Archie Miller vowed during his introductory press conference to recruit the state of Indiana first and move outward from there.
So far, he’s making good on that promise.
Miller was in to see 2018 point guard Robert Phinisee at McCutcheon High School on Friday afternoon. The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Phinisee is the 92nd-ranked player in the 2018 class by the 247 Sports Composite, and the second-best player in the state (Romeo Langford).
The meeting began as soon as school let out at 2:30 p.m. and lasted “about an hour”, Phinisee said.
“It went really well,” he told AlbersAngle.com. “He told me he needs a point guard in 2018 who can come in and play right away.
“He’s very business like. He showed me the style of offense he runs and I felt like it fits me perfectly.”
Phinisee led McCutcheon to the Class 4A Regional game as a junior last season where the Mavericks fell short in a 68-61 loss to Carmel. Phinisee had 30 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals in the state title game. [Note: Apologies for originally publishing Carmel-McCutcheon as the state title game. Phinisee and McCutcheon went to the state title game in 2015-16, where they fell to New Albany.]
For the season, Phinisee averaged 21.7 points, 6.8 assists, 5.9 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game. In a game against Crawfordsville in January, Phinisee exploded for 41 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists and 6 steals. He had 156 assists and only 40 turnovers (3.9-to-1 ratio) for the season.
Phinisee also has offers from Purdue and Virginia, and has received interest from Butler and Xavier. It won’t be easy to pluck Phinisee from Purdue country — McCutcheon High School is an 8-minute drive from Purdue’s West Lafayette campus — but Miller started the process of trying to make that happen with his visit on Friday.
“I honestly don’t know, my mind changes so much,” Phinisee said when asked where Indiana ranks on his list. “I’m not sure when, but I’ll definitely visit there before I make a decision.”
I’ve had the privilege of watching Phinisee develop over the last couple of years and I really like his game. I’ve watched him play regularly with Indiana Elite during the summers, and I think his game would fit nicely at Indiana.
Phinisee has developed into quite the capable scorer, but I wouldn’t categorize him as a score-first point guard. Phinisee is very unselfish and has vision that simply cannot be taught. He’s always been a winner, and he’s the type of player that will serve as an excellent coach on the floor and would be willing to do whatever is necessary to help his team win any particular game.
Phinisee will need to add strength and improve his perimeter jump shot to be a truly elite college guard, but I believe he already has many of the skills and talents necessary to succeed at the next level.