One of the challenging aspects of covering the Tom Crean era was explaining the scholarship situation. Teams are allowed to use 13 scholarships at a single time and the former coach certainly pressed the envelope with oversigning and trying to field a full roster each season.
RELATED: Full press conference transcript
Earlier today during his press conference, we asked new coach Archie Miller if we’ll see different roster management.
He’s not going that route and explained why:
“I think in this day and age with the fluidness of the NBA, early departures, also the transfers that happen, in my estimation, it's not to your full advantage to have 13 guys that are playing in the game on scholarship,” Miller said.
He went next into the reasons why.
“You're not going to play 13. You may have 13 on scholarship and have a couple guys, whether they transferred in, if they can impact Indiana University or you redshirt a potential kid one day and look down the line in his fourth and fifth year as being an all-conference player. There's some of those.
“But I don't think we want to be a team that straps ourselves and limits options. That would be what I would tell you. We're always going to be comfortable playing between nine and ten guys, and if you have 12 or 13 on scholarship, you're probably going to see some unhappy guys, and sometimes less is more in that.”
Roster turnover this spring?
Even before the coaching change Indiana faced the possibility of losing as many as three players to the professional ranks. OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant are on many mock drafts and James Blackmon Jr. is probably a strong risk as well after putting his name in the last two springs only to take it out before the draft.
When you add that to the fact transfers often increase during a coaching change, Miller faces tremendous uncertainty as to what his roster may look like in a few months.
That’s why building quick relationships with the current players and signees is important.
SEE RELATED: IU signee Al Durham talks with Archie Miller
Miller began that with team meetings in the last day with individual meetings next on the agenda.
“It's going to take time,” Miller said. “There's only one of me right now, but as these guys know, I've already had a lot of conversations on the way. We're going to start having a lot of conversations as we keep moving forward. I have to invest in their families. I have to invest in the important people in their lives, and like I told them, I didn't recruit you, but you're mine, so at that point, if you're mine, then you have to do everything in my power to make sure that you understand there's great belief and value in you here. There's a clean slate. It's going to take time. I think every coach goes through that when they show up at a place. It's an awkward moment not only for them but for me, as well, but I think we're off to a good start.”