The first question posed to new Indiana men's basketball coach Archie Miller was in regards to rescheduling IU's once longstanding traditional series with Kentucky.
Because of course it was.
Welcome to Bloomington, Coach Miller.
"In terms of the series with Kentucky, that's far removed from where I've come from, so that's something that down the line I think (Athletic Director) Fred (Glass) and I will discuss and see how that happens," Miller said at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Monday. "I know it's an important piece to the puzzle here with our tradition, but right now we'll just focus on the day at hand."
Miller said that non-conference scheduling is the second-most important thing he can do as a coach behind only recruiting. Under Tom Crean's leadership in recent seasons, IU's strength of schedule in the non-conference portion of the year has fallen and raised questions among fans.
"Here at Indiana University, non-conference scheduling is about finding a way to put yourself in a great position in terms of seeding," Miller said. "You know, you have to be the master of creating a non-conference schedule that, one, creates excitement with your fans; two, challenges you at the highest level as you enter the Big Ten; and three, puts you in a non-conference résumé that stacks up with the best teams in college basketball. That's what will be our goal."
Kentucky, of course, fits that type of opponent.
But the Hoosiers and Wildcats haven't met in the regular season since 2011 when Indiana fans stormed the court at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall following Christian Watford's now-famous 3-pointer at the buzzer to win 73-72.
The two blue blood programs have met twice since then in the postseason but administration has refused to agree to another non-conference game on the schedule. Indiana has insisted there be a home-and-home aspect of the series while Kentucky has called for a neutral floor.
When Glass was posed a similar question about restarting the rivalry, he said he was open to it coming back.
"I'm very receptive to restarting the Kentucky series," Glass said. "I'd like to play one of the games in the cycle here, but I think the most important thing is we get that thing going again."
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