Indiana Basketball fans can help Archie Miller be the right coach by believing he is #iubb

Archie Miller becoming the right coach for IU might be fans believing it before they see it.  

Conversations about Indiana Basketball remains the same.  The Hoosiers are underachieving.  The cause is debated on message boards and sports bars.

Some Indiana fans, tired of the entrenched mediocrity, believe coach Archie Miller is the cause and want him fired.  Others believe five years is the minimum a coach needs to build a roster that reflects his culture, and Miller deserves that amount of time to establish his culture.

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Many point to coaches like Louisville’s Chris Mack, Ohio State’s Chris Holtmann and Butler’s LaVall Jordan as examples of coaches who took over a program and achieved success well inside that five-year window.  They believe patience is wasted because of their ability to win quickly.

I’m more pragmatic.

The reality is that outgoing athletic director Fred Glass will not fire Miller at the end of this season – period.  If Indiana goes 1-19 in the Big 10, Glass won’t fire Miller.  The new AD is not going to fire Miller as one of his first acts.  That means Miller will be Indiana’s coach until March, 2021, at the minimum, so IU fans need to marshal all resources behind helping Miller be the best coach he can be for as long as he is at IU.

That means empowering him to accelerate the cultural development.  Miller’s efforts to maintain continuity as he rebuilt after Tom Crean’s firing were laudable, but Crean’s lack of understanding that talent without culture yields uneven results continues to plague Indiana 33 months after he drove to the airport instead of the meeting where he would have been canned.

Miller admitted after the loss to Arkansas that a lack of control over his Hoosiers has been problematic, “There were a few times we called the play, (and) we didn’t execute the play.”  No basketball team can function successfully without players listening to a respecting the coach, and Miller needs to exert consequences that compel players to play as they are directed.

Fans need to support Miller at a level that allows Miller the latitude to do what is necessary to gain his roster’s attention.  If that means a talented player transfers, that’s the way it goes.  If it means a talented player sits, good.  If that means Indiana takes a loss now to win later, that needs to be celebrated, not criticized.

Miller needs to control the team instead of hoping they succeed by wildcatting.  Sure, a team can win by being more talented, but the Hoosiers aren’t close enough in talent to compete consistently with Kentucky, Duke or the other blue bloods.  Indiana needs to out-execute to win, and if they are not running the plays as called, how can they out-execute?

There is some good under Miller at Indiana.  The recruiting has been exactly what Indiana needs as the culture shifts away from Crean’s East Coast focus.  Miller has done a great job establishing relationships in Indiana and getting the state’s best talent to commit to the rebuild.  The last two Mr. Basketballs have come to IU, and they have Anthony Leal and Trey Galloway on the way this summer.  The 2021 class will be crucial for Miller with Caleb Furst, Khristian Lander and Trey Kaufman among home state targets.

I don’t know whether Miller underestimates the Indiana fan base’s willingness to accommodate attention-getting measures he might take to get his third Indiana team to do the right thing offensively and play connected basketball on the defensive end, but the time has come for the dog to start wagging the tail at Assembly Hall rather than the other way around.

Indiana fans are willing to be patient if there are signs of growth in understanding the game.  When IU players show they care more about their teammates than their individual agendas, IU fans will get behind Miller with enthusiasm.

The key to making that happen might be a healthy dose of presumptive support and positive energy.

16 thoughts on “Indiana Basketball fans can help Archie Miller be the right coach by believing he is #iubb

  1. Doug Anderson

    I am on the fence more and more with Coach Miller. I gave him a pass the first season as Crean left the program better then he found it but not by much. Second season, another pass because of injuries. This was the year I wanted to see a jump……sadly it is not there. I look ahead to next year and I do not see the program any better than this year. I mean, if Romeo was a first rounder so is Jackson Davis…..with him gone….oh boy. There is no one in Indiana wanting Coach Miller to succeed more then me but I am getting nervous. I hope I am wrong but I feel going into this Big Ten season it will be brutal.

  2. Jeff Gregory

    I can understand why Glass wouldn’t fire him and then leave, but I don’t really get why a new AD wouldn’t come in and make changes that he/she deemed necessary.

    As far as the rest of your post, I think the people that are more apt to want to get rid of Archie are the same people who would applaud him for benching the best players if they are set on free lancing. So, if Archie can get control of this team, I think all the pressure to get rid of him will take care of itself.

  3. Will

    Totally disagree. Archie is not making progress. Year 3 , with a top 10 salary , huge recruiting budget, and good facilities, and will be lucky to be a bubble team. IU just continues to make bad coaching hires. And he needs to man up and not rely on fan support to discipline players.

  4. Jim marshall

    You are going the wrong direction. It,s Miller’s problem. Because it,s Miller’s offense we,re running. Perimeter passing doesn’t,t score points it only makes the players run more pass more and have no idea where the shot is. Watch any team on tv. Nobody uses the perimeter passing game as Archie does. This is why he can,t get a buy in from his team. They know they look silly passing the ball in a circle. He also should sit down and let his team be grown men and not choreograph every. Move. He looks childish screaming along thie sidelines.

