Indiana Notebook: Hoosier coach talking family with embattled brother, not his messy situation
First-year Indiana men’s basketball coach Archie Miller was broached on the touchy subject of his brother (Arizona men’s basketball coach Sean Miller) Tuesday and his response wasn’t the least bit surprising.
Miller and his Hoosiers (16-14) will face Rutgers (14-18) tonight in the second round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City (approximately 9 p.m., BTN).
When asked if he had spoken with his brother since an ESPN report was released last Friday alleging that Sean Miller was caught by the FBI discussing a potential $100,000 payment to a current Wildcat player, Archie didn’t tap dance around the subject.
“I’ve spoken to Sean quite a bit,” Archie said.
And at that point, his statements became a tad more implausible.
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Miller continued to say that he and Sean had discussed “family” and not the fact that Miller has not been allowed to coach his Wildcat team in a game or practices over the past week.
“Our conversations are about our family, more than anything,” Archie said. “What’s going on in Arizona, and what’s going on in college basketball in general, is something that really wasn’t the topic of conversation for us.”
Just to be clear, we are to believe that the fact that multiple media outlets are reporting that Sean’s legal team has been in discussions all week with university leadership to determine his professional fate never came up, but how Aunt Millie is doing, THAT was a “topic of conversation” between the brothers?
“I don’t think that you grew up at our house with our family and consume yourself with what’s going on in the basketball perspective, when something like this is going on,” Archie said. “It’s been hard on a lot of people. Move on the best you can. You know, for me, I’ve got a job to do here, and that’s sort of where I’m at. That’s how I sort of go about my business.
“But when it comes to Sean, yeah, we’ll communicate as much as we possibly can and it doesn’t really revolve a whole lot around anything other than us.”
There is no denying the fact that Indiana most assuredly needs to win the league tournament (thus securing the Big Ten’s automatic bid) in order to get into the NCAA Tournament.
The Hoosiers do not own a win over any team that will earn an at-large berth into the tournament and their RPI is 110th (five spots below Wagner). However, the Indiana players aren’t necessarily thinking in terms of the big picture at this point.
“We just want to take everything one day, one step at a time,” Indiana senior guard Robert Johnson said. “At the end of the day, we want to continue to play for as long as we can at the highest level that we possibly can. So I think it all comes down to making the most out of everything we do day by day.”
HOOSIERS HEALTHY, RESTED
Miller gave his team Saturday and Sunday off following their 80-78 double-overtime loss to Ohio State Friday. The coach said that the time off helped his team mentally, as much as it did physically.
“That was really big,” Miller said of the time off. “We were beat up. I know every team in the league was, as we finished was going down some type of stretch. We were an exhausted group, not so much physically but mentally, as well. It was a hard grind to get through January and February.”
Miller said that the Indiana players had a spring in their step at Monday’s practice, which should bode well this week, as they could potentially play four consecutive days if they continue winning games.
“Watching us practice yesterday was kind of funny,” Miller said. “We had a great balance. We had guys that were excited to be in the gym working again, just amazing sometimes when you have a couple days off just to reboot physically and mentally.”
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