Miller talks up 2020 recruits on radio show

Indiana coach Archie Miller took time on his Monday radio show to speak glowingly about his 2020 signees.

And when he talked about Anthony Leal, Trey Galloway, and Jordan Geronimo, he made clear that the 6-foot-5 guard from Bloomington South hasn’t been roped in with Galloway and Geronimo because he’s a hometown hero.

“Make no mistake, just because he goes to Bloomington South, he’s very familiar with our surroundings, that he’s not just as important as everybody else,” Miller said of Leal. “He’s a terrific player.”

In particular, Miller touted Leal’s motor and 3-point shooting. He hit 38.4 percent from beyond the arc as a junior, though that included a 1-of-12 stretch to start the season. As a sophomore, Leal hit 51 percent from 3.

Last year’s “core” Indiana Junior All-Star is 410 points away from the Panthers’ career scoring record.

“Big guard,” Miller said. “But the way we’re playing in transition and what we are doing off the ball, he really fits in system-wise, and he’s a competitor. He really competes.

“J.R. (Holmes) is a fantastic high school coach. Those guys have all been successful wherever they go, coming out of South. We’re excited to have him.”

Galloway, an AAU teammate of Leal’s, earned praise from Miller for his overall mentality.

The son of a coach, the Culver Academies guard was part of a state championship team as a sophomore. The Eagles were Class 3A runners-up last season.

Galloway, also a junior all-star, averaged 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game in 2018-19.

“Ultimate competitor,” Miller said. “He’s that guy you want to be in an alley with when something goes down. He’s ready to go at all times. I think he brings a big, physical guard to the table that’s ready to play, compete in the Big Ten early in his career. And he’s a winner.

“He’s going to compete again for another state championship hopefully this year at Culver.”

Geronimo, a Newark, N.J., native who plays at St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., is a recruit that’s “a little bit off the beaten path,” as Miller put it.

A late-bloomer, he was just a 5-10 guard when he arrived at prep school. Geronimo wasn’t even recruited to St. Paul’s for sports. But he eventually grew into a 6-6 frame with a 7-foot wingspan, earning his first Power 5 offer from Boston College this past April.

His stock soared the following summer, rating as high as the No. 77 recruit in the class, according to the recruiting site Rivals. He committed to IU in September.

“He’ll be a 17-year-old freshman when he gets here. He’s very young,” Miller said. “He probably has the longest wingspan on the team at 6-foot-6. Fantastic athlete, great body, is going to be physical. Can really defend the three and the four position.

“He comes in with the 3-point shot ready. But he’s a guy that’s so young that, man, with an upside like his … hopefully, in a couple of years, we have something special there.”

Once he wrapped up his comments on Geronimo, that’s when Miller made one crucial point: “We’re not done yet.”

In a couple of days, Hoosier fans will find out if Miller was referring to another big-name target on the recruiting radar.

Dawson Garcia, the 6-foot-11 forward from Minnesota, has set 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on CBS Sports HQ as the time and venue for his announcement. The finalists for the four-star prospect are IU, Marquette, Minnesota, and Memphis.

The prized forward could fit nicely with a class currently comprised of two guards and a wing. The last day to ink a letter of intent in the early signing period is Wednesday, but it is unclear if Garcia intends to sign the day he commits.

“The signing period is not done yet and we’re always on a quest to add some pieces to what we are doing here long-term, but those three guys, in particular, we are very excited about,” Miller said. “They are great for the community, they are going to do great in school, and they are going to add to our tradition of bringing in guys that want to compete for Big Ten championships.”

16 comments

  1. I really like these three recruits. I can see them contributing to next year’s team immediately, just as Armaan is doing now. Indiana is missing only a talented Big to round out a great class. Come on Dawson choose the Candy Stripes!

  2. I’d describe the three recruits already signed as solid. It’s a solid class, but certainly not a great class, either by contemporary competitive standards or IU’s historical standards. I believe these three will eventually be contributors, but I doubt they will see significant playing time next season. Of the players who are supposed to return next season, who are these three going to displace in the top eight or nine? If we lose more than one player to transfer, then one of these guys might get significant minutes. Otherwise, I believe they’re going to provide improved competition in practice and learn while watching the games on the bench. These three should start to shine in their sophomore seasons.

