Indiana destroyed at Minnesota, and Archie finally promises “drastic changes” #iubb

Archie Miller was rightly upset after IU failed to show up at Williams Arena, but was it too little too late.

Indiana fans are mad – rightly mad.

The season that started with such promise has unspooled into a hideous chaos of passivity, stoicism, and malaise.

At 12-2, Indiana looked like a team that could overcome its obvious flaws to post wins.  As the Hoosiers posted consecutive wins against Northwestern, Penn State, Louisville, and Butler in December by a combined eight points, it was clear they had issues.  But those issues brought wins, so fans overlooked them.

It appears the coaching staff did too.

In his postgame presser after today’s outrageous 84-63 loss at Minnesota, Archie Miller said, “We have to make some drastic changes,” and “We’ve got to get some guys’ attention.”  Sadly, the Hoosiers are already out of The Barn.

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The time to get their attention was weeks ago – when the weaknesses could be overcome, and the season was still salvageable.

Injuries, talent level, and the continuing evolution of the roster from those recruited by Tom Crean to Archie Miller’s targets are cited as reasons for IU’s struggles.  They are all valid, but there is also a troubling lack of toughness and grit.

If the Hoosiers were scrapping, fans could see beyond the losing to a culture of relentless resolve and focus being built.  Is a lack of toughness the reason IU was blown out today?  There were other factors, but it sure didn’t help.

Whatever happens from this point forward, hearing Miller talk about getting his players’ attention is going to sound as weak as his players level of competitiveness.  The results of their attention being gotten need to be obvious.

Miller is obviously a good coach, but so far at IU he has appeared patient and reasonable as he’s conducted this rebuild.  He called for urgency from his team.  His team needs urgency from him.

Miller needs to make it clear to everyone following the IU program who’s driving the train here –  a bunch of 18-22 year-olds or the adults in charge of the program?  If Miller wants urgency, he needs to behave with some.

My old boss Tom Severino used to say, “The first mistake you make is mine to correct.  If I don’t lead you to correct what led to the first mistake, I own the second one.  The third time that same mistake is made, it belongs to my boss.  We are never getting to the third mistake.”

Indiana has now lost 10-of-11.  At this point, accountability extends to the very top of the chain of command at Indiana University.

Kent Sterling hosts the fastest growing sportstalk show in Indianapolis on CBS Sports 1430 every weekday from 3p-7p, and writes about Indiana sports at

2 thoughts on “Indiana destroyed at Minnesota, and Archie finally promises “drastic changes” #iubb

  1. philboyd

    You write: “Miller is obviously a good coach.”

    If Tom Severino were reading this, he’d say, ‘That’s your first mistake, Kent.’

    The notion that Archie Miller is a good coach is built on a very flimsy foundation. The strongest piece of that theory is an Elite Eight run with Dayton. But look closely: Who did he beat? a 10-seeded Stanford that had upset Kansas but wasn’t really a very good team. It was a decent run, but even an Indiana program that has been to the Elite Eight or beyond once since 1993 shouldn’t have over-valued it. Lots of programs not nicknamed Hoosiers have been to the Elite Eight in recent years.

    He also took some other Dayton teams to the NCAA tournament, prevailing over weak competition in a nothing conference to get there, and riding a core of decent players who got overlooked by regional powers. But his final two years at Dayton — when he wasn’t the lightly regarded underdog sneaking up on teams — he lost as the favorite to double-digit seeds.

    So what makes him “obviously” a good coach, as that would be defined by someone deserving to run a once-respected program? The woods are full of guys who, given enough time, built a brief dynasty at the mid-major level but couldn’t sustain that – or translate it at a Power-5 conference. What has Miller shown at Indiana? The propensity to sort-of run the rapidly becoming outdated Pack Line defense, which can be riddled by outside shooters if you don’t run it perfectly. And an apparent lack of any cohesive offensive strategy: ‘ Wherefore art thou, Romeo? I’m over here on the weak side being a decoy.’

    I can hear Tom Severino now: “When you assume Archie Miller is obviously a good coach, you make an ass out of u and me, Kent.”

    1. Kent Sterling Post author

      Archie Miller IS a good coach. He may not be a GREAT coach, but he is a good coach. Hell, Tom Crean is a good coach. Indiana’s defense has been solid. The offense lacks shooting, and this is the last year that will be the case. Is he the right guy? We are going to find out – but we are two years from knowing.


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