall seeing in terms of the massive quantity of injuries to one team. It is one thing to have an injury or two, but at times half of the team? Not to mention they were all key players in last year’s plans.

          I agree the system favors cheaters more than ever, but that does not excuse any form of cheating especially right here at home. I don’t like the idea of a system which allows cheating of any form. Let’s be honest with ourselves, when you couple the ineptitude of the ncaa with a legal system which ties their hands at every turn, what else can you expect? Even with the Federal court cases settled, the ncaa is still having to fight those involved every step of the way.

          1. Luol Ajou Deng, you get up early. How was the sunrise?

            Let’s be honest here, thinkaboutit. Would a fully healthy team last year been capable of a deep tournament run? And hardly any team is ever fully healthy….Archie was/is still dealing with guys he did not recruit…Some of their bad habits and struggling b-ball IQ’s(Jekyll & Hyde tendencies) are very difficult to fix…if fixable in the time frame they have left at IU.
            Other than his board play, Justin Smith’s game showed very little improvement (I hope to god we see something this season). Phinisee’s injury was a tough one because Archie has to replace him with a prototypical Jekyll & Hyde holdover from the last coach who has flashes of greatness and then proceeds to shoot himself and team in the foot. But even a healthy Phinisee was still developing his game and finding his shot. There were inconsistencies and leadership issues as well.
            Most the other injuries were to players I had not seen enough to gauge much anyway. I highly doubt they’re going to be huge difference makers in tough games when barely wet behind the ears.
            Bottom Line: Archie needs some time to build a cohesive group of his own recruits. Personally, I believe the lack of synergy between the last coach’s choices and Archie’s preferences in a recruit remain the greatest impediment to a fully developed and competitive product on the floor. Much as I don’t want to throw any of those guys under a bus(they didn’t have to stay during the coaching change), I’m not sure if they would have ever been a prototype recruit for Archie Miller. None of which has anything to do with injuries.
            Injuries “hurt.” But what often “hurts” more is how superstar mentalities or stubborn bad habits in guys you haven’t coached upon their arrival at IU refuse to buy in. Some have likely checked out or play with a strange demeanor of nonchalant aloofness. Or, they simply see the floor as one last audition for an NBA scout…but the concept of “team” may be broken because the coach they believed in was ripped away.

            These changes take time in terms of chemistry and the new coach finally filling a roster with his recruitment choices top to bottom. Archie and Crean are on the opposite spectrum of where basketball fits into the college game. I’d imagine the recruits carry much of the same values and perspectives (team vs. individual priorities/development) of the guy who recruited them. A healthy body may still be a very unhealthy basketball mind from team/chemistry diagnosis. What is going on between the ears is maybe the biggest battle for a new coach taking over when a young man has been stolen his choice mentor. How do you fix that injury? We want quick healing and quick transition….and even faster chemistry on broken rosters. I don’t think that’s realistic.

          2. Maybe a program is burned to the ground with an NCAA scandal…It can be sold as “decimated.” But anytime there is a coaching change and a kid’s mentor/recruiter who spent time with his/her family in living rooms and kitchen tables is taken away, their visions and dreams of how their next step in life was going to proceed is also decimated its plan. Coaching changes are an “injury” to any program. In the long term, it can be the right move. But in the short term, it disrupts a lot of young athletes plans …and likely breaks a lot of hearts. Whether NCAA scandal or simply replacing worn out tire, the transitions rarely result in the next guy being an overnight sensation. This isn’t the NBA(at least not quite yet).
            You can’t just simply buy your way into assembling a fabulous roster overnight. College rosters must be planned and nurtured. And while the new guy in town is starting fresh plans and fresh nurturing, the dynasties with their legendary coaches nearing the sunset of their careers still just keep on rolling with few bumps in the road. Where do you go as a “top” recruit. You like smooth with no broken rosters and hard feelings…or do you like the challenge of big bumps in the road where a coach is still rather untested in his new BigTen environment?

          3. Not only is a new coach in start-up mode competing against the “cheaters,” he’s also competing against programs with recent tournament success, their own great “traditions” and long established proven winners as coaches.
            And then when you do convince a top recruit to take a chance on a program in start-up/rebuild mode(even one with as great a history as Indiana U.), you are competing against an NBA with an advantage stronger than any “cheater” with its ability to lure away your risk-taking superstar anchor of the team.
            Nothing cheats more than cold cash under the nose of a youngster who hungers for the limelight and finer things in life for himself and his family. It’s hard to believe the concept of a team game surviving for any amount of time or having a chance against the brainwashing abilities of an NBA guaranteeing a bank vault with the last name on the door of the guy you desperately need to stick around long enough to make the first turn in your rebuild.

