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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:10 pm

Miller finds positive reception in in-state recruiting circles

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON -- Indiana coach Archie Miller conducted a roundtable with the Hoosiers' primary beat writers on Tuesday, and one of the things that struck me was Miller's continued emphasis on in-state recruiting.

Almost one month to the day of his hiring, Miller elaborated on how prep coaches and players around the state have received him.

"All positive," Miller said. "Once we got done with the incoming class of 2017 and it was solidified, in particular we spent a lot of time in the state for about three days. We only had three or four days left in the period and just spent them in the state.

"We were able to hit multiple high schools and say hello, and I think it's been very positive. In general, what I feel is the high school coaches in Indiana would love for (IU) to be good all the time, and I don't anticipate that changing."

Not that recruiting has been easy for the Hoosiers' new coach.

"The two live periods are always a crapshoot," Miller said. "I don't necessarily mean that by (when) I took over the Indiana job.

"When you change jobs and the landscape changes, these two evaluation weekends can become in many ways non-impactful if you're not organized because you're just looking at hundreds and hundreds of kids. You have to try to be focused, and if it's a normal year you're just going out there and evaluating young guys, but we're also trying to get in on certain guys."

Also on Tuesday, Indiana introduced Miller's staff.

Tom Ostrom will be the associate head coach, the same title Tim Buckley held as an assistant on Tom Crean's staff at IU. Ostrom reiterated Miller's theme about winning more of those in-state recruiting battles.

"It's clearly important," Ostrom said. "A lot of coaches at a lot of institutions will say the same thing, but you build from the inside out. We didn't hit every school in the state, obviously, but we tried to do as many as we could. You build equity in the relationships, whether you're in recruiting or business or anything else. You treat them right."

Ed Schilling, who joins Indiana from UCLA, said recruiting in Los Angeles was difficult because so many influences were involved.

"Being able to have relationships with not only the player and the family but the high school coach is what makes this a great state to recruit from my perspective," Schilling said. "Recruiting the state of Indiana is going to be important."

Bruiser Flint, who rounds out the staff, said two decades of collegiate head-coaching experience in the Northeast offered him a few chances to delve into the Midwest in the never-ending search for talent.

"I've been coaching for a long time, so you meet a lot of people," Flint said. "The guys that I've talked to in the Midwest all now say, 'See, you're in the Midwest now; come on out and recruit a couple of my guys.' I'm in Indiana, too. That's the other thing."