Going into his ninth season as a college basketball head coach and third at Indiana, Archie Miller has entered uncharted territory.
While he has assembled entirely new assistant coaching staffs when he took over the jobs at Dayton and IU, Miller has never dealt with replacing an assistant mid-tenure.
With former Hoosier assistant Ed Schilling moving on, Miller now has that task in front of him, and the stakes are quite high. After assembling just a 35-31 record over his first two seasons in Bloomington, things have transitioned from optimism to a bit head scratching among Indiana fans.
Miller needs to get this hire right.
Last week we told you why the last thing that Miller needs to concern himself with right now is finding an “IU guy” to replace Schilling.
But there are a lot different ways that the Pittsburgh area native could go with this hire — from an offensive guru, to a recruiting specialist with a certain geographic focus. Miller could look anywhere from college coaching staffs, prep schools, high schools or the AAU circuits.
With summer recruiting still in high gear, Miller would seemingly do well to wrap up this decision sooner rather than later. The next live evaluation period runs July 11-15 and includes important events like the Nike EYBL Peach Jam and the Adidas Gauntlet.
So who is it going to be? Here are some names (in no particular order) that are likely to be considered.
If familiarity is Miller’s priority, then Kuwik is likely his guy. A current assistant at Davidson, Kuwik was with Miller throughout his six years at Dayton and also worked at Ohio State and Butler. Regarded as a strong X’s and O’s guy and a good recruiter, Kuwik graduated summa cum laude from Notre Dame.
The head coach of both the U17 Indy Heat AAU program and Cathedral High School (the Indianapolis program that produced Armaan Franklin), Delaney has the in-state connections to play a major role in locking up the mission critical in-state class of 2021.
A current Rutgers assistant, Knight spent a lot of time in Miller’s hometown of Pittsburgh as a player and coach. He is regarded a strong recruiter with strong east coast ties, and a good developer of talent. Knight was an All-American player at Pitt and his brother Brevin had a long NBA career after playing at Stanford.
A current Virginia Tech assistant that has remained in Blacksburg after Buzz Williams left, Webster is a hot young prospect. With deep connections to the Washington DC area, Webster would provide inroads into a new geographic area. Webster was a star player at Harvard.
Head coach of one of the nation’s top AAU programs, Stevens is another option that could immediately connect IU to the DC metro area. Stevens leads the Team Takeover Nike EYBL squad that won the 2018 Peach Jam title and is consistently one of the more tenacious squads on the circuit. Team Takeover produced Victor Oladipo.
A bit of an off the radar IU name, but perhaps the the former player that is more realistic that has the best assistant coaching resume. Roberts has spent eight years at a UNC Greensboro program that has improved significantly during his tenure. Does he have the recruiting resume however?
The head coach of in-state prep school powerhouse La Lumiere, Holmes has experience coaching, running a program and recruiting. As a South Bend native, Holmes’ local ties go beyond his current role. That also happens to be where two of the better class of 2021 talents hail from, in Blake Wesley and JR Konieczny.
The head coach at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, Bruce is connected to several IU recruiting targets, and like Holmes, has experience in all aspects of coaching. Prep school to college assistant is becoming a common pipeline, including the last Huntington Prep coach.
Is it just a coincidence that the Trey Galloway to IU thinking started very soon after his official visit? Is there more to the deal than just the coveted class of 2020 guard? It is unlikely, but Galloway is regarded as a really good coach at Culver with in-state connections.
Most Indiana fans will scoff at this one after the Louisville debacle, but the former IU assistant emerged unscathed and is now an assistant at LaSalle. A former leader of the Team Takeover program, Johnson helped IU land Troy Williams, Noah Vonleh and Robert Johnson.
Indiana won’t hire Johnson again, but he gives you a sense for the recruiting oriented hire that likely will happen.
This is the hire that would most energize the fan base, but is it a possibility? Simply put, probably not. It is interesting to note, however, that despite the conventional wisdom, Fife is not necessarily the heir apparent to Tom Izzo in East Lansing. That mantle likely belongs to Dwayne Stephens. But Fife’s next job is likely a head coaching gig.
Drew’s head coaching tenure at Vanderbilt didn’t go as planned, but with proven recruiting abilities, in-state connections and an NBA resume, it could be another name that merits consideration.
There has to be at least one “promote from within” name on the list, right? The IU Director of Player Development has connections to the IU program that go all the way back to being recruited by Kelvin Sampson.
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