Head coach Archie Miller talks about his crew’s missteps in Indiana University’s 69-90 males’s basketball loss to Indiana State University, Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
Robert Scheer/IndyStar

BLOOMINGTON – It was the seems, extra so than the phrases.

Everyone on Indiana’s bench and on the Indiana half of the Assembly Hall scorer’s desk bought to see the exasperation and frustration on Archie Miller’s face Friday night time, throughout a shocking 90-69 era-opening loss to Indiana State.

IU’s new coach, watching his crew enable the Sycamores to shoot higher than 65 % from behind the Three-point line, saved turning time and again towards his badistants, asking questions for which the Hoosiers (Zero-1) clearly had no solutions. He stared at that scorer’s desk. He seemed into the stands.

Nobody on the courtroom was serving to a lot.

“We’re soft,” Miller stated afterward. “We’re just a soft team. You don’t have to sugarcoat it at all.”

That’s what ought to fear IU followers most within the short-term about Friday night time.

The long-term? The long-term was sitting behind Miller’s bench. Signees Jerome Hunter, Damezi Anderson and Robert Phinisee, four-star prospects all, had been on the town. Miller nonetheless has the Hoosiers within the operating for a pair of five-star guards, Darius Garland and Romeo Langford, as effectively.

But the Hoosiers’ right here and now’s extra difficult.

The Hoosiers, right here and now, are what you in all probability figured they’d be offensively and, worryingly, maybe simply as poor defensively. The drawback: Defense was at all times the place this crew was going to need to make its success this winter.

And that’s the place it bought fully undressed on Friday night time.

“We never collectively made a decision to take that away and guard the ball and spread out,” senior guard Robert Johnson stated. “They hit some tough shots. We’ve got to give them a lot of credit. But we gave them some open ones, and let them get going.”

The Sycamores hit six of their first seven Three-point tries. They had been up double digits by the second media timeout. Their lead was 20 with Four ½ minutes left within the first half, and peaked at 30 halfway by means of the second.

They scored on three-straight possessions out of halftime, one thing Miller was fast to level out postgame.


IndyStar IU Insider Zach Osterman breaks down the Indiana males’s disappointing residence opener to a sizzling taking pictures Indiana State University, 69-90, Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.
Robert Scheer/IndyStar

“I just think in general, our resolve, the toughness, you’re not gonna give up 90 points in your home opener if you’re playing hard as hell,” Miller stated. “The fight, the toughness, I think you’re seeing a team that’s having to learn how to play a new way, and they don’t know how to win yet doing it this way. I make no excuses — Indiana State was ready, and Indiana wasn’t.”

Miller wasn’t heated afterward. He breathed no fireplace. If something, he was virtually upbeat.

He took duty.

“It starts with me. I have to do a better job. I have to get these guys more confidence in what they’re doing,” he stated. “How good can we teach these guys? They’re only going to get better if we teach them.”

He clarified the “soft” remark.

“I sort of mean not physically soft, not incapable,” Miller stated. “I think it’s more of a resolve, a mental toughness that we have to go harder, we have to play stronger, we have to get the job done.”

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Indiana University followers throughout sport motion, Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. Indiana State University gained 90-69.  (Photo: Robert Scheer/IndyStar)

And he was glad to show his consideration to IU’s fast turnaround, and Sunday night time’s go to from Howard.

“Tell the truth, make no excuses and move on,” he stated, when requested methods to deal with such a end result. “I think everybody knows tonight wasn’t a very good night for our basketball program, but you find a way to take a negative, make it into a positive.”

At the chance of placing phrases into Miller’s mouth, these quotes — and the general tenor of his press convention — laid Friday night time on the ft of that protection.

Miller has been up entrance about his crew’s offensive improvement, admitting it’s a work in progress.

His predecessor, Tom Crean, constructed offenses predicated on shifting the ball by means of the publish and spacing the ground with harmful Three-point shooters. This crew will not be well-equipped for that offense, so whether or not it’s Crean or Miller in cost, factors had been at all times more likely to be an issue.

IU’s solely remotely brilliant spots offensively Friday had been De’Ron Davis (14 factors, three rebounds) and Juwan Morgan (13 factors, two rebounds). But the Hoosiers, who should change greater than 40 factors per sport off final 12 months’s roster, hit simply Four-of-18 Three-pointers, and turned the ball over 19 occasions. 

Again, we might have seen that coming. This roster’s offensive shortcomings weren’t laborious to foretell.

Miller’s pedigree, and his success at Dayton, had been constructed on the defensive finish initially. It’s value noting that in his first two seasons, the Flyers had been Nos. 160 and 145 nationally in adjusted defensive effectivity, per Ken Pomeroy. So possibly that too shall be a piece in progress for some time.

Miller additionally misplaced by 29 at residence to Buffalo in his first season at Dayton. This sort of end result isn’t overseas to him. It’s believable he confronted among the similar questions on Nov. 30, 2011, that he confronted on Nov. 10, 2017.

Consider the phrases he used Friday: smooth, resolve, toughness.


Those are phrases used to explain protection, the sort he’s able to teaching and the sort Indiana actually didn’t play Friday. 

Miller has no cause to panic. His crew has nowhere to go however up.

“You can take every negative and make it a positive,” Miller stated, “but it’s a reality check.”

Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: ZachOsterman.


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