            It’s not just “cheaters” within the college game….It’s how the team game is being “cheated” away from the game of basketball. Unless you’re established and already have the revolving door of stable talent, the “cheated” game(within and the forces without/outside) cheats you to even greater degree.

          4. To conclude this far too lengthy dissertation on the game/cheating/recruiting in the 21st century of college basketball, Podunker is somewhat correct.

            When a program is in rebuild or restart mode, the current environment of basketball “cheated” its stability and team values at the amateur level probably favors a coach more a latent talent discoverer/developer, salesman and professional schmoozer.

            The college game is now a schmooze game. The days of floor burns without a big paycheck at the end of the rainbow are gone. The days of caring more about a teammate/team/school than your mock Draft status is gone. The coach more focused on developing the “individual” to realize his beyond college dreams has gained his biggest advantage ever. The idea of ‘5’ on the floor working together larger than the sum all its singular parts is long dead. Long live the “I”….the “me”….and the “mine.”

  23. Mostly agree with you…but just about any choice was going to be better than what departed. I was flabbergasted for most of the last decade. I remain somewhat disheartened because of the time we lost and how long it took a fan base from a school as rich in tradition as Indiana to finally force Fred’s hand to make a change.
    We did not have a quality coach for nearly a decade. Davis, Sampson and even Dakich….all had their faults, but all had more knowledge of coaching the game than the bogus one now at Georgia. I will never waiver in knowing that detail. And the team previous to the preacher played defense! What a concept.
    Cody Zeller came into the picture at the perfect time for Crean…and the worst time for Indiana. It prolonged the inevitable and it’s why we are now in an even bigger rebuilding process. He aligned with Crean’s ideologies that had nothing to do with basketball or getting us back to deep tournament runs. Crean sold him the bag of goods….In all honesty, our program would be far better off now without all the hoopla around Zeller and the supposed/so-called “Movement” that mostly failed.

    My religion is IU Basketball….We got off track and we are paying the price for diversions and distractions which hid a gross amount of coaching incompetency coming from someone who is/was a better salesperson than teacher.

    I don’t really care if Archie isn’t long term. I mostly wish we had changes at the top of our athletic administration. Fred was not hired via a legit process. Committee rooms and systems to never hold him accountable. Joey Glass(Fred’s son) had far more to do with Crean being in a committee room to hire his own AD than any truly honest process not built via nepotism.
    It’s all rather sad. We’ve now almost fumbled basketball as nearly as much as our storied football program. Bright spot? We are rid of the worst basketball coach in the game.
    We have a decent basketball teacher instead of a total BSer….though under an AD I will never care to support. It took this AD 30 million wasted dollars and a decade to finally send his son’s choice packing.

  24. A.M. and IU along with pretty much all well known programs go for the highest ranked recruits they can get. A.M. wants them to. Yes, A.M. wants Indiana high school recruits. I agree with that. However, A.M. as long as they aren’t problems/issues wants highest rated recruits he can get both in Indiana and outside Indiana just like Bob Knight and all elite do or did.

  25. In the 21st century and more recent years though IU has gotten a few…IU has whiffed on several of their first most targeted recruits. Those recruits (from Indiana and outside Indiana) chose other schools. As far as development of lower ranked recruits in program (which is a good thing) A.M. is being forced into this situation (is choice or not) because of targeted recruits choose to go elsewhere.

  26. think, how long do you want my posts to be? HC probably fell asleep before finishing the first paragraph. I didn’t forget about the injuries. But the injuries were not the point of this discussion. Recruiting is. I give Archie great credit holding his team together and producing some huge wins (MSU) in spite of all those injuries.

    But are top HS recruits from around the country aware of all those injuries last year? Do they care? No, they don’t. Will kids two years from remember how those injuries affected IU’s 2019 season? No they won’t. And think, nobody will care! College sports is a bottom line business.

    I noticed IU just made an offer to a point guard from Long Island. He’s the 52nd ranked player in the country. So if he signs, he would complete the 2020 class and be the highest ranked player in it. But that would assure IU’s 2020 class would be ranked outside of the top 50 (probably around 75th) for the second consecutive year. Is that an “appearance” that inspires confidence in you, think? It doesn’t inspire confidence in me! As t suggests, Archie has struck out on most of the highest ranked HS Basketball players he has attempted to sign.

