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November 30, 2016

James Blackmon Jr.

Thomas Bryant

Robert Johnson

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 76, UNC - 67

THE MODERATOR: First question for the players.

Q. Thomas, talk about what this game meant.
THOMAS BRYANT: It means a lot. Just means that, taking a step forward. We're getting better each and every day. And we went out there and proved it.

Q. James, could you talk about the start you guys got off to and how you got the crowd into the game and really kind of took off.
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Well, we just wanted to bring the energy with us so we just wanted to be collective, communicate, because it was so loud. And the fans really helped us with the energy.

Q. Thomas, talk about keeping Meeks limited down low.
THOMAS BRYANT: We had key things we wanted to try and get done, just taking away certain things those guys love to do or do on a consistent basis. That's what we tried to do throughout the game, throughout the whole 40-minute game.

Q. James, you talked about communication. You mentioned in the aftermath of Fort Wayne last week. Do you guys feel wake-up isn't the right term, but did you feel it was a reminder of that's what you needed?
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Definitely. After that game, that's what we talked about a lot. We weren't out there together and we weren't communicating. Even though it was so loud tonight, I feel like our guys talked to each other and everyone knew what spot to be in at all times.

Q. Rob, keeping them off the offensive glass, eight second-chance points. They were second or third in offensive rebounding --
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think it all started with the mindset that we came out with. From the tip, I think we were aggressive on the glass, and when we carry that mindset into the game, it was really good for us.

Q. Talk about the offense. This is a team that scored 93 or more five of seven games. You held them to a season low, shot less than 40 percent. What were the keys?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Just taking away their strengths. Coach Justin did a great job with the game plan. And he gave us a breakdown of everything each guy liked to do and all of our strengths and things like that. So we just wanted to take those away and make it tough for them.

Q. Thomas, how much do you feel and enjoy the intensity in an atmosphere like this?
THOMAS BRYANT: You feel it before you even step on the floor for the pregame warmups. You feel the intensity, like the day before, you just want to go out there and play your best in front of the greatest fans in college basketball.

Q. James, you didn't play the last game. Was there any question you would play tonight, and how close were you to 100 percent?
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: There was no question. I was just a little bruised, banged up from that game. Rested and felt really good. And I was ready to go right after that game that we played.

Q. Question about Berry. What were the key things?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Just containing him early. He's a guy that likes to get into transition, get to his spots, something we wanted to contain him from the jump. And I think we did a good job of taking that away.

Q. James, you had a home court advantage. In this case how big is it to you guys --
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: It's definitely helpful with these fans that we have here. They're so great when they bring that energy. At the same time, we always have to know where the energy starts. We want it started with us. If we don't bring it, it can be hard to get that energy.

Q. Question about OG's dunk.
ROBERT JOHNSON: I honestly don't.

Q. How big was OG tonight? Good defensively on the boards. How important was he tonight against teams like this, how important a dynamic?
ROBERT JOHNSON: The way he played tonight, it's something we want to count on him doing on a consistent basis, because it's nothing that he can't do on a consistent basis. So I think the way he played with the energy that he came out with, establishing that he was going to get on the glass and lock down defensively, I think that really got him going.

Q. (Question off mic)
THOMAS BRYANT: Just the mindset that we had out there. We know that their bigs are the best in the country, some of them, and we knew that we had our work cut out for us at the beginning. So we wanted to establish that mindset and get out there and get after them.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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