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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student


COLUMN: Will Archie Miller's burst fizzle out after flurry of commits?

Head Coach Archie Miller talks to the media during media availability Tuesday afternoon.   Miller took over after former head coach Tom Crean was fired.

There’s a cliche that sportswriters, and writers in general, use to describe sudden fame. It’s called “bursting onto the scene.” Let’s talk bursting onto the scene.

Tiger Woods burst onto the Professional Golfers’ Association scene by becoming the youngest golfer to win the Masters in 1997. Mike Trout burst onto the Major League Baseball scene in 2012 by batting .326 for a Rookie of the Year Award and a runner-up finish in the American League MVP race. IU’s own Yogi Ferrell burst onto the NBA scene after signing a 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks by tying a rookie record for nine 3-pointers made against the Portland Trailblazers.

These are some of the best examples of “bursting onto the scene” in sports. The next one is IU head men’s basketball coach Archie Miller, who earned three four-star commitments in 20 hours between Sunday and Monday — his first true commitments during his tenure in Bloomington.

The excitement in the fanbase for the former Dayton coach has been unmatched this offseason after Miller stood in Assembly Hall for his introduction and promised stronger efforts in recruiting the state of Indiana. That excitement swelled even larger Monday when Indiana’s No. 3 2018 recruit Damezi Anderson became one of three national Top-100 players to commit to IU.

Finally, one of Indiana’s top prospects in the front court. The last the program had seen was Indiana’s No. 4 2012 recruit Jeremy Hollowell, who came to Bloomington with high expectations and failed to meet them.

The commitment came in quickly and shortly after Minnesota’s third-best 2017 recruit Race Thompson announced his commitment to the Hoosiers Sunday night. Then, when one would assume the news would end with Anderson, Ohio’s No. 2 2018 recruit Jerome Hunter — 247Sports’ 60th-best player in the nation, the highest of the three — declared his commitment as well.

They are all 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-8 players who can transform the IU roster into the most positionless group the program has seen recently. They can all find different ways to drive, score and defend. And they all committed to Archie Miller, who hasn’t coached a game as IU’s head basketball coach to date.

By not only rallying the IU fanbase during his introduction as the new head basketball coach of a program that hasn’t seen a national championship since 1987, but also maintaining the young talent on the roster after Tom Crean’s departure — Devonte Green, Curtis Jones, DeRon Davis, etc. — and somehow opening the door for Collin Hartman to return, Miller really has burst onto the scene and exceeded all reasonable expectations.

Also, Big Ten foes, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa and Minnesota have all landed recruits of higher caliber than Anderson, Hunter and Thompson, just not in such succession.

So, will this burst continue into more commitments and the excitement that is Hoosier Hysteria and finally onto the court? I say yes.

For now, though, just enjoy the burst.

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