Three recruiting classes are now in the books, and the results are in.
During his time in the Big Ten conference, no one in the league is recruiting better than Indiana head coach Archie Miller.
After arriving at IU from Dayton in 2017, Miller has delivered three recruiting classes to Bloomington. According to the recruiting service aggregated 247Sports Composite, those classes have been ranked No. 2 (2018), No. 6 (2019), and No. 2 (2020) in the conference.
The three year average position of Miller’s Indiana classes are a Big Ten best 3.33, a full spot ahead of Michigan and Michigan State, who are tied at second place with a three year average of 4.33.
In each class Indiana has landed the highest rated incoming freshman in the Big Ten in Romeo Langford (2018), Trayce Jackson-Davis (2019) and Khristian Lander (2020), and Miller is delivering the results exactly how he said he would — inside-out.
This week Lander became the ninth Indiana based player to join the roster since Miller took over the program, and the now fourth year head coach has brought in three in-state products in each of his first three classes.
- 2018: Romeo Langford, Rob Phinisee, Damezi Anderson
- 2019: Trayce Jackson-Davis, Armaan Franklin, Joey Brunk
- 2020: Anthony Leal, Trey Galloway, Khristian Lander
Included in those classes are three straight Indiana Mr. Basketball winners (Langford, Jackson-Davis, and Leal). The program had never previously landed three consecutive owners of that prestigious title. Langford and Jackson-Davis were also McDonald’s All-Americans, an honor that Lander seemed poised to earn as well if he hadn’t reclassified to 2020.
Nationally, Miller’s three recruiting hauls have been ranked No. 10, No. 53, and No. 13 in the team rankings by the 247Sports Composite for a three year average of No. 25. With IU leading the way in the league, that figure obviously reflects that Big Ten programs have not been recruiting at an elite level nationally.
But Indiana is at the top of its conference over the last three years, and it is recruiting at the level of a top 25 program. And so of course the response to all of this by many will be predictable.
“Sure the recruiting results are nice, but now it is time to start winning at a level commensurate with the talent coming in the door.”
And at this point, that is a reasonable assessment.
We’ve talked extensively here about Indiana slowly but surely trending in the right direction during Miller’s first three years in Bloomington.
Recruiting class rankings are no longer the panacea when it comes to program health, as roster turnover has become a factor like never before in college basketball. Three members of Miller’s 2018 class, Langford, Anderson and Jake Forrester, have already left the program. Those three would just now become upperclassmen for the 2020-21 campaign.
Roster continuity is just as important as, if not more important, than the new faces coming in the door.
And IU has stability as well. While Anderson left and there might still be a bit more uncertainty to navigate, Indiana should return most of its core from 2019-20.
Relative to other teams in the Big Ten, Indiana is at or near the top when it comes to both continuity and high level incoming talent. And with that comes a new reality.
By and large, Indiana fans have exercised patience through Miller’s first three years leading the storied program.
And now we enter the expectations phase.
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