    As for Garcia, Archie needs him in a big way. And I don’t understand how Marquette is still being considered. A bit closer to home, but that’s about it. Obviously I’m biased, but I really don’t understand why Garcia has any dilemma at all?

    1. I can only Say what I would pick if I were the recruit. No to Marquette, campus is not attractive. No to Memphis, recent scandals. Minn likely has some home town/state pull. We have a pretty campus. Wish we had more recent success.
      Good luck to him. Where ever he goes I hope it works out.

  3. IU basketball is not one of the elite destinations. This should not be that hard and blue chip player/s should have a much bigger desire to go to IU. So many times 21st century IU because of 20th century tradition gets in the running til the end and then loses out on much needed recruit. IU has gotten one here and there but not enough. This should be a no break net IU vs Marquette but it’s not. Justify all you want but there are no excuses.

  4. I think we’re seeing the difference between the Hoosier Nation’s perception of IU BB compared to the rest of the country’s perception. Ours is based on nostalgia (and hope) while the rest of the BB world’s perception is based on recent history and reality. And the recent history of IU BB isn’t impressive or compelling. IMO, BB recruiting is “sputtering;” it’s moving forward but without gaining momentum. No one wants to talk about the elephant in the room, and a lot of people try to justify the recent results, but IU is whiffing on most of highest ranked HS players they’ve tried to recruit and those kids are signing with schools that don’t have much or any significant BB history (i.e., Alabama, Marquette, Memphis, etc.).

    And aside from the perception of IU, I’ve been wondering for a while how Archie is perceived by elite HS BB players? I have no reason to believe Archie is perceived in a negative way. But maybe the perception of him (outside of Bloomington) is just not very positive or exciting. Maybe the general perception of him just doesn’t include anything that creates excitement or passion. I mean with Bob Knight, people were passionate about him, one way or the other. They either loved him or hated him. And players either feared him or worshipped him, but there wasn’t much room in between. I get the sense that no one hates Archie, and you never hear anything negative said about his behavior or his character. But maybe Archie just does not engender passion or excitement in people or recruits?

    I’m not sure, but I do know that if Garcia does not sign with IU, this recruiting class won’t be ranked in the top 75, and that will make it even harder for Archie to recruit higher rated talent in the future.

  5. Po,
    Every now and then I do disagree with you. As you might guess, this is one of those times. What I see in this recruiting class with or with Garcia is a Brad Stevens Butler style recruiting class. They never could make all the way to the top, but they went to the final game in back to back years. As great a job as Stevens did, and no disrespect to the school, there is only so much you can recruit to Butler. All that was needed was just a small amount more of talent and Butler could have won it all in back to back years. That being said, I don’t Archie will have that much trouble recruiting that little bit more to get the job done.

    We all have to remember it is about the number of banners you hang, not necessarily the number of *’s you recruit. The three that have signed already are going to be solid 4 year players, and that’s the stuff championships are made of. One last little thing, he may not come, but don’t count IUBB out of the Garcia stakes yet. If we see him in candy stripes, I think there may be one extra factor IUBB had which no one else did. I’ll wait to see if I have guessed right before I say, don’t want to jinx anything, but I hope I am right.

  6. Of course, Hayward went pro after his sophomore year. I consider getting to a championship game as getting to “the top.” Hell, there our hundreds of schools never to even sniff a Final Four. For a school like Butler(or Loyola of Chicago) to get to Final Fours is really quite the incredible achievement.
    It’s a testament to Midwestern talent, Hoosier talent…and the quality of basketball programs at those schools.

    But it’s damn difficult for even a school as big as Indiana U. to not feel the repercussions of superstars bolting for the NBA. IU(as of late) and Butler don’t get the plethora of superstars year after year…The recruiting of superstars are more dispersed and seem to come along ever 5 to 10 years. Sometimes we wait a very long time for those phenoms we attach “everything hinges” slogans to their names(e.g. Cody Zeller, Romeo).

