It has been an up-and-down start to Archie Miller’s Indiana basketball tenure, but one analyst believes he is the right man for the job.
While Indiana basketball is sitting at 12-3 to start the 2019-20 season, it has been one made up of a Jekyll and Hyde personality for the Hoosiers. A double-digit win against a very good Florida State team, but also two poor performances against Wisconsin and Maryland on the road in which they got run out of the gym. Add in two subpar performances at home against Northwestern and Nebraska, albeit in wins, and the inconsistent play of IU is puzzling.
For Archie Miller, that has been the majority of his Indiana career. Huge wins over six ranked teams, including two over No. 6 Michigan State last season, have been overshadowed by the losses to Indiana State and IPFW as well as the 12-of-13 game losing streak in Big Ten play last season.
So what’s the next step? Fans continue to want the Hoosiers to return to national prominence, and do it fast, but don’t want to have the patience to actually build a sound program and stability. It takes time, and Evan Daniels of 247Sports believes that Archie Miller is the right man for the job.
“Archie Miller is a proven winner and in time I think he’s going to have Indiana in a very good place. They’ve had success recruiting, especially in the state. I’ll say this, and this relates to Indiana and any other fairly new coach in the Big Ten … I don’t envy coaching in that league. That is one tough league to build a team in. Night in and night out has some of the best college basketball coaches in the country.”
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Thus far in his Indiana career, Miller has amassed a 47-34 record, but just a 19-23 record in Big Ten play. With everyone so quick to judge and expect results, here is how some other notable coaches have started off their soon to be Hall of Fame careers:
Tony Bennett’s first five seasons at Virginia
15-16, no postseason
16-15, no postseason
22-10, NCAA Tournament round of 64
23-12, NIT quarterfinals
30-7, NCAA Tournament, Sweet 16
Jay Wright’s first five years at Villanova
19-13, NIT quarterfinal
15-16, NIT first round
18-17, NIT quarterfinal
24-8, NCAA Tournament, Sweet Sixteen
28-5, NCAA Tournament, Elite Eight
I am by no means comparing Miller to Tony Bennett or Jay Wright, but I’m pretty sure everyone in the entire country would want either one of those two coaches on the sideline for their respective team.
Not even done with year three, yes there should have been some additional steps made to get better, but there is no reason to throw this season away yet. I’m sure if Indiana gets into the NCAA Tournament, the feeling around the program’s fan base will be much better, so why don’t we wait until that point before we judge Miller and the Hoosiers on this season.