Rivals National Basketball Analyst Eric Bossi: Miller "Good Move" For IU

Stu Jackson, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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Jeff Curry / USA TODAY Sports

TheHoosier.com: What was your initial impression of the hire?

Eric Bossi: "I thought it was a good move. I think he's a guy that pretty much anybody who follows college basketball or is in business with it, whether it be on a college basketball analyst side or a recruiting side, we've always seen him as a guy who's going to end up at a big time job sooner or later. I just think most of us expected it would maybe eventually be Ohio State."

TH: From what you’ve seen of the program, how did he manage four straight NCAA tournament appearances at Dayton, including two A-10 regular season titles?

EB: "One, talent identification was big, and it's not just about going out and finding a guy who looks like their best player. It's finding a guy who's a good player but also fits your system.

"They've played kind of small the last couple of years, so they've done a great job of finding those guys who can create mismatches and who are maybe either a tweener or the Big Ten or the old Big East, and getting them to buy and come in. And then their player development. They've maximized the abilities of those guys."

TH: In the 2014-15 season, Miller was down to just six scholarship players, and none were taller than 6-6. They still knocked off Boise State in the First Four and Providence to advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. He just seems to be someone who doesn’t make excuses or let circumstances get the best of him.

EB: "No, not at all. He's been around basketball his whole life. He's a pretty salt of the earth, hard work, self-made kind of guy, and I just think he's like, 'we've got to play, so why complain about it?'"

TH: What impressed you most about that season, based on what you can remember and what you were able to watch?

EB: "Just the way he got everybody to buy in. He got the team to buy in with the 'us against the world' attitude that 'no one thinks we can do it with just those guys.' They got it done.

"He coached those guys hard, too. It's not like there was any let-up because we've got six scholarship players. It was like, 'let's go play until we pass out.'"

TH: What were your thoughts on how he recruited at Dayton, and was there a certain type of player he looked for?

EB: "I think he's going to want, like everyone now, guys who can play multiple positions and create matchup problems. In theory, at Indiana he should be able to get a higher level of those type of guys that he's gotten at Dayton.

"He should still get guys who can play the 3 and the 4, the 1 and the 2, the interchangeable parts. Just instead of a 6-6 four-man, hopefully he's 6-8 or 6-9."

TH: From a recruiting and general team standpoint, how much can the facilities and other resources offered by IU benefit a young coach like him?

EB: "They benefit him tremendously. He had pretty good resources at Dayton, but they're going to pale in comparison to what he has at IU. There's going to be boosters constantly coming to him like, 'do you need my private plane for this trip or whatever?' It's just how it goes.

"It allows you to be much more efficient with your time, and you've got a brand behind you that is a college basketball blueblood that gets you in the door with pretty much anyone you want to try and recruit."

TH: It sounded like he turned down quite a few other jobs before finally moving on from Dayton and taking the Indiana job. Why did Indiana make those most sense at this time and what makes it the right fit?

EB: "Well, I don't think he was going to leave for anything that wasn't considered a big-time job. He was pretty happy at Dayton. He was taken care of well and they were winning, so there was no rush.

"Some guys, when they leave schools, it's because they feel like, 'hey, I need to take the first high-major job that comes my way because we may stink next year and I may not get an offer again.'

"He's never had any rush, and he's kind of choosy. I think, it's Indiana. If you're going to turn down Indiana, at one point are you actually going to take a job.

"Would he have left for Penn State? Probably not. But Indiana, Ohio State? Absolutely he's taking that job."

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