Archie Miller hasn’t coached a single game at Indiana yet, but he’s already making his presence known in the state.
Miller landed a commitment from 2018 guard Robert Phinisee on Saturday afternoon, stealing him away from Purdue country without even needing an official visit. Phinisee joins South Bend Riley’s Damezi Anderson and Ohio forward Jerome Hunter in Indiana’s 2018 recruiting class.
Phinisee, a 5-foot-11, 160-pound guard, is ranked 100th nationally in the 2018 class by the 247 Sports Composite. He’s the 17th ranked point guard in the class. Phinisee attends McCutcheon High School, which is only an 8-minute drive from Purdue’s campus in West Lafayette.
Phinisee also had offers from Ohio State, Georgetown, Purdue and Virginia. What’s most surprising? Phinisee didn’t take a single official visit before choosing the Hoosiers.
So what made him so sure Indiana was the right place for him, I asked.
“I would just say coach Miller really. Just him,” Phinisee told AlbersAngle.com. “Right when he got the job, he contacted me and he came and saw me. He showed me how he plans to turn around IU and bring a national championship back in. He showed me the offense and I thought I fit perfectly in it.
“The relationship I’ve built with coach Miller really helped me make my decision.”
Phinisee, who took an unofficial visit to Indiana following a Team Camp in Bloomington this summer, said he started thinking about committing to the Hoosiers a week ago. He told his family on “Tuesday or Wednesday”, then called coach Miller on Friday to let him know he wanted to be a Hoosier.
“There’s only so much they can show you. Taking an official, I just would have spent more time with them but they wouldn’t have shown me that much more than what I’ve already seen,” Phinisee said.
Miller needs a point guard for the future, and he made it clear to Phinisee that he wanted him to be that point guard. 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 loss.
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.
“With [Josh] Newkirk leaving (after next season), coach Miller said they need a point guard that can come in and possibly start right away,” Phinisee said. “That was a huge factor. I know his offense is very guard-oriented, so I know I’ll have the ball in my hands to make a lot of plays. That stuck with me.”
Phinisee said he plans to attend Hoosier Hysteria and as many Indiana home games as he can this season.
Phinisee shared this message with Indiana fans on his Twitter account Saturday afternoon.
— Rob Phinisee (@robphinisee1) August 19, 2017