Rob Phinisee has had an interesting, and in may ways contradictory, three years in Bloomington.
- He arrived as a headline member of one of the most celebrated IU recruiting classes of the post-Knight era … but is now the only one left and still hasn’t played in an NCAA Tournament game.
- He burst onto the scene as a freshman point guard with the kind of production that gave IU fans dreams of the next Yogi … but has struggled to recapture that efficiency and consistency since.
- He’s earned a reputation as a clutch shooter with a handful of memorable shots that decided games … but has been a part of three straight backcourts that notoriously couldn’t shoot the ball well enough to space the floor for talented interior scorers.
- His IU teams have struggled to just get their head above water in Big Ten play … but notched three straight wins against top-10 Michigan State teams.
It hasn’t really made a lot of sense.
But what does seem to make sense, at least IU fans hope, is that Rob and the entire IU program will have a chance to be reborn under the direction of a new staff and with a rebuilt roster.
In this wide-ranging conversation with Rob we discuss the many contradictory elements of his time at IU and look forward to what his fourth season may bring. Among the topics we get into:
- How he’s approaching his option to play a fifth year
- That time he scored 50 points in a high school game … and could have scored more
- Why he chose to leave Lafayette for Bloomington
- What Indiana needs to do to finally beat Purdue again
- The ups and downs of the Marquette and Arkansas games freshman year
- The game-winner against Butler and the anointing of “Big Shot Rob”
- Hypotheses for why he’s been able to come through more consistently in clutch situations than regular ones
- The ongoing relationship he developed with the young man who wrote him a letter after the Butler game
- What guarding Cassius Winston was like
- The toughest players he’s had to guard (his final answer on this one will stun you)
- What he learned about the impact of crowds during the COVID season
- What the experience of playing for Archie Miller was like
- The role does he expect to play this season
- What will be different about Indiana’s defensive approach this season
- What he wants to do after his basketball playing career is over
And so much more. We cover a ton while reliving some of his most memorable moments as a Hoosier.
Listen to the podcast here: