Thomas J,.Russo, USA Today Sports

Insider Look: New IU coach Archie Miller

Dayton Daily News writer Davis Jablonski has been on the Dayton Flyers men's basketball beat during the Archie Miller era at the A-10 program. Earlier this afternoon he took the time for a Q&A to help Hoosier fans get up to speed on the new IU coach.

Here is our Q&A held this afternoon with Dayton Flyers beat writer David Jablonski from the Dayton Daily News

SEE RELATED: Archie Miller coaching profile | "This was a sensational hire" | Indiana confirms its Miller, Glass talks hire | It's Archie Miller (podcast)

Jablonski has covered new IU coach Archie Miller for the newspaper and brings us his insider perspective on today's big news:

Q - How is the reaction or expected reaction in Dayton?

DJ:  Imagine the reaction will be mixed but the rational fans will understand he put in six years. They’ll know that he put in his time and wasn’t a short timer. Miller has taken the program to places it has never been (in awhile) as far as the NCAA tournament. 

Hard to blame him for taking the IU job, that is a big time job and (fans appreciate) that he got the Flyers to the Elite Eight for the first time in 30 years.

Q: How will he handle the bigger spotlight here?

DJ:  He’ll deal with the expectations fine. He’s really even keeled. Even after losses he’s a good coach to talk to. I have always thought you can tell a lot more about a guy after a loss than after a win. That’s the case with Archie. I think he’ll do great down there.

Q: How do his teams play?

DJ:  They were definitely man-to-man defense, never played zone. They improved on defense this year. I think their Ken Pom defensive efficiency rating has improved each of the last four seasons. 

Offensively they have kind of lived at getting to the free throw line in recent years. That is a lot based on their personnel. They had a guy in Kendall Pollard who was one of the best in the country in getting to the foul line.

It's a balanced offense. They shoot the three but don't live and die by the three. They take the ball inside and really thrived with their senior class this season. Really the last three years those guys have been carrying them. 

Q: This move make sense timing wise because he had so many seniors?

DJ: Absolutely. The last four years there have been a lot of rumors and every time we pointed toward this year --'if he's going to leave, this is going to be the year when they lose all these guys." 

Q: While he was high up on our coaching board, it was fairly quiet with rumors on Archie and this job...

DJ: He plays things pretty close to the vest

Q: Any idea where he has been since his lost to Wichita State in NCAA?

DJ: He was behind the bench with his Arizona shirt the other day (Thursday) in San Jose supporting his brother. I don't when he went to meet Indiana. Maybe they met him there? I have a hard time believing he went to Bloomington at all. 

It wasn't like he hadn't been there before. He coached at Ohio State, so he knows that area.

Q: How is he in dealing with the media?

DJ: He's pretty good. I don't know that he's a big fan of doing interviews but he's a good interview, he'll give you good quotes. He won't shy away from telling you what he thinks about his team.  But he doesn't call out his players individually or anything like that. 

When it comes to injuries and such, I found him to be better than some coaches.

Q - Any thoughts on his recent recruiting?

DJ: The new class coming in was probably his best since the one with Scoochie Smith, Kyle Davis, Kendall Pollard--that class. 

They have had some good players but maybe not as good as you think (for the record). One of their top players, Steve McElvene died.  Just terrible, terrible news.  That really shook things.

He had a top 100 player last year, the Greek freak's little brother (Kostas Antetokounmpo), but he had to sit out this season as a partial qualifier. I suppose there may be speculation that Arch may take him to Indiana. although I don't know if that would work out or not. Lot of ability there and coach (Miller) has said great things about him in practice. A lot of unknowns. When he gets on the court next year he won't have played in about two years. But he's 6-foot-10 and looks a lot like his brother on the court. 

Q - Do you sense he has more confidence as the son of a coach and with his brother Sean doing so well?

DJ: Yeah, he has all sorts of confidence. I'm sure he thinks he can win anywhere and was holding out for one of these top 10-15 jobs. Been a lot of rumors about the jobs he has turned down in the past.  Alabama, Florida, NC State this year.  Archie has never really come out and said that he didn't want to go these jobs. Pittsburgh is another job that he maybe could have had.


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