indiana-varsity-club-on-the-road-crop

(Photo: IU Varsity Club)

In the annual “On the Road with the Hoosiers” event held at the Huber Winery (Borden, Indiana), various head coaches of Indiana’s athletic programs spoke tonight at the event hosted by the IU Varsity Club and the Louisville/Southern Indiana Chapter of the IU Alumni Association. Though headlined by Archie Miller and Tom Allen, the women’s basketball program and softball programs also brought their head coaches Teri Moren and Shonda Stanton to speak at the event as well.

Archie Miller’s Comment Highlights and Videos

Video credit to the InsideTheHall YouTube channel.

The Summer Offseason

Largely things have been uneventful in the month of May except for recruiting. Summer classes start June 3rd and the newcomers of Trayce Jackson-Davis, Armaan Franklin, and Joey Brunk are expected to report on campus in the next week. Later, Archie mentioned that Trayce and Armaan entered campus today.

Another focus for the off-season is to build the chemistry of the team. During the summer, the staff is hopes that the team does one team activity each week on their own without the presence of staff. They would also like to mix in a weekly staff and family event as well. Players have to bond and connect not just on the basketball court but also outside of basketball, and the summer off-season is a prime opportunity for that.

Archie is looking forward to the 2018 recruiting class getting a year of college basketball under the belts. He hopes that the continuity of the players will help build confidence going into next season. There is an emphasized importance on players like Rob Phinisee, Damezi Anderson, and Jerome Hunter if available.

The whole team will be on campus in June and July, and the off-season plans will wrap up in August. After that, the team will be full-go to work on preparing for the upcoming season.

Testing the NBA Waters

Justin Smith spent the majority of his time in Bloomington. Smith has been in work on his game on campus Al Durham has been home in Georgia and Devonte Green has been home in New York. The three players primarily received feedback from the NBA Undergraduate Advisory committee, which is a group formed by NBA teams to provide feedback to college undergraduates. The staff is thankful to have all three back in Bloomington for next season.

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Jerome Hunter

Jerome is in Bloomington continuing with his rehabilitation. He is doing a lot more individual exercises, weight training, and conditioning, and overall he has elevated his activity level. He is still “far, far away” from any indication or final decision on his availability next season. The staff is targeting July and August to get better answers on Jerome Hunter.

On a daily basis, Jerome Hunter works on a plan with athletic trainer Tim Garl in the morning. He works out and lifts weights in the afternoon. In the evening, he is doing drills on the floor and improving his conditioning.

In the grand scheme of things, Jerome Hunter’s situation is very unfortunate for a very talented player like him, who was Indiana’s second highest rated recruit behind Romeo Langford in 2018. Jerome is handling the adversity dealt to him and the staff remains optimistic for his recovery. Only time will tell.

The New Indiana Front-Court

The Hoosiers will have three strong front-court bigs in De’Ron Davis, Joey Brunk, and Trayce Jackson-Davis. Archie envisions that all combinations of the three can work but he specifically calls out that Trayce can be on the floor on with either of the other two. All three have strong post presence and different abilities that make them each individually effective as a front-court player.

Trayce is very mobile and it’s hard to pin him down in a specific position with modern basketball. He can also help shoot from the outside. Archie does not distinguish Trayce between a traditional power forward or center. Trayce currently weighs 245 pounds and stands 6-foot-9 and 3/4.

Joey Brunk is going to be an important figure for the Indiana basketball program over the next couple years. Not only does Joey Brunk have the experience playing at the highest levels (with Butler in the Big East), he also adds a strong personality and a loud and dominant voice to the floor and in the locker room. Archie believes that he can be a passionate and energy-source to the team, as a opposed to younger players who tend to be more on the quiet side. Archie Miller is looking forward to Brunk’s addition to team chemistry as much as Brunks addition of size on the floor.

Offseason Shooting Improvement Plan

“Shoot more.”

Armaan has an opportunity to help the Hoosiers on the line and an older Damezi may become a big help for the Hoosiers next season. Ultimately shooting comes down to repetition.

The Scholarship Situation

In 2019, Archie Miller does not believe that having 13 scholarship players makes sense. The Hoosiers appreciate the ability to have roster flexibility with the two open scholarships. It seems that Indiana is planning to bank the open scholarships unless a player that truly will impact the team becomes available. The staff is looking forward to having more opportunities in the 2020 class. Archie later again re-emphasized that he wants a bigger class for 2020.

