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Inside Archie Miller the player | PAGE F2 Clean slate for IU in 2017 | PAGE F7 IU men’s player capsules | PAGE F10 Big Ten men’s capsules | PAGE F18 Royster X-factor for IU women | PAGE F20 IU women’s player capsules | PAGE F22



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Indiana head coach Archie Miller watches play during Sunday’s exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis. The Hoosiers open their first season under Miller tonight against Indiana State.


ARCH MADNESS Miller’s tenacity as a player at NC State shaped who he was to become as a coach By Mike Miller 812-331-4369 |


e could have slept in. But Archie Miller, then a sophomore point guard at North Carolina State, knew basketball games were often won long before tip-off. Mike Summey remembers those days well. “There was a kid on our team who had an earlymorning class,” said Summey, a graduate assistant for the Wolfpack during Miller’s first two seasons. “He was a big guy who didn’t always want to get out of bed and didn’t always want to go. Arch didn’t have class until 10. This kid had a class at 8. Arch knew he had a test one day, so he woke up, got his tail in the car at 7:45, took him to class, came back and went back to sleep. That’s not something that your normal 19-year-old kid does. “That’s normally where you tell the head manager to wake up in the morning and get him, if that has to happen. Or, you could just let him fail. But Arch knew we needed that kid to win games.” From his earliest moments on NC State’s campus, it was clear Miller would take charge in ways others couldn’t or wouldn’t. Underclassmen seldom both invite and embrace so much responsibility; yet, Miller’s college experience illustrated the drive, focus and toughness that would later propel him through the coaching ranks. Long before he landed his first head coaching job at Dayton in 2011, and longer still before he received the keys to one of basketball’s most storied programs at Indiana this past spring, Miller was laying the groundwork for entering the family business. At 5-foot-9, he didn’t look like much. He had a squeaky voice to match. But Miller was tough, with an ornery yet endearing personality that helped galvanize the Wolfpack on the way to a basketball resurgence in the Atlantic Coast Conference during one of that league’s most celebrated

eras in the early 2000s. The youngest son in a coaching dynasty, Miller’s uncompromising approach to playing the game translated to the bench. At Indiana, the Hoosiers are counting on Miller’s hardened, disciplined manner to take the program back to heights it hasn’t seen in years. Go back to the fall of 1997, Miller’s freshman year in Raleigh, N.C. That’s when Miller stormed onto the college basketball scene determined to carve his own path. The Wolfpack were in their second year under coach Herb Sendek, who was hired out of Miami of Ohio to restore the luster to NC State’s name in the ACC. Sendek knew the Miller family closely, having hired Sean Miller, Archie’s older brother, as an assistant both at Miami of Ohio and NC State. In Archie, Sendek saw a guard who embodied the underdog spirit of the Wolfpack, a player unafraid to challenge Duke and North Carolina for position in the ACC hierarchy. “Archie has always been a great competitor,” Sendek said. That was clear from the beginning. “I remember his freshman year,” said Ben Wilkins, a former student manager at NC State. “One of the first practices, he came in with five other freshmen, and CHUCK BURTON | ASSOCIATED PRESS they had been on one of the teams scrimmaging against NC State’s Archie Miller (11) shoots over Maryland’s Steve a couple seniors. The freshmen won the first drill, and Blake during an ACC tournament game on March 9, 2002, in you got water if you won. The other team ran. Charlotte, N.C. “Arch was on the sidelines saying, ‘Hey guys, you better get used to this all year. We’re coming after you guys!’ He made sure they knew it. Now, the old guys ended up destroying them the rest of the practice, but who Archie was, he came in the next day with that Julie Davis Adams ASP, same chirp, saying ‘Hey, we’re coming after you guys today.’” REALTOR/Broker Miller was able to back up the talk, because he could Office: 812-330-7551 play. Cell: 812-327-0548 While his brother, Sean, earned accolades as a proemail: julie.davisadams lific ball-handler as a point guard at Pitt, Miller forged a reputation as a sharpshooter at NC State. Miller remains fourth all-time in NC State history SEE MILLER | PAGE F4 HT-349901-1



with 218 3-pointers. His 3-point shooting percentage of .575 in 2001 is second-best in program history, while his .428 career shooting figure from beyond the arc is good for sixth in NC State history. “He’s the best shooter I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Summey said. “Second to none. There’s no one that got their shot off faster, no one that shot it deeper than he did. The line was at 19-9, and he was shooting 23-foot shots. But he had to. Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter, if you get switched onto those guys (from North Carolina), they’re gonna block your shot. “The one thing with Arch was he couldn’t shoot without jumping very high, so he’s gotta jump like two feet off the ground for his jump shot. He’d jump really high, with a really high release, then spring his legs forward.” Despite his stature, he was a prolific shooter. During one drill at NC State, players were required to move station-to-station around the arc — corner, wing, slot, top of the key, slot, wing, corner — and hit as many 3s as possible in seven minutes. Incredibly, Miller once sank 147 3-pointers in that span — an average of 21 makes per minute. “You can’t even do that in Pop-A-Shot,” Summey said. Miller’s career numbers could have been even greater, if not for injuries sustained along the way. He dealt with ankle problems as a freshman, then required season-ending back surgery that cost him most of the 1998-99 season. Two years, later as a junior, a stress fracture in his left fibula cost Miller nine







NC State’s Archie Miller (11) races past Maryland’s Steve Blake in the final minutes of an ACC tournament semifinal game on March 9, 2002, in Charlotte, N.C. The Wolfpack beat the Terps, Maryland’s last loss en route to winning the NCAA championship over Indiana that season.



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games during conference season. Miller, however, was undeterred. By his senior year, the Wolfpack were poised for their breakthrough under Sendek. They had reached the second round of the National Invitation Tournament in each of his first three seasons, before going as far as the semifinal round in 2000. The team missed the postseason altogether in 2001, but became re-energized by the arrival of a heralded recruiting class headlined by No. 5 overall prospect Julius Hodge, an exciting forward who would earn ACC Player of the Year honors as a junior. “Beginning of my freshman year, we’re having an intrasquad scrimmage,” Hodge said. “It’s an open practice, so the fans are there, and it’s pretty much my first taste of having a crowd out there. I’m pretty excited. “Archie was going through some back issues at the time, so he wasn’t 100 percent. Me and him are in transition, and he’s defending me. It’s a quick one-onone. He takes a charge, and I go up over him and I lay it up. He falls to the floor, and he’s like, ‘Awww shit!’ I go, ‘And-1, Arch!’ He’s like, ‘Next time, I’m gonna rip your f-ing head off!’ I tried to talk some trash, but it was like, boom, stay in your lane. That’s Archie right there in a nutshell.” That season, Miller’s senior year, was one the new IU coach remembers fondly. It started a run of five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, tying a program record. But it took time to jell the old with the new. It was Miller’s team by the fall of 2001, for better and for worse. Sendek wasn’t happy with the way the team looked entering Thanksgiving, and the Wolfpack lost back-to-back games against Ohio State and UMass to enter December. So during a meeting at Sendek’s house one night that fall, the NC State coach laid it on the line for Miller and fellow senior Anthony Grundy. “You guys gotta understand it’s coming down to you two,” Sendek told Miller and Grundy. The point guard took the message personally. “I think you have to have tough conversations with guys at times,” Miller said. “You have to be able to pick them up, but also be able to put them in their place. That was a big step for me as a player. I appreciated


NC State’s Archie Miller (left) and Josh Powell sit on the bench late in the second half of a 91-61 loss to Duke in the ACC tournament championship game on March 10, 2002, in Charlotte, N.C. hearing I wasn’t getting the job done. It changed my focus.” Miller helped NC State find traction from there, helping the Wolfpack to three top-10 victories — two over Virginia and one at Syracuse. Later, in the ACC Tournament semifinals, NC State handed Maryland its final loss on the way to the Terps claiming the 2002 national championship. The Wolfpack also took down Michigan State in their NCAA Tournament opener before falling to UConn in the second round. “That was one of the great years of playing basketball right there,” Miller said. When it was over, so, too, was Miller’s playing career. He immediately transitioned into a internship on Sendek’s staff, mostly running the basketball office at NC State. From there, a coaching career including stops at Western Kentucky, NC State, Arizona State, Ohio State, Arizona and Dayton began in earnest. Through those years, Miller has been an engaging and approachable, albeit demanding, coach for his players. The Hoosiers are learning that now. “The fact that he played the game makes it a little bit easier to relate to him,” IU senior guard Robert Johnson said.

