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IU basketball: Archie Miller on what he is seeing and likes about his four freshmen

Each year the season opener gives us the much anticipated first look at the latest Indiana basketball freshman class.

Indiana’s group of newcomers is a good one, collectively ranked No. 15 in the country and No. 2 in the Big Ten according to the 247Sports Composite.

While you will have to wait until Wednesday night to see IU’s four members of the class of 2020 on the basketball court, head coach Archie Miller gave a sneak preview this week.

Here is what Miller said about each of his freshmen on his weekly radio show with Don Fischer.

Anthony Leal

“Anthony being a local guy, I think people are very familiar with Anthony,” Miller said.  “He’s a tremendous worker, he’s got unmatched work ethic.  It doesn’t really matter who you are or what your talent level is, when you work as hard as Anthony does you’re going to be successful at anything.

“You add in the fact that he’s got great size, he shoots it with good range, and he’s a very, very intelligent high I.Q. guy.  He’s going to work his way into helping this basketball team, and he already has, I thought he did a really good job last week at our scrimmage.

“But he’s put himself in a position to me as a young player, he’s got a mind, where he can play and think, and we’re going to trust him.  So early on I think he’s done a really good job.”

Trey Galloway

“Trey Galloway, I think those two guys (Galloway and Leal) have been attached at the hip it seems because they played travel ball together, but they couldn’t be more different players, Miller said.

“Trey is the complete opposite of Anthony in terms of a player.  He’s ball dominant, very shifty with the drive, and can really, really get to the paint.  Maybe our best overall penetrator/driver ball handler in terms of being able to do that.

“He’s got great size too.  He’s pushing 6-foot-5, he’s almost 210 pounds.  So he’s going to bring us a big guard, that I’m hopeful early in the season gives us another playmaker on the floor.”

Jordan Geronimo

“Jordan Geronimo is super talented,” Miller said.  “He’s probably the most talented guy that I’ve recruited in a long time in terms of when you look down the road, how good could he be from a physical standpoint as he continues to learn how to play as he gets older.

“He’s going to be super strong.  He’s the best athlete, great length.  Doesn’t know what he’s doing sometimes, then you’ll watch and he’ll make three plays and you’re like ‘holy cow.’

“Has a real good feel for how to pass in the interior, whether against the zone or man.  Has a really good looking shot, just has to learn when to shoot it and when not to shoot it.  Great on the boards.  He’s a 6-foot-7 / 6-foot-6 guy that’s playing way more like 6-foot-8 or 6-foot-9.

“He’s going to give us a lot of versatility I think to do a lot of switching especially against teams that run a lot of ball screens or play four guards.”

Khristian Lander

“Khristian is a guy that has a lot of hype, the name, and people want him to be something right now,” Miller said.  “The thing with Khristian, I keep telling him every day, ‘you have to establish that ground level where you can bring it every day, and then you can get to the next step.’

“People forget, he showed up on campus in July after graduating early at 17 years old.  And then all of the sudden it’s like whoa here we go, and oh by the way, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and when you start classes in the fall you won’t be attending them you’ll be in your room on your computer.

“Not only has he had to take in a brand new way of doing things, he’s also had to do it at such a unique time.  He’s getting better, learning how to play harder, learning how to play more physical.  I think that’s the thing he’s trying to understand right now.  The game is so much different than it was in high school in terms of physicality.

“Offensively he can really stick the ball.  He shoots it.  He hit four three-pointers in our scrimmage the other day, and I don’t think any of them hit the rim and they were all from about 25 feet out.  He’s established that he can make shots.  I think taking care of the ball and decision making is all a new experience.

“Fortunately or unfortunately, he’s going to get thrown into the fire, and he’s going to have to do it at an unprecedented time.  There’s not a lot of warm up.  I think when you get that opportunity it speeds your progression up.  You get used to it quicker.  You come back to practice better.  Each game and week that goes by it just kind of accelerates.  He’s the type that should get better, and better real fast.”

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