It lasted only 45 minutes, but during those 45 minutes the Indiana Hoosiers have already created a new identity that will be called “The Archie Miller Era.” Here are the four things that were mentioned during Miller’s press conference that already have Indiana on a new path:
- A Tough, Nasty Defensive Team: The Tom Crean Era was defined as a break-neck paced offense with a defense that was sometimes good but at other times very bad. Archie Miller’s philosophy asks for the same free-flowing offense (but not quite as fast), but also asks for his teams to be tough and nasty on the defensive end. Specifically he asks his players to be “tough-minded.”
- Non-Conference Scheduling To Help Seeding: There has been a lot written about Indiana’s non-conference scheduling over the years, so it wasn’t very surprising that the first question asked to Miller was his approach to scheduling. Miller’s answer really got the press conference off on the right foot as he talked about how the non-conference schedule is all about getting Indiana a resume that will help get it a better seed in the NCAA Tournament. In fact, Miller said “the non-conference scheduling component is probably the second most important thing you do as a coach other than recruit.”
- Redshirting And Limiting Scholarships: Crean’s philosophy towards roster management was always about not letting a scholarship go unused, but that has led to problems such as juggling too many players and facilitating playing time that resulted in “strange” substitution patterns. Miller addressed that he plans on regularly playing nine to ten players and thus doesn’t feel the need to have all 13 scholarships used at the same time. What was most interesting about his statement was that he wasn’t against using all the scholarships but those extra three/four players would likely be transfers sitting out a year, or projects that would be redshirted. Not having a full roster would also prevent the need to worry about having enough room for incoming recruits, something that had been a problem during the final four years of Crean’s tenure.
- Recruiting Inside-Out: The biggest reason a section of the IU fan base really wanted an Indiana guy for the job is because the state of Indiana has a great amount of talented high school players who instead of coming to Indiana have decided to leave the state to commit to other colleges. Recent examples from the class of 2017 include Kris Wilkes (UCLA), Paul Scruggs (Xavier), Malik Williams (Louisville), and Jaren Jackson (Michigan State). Miller made it abundantly clear with his “Inside-Out” approach that he will do his best to recruit the best that Indiana High School hoops has to offer.
“The inside-out approach means that we have to dedicate ourselves to the high school coaches in this state, the high school talent in this state , and the grass-roots programs in this state. You’re not going to get every player, but if we want them, we should have a great chance of getting them.”
However the Inside-Out approach isn’t limited to Indiana. While the home state is the priority, Miller brought up the fact that some of the best Hoosiers weren’t originally from Indiana and that the Hoosiers need to take advantage of the recruiting footprint it has created and still recruit those areas. If Miller can’t get the type of player he wants from the state of Indiana, he’ll get that player from somewhere else. You can trust Miller to keep his word about recruiting the state, after all, eight of his Dayton players were from Dayton’s home state of Ohio.