That’s something Miller takes to heart. “Because I played the game, I understand what they go through,” Miller said. “I understand what it feels like to go to class and go to practice. I understand what it’s like when you don’t feel real well coming in, good practices, bad practices. I think they have a feel for that. “I like to be on the floor a lot more than just being, so to speak, a teacher or instructor. I can demonstrate a little bit. I think they have a feel that the game is easy for me to talk about and easy for me to explain to them.” So it stands to reason that his first Indiana team, largely unrecruited by Miller, will have threads of the coach woven deep inside it. His best Dayton teams surely did, adopting the toughness and grit that allowed an undersized kid from western Pennsylvania to flourish at the high-major college level. “The thing I was most proud of at Dayton, and one of the proudest things I ever had, was our greatest moments, they came down to not being the flashiest crew,” Miller said. “If you can ever get that mindset at an Indiana, I think that’s something that could really go a long way.”


Hoosiers wiping slate clean for 2017-18 Hoosier Sports Report Get all the latest IU sports news, view photo galleries, interviews and analysis, and more at Hoosier

firm and sure foundation — for long-term victory. At Indiana, long-term victory can be defined by simply looking no further than the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall rafters. There are five banners up there which have had no new visitors in 30 years. JEREMY HOGAN | HERALD-TIMES Don’t expect any company this year either, but there was something that hap- First-year Indiana basketball coach Archie Miller addresses fans in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall pened prior to each of those five banners during Hoosier Hysteria on Oct. 21. that made them possible. This season could be one such touchstone for the future, and it’s the reason a young man like Collin Hartman is back on the court one more time. 1 But what’s a reasonable expectation for the 2017-18 Hoosiers? Most preseason prognosticators have Call for FREE REE them going somewhere in the neighborEstim imate hood of 16-14 and finishing 10th in the Big Ten. Wiindows, Some will tell you that even that may Sidin ng, Doors be overreaching. More! & Then again, maybe Indiana can become greater than the sum of its parts and win something approaching 20 games. But if you want to have the most fun with this season, don’t set any expectations at all. At least not regarding wins and losses. Instead, look for the little victories — the extra pass, passing up a good shot for a better one, stepping in to take the charge, blocking out on the weak side. Create a new and different view of the “America’s Largest Replacement Window Co.” SERVING SOUTH players of this team, one that’s neither CENTRAL INDIANA hyper-critical nor cream and crimson VETERAN OWNED & OPERATED colored. 1 Subject to credit approval. Wipe the slate clean. See store for details.

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Sports writer Jeremy Price can be reached at 812-331-4342 or Follow him on Twitter @JPPrice.



This is a new day in Indiana basketball. New coach, new approach. In other words, wipe the slate clean. Take everything you think you know about these Hoosiers and forget it. All of it. Whatever your biases for or against certain players, they no longer apply. These Hoosiers are playing the same game but doing it a different way under Archie Miller. There’s an emphasis on defense, on taking care of the ball, on setting screens and feeding the post. There’s a different sort of accountability to which no one is exempt. If the coaches are Jeremy starting over, letting Price each player prove himH-T SPORTS WRITER self in practice, in exhibitions and very soon in regular-season games, then the rest of us have to start over, too. So set aside labels such as turnover prone, defensive indifference, volume shooters or poor decision-makers. Some of those we may reapply later, but perhaps they won’t stick to the same players as previously thought. Perhaps they won’t stick to this team at all. On the surface, different just sounds good, especially after last season’s frustration. Yet I almost feel the need to provide the fine print for this infomercial: A different approach from past teams is not an indicator of immediate success. Make no mistake, things are going to look different for this Indiana team, and at times those differences will be accompanied by winning. But at other times those differences may be a case of one step forward and two steps back. However, never forget that Miller is playing the long game at Indiana. The goal isn’t to cut some corners to win a few extra games now. The goal is to lay a foundation — a


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IU men’s schedule

IU women’s schedule

Nov. 10: Indiana State, 7 p.m. Nov. 12: Howard, 8 p.m.† Nov. 15: Seton Hall, 6:30 p.m.‡ Nov. 19: South Florida, 6 p.m.† Nov. 22: Arkansas State, 7 p.m.† Nov. 24: Eastern Michigan, 4:30 p.m.† Nov. 29: Duke, 9:30 p.m. Dec. 2: at Michigan, 12:30 p.m. Dec. 4: Iowa, 8 p.m. Dec. 9: at Louisville, 2 p.m. Dec. 16: Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m.§ Dec. 18: Fort Wayne, 8 p.m. Dec. 21: Tennessee Tech, 8 p.m. Dec. 29: Youngstown State, 8 p.m. Jan. 2: at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Jan. 6: at Minnesota, 5:15 p.m. Jan. 9: Penn State, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14: Northwestern, 1:30 or 4:30 p.m. Jan. 19: at Michigan State, 7 p.m. Jan. 22: Maryland, 7 p.m. Jan. 24: at Illinois, 9 p.m. Jan. 28: Purdue, 3:30 p.m. Jan. 30: at Ohio State, 7 p.m. Feb. 3: Michigan State, 6 or 8 p.m. Feb. 5: at Rutgers, 7 p.m. Feb. 9: Minnesota, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14: Illinois, 8:30 p.m. Feb. 17: at Iowa, 2 p.m. Feb. 20: at Nebraska, 9 p.m. Feb. 23: Ohio State, 8 p.m. †Hoosier Tip-Off Classic ‡Gavitt Tip-Off Games at Newark, N.J. §Crossroads Classic at Indianapolis

Nov. 11: Arkansas State, 2 p.m. Nov. 14: Southern University, 7 p.m. Nov. 17: Western Kentucky, 7 p.m. Nov. 20: Chattanooga, 7 p.m. Nov. 24: Alabama-Birmingham, 3 p.m.† Nov. 25: St. Mary’s (Calif.), 5 p.m.† Nov. 30: Louisville, 8 p.m. Dec. 3: Auburn, 2 p.m. Dec. 5: North Texas, 7 p.m. Dec. 9: at Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m. Dec. 17: Missouri, noon‡ Dec. 18: Virginia, noon‡ Dec. 21: at Yale, 1 p.m. Dec. 28: Michigan State, 7 p.m. Dec. 31: at Ohio State, 2 p.m. Jan. 3: at Penn State, 7 p.m. Jan. 6: Purdue, 2 p.m. Jan. 10: at Michigan, 7 p.m. Jan. 13: Ohio State, noon Jan. 16: at Maryland, 7 p.m. Jan. 20: at Michigan State, 4 p.m. Jan. 24: Wisconsin, 7 p.m. Jan. 27: Rutgers, 1 p.m. Feb. 4: Northwestern, noon Feb. 8: Illinois, 7 p.m. Feb. 12: at Purdue, 7 p.m. Feb. 17: Nebraska, noon Feb. 20: at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Feb. 24: at Iowa, noon †Concord Classic at Moraga, Calif. ‡West Palm Invitational at West Palm, Fla.


