ROSEMONT, Ill. — Devonte Green considered transferring when Archie Miller took over as Indiana's coach in 2017.
Last January, he drew a three-game suspension as the Hoosiers slid their way out of the NCAA tournament picture and into the NIT.
Green's IU career hasn't been easy. Fortunately, he has a tested resource to turn to when things get tough — his brother Danny, a two-time NBA champion who has seen it all.
“We weren't the same player when he was my age, but he has been through the process and not playing and missing shots, going through cold stretches,” Devonte Green said. “He still has tough stretches now. … He has been through it all.”
Devonte Green has needed that advice throughout his up-and-down career. His track hasn't been too different from Danny's, as Devonte Green said both grew frustrated with a lack of playing time their first two years. Danny Green started just one game prior to his senior season at North Carolina but has blossomed into an NBA starter.
Now with the Los Angeles Lakers, Danny Green hasn't been able to visit Devonte much for workouts. But his words showed there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
“It could always be worse,” is Devonte Green's favorite phrase, and the 6-foot-3 senior guard has trained himself not to get down when mired in shooting slumps. After shooting a career-worst 36.4 percent from the field in 2017-18, he rebounded to a respectable 40.2 percent last season, including a red-hot 41 percent from 3-point range.
Devonte Green is Indiana's top returning scorer at 9.4 points per game a season ago, and the Hoosiers will need him if they're to return to the NCAA tournament. Based on the end of last season, he's on the right track.
Having the game temporarily taken away made Devonte Green appreciate his position. Results followed — he shot nearly 45 percent from 3-point range after being reinstated in February and dropped 26 points in IU's Big Ten tournament loss to Ohio State.
“I would say sometimes opportunities hit you in the face to grow up,” Miller said. “He has a lot of confidence. To me, he's gonna have a chance to show that. He's talented, man.”
Teammates have noticed. They voted Devonte Green a captain this season, and he said he's ready for the role.
Devonte Green said he typically leads by example but will approach younger players when they need it. That'll be important with freshmen Trayce Jackson-Davis and Armaan Franklin potentially playing big roles.
Miller wants more.
“I think now more so than anything, he has got to find a way to give back to his teammates,” Miller said. “For me, I want him to be able to look back on his senior year and say, 'Man, I got the most out of this thing.'”