Planning for the Departures of Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford

Of course, neither case was a surprise for the Indiana basketball staff. The program has had a year to plan for their departures, and they have had the expectations of Juwan graduating and Romeo moving on to the NBA.

Now the focus is on the current team with Rob Phinisee, Devonte Green, De’Ron Davis, and other players on the rosters to step up in their roles to replace the production that is leaving the program.

On Romeo Langford

Romeo Langford has a ton of untapped potential. He is mindful and so smart to process things. It does not take him long to pick up on things. Unfortunately he has been focused a thumb injury during the NBA combine time frame.

Right now, Romeo Langford is working out in California focused on the 2019 NBA Draft. If he is drafted, he will be the 77th Hoosier to be drafted to the NBA.

Archie Miller stated that Romeo Langford is a great kid and so humble. He differentiates himself as a professional by not being oblivious to what is going on around him. Archie Miller expects him to have a great career in the NBA.

Romeo Langford also stayed until the very last day of the academic calendar in order to finish up everything he had to do academically. Even though he did not necessarily have to finish school (since he was planning to go to the NBA), it shows another aspect of Romeo Langford who enjoyed his freshman year of college and his work ethic.

Juwan Morgan, Zach McRoberts, and Evan Fitzner

Of course the Hoosiers will also not have the services of Juwan Morgan, Zach McRoberts and Evan Fitzner.

Juwan Morgan has been working out for a number of NBA teams. According to Archie, he has had interviews with 15-16 NBA teams over the last 45 days. Evan Fitzner will be playing professional basketball somewhere but he has not yet determined his landing spot. Zach McRoberts will be moving to Fort Collins, Colorado to work for Eli Lilly full time.

Race Thompson

Race is focused on getting healthy during this offseason. He has a great IQ and the Hoosiers need him to become more confident offensively. Of course Race will be one of the veteran players as next year will be his third year in Bloomington.

What has Archie Miller Learned as a Coach?

Archie Miller’s biggest learning is to figure out how to coach for the day. There are many distractions in college basketball and it is very to look ahead in the schedule, worry about other teams, etc. The players and the coaches both have to focus on the next opponent, work with the cards they have at hand, and block out other distractions.

Having Roster Depth at Each Position

In one of the more interesting comments from the event, a big focus for the summer is for Archie to teach multiple styles to the team.

In the Big Ten, successful teams should have the ability to show different play styles and schemes as well as be able to react to different rotations and sets. Archie Miller’s approach to managing roster depth and rotating players is to have different combinations of players be prepared to play a variety of styles on the floor.

Archie Miller may have a group train to play a modern, space-and-pace type offense to dial in on offense and scoring. With three bigs, another group of players may learn how to play a controlled and slowed-down style to nurse a lead. These are just some examples of what Indiana may try to prepare during this off-season.

Scheduling Information for the 2019-2020 Season

As we learned earlier today, the Hoosiers will not be participating in the 2019 Gavitt Tipoff, which means they have another open potential non-conference game. The staff will learn about their match up in the ACC Challenge some time early July. Other recaps included a mention about the Jimmy V Classic against UConn at Madison Square Garden. Indiana will also be playing against Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic. You can find the latest schedule information and known games on our 2019-2020 Schedule page.

Who is the Angriest Person in the World about Indiana Basketball?

Rest assured, there is nobody more “pissed” about Indiana basketball than Archie Miller. Those are words came straight from Indiana’s head coach’s mouth. Every morning, Archie Miller gets a “talking” from the person in the mirror.

Clearly Archie Miller is not oblivious to what goes on around him and what the Twitter-verse is saying about the Hoosiers. While social media can be a major distraction, Archie Miller understands the importance of keeping tabs on what is going on. If you truly ignore all that takes place and avoid social media altogether, you are probably doing a disservice to yourself by not understanding your surroundings.

Archie Miller’s Opinion on the One-and-Done Rule

“One-and-done players should not have to go to college for a year,” Archie Miller believes. Like any other profession, when you have young people able to cash in, they should have the opportunity to do that.

Many people believe that the rule is with the NCAA, but truthfully the decision has to come from the NBA. The age restrictions, etc. are all determined by the NBA.

Ultimately Archie believes that something will change over the course of time, but he does not know what will change and when that change will happen.


Bonus Video: Indiana Football Head Coach Tom Allen Addresses Media

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