Indiana guard Robert Johnson (4) takes to the court before the Hoosiers’ exhibition game against the Marian Knights on Oct. 28 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Johnson is the Hoosiers’ top returning scorer from last season with a 12.8 points per game average.

James Blackmon Jr. Robert Johnson Thomas Bryant OG Anunoby Josh Newkirk Juwan Morgan De’Ron Davis Devonte Green Curtis Jones Freddie McSwain Jr. Tim Priller Grant Gelon Zach McRoberts Quentin Taylor Totals Opponents

GP 30-30 34-32 34-34 16-10 34-32 32-20 34- 4 32- 3 33- 1 31- 1 9- 0 12- 0 31- 3 6- 0 34

GS 30.5 29.4 28.1 25.1 28.1 22.6 13.9 15.2 11.2 8.1 3.0 3.2 11.3 1.7

FG 174 162 148 68 114 86 66 47 38 32 7 7 9 1 959 867

FGA Pct. 365 .477 361 .449 285 .519 122 .557 260 .438 157 .548 136 .485 106 .443 108 .352 58 .552 9 .778 9 .778 27 .333 1 1.000 2004 .479 2021 .429

3PFG 3FGA .Pct 91 215 .423 70 189 .370 23 60 .383 14 45 .311 35 92 .380 10 40 .250 0 0 .000 24 55 .436 21 60 .350 0 3 .000 0 0 .000 3 5 .600 4 12 .333 0 0 .000 295 776 .380 233 692 .337

FT 72 40 108 27 44 65 68 24 18 20 5 5 2 0 498 524

FTA .Pct 86 .837 53 .755 148 .730 48 .563 63 .698 88 .739 90 .756 34 .706 25 .720 32 .625 6 .833 8 .625 2 1.000 0 .000 683 .729 743 .705

Off-Reb 29-144 12-149 76-226 28-87 23-105 65-178 53-106 9-57 8-44 35-77 4-11 2- 5 13-45 1- 2 413-1326 355-1078

Avg. PF A TO 4.8 54 56 58 4.4 73 85 78 6.6 104 50 78 5.4 33 23 26 3.1 99 108 76 5.6 84 34 36 3.1 82 31 41 1.8 24 34 40 1.3 28 31 24 2.5 41 4 23 1.2 7 3 1 0.4 6 0 1 1.5 45 29 8 0.3 2 0 4 39.0 682 488 517 31.7 652 410 379

Stl 21 29 26 21 19 19 14 22 14 10 0 1 12 1 209 214

Big Ten standings Blk Pts 1 511 3 434 52 427 21 177 7 307 29 247 24 200 6 142 3 115 3 84 2 19 0 22 6 24 0 2 157 2711 136 2491

Avg 17.0 12.8 12.6 11.1 9.0 7.7 5.9 4.4 3.5 2.7 2.1 1.8 0.8 0.3 79.7 73.3

Final 2016-17 IU women’s basketball statistics (23-11) Tyra Buss Amanda Cahill Alexis Gassion Jenn Anderson Karlee McBride Kym Royster Ria Gulley Amber Deane Darby Foresman Tia Elbert Bre Wickware Tyshee Towner Danielle Williams Laken Wairau Totals Opponents

GP 34-34 34-34 34-34 34-28 34-27 33- 6 32- 5 26- 2 31- 0 31- 0 32- 0 27- 0 2- 0 4- 0 34

GS 35.5 32.6 35.1 23.2 21.1 12.0 13.6 8.1 9.0 6.7 5.0 5.4 2.0 0.8

FG 202 183 161 136 74 58 34 19 22 18 14 13 0 0 934 826

FGA 489 383 350 221 244 103 91 46 47 43 44 26 0 1 2088 1966

Pct. .413 .478 .460 .615 .303 .563 .374 .413 .468 .419 .318 .500 .000 .000 .447 .420

3PFG 3FGA .Pct 60 177 .339 57 144 .396 16 49 .327 0 0 .000 57 182 .313 0 0 .000 20 58 .345 5 16 .313 0 2 .000 1 8 .125 0 3 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 0 0 .000 216 639 .338 189 602 .314

FT 155 79 82 36 26 23 11 18 6 10 9 7 1 0 463 364

FTA 191 101 113 45 36 35 21 22 11 22 22 8 2 0 629 523

.Pct .812 .782 .726 .800 .722 .657 .524 .818 .545 .455 .409 .875 .500 .000 .736 .696

Off-Reb 21-113 107-302 55-216 83-183 5-57 25-87 3-33 5-13 14-52 2-23 19-54 3-16 0- 0 0- 0 415-1284 322-1122

Avg. PF A TO 3.3 83 157 83 8.9 92 101 79 6.4 39 157 53 5.4 84 16 37 1.7 52 49 35 2.6 60 5 34 1.0 25 19 27 0.5 26 18 11 1.7 42 4 19 0.7 35 26 26 1.7 26 4 13 0.6 19 7 6 0.0 1 0 2 0.0 1 1 1 37.8 585 564 438 33.0 620 407 531

Stl 81 52 37 9 40 11 7 6 5 8 10 4 0 0 270 193

Blk Pts 4 619 22 502 17 420 20 308 1 231 10 139 5 99 2 61 3 50 0 47 5 37 0 33 0 1 0 0 89 2547 134 2205

Avg 18.2 14.8 12.4 9.1 6.8 4.2 3.1 2.3 1.6 1.5 1.2 1.2 0.5 0.0 74.9 64.9

FINAL 2016-17 MEN Purdue Wisconsin Maryland Minnesota Michigan No’western Mich. St. Iowa Illinois Ohio State Indiana Penn State Nebraska Rutgers

W-L 14- 4 12- 6 12- 6 11- 7 10- 8 10- 8 10- 8 10- 8 8-10 7-11 7-11 6-12 6-12 3-15

Big Ten PF PA 77.7 69.6 68.3 63.2 73.2 69.4 74.6 72.1 74.7 69.2 67.5 65.8 71.5 69.5 77.0 77.9 66.9 69.3 72.1 74.8 75.8 78.0 70.1 74.2 70.6 76.4 60.1 70.7

All Games W-L PF PA 27- 8 79.7 68.4 27-10 72.4 62.4 24- 9 73.9 68.1 24-10 75.2 69.4 26-12 75.0 66.4 24-12 71.1 65.5 20-15 71.9 68.7 19-15 80.5 78.1 20-15 71.7 69.1 17-15 72.8 69.8 18-16 79.7 73.3 15-18 71.7 72.7 12-19 69.9 73.0 15-18 65.5 67.1

FINAL 2016-17 WOMEN Maryland Ohio State Michigan Indiana Purdue Penn State Mich. St. No’western Iowa Minnesota Illinois Wisconsin Nebraska Rutgers

W-L 15- 1 15- 1 11- 5 10- 6 10- 6 9- 7 9- 7 8- 8 8- 8 5-11 3-13 3-13 3-13 3-13

Big Ten PF PA 89.7 67.3 85.9 72.9 76.0 68.4 71.8 67.4 67.6 61.9 72.0 69.3 76.1 69.9 63.7 65.1 73.6 72.8 70.3 75.1 61.5 73.6 57.1 72.4 63.1 80.4 51.8 63.7

All Games W-L PF PA 32- 3 89.3 64.5 28- 7 85.7 71.5 28- 9 76.9 61.8 23-11 74.9 64.9 23-13 67.4 59.8 21-11 72.7 65.8 21-12 73.4 66.9 20-11 68.4 64.5 20-14 76.1 68.8 15-16 73.7 74.5 9-22 62.4 70.1 9-22 60.9 69.7 7-22 62.8 76.3 6-24 50.5 61.6

