Jordan Wells / TheHoosier.com
The program’s five national championships hung high behind him in the background, but new head coach Archie Miller long before understood the expectations at Indiana.
“I don't think you come to Indiana if you don't want to live in the neighborhood,” Miller said. “f you don't want to move into that neighborhood, then you shouldn't be here.”
Embracing those high standards, Miller was formally introduced as the 29th head coach in program history on the North end of Branch McCracken Court at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Monday afternoon where he laid out his vision for the program.
After spending six years as the head coach at Dayton, Miller now turns his attention to the Hoosiers after signing a seven-year deal worth $3.35 million annually.
In taking the position, Miller laid out a very clear approach and expectations of his own for the program under his watch.
The cornerstones for his approach center around IU’s past, present and future.
An emphasis on everyone involved with the IU basketball program from former players to former managers, Miller wants to give back to the players who made the program what it is today.
“Our effort level and our give-back has to be really unmatched, and they have to feel that they're a part of everything that we do, and our players have to feel that power,” Miller said. “That's something we are going to really fight hard for.”
And then there’s the current players, or the present, which Miller also has high expectations of.
The standard, according to Miller, includes succeeding both on and off the court as a student-athlete. Graduating and a getting degree is expected of players, Miller said, and something which will be discussed often.
Equally important as the previous two levels for Miller will investing in the state of Indiana’s high school basketball talent.
Miller said he wants to use an inside-out approach for his recruiting, prioritizing in-state talent then gradually working outward.
“They must feel like they're being dominated by Indiana University,” Miller said. “You're not going to get every player; you understand that. But if we want them, we should have a great chance of getting them because of the commitment level that we're putting forth 24 hours a day at home.”
There’s also expectations from a scheduling standpoint.
Miller emphasized it’s the second-most important aspect of the program next to recruiting. Scheduling high-caliber opponents also aligns with his expectations for the program.
“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 great 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.”
Still in Assembly Hall working two hours after his press conference ended, Miller knows that’s the kind of effort it’s going to take the meet the standards set by himself and the fan base he won over Monday afternoon.
“The expectations are set high and they're achievable,” Miller said. “I wouldn't be here if I didn't believe that.”
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