  5. Paul Talbott

    I was hoping for improvement this year but not expecting it. I was right on with that expectation. But Crean went 27-9 and a sweet 16 appearance in his fourth year after starting with way less than Archie. I’m not bemoaning Crean’s firing, just making a comparison. If Archie can’t show significant improvement this year, well so be it. But if he can’t recreate something like Crean did in his 4th season well then, so long Archie as far as I’m concerned

  6. Nick

    Pack the paint, and watch IU struggle to shoot from distance is all you have to do beat us.
    We play well up front, then adjustments are made and we blow leads, like with Notre Dame, Arkansas, and Nebraska… Archie can’t get these guys to play a full 40 minutes and it’s his job to.

    De’ron Davis is all but useless, Anderson shows no improvement and is about useless. Thompson is mediocre at best, Smith is extremely inconsistent, phinnese has slowly fallen off, Green is still out of control half the time with horrible passes and forced shots….it all falls on coach Miller.

  7. Joe Mcphillips

    Sometimes u half to adapt to what u have.I see him trying the same thing over and over.It drives me nuts.Same starting lineup,for what.Everone knows phinasee needs to start and run this team.Exsuse after excuse is used by archie.penetrate and dish is how we have to play.Centers hedging all the time.Teams scout this team,and we cant adapt.Thats coaching and that’s what we need.Just my observation. A good old dose of fundamentals would go a long way.

  8. CJ Diehl

    I have been a Miller defender these last couple of years. That being said, these last two games just leave me perplexed and speechless. From the Arkansas game , how do you not attack the Hogs’ best player when he picks up his 4th fouls with 8 minutes left? Especially when the team lacks depth and uses a 6 man rotation?? Today’s game shows his allegiance to players who have a low basketball IQ (Justin Smith) and players who lack ability against skilled teams (Brunk)? I just don’t understand the lack of adjustments and the continued inconsistencies that plague this team. His players play hard, he is a pretty good in state recruiter, he was a PG for Valvano…how does he not put a better product out there when it comes to understanding and execution? I have seen enough. Dane Fife is there waiting in the wings having learned from Izzo these past few years. It’s become painful to watch this team at this point. They only need to find 10 wins the rest of the year to make the tourney, but from what I saw today, I seriously doubt that will happen in a deep Big 10 conference this year. Thoughts?

  9. james marshall

    Archie is simply not the leader we need and doesn’t have the vision to coach in the big ten.
    If you ask yourself what offense is archie running? the answer would be no one knows.
    perimeter passing isn’t helpful.
    I’ve often wondered y a coach doesn’t try to emulate a successful program’s scheme.
    Having grown men do perimeter passing isn’t cutting it.
    Recruit a coach that played at duke. Johnny Dawkins comes to mind.

  10. TJ

    I am as sick of it as most everyone else. If we could send Archie Roy Williams post game interview from yesterdays loss.Maybe He would figure it out. He needs to rock their world clear those blank looks.If your going to lose anyway lose with the guys who want to learn and want to be at Indiana. The Hoosier Nation will respect him and what he is trying to do. No reason to hold back .If the they leave you don’t need them .It’s all about the culture . By holding back and continuing to cover for them we all lose. I was a Archie guy early on but not so much lately. Hard to believe some of the bad basketball we have been seeing.

  11. Peter

    Just finished watching them beat Nebraska on the road. 8 minute stretch with one basket, so many errors, 12 of 20 from the free throw line, opposing players driving to the basket unmolested, 19 point lead down to 6 at which point they couldn’t even in ball without a turnover. 8 point lead with 90 seconds left and I think they are going to lose. Also, what kind of offense are they running? They did rebound very well, so there is that and a road win is a win. I agree with most, though, that Archie does not seem to be a great coach which is what IU needs and deserves. They make so many mistakes and that is on the coach.

  12. james marshall

    undisciplined, uncaring and un sharp in ball handling. Archie needs to have a video session pointing out the mistakes the team makes . J miller drove into three players and lost the ball late in the second half. He needs to be told no more. Basic b-ball skills and offensive skills need to be taught.
    Their turnover problem continues each game. Lack of expectations from the head coach. And a lack of under-standing from the players.
    Enough is enough. Let’s not get too emotional on letting archie move along. Only reason he would move along is we get a disciplinarian who teaches and demands respect.

  13. John Oglesby 2/8/20

    Life long Hoosier fan, This is hard to watch. Purdue just out hustled, out shot, out rebounded.etc. This has to stop same old every game. Archie sticks with AJ?? he is not a point guard. Devonte is a turnover machine. I dont think we had 5 offensive rebounds today. Stagnant offense is an understatement. Archies substituions are amazing?? Make a 3, Get a rebound, hit the pine?? The Show is just to big. Oh how we miss the General! Remember those days. It was a very long time ago. What a beautiful tribute to a true legend.

  14. Wishful Thinking

    Indiana needs to hire a former IU player who understands what playing at Indiana really means.We have accepted losing and now do not expect to win.With Coach Knight and all the former players there should be clear that Archie is not the right man for the job.He could be a decent mid-major coach…but not at Indiana.Hopefully we get Chris Reynolds has the new AD and he can help restore Indiana basketball.Here are a few names I think could lead IU back…Alford…Wittman…Woodson…non IUplayers should be Stevens and Drew from Baylor…he has the Number 1 team in the nation right now.

  15. james marshall

    you guys have the right answer but the wrong approach

    In big business , and the army and most anywhere any one as un successful as archie would know it’s time to leave and not drag this out. A real man would say well i tried but it didn’t work out so i’m moving on.
    Putting the state and the university through more sophomoric news conferences archie should recognize he
    tried gave a decent effort but so long and good luck hiring a new coach who can work well with the new AD


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