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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, September 28, 2017 9:20 pm

Highlights from Hoosiers' media day

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana coach Archie Miller sat at the podium that 15 players from his 18-man roster would eventually shuttle through and dutifully fielded questions for a half-hour Thursday as part of the team's media day festivities.

At one point, the Hoosiers' new coach noted he was "really, really excited and really fortunate to be representing IU."

Yes, this program is a big deal, and so was its media day. IU staffers patiently guided uniform-clad players through a series of tasks that included photo-ops, video promotions, TV interviews with affiliated outlets and a stop for a Q-and-A session with a throng of reporters.

Here's what you need to know from media day boiled down to digestible questions and answers:

* Are the Hoosiers under investigation? Miller brushed off speculation that IU, like any Division I program, could get caught up in the federal investigation into bribery and other corruption in college basketball.

"I've met with (IU athletic director) Fred (Glass) multiple times, and we've talked about a lot of things and have no reason to think that Indiana's involved in anything right now," Miller said.

* Who wants to step up? One of the main storylines Thursday focused on who would replace OG Anunoby, James Blackmon Jr. and Thomas Bryant, three of the Hoosiers' four leading scorers, who left for the NBA.

Miller thinks there's an opportunity for De'Ron Davis, Juwan Morgan and Robert Johnson to be primary options.

"I think De'Ron is a very gifted offensive player," Miller said. "De'Ron has terrific footwork, amazing hands and great touch. I think he can score the ball for us. I think Robert is a proven scorer over time in his college career and will continue to do that. With minutes, and how it's dispersed, I think that Juwan has to become an offensive threat. Juwan has to become more of an offensive-minded player."

* Has Clifton Moore bulked up? The 6-foot-10 freshman might have to be a key bench player this season, which means he needed to add more muscle to his thin frame. Mission accomplished. Miller revealed Thursday that Moore is up to 220 pounds, 14 pounds heavier than his arrival on campus.

"Archie wants me to play more in the post, using my strength and my length," Moore said, "so adding those pounds really helped me over the past couple months."

* Do the Hoosiers have leaders? Their upperclassmen are taking charge, according to Miller.

"Collin Hartman and Josh Newkirk (are) two guys that have really brought a spirit when I'm around," Miller said. "The way that they communicate with each other and their teammates brings such a positive vibe, even when they're not doing well personally, and I think that's been a big step."

* Can Indiana lean on Johnson for big minutes? Miller raved about Johnson's physical shape.

"I've never seen a guy as motivated physically to be where he's at right now," Miller said. "He's probably the best conditioned player that I've ever been around."