Miller, Glass eyeing reboot of Kentucky series

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Hall of Famer
by Mike Miller

Through conversations with former players during his first two months on the job, Indiana basketball coach Archie Miller has come to understand that one game means much more to Hoosiers than any other.

Indiana vs. Kentucky.

Does that mean the annual regular season series, dormant since 2012, will be revived under Miller’s watch? It’s very possible.

At a fan event last week in Borden, Miller said he’s willing to do whatever is good for the health of IU’s basketball program. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass took it a step further, spreading optimism that the IU-UK series will resume sometime within the next five years.

“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to feather that into the schedule in that timeframe,” Glass said.

Since the most recent contract expired after the 2012 season, representatives from both Indiana and Kentucky have disagreed on the format under which the series should proceed.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has wanted to move the series off campus and to a neutral site like Lucas Oil Stadium. For some time, Glass has wanted at least one game in every four-year cycle to occur in Bloomington.

During the spring of 2012, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said he did not want to agree to a deal that locked Kentucky into a series for more than two years. Barnhart also rejected a proposal from Glass that would have placed two games at Lucas Oil Stadium, followed the next year by a game at Rupp Arena in Lexington and a game in Assembly Hall after that.

Glass said he’s now willing to take a different approach.

“I’m optimistic we’ll get it back together, primarily because I think it’s a very important series,” he said. “I’m willing to compromise on some of the principles we had set out in terms of (it’s) got to come back to campus and all that. I don’t want to negotiate with my cards up or lead with my chin or whatever the metaphor is, but we’re willing to work with Kentucky to get the series back on track.”

Although former IU coach Tom Crean shared a good relationship with Calipari, it wasn’t enough to save the series. Might Miller’s connections to Calipari help a bit more? Maybe.

Calipari is close with the Miller family, with both sides hailing from Western Pennsylvania. Two of Miller’s assistants, Ed Schilling and Bruiser Flint, also previously worked under Calipari.

More than anything on the Indiana side, there seems to be a firm belief that the revival of the series is of great importance.

The Hoosiers have won two of the past three meetings, beating the Wildcats, 73-67, in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. It was the first meeting between the programs since Kentucky upended IU, 102-90, in the 2012 Sweet 16.

The Hoosiers and Wildcats have not met in the regular season since Indiana’s 73-72 upset of Kentucky on Dec. 10, 2011 at Assembly Hall.

“Kentucky is the one that everybody wants,” Miller said. “There have been conversations that Fred has had, that he’s had with me. I think there’s a great agreement that it needs to happen in time. How it happens? I don’t really know how to pull that off. … In general, I think in time maybe something could happen.”

At the same time, Kentucky’s Wildcats aren’t the only Cats that could appear on future Indiana schedules.

Miller says he and his brother, Sean, the coach at Arizona, are also trying to agree on a regular season matchup between the two programs. Arizona is ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s updated look at the preseason top 25.

“I think that’d be a great series,” Miller said. “There are a lot of people who want us to play each other so they don’t do it to us in the tournament one day — get it out of the way so it’s not uncomfortable. I think it’d be a great series.”

In looking at Indiana and Arizona, Miller sees similar fan bases and tradition, as well as outstanding homecourt advantages.

The latter seems to be a sticking point in negotiations for both sides.

“I think there’s a disagreement on where it’s gonna start right now,” Miller said. “I was told it would start in Bloomington. (Sean) told me he’s not playing in Bloomington first. See, the thing about scheduling is everybody wants the schedule to be perfect for themselves. When you have 350 coaches all wanting a perfect schedule, it doesn’t always work that way.”

hoosiersportsreport.com/2017/06/miller-glass-eyeing-reboot-of-kentucky-series

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rikki-tikka-tava

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"...feather that into the schedule...

Right. A crowbar and some axle grease is probably nearer the mark...
 

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Feb 20, 2008
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"...feather that into the schedule...

Right. A crowbar and some axle grease is probably nearer the mark...
by Mike Miller

Through conversations with former players during his first two months on the job, Indiana basketball coach Archie Miller has come to understand that one game means much more to Hoosiers than any other.

Indiana vs. Kentucky.

Does that mean the annual regular season series, dormant since 2012, will be revived under Miller’s watch? It’s very possible.

At a fan event last week in Borden, Miller said he’s willing to do whatever is good for the health of IU’s basketball program. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass took it a step further, spreading optimism that the IU-UK series will resume sometime within the next five years.

“I’m hopeful we’ll be able to feather that into the schedule in that timeframe,” Glass said.

Since the most recent contract expired after the 2012 season, representatives from both Indiana and Kentucky have disagreed on the format under which the series should proceed.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has wanted to move the series off campus and to a neutral site like Lucas Oil Stadium. For some time, Glass has wanted at least one game in every four-year cycle to occur in Bloomington.

During the spring of 2012, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart said he did not want to agree to a deal that locked Kentucky into a series for more than two years. Barnhart also rejected a proposal from Glass that would have placed two games at Lucas Oil Stadium, followed the next year by a game at Rupp Arena in Lexington and a game in Assembly Hall after that.

Glass said he’s now willing to take a different approach.

“I’m optimistic we’ll get it back together, primarily because I think it’s a very important series,” he said. “I’m willing to compromise on some of the principles we had set out in terms of (it’s) got to come back to campus and all that. I don’t want to negotiate with my cards up or lead with my chin or whatever the metaphor is, but we’re willing to work with Kentucky to get the series back on track.”

Although former IU coach Tom Crean shared a good relationship with Calipari, it wasn’t enough to save the series. Might Miller’s connections to Calipari help a bit more? Maybe.

Calipari is close with the Miller family, with both sides hailing from Western Pennsylvania. Two of Miller’s assistants, Ed Schilling and Bruiser Flint, also previously worked under Calipari.

More than anything on the Indiana side, there seems to be a firm belief that the revival of the series is of great importance.

The Hoosiers have won two of the past three meetings, beating the Wildcats, 73-67, in the second round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. It was the first meeting between the programs since Kentucky upended IU, 102-90, in the 2012 Sweet 16.

The Hoosiers and Wildcats have not met in the regular season since Indiana’s 73-72 upset of Kentucky on Dec. 10, 2011 at Assembly Hall.

“Kentucky is the one that everybody wants,” Miller said. “There have been conversations that Fred has had, that he’s had with me. I think there’s a great agreement that it needs to happen in time. How it happens? I don’t really know how to pull that off. … In general, I think in time maybe something could happen.”

At the same time, Kentucky’s Wildcats aren’t the only Cats that could appear on future Indiana schedules.

Miller says he and his brother, Sean, the coach at Arizona, are also trying to agree on a regular season matchup between the two programs. Arizona is ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s updated look at the preseason top 25.

“I think that’d be a great series,” Miller said. “There are a lot of people who want us to play each other so they don’t do it to us in the tournament one day — get it out of the way so it’s not uncomfortable. I think it’d be a great series.”

In looking at Indiana and Arizona, Miller sees similar fan bases and tradition, as well as outstanding homecourt advantages.

The latter seems to be a sticking point in negotiations for both sides.

“I think there’s a disagreement on where it’s gonna start right now,” Miller said. “I was told it would start in Bloomington. (Sean) told me he’s not playing in Bloomington first. See, the thing about scheduling is everybody wants the schedule to be perfect for themselves. When you have 350 coaches all wanting a perfect schedule, it doesn’t always work that way.”

hoosiersportsreport.com/2017/06/miller-glass-eyeing-reboot-of-kentucky-series

Go Hoosiers!
Trying to get Arizona on the schedule too.