After watching his team lose their tenth game in eleven tries, Indiana University head basketball coach Archie Miller has apparently seen enough.
A recurring theme throughout this miserable six week stretch for Indiana has been an overall lack of tenacity and resilience up and down the Hoosier roster.
It appears to have come to a head in Minneapolis on Saturday. In his post game interview after a 84-63 loss to Minnesota, Miller didn’t hold back on his frustration with this Hoosier team.
“For us, we didn’t play with the urgency, toughness, and fight that we need on the road this time of year,” Miller said.
While Miller has undoubtedly been trying to find the right ways to get through to his team, a new realization appears to have set in for the second year Indiana coach.
“At the end of the day you can try to push as many buttons as you want to push. For us, this one, this is sort of a deal breaker,” Miller said.
While he didn’t elaborate on the specifics, it sounds like a major overhaul in the rotation and playing time is forthcoming.
“We have to make some real drastic changes to the way we are doing things right now. We gotta get some guys attention, and we’ve got to get guys to play better,” Miller said.
Throughout this 11 game stretch, Indiana has repeatedly given up big runs in games. More than anything, it appears that Miller will be looking for players that demonstrate a willingness to give maximum effort wire-to-wire during games.
“For us right now we aren’t playing at an urgent enough pace on either end. Just coming out here, the way this game felt, the amount of loose balls, rebounds, and-one baskets that come off broken plays, there is just not enough scrap and fight right now to be able to dig in,” Miller said.
When pressed on what the changes might be, Miller wasn’t ready to offer specifics. Indiana has just two days off before they return to action on Tuesday night against of all teams, Purdue. It isn’t clear what can be accomplished in such a short amount of time, but Miller seems intent on a major overhaul.
“We have to recreate ourselves. Your living and dying with the same mistakes. Eventually you have to stop living with those same mistakes and find out if somebody else can help you at times. We’re searching, and the next two days will be really big as we prepare for Tuesday.”
It won’t be too big of a mystery which players have drawn Miller’s ire, as it sounds like the bench is likely to be used as a motivational tool. The story on Tuesday night might just be as much about who isn’t in the game as who is.
There will be plenty to figure out between now and Tuesday night against the Boilermakers at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Indiana’s performance against Minnesota may have been its worst effort of the season.
When asked how he would grade IU’s play, Miller said very little, and everything that needed to be said.
“Not very good. Not very good.”
No it wasn’t. The deal has been broken.
On Tuesday night we’ll find out if a new deal can be struck — one that ends the suffering in Bloomington.
You can watch the full post-game interview here.
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