Assembly Hell: Does Archie Miller Get One More Year?
Barring a improbable run in the Big Ten basketball tournament, the University of Indiana will be on the outside looking in yet again in March Madness. The Hoosiers lost their fourth straight game Tuesday to fall to 12-13 on the season, a 64-58 foul-fest at Michigan State. Last week the Hoosiers jumped out to a 23-8 lead at Rutgers, only to lose convincingly to a Scarlet Knights squad that later lost by 21 to a Nebraska team just hours after losing its lone relevant player. In his fourth season at Bloomington, it appears coach Archie Miller will again not reach the modest goal of just reaching the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers would likely not have gotten an invite after the 2020 season, the 11th-seeded Hoosiers defeated Nebraska in the aborted Big Ten tourney when the world shut down last March 11. A once dominant college basketball blue blood has not won a road game at Wisconsin since 1999, although they at least took the Badgers to overtime this year. That is your moral victory, against another program not having a stellar year. As Hoosiers basketball joins University of Nebraska football as relics from the 20th Century, Miller's status as head coach twists in the wind.
Firing Miller now will not be cheap, his buyout right now stands at $10.35 million, a number that drops to $3.475 million after March 31, 2022. As Miller fails like Tom Crean and others before him, Indiana followers look for their next possible savior, their program's potential Nick Saban to return the program to glory. The two biggest names reside in Texas, Baylor's Scott Drew and Texas Tech's Chris Beard. Ah, Texas Tech - the school where Bobby Knight went to exile who later became a Big XII heavyweight and 2019 national championship runner-up. Unlike a university like Butler who would have to look at a rising coach at a smaller school or highly regarded assistant, IU must dream big with its continued grandiose vision of a return to Big Ten and national prominence. The Hoosiers are in need at taking another big swing for the fences, but Mark Cuban and other wealthy alums are willing to pay the price.