The $ 10 million from an Indiana booster for a new coach shows that money talks, but when players walk, is it worth it?


Indiana Coach fired Archie Miller on March 15 and announced that a super wealthy developer had agreed to give the school $ 10 million to cover its purchase. Nine days later, Indiana still doesn’t have a new coach.

In fact, he hardly has any equipment.

That’s because Race Thompson became IU’s third starter on Wednesday, not just the player, beginning – to enter the transfer portal from the end of the season, joining Armaan Franklin and Aljami Durham. Those three combined to average 31.8 points and 13.4 rebounds last season. They ranked second (Franklin), third (Durham) and fourth (Thompson) on the team in scoring, second (Thompson), third (Franklin) and fourth (Durham) on the team in rebounding. So these are not guys who are at the bottom of the bank or out of the rotation. They matter. And while it’s true that any (or even all) of them could exit the transfer portal and return to Indiana after the school hires their next coach, that’s not normally how these things work.

So are we sure it was money well spent?

To be clear, it’s not my money, so I don’t care. But just by looking at it hands-on, when this is all over and everything is settled, how likely is Indiana to actually be in a better place than it was two weeks ago? If the school hires Chris Beard from Texas Tech or Scott Drew from Baylor or Eric Musselman from Arkansas or former Michigan coach John Beilein, maybe everything will be fine even if it looks like either of them would be off to a rocky start considering the state of the city. list. . But there is a growing sense in college basketball circles that Indiana might be more focused on signing someone with ties to Indiana, perhaps a former player like New York Knicks assistant Mike Woodson, assistant G -League Calbert Cheaney, Michigan State assistant Dane Fife, UCLA assistant Michael Lewis or former NBA coach Keith Smart.

Any of them could be great I guess.

But, at this point, it’s fair to wonder if this process could turn into a net negative culminating with Indiana paying $ 10 million only to end up with a lesser coach and an inferior roster. Again, any of the candidates with strong ties to IU could be fantastic. I don’t know all of them personally, but I do know the ones I know I like. So I am willing to keep an open mind. But, with that said, and this is just the truth, none of them would currently be a candidate for any other job comparable to the Indiana job. So if Indiana goes that route, it would have spent $ 10 million, plus whatever it takes to hire the next coach and his staff, to replace Miller with someone who is far more risky than Miller seemed at the time of his hire. . in March 2017, and Miller’s replacement would likely have a worse roster in year one than Miller would have had in year five.

Again, it’s not my money. So I do not care.

And if the school just wanted to end Archie Miller no matter what, in the same way as before it only wanted to end Tom Crean no matter what, fine. My only point is that there are several reasons to think that Indiana really could have spent $ 10 million to put itself in a worse position down the road.

The coach IU wanted to leave has left, but so are three starters and an absence trade named Parker Stewart, who would have been eligible next season after averaging 19.3 points at UT-Martin in his sophomore year. And who knows what impact all of this could have on Trayce Jackson-Davis? He averaged 19.1 points and 9.0 rebounds, the team’s highest, this season, while shooting 51.7% from the field. He is the best player for the Hoosiers. And while the 6-foot-9 forward is not guaranteed to be chosen if he enters the 2021 NBA Draft, will he really want to return to Indiana to play for a new coach and what is likely to be a bad team? Maybe. But I promise you other staff members are taking advantage of this coachless window that Indiana is currently going through and planting seeds with Jackson-Davis and / or the people around him on how the transfer portal might be the best for him too, especially if he ever wants to play in the NCAA Tournament.

As always, we will see.

The final verdict on all of this won’t be known for a while, of course. So I am happy to visit again later. But with four Indiana players, including three starters, already on the transfer portal, and with Indiana still in need of a coach, and with no guarantee that there will be the home run hiring that Indiana fans want, it is reasonable. wondering if this could turn into a situation where a school paid a lot of money only to get worse.



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