    1. Po,
      Couldn’t pull all the Rivals rankings, something weird in their system before 2018, but we know they track reasonably close to 247. Take a look at a comparision between IU, Virginia, and Villanova over the last 5 years from 247.
      VA Vill IU
      2019 23 5 53
      2018 65 9 12
      2017 98 28 32
      2016 7 45 23
      2015 62 29 32

      If you look at the average ranking over the last 5 years IU is a little below Villanova and well above Virginia. The question begs to be asked, “What do you want, championships or show ponies?”

    2. Your posts put me to sleep, not mine, even though I sleep very little. For years on here you’ve run in a very narrow alley, – Doom & Gloom with your incessant dissertations. You continually declare if this happens or that happens there will be no fans buying tickets and if this doesn’t happen or that doesn’t happen recruiting will dry up. You’re a Debbie Downer fan. I won’t share it, I don’t enjoy it and ‘seldom’ because of it read your posts. But don’t stop posting as you haven’t turned everyone off yet. But if you don’t mind I’ll keep my IU glass full since I’ve experienced many times the enjoyment and satisfaction with IU than I have disappointment. But, to each his own, type on.

  27. TCWOWS….

    One sneaky run to an Elite 8 or beyond and the world will be right. Archie has the glue with solid Indiana kids right now. Brunk was a wonderful addition. Davis, DeRon, Brunk and Smith make us very damn solid inside. Hoping Phinisee continues to improve. His concussion set him back enormously last season.
    We still likely lack a very special point guard, but I hesitate to sell Phinisee too short because the concussion last year was a major setback.

    Things are tracking upward.

    Brunk…a Brunk of burnin’ love! He’s a big difference maker for this team. You’ll see.

  28. Andre Curbelo is the PG that just received an offer from IU. He’s ranked 7th best PG in the country and #52 overall for the class of 2020 by 247sports. He recently said that he’s received 34 offers, most notably one from Kansas. His primary issue is playing time. He expects to be the starter or to at least get a lot of minutes from day one.

  29. HC, I appreciate your continued optimism for IU Athletics in spite of any tangible evidence that IU is progressing in either of the two major (i.e., revenue producing/popularity) sports. If you’re content with losing football seasons and 19-win BB seasons, good for you. Be at peace. But the performance of IU FB and BB over the last decade has been a disappointment to me, and I dare say to most of The Hoosier Nation. I guess it is all relative to expectations, and far too many IU alumni, students and the population of southern and central Indiana have had their expectations and optimism crushed over the last decade, if not longer.

    When I was a boy living in Bloomington during the late 60’s I was blessed to watch IU FB produce a magical season and go to the Rose Bowl. I was taking my campus visit to IU the day IU won the National BB Championship in 1976. I was a student who stayed on campus to watch IU defeat 6th ranked BYU in the Holiday Bowl. I was a first-year Alumni back in Bloomington to celebrate Bob Knight winning his second NCAA Championship. I was visiting my daughter at IU the night a great field goal secured IU’s victory over Purdue and allowed Hep’s team to realize their goal to “Play 13.” For most of my life, at least once every decade, IU FB or BB has given me reason to celebrate. In relative terms, my expectations are modest. I’m not like Alabama fans who expect an FBS Championship every year. But for more than a decade in FB and the last three seasons in BB, IU has produced very little reason for optimism.

    During the last decade, IU’s only athletic accomplishment (in the two big sports) that I’ve had reason to celebrate were produced by Tom Crean’s two Outright Big Ten Championship teams. And what did the geniuses running IU do one year after Crean won an OUTRIGHT Big Ten Championship? They fired him, wasting millions of dollars in the process. The justification for firing Crean was that IU deserved better, a coach who could lead IU back to elite status and compete at the highest level. After two seasons and the way the 2020 recruiting class is shaping up, I’m not seeing much reason for optimism. In this day and age, I have serious doubts that recruiting classes ranked in the 50’s or higher are going to get IUBB back amongst the elite programs.