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Final 2016-17 IU men’s basketball statistics (18-16)




Curtis Jones

Class: Sophomore. Position: Guard. Height: 6-4. Weight: 175. High school (hometown): Huntington Prep (Richmond, Va.). Key stats: Averaged 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds per game as a freshman. Outlook: The hope is that Jones can make up for what IU lost in shooting ability with James Blackmon Jr.’s early departure. This is a team that could be hard-pressed to consistently score, so anything Jones can provide will be gladly accepted. Outside of his impressive 15-point performance off the bench in last year’s season-opening overtime win against Kansas, Jones authored a quiet freshman season. To lay the foundation for an improved sophomore year, Jones was one of a handful of IU players to remain in Bloomington to work out while most of his teammates enjoyed an earlysummer break. He impressed new coach Archie Miller with his shooting stroke and also opened eyes with his ability to get to the basket. Miller believes Jones can be an asset on the run and in space for Indiana this season. Pizza | Pasta | Calzones | Sandwiches | Salads | Italian Dinners Gluten-Free Menu | Beer & Wine | Dine In | Carryout | Delivery

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Aljami Durham

Class: Freshman. Position: Guard. Height: 6-4. Weight: 175. High school (hometown): Berkmar (Lilburn, Ga.). Key stats: Averaged 21 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists as a high school senior. Outlook: Durham was the first player to commit to Indiana’s 2017 recruiting class prior to his high school junior season in October 2015. Following former coach Tom Crean’s dismissal this past spring, Durham was among the newcomers who had to be re-recruited by Archie Miller and his staff. Miller is glad Durham chose to stick around. The IU coach sees Durham as a backup point guard option this season. Durham has also impressed with his shot since arriving on campus this summer. A 1,000-point scorer in high school, Durham saw a scoring jump of six points per game from his junior year to senior season. He’s also earned a reputation as a good defender for his age, a skill that should only continue to grow as Miller and his staff emphasize their pack-line defense this year and beyond.





Josh Newkirk

Class: Senior. Position: Guard. Height: 6-1. Weight: 195. High school (hometown): Word of God Academy (Raleigh, N.C.). Key stats: Averaged 9.0 points and posted a team-high 108 assists during his first season with IU. Outlook: Indiana needs the version of Newkirk that surfaced during the second half of last season. For the first part of last year, the Pittsburgh transfer struggled to settle in as IU’s starting point guard. He played too fast and didn’t consistently finish, further complicating the jumbled mess that was last season’s team. But Newkirk became one of Indiana’s steadiest players late in the year, stepping forward as IU endured injuries to James Blackmon Jr. and OG Anunoby and the prolonged shooting slump that engulfed Robert Johnson. Newkirk averaged 10.3 points in conference play and shot 44.6 percent from 3-point range across the final 12 games. Indiana will need more of that shooting consistency, and will also require the senior to develop better ball security after he averaged 3.1 assists and 2.2 turnovers per game.

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Justin Smith


Robert Johnson

Class: Freshman. Position: Forward. Height: 6-7. Weight: 220. High school (hometown): Adlai Stevenson (Buffalo Grove, Ill.). Key stats: Averaged 21 points and nearly 10 rebounds as a high school senior. Outlook: Smith appears to be the most ready-made player in IU’s freshman class. The high-flying Illinois native gives Indiana added athleticism on the wing and could provide a boost on the boards. Archie Miller hopes to use Smith in a few different roles, particularly as a player who can get on the glass and crash the basket off the dribble. Smith should see time playing both inside and outside as a freshman as the Hoosiers introduce him to the rotation and aim to grow his skill set as a shooter. As a high school senior, Smith posted 16 double-doubles, earning Second Team Class 4A All-State from the Associated Press. Miller likes that Smith already has the build of an upperclassman and a frame that could help him log meaningful minutes throughout his freshman year.

Class: Senior. Position: Guard. Height: 6-3. Weight: 195. High school (hometown): Benedictine College Prep (Richmond, Va.). Key stats: Averaged 12.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. Outlook: Indiana’s leading returning scorer is 22 points shy of 1,000 for his career. With James Blackmon Jr. and Thomas Bryant gone, Johnson will have the green light to create offense this season. Miller wants Johnson to be the go-to guy in pressure situations. As a four-year starter, that’s a reasonable expectation for Johnson to shoulder. For Indiana to exceed expectations this season, Johnson will have to author an All-Big Ten caliber campaign, proving capable of becoming more than the sidekick he was during each of the previous three years. He certainly has the capacity to do so. Shaking off an up-anddown junior year is part of the process. Johnson had his most productive scoring output as a junior, but struggled late in the year. He made only seven of his 42 3-point attempts during an eight-game span across the final weeks of the season before leading IU to a road win over Ohio State with a 26-point effort in the season finale. The Hoosiers will need Johnson to be more

than a shooter, asking him to drive and create for himself and others. He shot 53 percent on 2-point field goal attempts last season and also lowered his turnover rate while being utilized in a higher volume of possessions as a junior. Johnson’s usage rate will continue to climb as a senior. Indiana is counting on his best season to date.






Quentin Taylor

Class: Junior. Position: Guard. Height: 6-2. Weight: 187. High school (hometown): Brebeuf (Indianapolis). Key stats: Appeared in six games off the bench, scoring two points and grabbing two rebounds. Outlook: Taylor has occupied a behind-thescenes role during the past two seasons after joining the program as a walk-on in 2015. The Brebeuf product has played in 14 total games across the past two campaigns, making two of his three shot attempts inside the arc.

Johnny Jager

Class: Sophomore. Position: Guard. Height: 6-0. Weight: 185. High school (hometown): South (Bloomington). Key stats: Started all 26 games at Division III Wabash during the 2015-16 season, averaging 15.0 points per game. Outlook: Jager, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, will be eligible to play this year. He returned to his hometown a year ago as a preferred walk-on with the goal of learning how to be a coach from former IU boss Tom Crean. Now, Jager is learning from a new coaching staff.

IU championship seasons NCAA: 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981, 1987 BIG TEN: 1926, 1928, 1936, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1958, 1967, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2013, 2016

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Devonte Green

Class: Sophomore. Position: Guard. Height: 6-3. Weight: 186. High school (hometown): Long Island Lutheran (North Babylon, N.Y.). Key stats: Averaged 4.4 points and 1.8 rebounds in 32 games. Outlook: Green made the most of his first off-season with the new coaching staff. In Miller’s mind, the flashy guard has been one of the most impressive players throughout summer workouts and preseason practice. He

brings a unique blend of skill and quickness to the IU backcourt, where he’ll play both on and off the ball this season. Green finished strong offensively last year, scoring in double figures off the bench in three of IU’s final five games. Despite limited minutes, he also finished third on the team with 22 steals. On the other hand, ball security will need to be Green’s biggest improvement as a sophomore. With his skill set and defensive capacity, Green could force his way onto the court early and often this season. By the end of last year, he was among IU’s first options off the bench. But to earn sustained playing time, he simply must learn ways to cut down on his team-worst 28.8 percent turnover rate from his freshman year.



Ethan Lasko

Class: Freshman. Position: Guard. Height: 6-2. Weight: 171. High school (hometown): Katz Yeshiva (Hollywood, Fla.). Key stats: Averaged 25.6 points as a high school senior. Outlook: Lasko joined IU’s program earlier this semester after graduating from Katz Yeshiva High School in August. A first-team all-county selection, Lasko once scored 46 points in a game. He’ll contribute to the Hoosiers as a scout team player.


