Archie Miller didn’t give any indication on his radio show on Monday night of when transfer guard Parker Stewart might dress out for or appear in an Indiana game, but he has been impressed by what he’s seen so far in workouts and practice.
Stewart left Tennessee-Martin with his degree after his father Anthony, Tennessee Martin’s coach, died suddenly in November. Stewart committed to Indiana in mid-December thanks in large part to the work of IU assistant Kenya Hunter, who had a long-standing relationship with Anthony and recruited Stewart when Hunter was at Nebraska.
Stewart joined the program in January, but because of protocols for his intake into the program — some involving COVID-19 — his integration on to the roster has been a slow process. With just five games left on Indiana’s regular season schedule it appears unlikely that he will play for the Hoosiers this season. However, because of the NCAA’s decision to grant this as a free year due to COVID, it wouldn’t affect his eligibility if he would play and he has been traveling to games recently.
Even if that doesn’t happen, however, Miller says the Hoosiers are still getting something out of having him in camp. After averaging 9.1 points per game as a freshman at Pittsburgh in 2017-18, Stewart injured his hip and took a year off, but scored 19.2 points per game as a redshirt sophomore at Tennessee Martin. He hit 71 3-pointers in each of his two college seasons.
“It’s been a little tough to hit the ground running,” Miller said. “… But as he’s gotten back, week by week, he’s started to get in the routine of lifting weights, skill instruction, helping out in practice. He’s a big strong kid. He’s about 6-4, 210 pounds. He can really shoot the ball. He’s physical putting the ball on the floor. Just watching him in practice, he’s going to be a great addition to what we’re doing.”
Miller said Stewart still has to figure out “what all is going on here,” and get an understanding of Indiana’s offensive and defensive systems that isn’t easy to get at this point in the season. However, he has two years of eligibility left regardless of whether or not he gets in a game this season and his skill set fills an obvious need. The Hoosiers have struggled shooting the ball outside throughout Miller’s tenure. They currently rank eighth in the Big Ten in 3-point field goal percentage and 13th in made 3-pointers per game.
“I really love the fact that shooting is his biggest strength,” Miller said. “He can really shoot the ball from deep. He’s a big, strong kid so I think he’s going to fit in really well in this league and in particular he’s going to really help us.”
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