Archie Miller Won The Press Conference, Now Needs To Win Everything Else

Indiana athletic director Fred Glass expects the Hoosiers to win multiple national championships, which Tom Crean couldn’t deliver. Now the pressure falls on 38-year-old Archie Miller.

The spectacle of introductory press conferences never cease to amaze. The celebration of a coach who’s yet to win a single game for the program they’ve inherited simply doesn’t make sense, in my opinion.

It’s a show meant to get the fan base stirring and give the media something to decode despite there never being a single controversial soundbite. I can practically write the coach’s opening statement for them and provide the cookie-cutter answers before the questions even are asked.

Archie Miller’s official introduction as Indiana’s new basketball coach Monday was no different. The school trotted him into Assembly Hall as viewers smacked their hands together – just as they did for cheater Kelvin Sampson and didn’t-live-up-to-expectations Tom Crean.

Miller said all the right things in the right manner. He was stern when he talked about winning and exceeding the expectations Crean couldn’t. He fired up the fan base when he spoke of his “Inside-Out” recruiting plan – start in the state of basketball-crazy Indiana and slowly move out to bring talent to Bloomington.

New Indiana Hoosiers head coach Archie Miller. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

All you need is a simple Twitter search of Archie Miller’s name to find constant praise of Miller’s statements. The die-hards are doubling down on the successful former Dayton coach to win the national championships – multiple – that athletic director Fred Glass demands.

Now Miller has to live among those die-hards.

“I don’t think you come to Indiana if you don’t want to live in the neighborhood,” Miller said at his introductory press conference Monday afternoon. “I’ve been at a high level in a lot of different spots. I’ve been with great people. I’m very confident in what we do works, and I’d like the opportunity to try and make it work here.”

And he better. The pressure will be much greater the next time he’s under those lights at Assembly Hall. Very few – if any – new coaches lose the initial press conference. It’s set up to be their first W.

And just like those gimmes, Archie Miller’s official introduction to the Indiana community eventually will be forgotten. Yes, even by those immediately jumping to Twitter to congratulate Miller on a press conference well done. There are no transition years for the Hoosiers like Crean was afforded after the Sampson fiasco.

It’s win – and win now.

“I know where we’re at and I know what the job is, and that didn’t waver me,” Miller said. “More than anything, this is what you want if you love the game.”

Maybe some Indiana fans love it a little too much. It’s why they ran Crean out of town despite Crean making something of the rubble Sampson left and advancing to three Sweet 16s in the four seasons prior to this last one. And this last one – an 18-16 disappointment mainly brought on by an injury to O.G. Anunoby and ailments for many others – just wasn’t going to cut it. You don’t get many chances at Indiana.

Glass made that clear with his expectations for multiple conference and national championships that only a coach with thick skin would be able to achieve. Miller – and seemingly the Hoosiers’ fans – believes it’s him.

“The expectations are set high. And they’re achievable,” Miller said.

He better hope so.

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