    I’m not “Debbie Downer,” I’m a realist. And my biggest concern about IU Athletics, aside from Fred Glass and IU’s Administration, is that far too many alumni, students and general IU fans have long since accepted losing in FB. And I grow increasingly concerned that they will grow accustomed to mediocrity in BB. We now have generations within The Hoosier Nation that have either given up on IU Athletics or are deep in a state of hibernation. Those people refuse to make any emotional or financial investment in support of IU Athletics. Did you see all the empty seats in Lucas Oil Stadium last Saturday? In a beautiful stadium with a capacity of 63,000, the official attendance was 21,437! Every IU fan, with the exception of those wonderful people who were in attendance, should be embarrassed by that! How many people will be inside Memorial Stadium on Saturday to watch IU play Eastern Illinois?

    If you’re content with losing and mediocrity, good for you. I refuse to accept that for my alma mater.

    1. Po,
      I think the reason a lot of people have not gone into the glass is half empty mode is the hope that both AM & TA will turn things around. I know that sounds suspiciously like believing there to be potential, for which Caleb Jones’ father has a great line, but I think many want to see both coaches succeed. Therefore at this point maximum support is needed. This is the one thing which Hoosier Nation has notoriously lacked, especially in the case of the FB program.

  30. Blather Bowl 2020 : Podunker vs. H4H….Debbie Downer vs. Dudley Downer. TCWOWS vs. TCDS ….Two very lonely bloggers with nothing but nothing to say positively go head to head in the inaugural Blather Bowl. Nobody in the seats….What’s wrong with young people today? My alma mater has turned to almond butter. What makes your world churn? I’m concerned. Basketball is dead. Football was never alive. This is a battle you won’t want to miss….Is Fred Glass is more of a Tupperware AD? Did a Marquette conspiracy engineered by Joey Glass cause the end of short shorts? Is Michael Penix addicted to Weight Watchers shakes? Can Archie somehow claim Sean’s mojo or is he destined to be the “Little Brother Who Couldn’t”…? Did Kelvin inhale from a handheld basketball pump while on his 3-way calls? Is Tom Crean an alien from the Planet Clapaton? How many times can Harvard say “charlatan” ? More times than “carnival salesman?” If we had a ticket buyer in a seat for every time Podunker said “empty seats,” would our stadium be forever full?
    All the downer questions that matter answered at the ‘Blather Bowl’… making all Scoop members run for the exits …and, hopefully, for the seats.
    Have I written seven pages yet? I must certainly have more downer nothings to add. V13 says he’d rather be smothered in volcanic ash than attend a Podunker vs. H4H Blather Bowl. Get out your toilet plunger…and play it like a trumpet because these two are full of blather lather more fun than a flea riding a spinning floater at a turd water park.

  31. HC, you’re regressing into childish name-calling. Disappointing.

    think, I as much as any Hoosier fan share in the hope that AM and TA will turn things around. I like both men, a lot! But my personal regard for these men means nothing. It’s about their performance and the results their teams produce. You have to evaluate the signs of progress, or lack there of, with clear eyes. TA is demonstrating a lot of progress by improving recruiting. The quality of his last two recruiting classes are tangible evidence of significant improvement. Can he continue to improve recruiting if he fails to produce a winning record this season? TA has recently made good decisions about his coaching staff, upgraded the S&C program, and has, IMO selected the right starting QB. That’s tangible evidence of real progress.

    I think most sports fans would agree that it’s a lot harder to turn IU’s historically moribund FB program into a winner than it is to return IU’s once elite BB program back to a place of prominence. Archie’s first two seasons have produced disappointing results (less than 20 wins). Last year’s injuries absolutely contributed to that. But now, it appears that Archie’s second recruiting class will not include one top-50 ranked player! And given the number of his top recruiting targets that have chosen to play for less prominent BB programs (Memphis, Alabama, West Virginia, etc.), that should concern every Hoosier BB fan. There is still time for Archie to pull off a recruiting coup for the class of 2020, but according to the college BB recruiting “experts” like 247Sports and Rivals, none of the top 50 ranked players in the class of 2020 are likely to sign with IU. I hope that changes, but the projections are not encouraging. Earlier in this string you asked, “Has AM chosen the correct strategy for the era in which he is coaching?” Great question! And we’ll know the answer in the next two years.

  32. May I remind TCWOWS what was going on during his idol’s time at IU?

    Laughable that he’s now concerned…about our national relevance. Last time I checked, that generally means deep NCAA tournament runs. It wasn’t that complicated for Conference Midwest Elite to make such runs from 2010-19. Sadly, even with highly ranked teams and talent, we could never win anything beyond a Round of 32 game. Considering the talent and what the rest of the Midwest was achieving, it was beyond a disgrace.

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