Zach McRoberts

Class: Junior. Position: Guard. Height: 6-6. Weight: 205. High school (hometown): Carmel (Carmel, Ind.). Key stats: Averaged 0.8 points and 1.5 rebounds per game last season. Outlook: McRoberts provides Indiana with good depth at the end of its bench. After joining the program as a walkon in the spring of 2016, McRoberts averaged more minutes (11.3) than four IU scholarship players last season — Curtis Jones (11.2), Freddie McSwain (8.1), Grant Gelon (3.2) and Tim Priller (3.0). The Carmel product was at times reluctant to shoot last season, finishing with more assists (29) than shot attempts (27). But he brought some of the intangibles that IU missed with Collin Hartman’s season-long absence. Whether he sees as much court time under Miller as he did under Crean isn’t clear. McRoberts did demonstrate an ability last year to give IU quality minutes when asked.


Juwan Morgan

decreased his turnover rate from 23.5 percent as a freshman to 17.2 percent as a sophomore. It would help if Morgan can develop a more consistent long-range shot. The Hoosiers don’t need him to live on the perimeter, but if Class: Junior. Position: Forward. he can build on his 25 percent 3-point mark Height: 6-8. Weight: 230. from last season, he’ll add another tool to High school (hometown): Waynesville an already diverse skill set. Morgan scored (Waynesville, Mo.). in double figures nine times last season and Key stats: Averaged 7.7 points and 5.6 posted four games with 10-plus rebounds. He rebounds per game last season. seems like exactly the kind of two-way player Miller had success with at Dayton, a rangy Outlook: During his first two years with IU’s program, Morgan has established himself as forward who can guard multiple positions and a tough and reliable, fundamental player. This help spearhead IU’s defensive growth under the new coaching staff. Morgan closed the season, the Hoosiers want Morgan to take 2016-17 season with a 14-point, six-rebound the next step as a scorer. There’s reason to believe it can happen. Morgan grew in several performance in the NIT loss at Georgia Tech areas last season, particularly as an offensive and entered the off-season determined to do player. He shot 65 percent on 2-pointers and even more for the Hoosiers this year.



Freddie McSwain

Class: Senior. Position: Forward. Height: 6-6. Weight: 220. High school (hometown): Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga.). Key stats: Averaged 2.7 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season. Outlook: One of the most impressive physical specimens on IU’s roster, McSwain is still growing as a player. He made strides last season, coming off the bench as one of Indiana’s most relentless rebounders. McSwain was especially effective on the offensive glass, posting a team-best offensive rebounding rate of 17.1 percent. McSwain had a great summer in the IU weight room, where he set the program’s bench press record with 30 reps of 185 pounds. For reference, the NBA Draft Combine record is 27 reps. McSwain also recorded an impressive 42-inch vertical. McSwain wants to utilize that strength and athleticism to his advantage this season. He’s likely to see time backing up Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis as a defensive option in the frontcourt.


De’Ron Davis

weight and develop better conditioning. The sophomore met that objective, losing more than 20 pounds while finding the agility he lacked a season ago. Although he wrestled with his conditioning as a freshman, Davis still displayed Class: Sophomore. Position: Forward. the skills that make him a potential All-Big Ten Height: 6-8. Weight: 230. candidate this season and beyond. He scored a High school (hometown): Waynesville career-high 15 points, while going 7-for-7 from (Waynesville, Mo.). the field in a Big Ten Tournament-opening win Key stats: Averaged 7.7 points and 5.6 rebounds over Iowa and finished the season with the highper game last season. est usage rate than of other any Hoosier (24.1 of IU’s offensive possessions). The key for Davis Outlook: Davis arrived to campus late last August, missing all of IU’s summer workouts. He this season is cutting down on fouls. With a thin frontcourt, Indiana needs him to stay on the was out of shape and prone to minor injuries, floor for extended stretches. His rate of seven spending the bulk of the year trying to catch fouls per 40 minutes last season was the worst up and adjust to Big Ten-level basketball. Even mark on the team. Davis and the Hoosiers are so, Davis was a frontcourt revelation for the hoping that his improved conditioning will help Hoosiers, displaying advanced post-up moves him establish better positioning and help limit and good vision for a big man. Upon Miller’s the fouls that plagued him a year ago. arrival as coach, Davis was challenged to lose


Clifton Moore

Class: Freshman. Position: Forward. Height: 6-10. Weight: 220. High school (hometown): Hatboro-Horsham (Ambler, Pa.). Key stats: Averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds as a high senior. Outlook: Moore has next-level potential as a post player who can also step out and shoot. Establishing a consistent shooting stroke will be one of the skills Moore will look to hone during the next couple seasons. Although he’s added 14 pounds since arriving on campus earlier this year, Moore is still too thin to endure the rigors of Big Ten play. in the rough, a player with an impressive But he could be one of IU’s most intriguing youngsters to watch in the months and years upside once he bulks up and finds his footing to come. Miller believes Moore is a diamond as a Big Ten-level frontcourt player.




Vijay Blackmon


Race Thompson

Class: Sophomore. Position: Guard. Height: 6-2. Weight: 175. High school (hometown): Marion (Marion, Ind.). Key stats: Averaged 9.2 points, 2.0 rebounds in 22 games at St. Francis last season. Outlook: Another Blackmon has joined the Indiana program. Vijay Blackmon is the younger brother of former Hoosier sharpshooter James Blackmon Jr. After playing more than half of last season at St. Francis, Blackmon left the team in late January. He walked on at IU this summer and will be ineligible for the upcoming season, per NCAA transfer rules. At Marion, Blackmon scored 1,500 career points and received all-state honorable mention honors from the Associated Press as a senior.

Class: Freshman. Position: Forward. Height: 6-8. Weight: 220. High school (hometown): Armstrong (Plymouth, Minn.). Key stats: Averaged 19.6 points and 8.9 rebounds as a high school junior. Outlook: The first IU commit during the Archie Miller era, Thompson chose to forgo his senior year of high school to enroll at Indiana a year early and redshirt the upcoming basketball season. It will allow him a chance to get a head start on preparations for next season. At the time of his commitment on July 16, Thompson was considered the No. 86 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class, according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings. Thompson can move effectively in the open floor and shows a knack for drawing fouls. Last winter, he attempted an Armstrong High School-record 101 free throws. Thompson was also a 45 percent shooter from 3-point range as a junior. His father, Darrell, is the all-time leading rusher at the University of Minnesota.

Collin Hartman

Class: Graduate student. Position: Forward. Height: 6-7. Weight: 220. High school (hometown): Cathedral (Indianapolis) Key stats: Averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds during the 2015-16 season. Outlook: Hartman is back for one more go after suffering a season-ending knee injury in September 2016. The Hoosiers dearly missed his leadership on the court last season, and hope the veteran forward can provide a boost this winter. Hartman is another Hoosier who seems like a good fit for Miller and his system. The IU coach was successful at Dayton with versatile players like Hartman, who has proven reliable on both ends of the floor during his time in Bloomington. The Hoosiers will need Hartman to defend in the post and add scoring from the perimeter. He’s a career 40 percent 3-pointer shooter who will need to bring an offensive presence to a team that could be challenged to score. Hartman has been hobbled with a minor ankle injury during preseason practices, but expects to be a reliable factor once the Hoosiers begin navigating their way through the season. It all sets up for an important grand finale for Hartman, the program’s seasoned veteran, and hope for an auspicious start to the Miller era.


