“All Miller Kopp has to do is stand in the corner and shoot the ball.”
This was a common refrain among Indiana fans last year. Kopp, his first season in Bloomington since transferring from Northwestern, finished the 2021-22 seasons shooting 39-of 108 from beyond the arc. Some considered Kopp to be an offensive disappointment.
Fans would grumble when he took a shot from the deep end because they didn’t know what the outcome would bring. There were many questions about whether he should play for Indiana or if he should be reduced in his role.
It was evident that the comments made by Kopp were redirected to their intended recipient. He posted on social media over the summer that he was working diligently to improve.
Fans were able to see inside his life and what he was doing.
“All Miller Kopp has to do is stand in the corner and shoot the ball.”
The mantra will remain the same for the 2022-23 season. But it’s also different. The frustration and exasperation at the incoherence of the words are gone. There is hope for Kopp’s potential role in this Indiana team.
Jalen Hood-Schifino’s arrival meant that Kopp would have more players able to get into the paint, which would relieve some of the pressure. This would allow Kopp to set up in the corner and prepare for the pass.
In Indiana’s two exhibition games and season opener against Morehead State, Kopp shot four 3-pointers. And while the Hoosier faithful cheered wholeheartedly with each one, Kopp’s output was similar to last season.
Thursday night, expectations were certainly met — if not exceeded. Indiana’s 101-49 victory over Bethune-Cookman had many highlights, perhaps the biggest being the 3-point shooting.
Kopp’s 12 points were second to Trayce Jackson Davis’ 21. All of Kopp’s points came from beyond the arc as he shot 4-of-6 from distance.
“You always want to shoot better, you can always dribble better, you can always just be better,” Kopp said. “Going into the offseason (it) was big for me just focusing on getting reps.”
Those four 3-pointers were the most made by any player in Thursday’s game. Kopp was quick to release the ball when he got it. That marked improvement from Monday’s game against Morehead State when he appeared hesitant.
And while he missed that first shot on Thursday, it would be the only one that failed to fall until Kopp’s final attempt of the night.
“It’s very nice because he’s put in the work,” Mike Woodson said about Kopp’s success. “He’s put a lot of time this summer shooting the basketball. He was practicing them when we got together. So I’m not shocked that he’s making them now in the game.”
Kopp looked prepared each time he got the ball, with a cleaner shot and so much confidence he didn’t even stick around to watch the shot fall. That success is down to a combination of hard work and mentality. It takes hard work and a positive mentality.
“I did a lot of work on my golf swing this summer, and tried to get outside and get tan a lot,” Kopp said. “If you look at the best basketball players, they all — Michaell Jordan, Steph Curry — they all are great golfers too, so I think that helped.”
Another aspect of the game that was noteworthy? The contributions Kopp’s teammates made from beyond the arc. Indiana, as a team, made 10 3-pointers from 24 attempts. Trey Galloway had two and Jordan Geronimo, Malik Reneau and Tamar Bates each made one.
Indiana looked more confident when he shot four 3-pointers in 11 attempts against Morehead State.
Kopp won’t continue shooting at a 75 percent clip, but through two games, he’s more confident than last season. Indiana is well-positioned for the future because of this improved confidence and teammates who are capable of making perimeter shots.
Miller Kopp



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