Rich Barnes, USA Today Sports

Archie: "The big elephant in the room is recruiting"

In a roundtable session with reporters today, new Indiana coach Archie Miller hit on a variety of topics including the difficult job his staff has in recruiting this spring and summer.

Archie Miller and his new Indiana staff are playing catch up on the recruiting trail. It's hard enough when you move schools, and even harder when moving from an Atlantic 10 job to one of the elite Power Five conference jobs.

That's why these two April weekend "live" periods are so important.

"The two live periods are always a crap shoot," Miller said Tuesday. "When you change jobs, and the landscape changes, these two evaluation weekends can become in many ways non-impactful if you're not organized and just looking at hundreds and hundreds of kids. You have to try to be focused.

"If it's a normal year maybe you're going out there evaluating young guys and hammering in on the guys you've recruited for a couple years. That's not our case right now. We're having to do evaluations and trying to get in on certain guys. And trying to do as much with the underclass people before we see them again in July and on the campus in June."

Already we've learned about three new scholarship offers. All likely influenced by scouting over the weekend during the first spring live period. 

Among those with new scholarship offers from Indiana are 6-foot-8 Rhode Island forward Cole Swider, 6-foot-4 Delaware guard Eric Ayala and 6-foot-3 New Jersey guard Jalen Carey.

SEE RELATED: Carey talks offer explosion | Swider talks new Indiana offer | 4-star 2018 guard Eric Ayala talks IU offer, knowing Archie Miller

"This is a big class for us," Miller said, "We have a lot of opportunity on the floor for people that are coming in in that class--so we're attractive right now. We just have to be very, very smart and make sure that we're not wasting a lot of time." 

A lot of valuable early time had to be spent on keeping the three signees from last November in the fold. That job is now done and getting that done should help with continuity and preventing the inconsistent results that plagued the prior coaching staff.

"Those three guys not coming would have really put us into a situation where we would have been looking at heavy, heavy turnover with young people in the near future," Miller said about reaffirming the situations with Clifton Moore, Justin Smith and Al Durham Jr.

Now manpower can be used on the unsigned prospects that the staff is busy scouting this month, and the things that have to be done to quickly get involved with players before the spring is over.

It won't be easy to play catch-up with other programs who have as much of a three year head start on the Class of 2018.

"The big elephant in the room is recruiting," Miller emphasized today.


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