Tim Priller

Class: Senior. Position: Forward. Height: 6-9. Weight: 225. High school (hometown): Richland (North Richland, Texas). Key stats: Scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in nine games last season. Outlook: Priller, a favorite among students, has an opportunity to find a role during his final year of eligibility. Given IU’s size concerns, the little-used forward could be pressed into action off the bench. He performed admirably in last year’s loss at Purdue, scoring six points in five minutes as a reserve. Priller has logged 67 minutes in three seasons.


BIG TEN MEN’S CAPSULES Mike Miller’s predicted order of finish. Capsules by AP

1. Michigan State Spartans LAST SEASON: 20-15, 10-8 Big Ten, lost to Kansas in NCAA round of 32. COACH: Tom Izzo. WHO’S GONE: G Eron Harris, G Alvin Ellis, F Matt Van Dyk. WHO’S BACK: F Miles Bridges (16.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg); F Nick Ward 13.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg). WHO’S NEW: F Jaren Jackson and F Xavier Tillman are talented enough as freshmen to be key players on a loaded team. The 6-11, 242-pound Jackson is projected by some as top-five pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Izzo said the 6-8, 260-pound Tillman was the biggest surprise in early practices. OUTLOOK: Izzo, a Hall of Fame coach, has a good shot to win his second national championship, reach his eighth Final Four and win his first Big Ten regular season title since 2012.

2. Minnesota Golden Gophers LAST SEASON: 24-10, 11-7 Big Ten, lost to Middle Tennessee in NCAA first round. COACH: Richard Pitino. WHO’S GONE: SG Akeem Springs. WHO’S BACK: PG Nate Mason (15.2 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.6 rpg); SF Amir Coffey (12.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg); PF Jordan Murphy (11.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg); C Reggie Lynch (8.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg). WHO’S NEW: PG Isaiah Washington: The Mr. New York Basketball award winner as the top player in the state, he was a consensus top-100 recruit. OUTLOOK: Coming off a 16-win turnaround from 2015-16 and the first NCAA Tournament appearance since Pitino took over in 2013, bringing all but Springs back of their top seven scorers from last season, hopes are the highest this program has had in 20 years. Staying healthy will be the key. PF Eric Curry, who made meaningful contributions as a freshman backup, injured his left knee in the offseason and will redshirt this season.


Michigan State coach Tom Izzo holds up the net after his team defeated Louisville 76-70 in overtime in the East Regional on March 29, 2015. The Spartans enter this season poised to make a run at an NCAA title.

4. Northwestern Wildcats

6. Wisconsin Badgers

LAST SEASON: 24-12, 10-8 Big Ten, lost to Gonzaga in NCAA round of 32. COACH: Chris Collins. WHO’S GONE: F Sanjay Lumpkin. WHO’S BACK: G Bryant McIntosh (14.8 ppg, 5.2 apg); G Scottie Lindsey (14.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg); F Vic Law (12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg); F Dererk Pardon (8.6 ppg, 8.0rpg, 1.8 bpg). WHO’S NEW: G Anthony Gaines is the lone incoming freshman. OUTLOOK: The Wildcats are balanced and experienced and hungry for more coming off the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance.

LAST SEASON: 27-10, 12-6 Big Ten; lost to Florida in NCAA regional semifinals. COACH: Greg Gard. WHO’S GONE: F Nigel Hayes, F Vitto Brown, G Bronson Koenig, G Zak Showalter, G Jordan Hill. WHO’S BACK: F Ethan Happ (14.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg); G D’Mitrik Trice (5.6 ppg). WHO’S NEW: 6-foot-4 G Kobe King, the unanimous prep player of the year in Wisconsin last season. OUTLOOK: A transition year for Wisconsin. The talent is there, but the Badgers lack the experience that fueled the program to new heights over the last five years.

3. Purdue Boilermakers

5. Michigan Wolverines

LAST SEASON: 27-8, 14-4 Big Ten; lost to Kansas in NCAA Tournament regional semifinals. COACH: Matt Painter. WHO’S GONE: F Caleb Swanigan, F Basil Smotherman, G Spike Albrecht. WHO’S BACK: F Vincent Edwards (12.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg); G Carsen Edwards (10.6 ppg, 3.8 apg); C Isaac Haas (12.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg). WHO’S NEW: F Matt Haarms. The redshirt freshman used last season to try and add strength. Now the 7-foot-3 Dutch native could fill the role Haas had over the last couple of seasons. OUTLOOK: Yes, the defending Big Ten champs lost the conference player of the year (Swanigan). But they are hardly bereft of talent. Painter has four starters and six of his top seven scorers back. With size, versatility, tournament experience and a team that knows how to defend, look for the four seniors to keep the Boilermakers at or near the top of the conference.

LAST SEASON: 26-12, 10-8 Big Ten, won B1G Tournament, lost in NCAA Sweet 16. COACH: John Beilein. WHO’S GONE: G Derrick Walton, F D.J. Wilson, G-F Zak Irvin, F Mark Donnal. WHO’S BACK: F Moe Wagner (12.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg); G MuhammadAli Abdur-Rahkman (9.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg); G-F Duncan Robinson 7.7 ppg). WHO’S NEW: G Jaaron Simmons. Graduate transfer from Ohio averaged 17.2 points last season; G Eli Brooks. Averaged 29.7 points as high school senior in 2016-17. OUTLOOK: Michigan has a lot to replace, but Simmons and Matthews already have Division I experience, so the transition may not be too bumpy for Beilein’s team. Losing Wilson to the NBA was a blow, but Wagner’s return means the Wolverines are still a team to watch in the Big Ten.

7. Maryland Terrapins LAST SEASON: 24-9, 12-6 Big Ten, lost to Xavier in NCAA first round. COACH: Mark Turgeon. WHO’S GONE: G Melo Trimble, C Damonte Dodd, F L.G. Gill. WHO’S BACK: F Justin Jackson (10.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg); G Kevin Huerter (9.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg); G Anthony Cowan (10.3 ppg). WHO’S NEW: F Bruno Fernando. The 6-10, four-star recruit played for Angola at the 2014 U-17 FIBA World Championships and averaged 9.1 points and 10.6 rebounds. OUTLOOK: The Terrapins look to continue their recent run of success without Trimble, who left for the NBA draft after his junior season. If Huerter, Cowan and Jackson can score and provide leadership, this young team can develop quickly, be a contender in the Big Ten and extend its run of NCAA Tournament appearances to four.


8. Iowa Hawkeyes

12. Ohio State Buckeyes

LAST SEASON: 19-15, 10-8 Big Ten. COACH: Fran McCaffery. WHO’S GONE: G Peter Jok. WHO’S BACK: PG Jordan Bohannon (10.9 ppg, 5.1 apg); F Tyler Cook (12.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg); F Nicholas Baer (7.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg). WHO’S NEW: C Luka Garza, a freshman, was Iowa’s best player during a summer tour through Europe and is expected to start. C Jack Nunge, a freshman from Castle, should also see extended minutes in the Hawkeyes’ rebuilt frontcourt. OUTLOOK: Iowa will miss Jok’s 19.9 points per game. But If Bohannon and Cook improve as expected and Garza and Nunge solidify the frontcourt, Iowa will likely make a push for a top-five league finish and return to the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes have as many as 12 guys who can play at the Division I level, and McCaffery will have his hands full keeping everyone happy.

