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Archie Miller not afraid to set aggressive tone at Indiana

There is no doubt that new Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball head coach Archie Miller has high expectations to live up to. Athletic director Fred Glass’ firing of Tom Crean and rational for it made those expectations very clear.

Miller wasn’t afraid to set his own tone for how to meet said expectations. He did so in just one word — aggressive.

That aggressiveness should be easy to see the second Miller’s team steps on the floor for the first time in the 2017-18 season. He made that much clear in his introductory press conference.

“I think the more we’re on the run in the full court and the half court, which means a lot of movement and a lot of pace,” Miller said. “I think our teams at Dayton were known for great ball movement, unselfishness.

“But I told these guys, it’s going to be pace, it’s going to be player movement, flow, and it’s going to be an attacking, aggressive style.”

Miller will want his team to be aggressive, and so was the process of his hire.

A seven-year deal that will doll out $3.35 million a year certainly highlights just how serious Indiana is about getting back to being one of the bluebloods of college basketball.

“I see him as a 20-year guy that is our guy, and will create his own era here at Indiana University,” Glass said, via the Indianapolis Star. “The son of a coach, coaching family, brother at a big-time program … he sees the opportunity as I see it. He’s embracing high expectations.”

Miller’s words also indicate just how serious he is about that ideal as well.

It is also clear that Miller gets what it will take to be successful at Indiana, mainly everyone involved with the program pulling in one direction. From outreach to former players, to making current players feel comfortable in the new style, and making Bloomington, Ind. a destination for the best of the best of the future of basketball — Miller already has a plan in his mind.

Executing that plan will be key to any success Miller and Co. will have at the helm of the Hoosiers basketball program. It will start with the embrace of the former players.

“We’re going to approach our program — I think Fred and I discussed this probably more so than anything, we’re going to approach the program on three levels, and those three levels are going to really be embraced and attacked very hard,” said Miller in his introductory press conference.

“The first level is obviously our past. Every player, every former coach, every former manager that laid the groundwork for this place to be what it is today, we owe them a lot, and our effort level and our give-back has to be really unmatched, and they have to feel that they’re a part of everything that we do, and our players have to feel that power. That’s something we are going to really fight hard for.”

He also made it very clear how aggressive he is going to be in recruiting the state of Indiana and the Big Ten footprint. While others have talked about it, Miller is setting his sights on getting the best players the state has to offer to come on board like they haven’t been.

“The last part of the level, the third level, is the future,” said Miller. “And the future is the recruiting. And we’re going to have a great way about us, and the term that we’ll use is called inside-out. We have to start inside this state of Indiana, and we have to start moving outside very slowly, because the footprint is there.”

“The inside-out approach means that we have to dedicate ourselves to the high school coaches in this state, the high school talent in this state, the grass-roots programs in this state, and they must feel like they’re being dominated by Indiana University. You’re not going to get every player; you understand that.

“But if we want them, we should have a great chance of getting them because of the commitment level that we’re putting forth 24 hours a day at home.”

Betting against a coach with the success he has had and the pedigree of his coaching blood isn’t a smart move. At least he’s willing to embrace high expectations and not dampen the thirst for a national championship-caliber program once again.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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