    Butler gets three or four years out of Hayward and their banner odds likely increase markedly …..Our chances for a deep run this year would had similar higher probabilities had a returning Romeo blended his multiple skills and added experience to complement a much improved inside game.

    But back to back Final Fours? Yeah…that’s reaching the top. It’s been 17 years next March since we’ve played on the biggest Monday night in college basketball. I’d happily take a Final Four…or the Monday night game.

  7. think, good post, but I don’t understand what parts of my previous comments you disagree with? We both said this recruiting class (so far) is solid. We both agree that getting Garcia is important and that Archie is still in the running. But facts are facts, and Archie has failed to sign many of the highest rated players he has recruited for this and last year’s classes. Furthermore, many of the highest rated players are signing with schools that don’t have the campus, the BB facilities, the passionate fan base or the history that IU BB enjoys. To me, an IU BB recruiting class ranked somewhere above 75th in the nation is cause for concern.

    1. Po,
      Maybe I misunderstood your posting, but as the class stands now, I’m very comfortable. Currently on Rivals it is a 3.67 average coming in at number 29. I’m not uncomfortable with that because Galloway may be a bit underrated as a 3*, and Geronimo maybe underrated as a 4*. The major concern I have is how well do they fit Archie’s system, and I think they are prototypical recruits for the CAM system. Getting Garcia would be great because I think he may fit the system quite well too.

      The bigger thing I see is are the players being recruited going to stay more than 1 or 2 years. In order to hang banners this is becoming very key. The younger more talented teams are not hanging banners.

  8. I am sure that most big ten schools or not even big ten schools but mid majors have recruits coming in that they (or fans) feel are a bit under rated and project big things from them. That’s why they recruited that particular player.
    If you ask players they probably think they are all under rated and ready to go pro.

  9. In recent years IU men’s basketball has not matched up physically on top of not being able to shoot. Players playing positions that lack skills that position requires and lack of talented size = middle of the pack.

    1. t,
      If we are speaking of recent years as in the last 2 prior years, that’s pretty obvious. AM’s first year had a pretty bare cupboard, and last year is one of the worst injury plagued season I’ve every seen a team endure. So yes, if that’s what you mean, I agree. As for the TLC years, I will leave those to H4H’s vivid imagination.

  10. think, I don’t concern myself with a player’s star rating, I look more at their numerical rank. Neither tells the entire story about a young man. But most importantly, the recruiting class ranking is a better indicator of how a program is doing. A lot of things happen on the way to the final four each year, and in order to win a National Championship a team has to have some luck. And there are lots of examples of teams loaded with talent that don’t make the final four (i.e., most recent Kentucky teams). But not all five-star HS players choose the NBA after their freshman season. Many go after their second or third season. IMO, IU should NEVER have a recruiting class ranked outside the top 30 nationally, or outside the top three in the Big Ten conference. And from my biased perspective, at least until the NBA eliminates the ridiculous one and done rule, an ideal IU recruiting class will have one or two 5-star or high-4-star players and be ranked amongst the nation’s top 20 classes. Garcia or no Garcia, this IU class is “solid” but won’t meet either criteria.

    1. Po,
      I look at the individual player’s numerical ranking too. All three current recruits are in the top 150. Once you get to that level the differences become so thin that it is very easy for a # 75 to be as good or better than a #15. The real key is how many of those top 150 players are you accumulating? IUBB has recruited 3 of them. That leaves 147 to be split among another 50-75 schools, not too shabby.

  11. Speaking of Butler and Brad Stevens, their first NCAA tournament final game appearance under Stevens….Stevens reason for the run was they caught lightning in a bottle. Not sure what the reason was for the second run in the tournament to the final game was. However, the trademark for Butler 10 times especially under Stevens was that Butler would match up and play physically. Yes, they had good players and were very good. NCAA tournament is one loss and done that makes teams like Butler that Stevens coached a very difficult out. His teams were hard to beat in the tournament. They were really fun to watch.

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