LAST SEASON: 17-15, 7-11 Big Ten. COACH: Chris Holtmann. WHO’S GONE: Coach Thad Matta, G JaQuan Lyle, C Trevor Thompson, F Marc Loving, C David Bell. WHO’S BACK: F Jae’Sean Tate (14.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg); F Keita Bates-Diop (missed most of last season, 11.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg in 2015-16); C Micah Potter (4.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg). WHO’S NEW: G Andrew Dakich. Graduate transfer from Michigan will back up C.J. Jackson at point guard; F Kaleb Wesson, F Andre’s brother, is 6-foot-9 and will be expected to play right away. Former Bloomington North G Musa Jallow, who Holtmann had pursued while still with Butler. OUTLOOK: New coach Chris Holtmann is trying to right a program that fell into disarray in Thad Matta’s last couple of seasons. All five players in the 2015 recruiting class transferred out, leaving little depth. Tate, Bates-Diop and Jackson will feel the pressure to pace the club without much experience on the bench behind them. Freshmen are going to have contribute. Even Holtmann acknowledges that it’s probably going to be a tough season.

9. Indiana Hoosiers LAST SEASON: 18-16, 7-11 Big Ten. COACH: Archie Miller. WHO’S GONE: Coach Tom Crean, F OG Anunoby, G James Blackmon Jr., C Thomas Bryant. WHO’S BACK: G Robert Johnson (12.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg); G Josh Newkirk (9.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg); F De’Ron Davis (7.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg). WHO’S NEW: F Clifton Moore. While it’s unclear which member of a four-player freshman class could have the biggest impact, The 6-foot-9 Moore provides the Hoosiers one quality they lack — size. OUTLOOK: Miller’s first Indiana team may not have all the pieces but it does have enough backcourt talent and potential on the front line to become a factor in the Big Ten race. Expect it to take time for the players to get in sync with Miller’s new system, and an early four-game run with Duke, Michigan, Iowa and Louisville won’t help. But a postseason bid is a reasonable possibility.

10. Penn State Nittany Lions LAST SEASON: 15-18, 6-12 Big Ten. COACH: Patrick Chambers. WHO’S GONE: F Peyton Banks, G Isaiah Washington, G Terrence Samuel. WHO’S BACK: G Tony Carr (13.2 ppg, 4.2 apg); G Shep Garner (12.0 ppg, .357 3-pt shooting); F Lamar Stevens (12.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg); G Josh Reaves (7.7 ppg, 2.1 spg); F Mike Watkins (8.1 rpg, 2.7 bpg). WHO’S NEW: F Satchel Pierce transferred from Virginia Tech and will immediately look to help what was one of the worst rebounding teams in the Big Ten last season. F Jamari Wheeler was considered a Top 25 prospect from Florida who helped lead his high school team to 35 straight wins. OUTLOOK: The Nittany Lions have seemingly been stuck in hopeful mode for a few years now but may finally be ready to cash in. Last year’s crop of freshmen all made big impacts and played heavy minutes deep into the season. Penn State has to finish games down the stretch, however. The Nittany Lions lost 11 of their final 15 games including an 0-5 stretch to close the regular season. Reinforcing the forward corps with Pierce should help.

13. Nebraska Cornhuskers


Penn State’s Tony Carr puts up a shot against Minnesota during the first half of a Jan. 14 game in State College, Pa. Carr returns after averaging 13.2 points per game last season for the Nittany Lions.

11. Illinois Fighting Illini LAST SEASON: 20-15 overall, 8-10 in the Big Ten. COACH: Brad Underwood. WHO’S GONE: G Malcolm Hill, G Tracy Abrams, G JalenColeman Lands, G D.J. Williams, G Jaylon Tate, G Alex Austin C Maverick Morgan, C Mike Thorne Jr. WHO’S BACK: G Te’Jon Lucas (4.8 ppg); F Michael Finke (6.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg); F Leron Black (8.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg). WHO’S NEW: G Mark Smith was named the 2017 Mr. Basketball of Illinois after leading Edwardsville to a 30-2 record. G Trent Frazier is a consensus four-star recruit from Florida. He averaged 27 points per game his senior season. OUTLOOK: In Underwood’s first season, the Illini have the chance to make it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years. In his four years at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State, Underwood never missed the tournament. In one year at Oklahoma State, Underwood showed that he can put together one of the best offenses in the country. If he can do the same at Illinois, Illini fans could finally enjoy a meaningful postseason appearance.

LAST SEASON: 12-19, 6-12 Big Ten. COACH: Tim Miles. WHO’S GONE: G Tai Webster, F Ed Morrow Jr., F Michael Jacobson, F Jeriah Horne, F Nick Fuller. WHO’S BACK: G Glynn Watson (13.0 ppg, 1.6 spg); G Evan Taylor (5.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg); F Jack McVeigh (7.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg); C Jordy Tshimanga (5.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg). WHO’S NEW: G-F James Palmer. The junior transfer from Miami scored a team-high 17 points in 23 minutes of a charity exhibition at Mississippi State. F Isaac Copeland. The junior transfer from Georgetown provides strength and athleticism near the basket. OUTLOOK: This is a huge season for Miles, who’s 75-86 in five years and hasn’t finished higher than 11th in the Big Ten the last three years. The program hasn’t made the postseason since a late run in 2014 produced an NCAA Tournament appearance.

14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights LAST SEASON: 15-18, 3-15 Big Ten. COACH: Steve Pikiell. WHO’S GONE: C C.J. Gettys, G Nigel Johnson, F Jonathan Laurent, G Khalil Batie, C Ibrahima Diallo. WHO’S BACK: G Corey Sanders (12.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg); F Deshawn Freeman (11.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg); G Mike Williams (9.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg). WHO’S NEW: G Soug Mensah. Junior college transfer will provide depth at guard. Freshmen F Mamadou Doucoure and C Myles Johnson give Rutgers big bodies up front. The 6-foot-9 Doucoure averaged 11 points, 14 rebounds and 3.0 blocks as a senior at Our Savior New American School and the 6-10 Johnson played at Long Beach (California) Polytechnic High School. OUTLOOK: Rutgers has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1991, the year Pikiell started his coaching career as an assistant at Connecticut. The Scarlet Knights have been picked to finish last in the conference. Getting more than three conference wins the season would be an improvement. Making the NIT for the first time since 2006 would be a major success.



Royster is IU’s X-factor Hoosiers banking on junior forward to be 3rd scoring option this season By Jon Blau 812-331-4266 |



Indiana’s Kym Royster goes to the basket against a Northern Kentucky player during their Dec. 8, 2016, game at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Royster averaged 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds for the Hoosiers in 2016-17, but coach Teri Moren said she is expecting Royster to take on more scoring this season.

n any discussion about Indiana women’s basketball, two names quickly roll off the tongue: Tyra Buss and Amanda Cahill. Buss, the super-quick point guard, and Cahill, the do-it-all forward, certainly dominate the marquee. They are more than three years into historic careers at IU, and they represent half of the Hoosiers’ returners from 2016-17. But it takes more than two good players to win a basketball game, obviously. That was a point IU coach Teri Moren expressed multiple times last year whenever Alexis Gassion’s scoring tailed off, leaving the Hoosiers without a third option. So while the Buss-Cahill duo returns for a fourth year, the Hoosiers will be without Gassion, as well as fellow graduates Karlee McBride and Jenn Anderson. Any conversation about IU women’s basketball will have a familiar beginning, but “Who’s the third scorer?” seems to be a harder question to answer. But when that very question was posed to Moren, the fourth-year coach had little trouble. It came as quickly as Buss flies up and down the floor. “I think it’s no question Kym,” Moren said. “Kym Royster has proven night after night, or day after day, in practice, that she is ready for being a big part of what we are going to run this year, both offensively and defensively.” There has always been hope for the junior forward, how gracefully she runs the floor for a 6-foot-2 post, how her long arms can translate to clean shot releases, blocks and rebounds. The results have been there in spurts: a 10-point, 10-rebound performance against Notre Dame her freshman year, and a 14-point outburst against rival Purdue as a sophomore. But so many other times, the Hoosiers’ biggest X-factor seemed to fade into obscurity, saddled by fouls or waning self-confidence. There is great hope that this year will be different, partially because there are few alternatives. Being the Hoosiers’ No. 1 option at center has been a confidence-builder in itself. SEE ROYSTER | PAGE F21



