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Archie Miller expands on Jerome Hunter’s absence vs. Illinois: “I don’t think right now he can help us”

Indiana redshirt sophomore Jerome Hunter was with the team on the bench on Tuesday night against Illinois but not uniform.

Prior to the game IU released a statement indicating that Hunter was not playing due to a “coach’s decision.”

Head coach Archie Miller expanded on the situation after the Hoosiers’ 75-71 overtime loss to the Illini.

“There is nothing to really talk about with Jerome. Jerome was a coach’s decision and it’ll continue to be a coach’s decision as we continue to go through the next 33 days that we have left in the regular season,” Miller said.  “He has a chance to earn his way back onto the floor. He practices every day. He lifts weights. He does everything, but he is not going to take the floor again until the coach feels he is in the right frame of mind to number one lead himself in the right way and number two has the bigger picture in mind in terms of protecting our team at all times.

“Jerome is a good kid. He is a good player. We could have used him tonight. The bottom line is, when he is right, and concentrated on what he is supposed to do he can help us. I don’t think right now he can help us until he shows me that. That is, it for that. It was my decision and it will be to be determined when he plays again.”

Hunter had appeared in all 16 games off the bench prior to Tuesday.  The 6-foot-7 Pickerington, Ohio product is averaging 5.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per contest.

On January 23, Miller posted on Twitter that Hunter had won Indiana’s gold jersey, indicating that he was the team’s top performer in practice.

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