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For first time in IU tenure, Archie Miller's recruiting momentum is slowing

Archie Miller arrived at Indiana in 2017 and immediately saw success on the recruiting trail.

Archie Miller during last year's loss to Ohio State in Columbus. (Kurt Spitler/HN)

Achieving the No. 10 overall recruiting class in the nation, headlined by the seventh-ranked player in the country, Romeo Langford, Miller set out to bring IU basketball back to its former glory. Miller snagged another strong class the following year, which included current Wooden Player of the Year candidate Trayce Jackson-Davis. Miller returned strong once again with his 2020 recruiting class, nabbing the 15th best class in the nation, and his third straight year of bringing Indiana Mr. Basketball home to IU.

However, in late January of 2021, it is beginning to appear as though the lack of on-court success may finally have an impact on Miller’s ability to bring in a top ranked class.

Currently, the 2021 recruiting class consists of one name: Logan Duncomb. That certainly is no small feat. According to 247Sports’ rankings, Duncomb is slated as the 63rd-ranked player in the country, sitting squarely as a 4-star recruit. Indiana also beat out annual Big Ten powerhouses in Wisconsin and Iowa for the 6-foot-9 center out of Ohio.

The issue does not lie in Duncomb, however. It lies in the fact that the 2021 IU recruiting class stops after his name up to this point. In the previous class, Jordan Geronimo, Anthony Leal and Trey Galloway had already committed months before this point. The only member of the 2020 class to commit after this point last year — Khristian Lander — began his recruiting process as a member of the class of 2021, and reclassified into this group in the early spring of 2020. The same goes for the classes of 2018 and ‘19, with the only exception once again being a top recruit in Langford. While there is still time for Miller to pick up strong players to finish out the class of 2021, the list of available options is dwindling, and fast.

2021 could be the first IU recruiting class in the past three years that does not include the Indiana Mr. Basketball winner. In November, Kyle Neddenriep of the Indianapolis Star listed five candidates going into the 2020-21 high school season, most of whom have since committed to a school not named Indiana University. What makes that an even tougher pill to swallow is the fact that three of the five candidates listed are headed to other schools in the state of Indiana. Four-stars Trey Kaufman and Caleb Furst are headed to Purdue and 4-star Blake Wesley is headed to Notre Dame. IU has also missed on other players that they were hoping to reel in, in top-20 5-star Aminu Mohammed, who is headed to play for Patrick Ewing at Georgetown, and high 4-star Trey Patterson who has committed to Villanova.

According to 247Sports, Indiana only has one more major target who remains uncommitted. Combo guard Hunter Sallis, the sixth-ranked player in the nation, holds a staggering 26 offers. However, it is nearly impossible that IU will hear its name called on March 26 — Sallis’ recently announced commitment date as well as his birthday — as IU did not even crack his top eight. With so few options remaining, how can IU salvage what could likely finish as the 10th-best class in the conference, and 76th in the nation?`

The most likely answer would be in the transfer market. IU has already secured one transfer in shooting guard Parker Stewart. After spending time at UT-Martin and Pitt, Stewart has two years of eligibility remaining.

Center Javonte Brown-Ferguson once presented an interesting opportunity for the Hoosiers in the transfer market, but the 6-foot-11 center recently announced that he will be heading to Texas A&M.

After beginning his tenure at Indiana with so much success on the recruiting trail, it appears Archie Miller will face an uphill battle to continue to put together strong classes. With a few years of what fans would certainly label disappointing on-court results, it remains to be seen if the team can turn around their current season and draw some eyes back to Indiana. Much of the talent in the class of 2022 has yet to even begin putting out final cuts for their decisions, so it remains to be seen whether or not Archie Miller can return to the success that he found in recruiting early on in his career.

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