Hoosiers banking on junior for scoring CONTINUED FROM PAGE F20

“Just from being an upperclassman this season and having the past two seasons being under Jenn Anderson, and seeing how things work. And now that she’s left, I feel comfortable with the way our system operates and offense and things like that,” Royster said. “I feel like we need leadership since we only have nine players that are able to play.” IU has 12 players on the roster, but transfers Ali Patberg and Brenna Wise are not eligible to play until ’18-19. Aside from Buss, Cahill, Royster, sophomore Bre Wickware and junior walk-on Grace Withrow, five freshmen fill out the roster. Linsey Marchese, a 6-4 post, is the only other center on the roster. Moren said Marchese’s conditioning has improved since she first arrived in the summer. “It’s one thing to be in treadmill shape or VersaClimber shape, it’s another thing to be in basketball shape,” Moren said. “The best thing for her is we continue to condition her in practice. We’ve given her a lot of reps.” As a sophomore, Royster averaged 4.2 points in 12 minutes per game. She also picked up 60 fouls, fourth-most on the team. Anderson accrued 84 fouls in 23.1 minutes per outing. On the defensive end, Anderson was able to toe a unique line, battling it out with stout posts, when needed, but also flopping to the ground to draw charges. Marchese may be able to replace some of that, in time, but Royster needs to hold her ground from the onset. “She realizes she has big shoes to fill with Jenn Anderson ... this is her time,” Moren said. “She has really embraced the opportunity in practice, not just with what she’s doing from a basketball standpoint, but her leadership has been really good.


Indiana’s Kym Royster takes a shot over St. Louis’ Maddison Gits in a second-round WNIT game on March 19 in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Royster had four points and three rebounds in the Hoosiers’ 71-53 win. “Her voice is heard every day. Just as much as we ask Tyra and B (Cahill) to be leaders, Kym has been that leader as well, so it’s been really exciting for us. She’s been great. She’s been consistent and she has shown up every single day.” On the offensive end, a couple of freshmen have a chance to supplement the Hoosiers’ scoring. Bendu Yeaney and

Jaelynn Penn, two 5-10 guards, have the physical makeup to play immediately, but charting the progression of freshmen can be difficult. Since the emergence of Buss and Cahill, who averaged 11.7 and 10.8 points per game as freshmen, respectively, Royster (4.5 ppg) and Ria Gulley (3.1) have been the highest-scoring first-year players on the roster

the last two seasons. Royster didn’t make a leap her sophomore year, and Gulley was one of five players to leave the program this offseason. Buss and Cahill can work off each other, but any leap in production from Royster inside could be this year’s biggest storyline. In the offseason, Royster worked on her mid-range

jumper and post moves with assistant Rhet Wierzba. Defensively, she just has to stay out of foul trouble. “I just think my confidence plays a role in that,” Royster said. “Last year, my inconsistency came off of my confidence being low and things like that. When I make mistakes, I’m not being in my head, I’m on to the next play.”




Class: Freshman. Position: Guard. Height: 5-10. High school (hometown): St. Mary’s Academy (Portland, Ore.). Outlook: Yeaney is a unique physical specimen with the vertical leap to take a jump ball, the strength to post up smaller guards, and the speed to get up and down the floor. She will primarily play wing, but Yeaney could find time at the point guard spot when Buss is out of the game.


Keyanna Warthen

Class: Freshman. Position: Guard. Height: 5-10. High school (hometown): Fort Lauderdale (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Outlook: Warthen was a track-first athlete until high school, so she fits the uptempo style of play the Hoosiers want to play. She also has the length and athleticism to be a plus defender. The question is how quickly her raw talent translates into Big Ten basketball ability.

Class: Senior. Position: Guard. Height: 5-8. High school (hometown): Mt. Carmel (Mt. Carmel, Ill.). Outlook: Buss plays at a breakneck pace on the court, pushing the ball and attacking the rim with courage. Her climb in the program’s record book has been equally fast-paced. She is just 316 points shy of Denise Jackson (1,917) for the all-time lead, and Buss could also break records for steals, assists and free throws.



Kym Royster


Bendu Yeaney


Grace Withrow

Class: Junior. Position: Guard. Height: 5-6. High school (hometown): Valparaiso (Valparaiso, Ind.). Outlook: Formerly a student with no plans of playing in college, Withrow claimed a spot on the team through an offseason tryout. She is probably a practice body, but she did average 15 points per game during a four-year career at Valparaiso High.

Class: Junior. Position: Forward. Height: 6-2. High school (hometown): Newark (Newark, Ohio). Outlook: Royster flashed potential as a freshman and sophomore but hasn’t been able to put together a full season yet. Teri Moren has been bullish on her potential this year, especially on the offensive end. Royster will be undersized versus some Big Ten posts, but she does have length and speed running the floor. She just has to stay out of foul trouble.

Tyra Buss

Linsey Marchese

Class: Freshman. Position: Center. Height: 6-4. High school (hometown): Archer (Dacula, Ga.). Outlook: Marchese has a chance to replace some of the physicality Jenn Anderson brought to the post. She will battle. Her split of the minutes with Kym Royster will be something to watch all season.



Jaelynn Penn

Class: Freshman. Position: Guard. Height: 5-10. High school (hometown): Butler (Louisville, Ky). Outlook: Committing to Dayton prior to Jim Jabir’s resignation, Penn was the highest-rated prospect in a well-regarded recruiting class for the Hoosiers. She was a Kentucky All-Star and was considered a top Miss Basketball candidate. A great rebounder as a guard, the Hoosiers have high hopes for Penn early.


Bre Wickware

Class: Sophomore. Position: Forward. Height: 6-2. High school (hometown): Guyer (Denton, Texas). Outlook: Wickware can play the three or the four, with the length and athleticism to rebound and block shots. But as a “tweener” athlete, the question is whether she improved her strength enough to play the four, or if her shooting and ballhandling can progress enough to play the three.

Class: Sophomore. Position: Guard. Height: 5-11. High school (hometown): Columbus North (Columbus, Ind.). Outlook: Patberg will sit out the year as a transfer from Notre Dame, where her career was slowed by injuries and illness. But if she stays healthy, and all goes according to plan, the former Miss Basketball is the Hoosiers’ point guard of the future.


Alexis Johnson


Class: Freshman. Position: Forward. Height: 6-1. High school (hometown): Kincaid School (Houston). Outlook: Johnson is another player who can play multiple positions, but it’s unclear whether she has the strength or the shooting ability to immediately claim a spot in the rotation. She must compete with Yeaney, Warthen, Penn and Wickware for minutes.



Brenna Wise

Ali Patberg

Amanda Cahill

Class: Senior. Position: Forward. Height: 6-2. High school (hometown): Clyde (Clyde, Ohio). Outlook: Clutch 3-pointers, crafty finishes, double-doubles — despite her athletic limitations, the Hoosiers’ stretch four is truly a threat in all aspects of the game. Cahill could become the only player in program history to finish in the top eight in points, rebounds and 3s. Her basketball IQ will be needed more than ever on a young team.

Class: Junior. Position: Forward. Height: 6-0. High school (hometown): Vincentian Academy (Pittsburgh). Outlook: Wise was PIttsburgh’s leading scorer and rebounder last season despite being an undersized post. She will have a year to develop her perimeter skills and, along with Ali Patberg, help ease next year’s burden of replacing Buss and Cahill.



2017-18 IU Basketball Preview