Often when a head coaching change occurs at a school, some, if not all, of the currently committed recruits request their release and either look elsewhere or follow that coach. Indiana, with all its prestige and glory, is usually no exception. Indiana had three recruits committed for the 2017 class when Tom Crean was dismissed, but Archie Miller somehow managed to keep the class intact– getting all three to recommit.
Miller first met with Justin Smith, a 4-star small forward from Illinois who never asked for his release. Since that meeting, lots of insightful dialogue has surfaced from Justin’s dad, Edward.
In an interview with the IndyStar Edward Smith had this to say, “He laid out his game plan, what he expected from Justin, where Justin will be playing, what position he will be mostly focused on, his emphasis on spreading the floor and things of that nature. It was an outstanding meeting.”
He then added this in a piece with Inside the Hall,“We learned about how Justin is going to be used and how the offense is going to flow. A big thing was floor spacing. Ball movement, getting up the floor, those were key. Archie Miller looked each of us in the eye and he didn’t sugarcoat anything. He said it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be hard, but with hard work, the rewards will be there. And he said it with conviction and honesty. That’s what you look for in a guy. And he’s prepared. My gosh is he prepared.”
After that meeting, Miller wasted no time meeting with his other two recruits: Al Durham and Clifton Moore.
Durham is a 3-star recruit who, according to Crimson Quarry’s David Siegel, “Can play anywhere from 1-3. With a decent handle and a reliable shot, Durham has worked recently to start using his considerable 6’4″ frame to his advantage.” After originally asking for his release from his letter of intent following the Crean firing, Durham had a change of heart after his meeting with Miller.
Moore was the final holdout for the 2017 class and Miller. A 3-star power forward from Horsham, Pennsylvania, Moore is the 140th ranked recruit nationally and a big win for the new staff at Indiana.
Another name to watch may be McKinley Wright, a former 3-star Dayton commit. Wright is Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball and committed to Dayton under now Indiana coach Miller. While the Hoosiers are currently out of scholarships, that could change if Robert Johnson stays in the NBA draft. Johnson has until May 24 to make his final decision so anything is possible.