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December 22, 2016

Robert Johnson

James Blackmon Jr.

Josh Newkirk

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 97, Austin Peay - 62

Q. Talk about the assist, career high in assists. At one point it was ten assists (indiscernible). What was really working for you as far as that?
JOSH NEWKIRK: I think I played -- I was more in attack mode, and when I seen the defense colliding I just made the simple pass.

Q. James, how much did you guys -- they came out in the zone early and obviously you guys (indiscernible) started coordinating, able to shoot three. How much did you feel like you were going to be able to exploit all that?
JAMES BLACKMON JR.: Really just moving the ball, we wanted to get it inside to guys like Thomas and De'Ron because they're so good at passing the ball as well, also Juwan and OG. So we go inside and out and keep the floor space and just keep ball movement and reversing the ball and it got easy for us.

Q. James, talk about shooting 3s.
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Yeah, once you see one or two go down, the rim gets a little bigger. But I never want to switch my mentality to just start shooting 3s or (indiscernible) things like that, go inside out first.

Q. Josh, coming into that offense, what was the mindset. You mentioned pace.
JOSH NEWKIRK: Just getting higher on my downhill and just staying aggressive, not looking timid out there and just getting into the open gaps and these guys hitting shots.

Q. Robert, talk about the 3-point defense.
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think we've been focusing on taking that away from teams and not letting guys get in certain areas where they can get open shots, like defense, are a couple of things we've really been focusing on.

Q. Josh, the two guys on either side of you, just how important are they? With all the experience, all the games they have under their belt, obviously they scored a lot of points tonight. How important are they in just lead by example, OG, whatever?
JOSH NEWKIRK: They're real important and if something is not going right, I can look to my right or my left and those guys, they definitely keep me going, keeping me confident. So I mean vice versa. So we definitely work well together. We communicate well together and we just like to playoff each other.

Q. You had a career high in the first half. What was working for you?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I was just getting a lot of open shots. Like JB said, we were going inside and out and whenever we do that those are always -- it's what we take. So did a good job of moving the ball and I got some open shots.

Q. Robert, seems like just about every game you get one of the first baskets or you get off to a good start. Is that something that you really focus on or does that just happen?
ROBERT JOHNSON: It just happens just the way we move the ball. It can be any guy at any time. So when you see an opening you just gotta take it.

Q. Josh, talk about your defensive mentality.
JOSH NEWKIRK: We definitely want to be the first team ready on defense. So just locking in, knowing personnel, knowing what our man is going to do and knowing how we're going to guard, I think that's been a focus for us, and being alert.

Q. Josh, Coach talked about how you just take time, game time, what are the nuances of each other, where guys want the ball where they don't. How much does that play when you're the primary ball handler?
JOSH NEWKIRK: Just as we play more together, I start to get a feel what teammates like the ball and just where they like to move off the ball and stuff like that. So I think it's just playing with each other and just communicating and talking.

Q. For any of you guys, how do you feel like the preconference schedule to this point has prepared you for the Big Ten schedule?
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: I feel it prepared us really well. We had a lot of big games, a lot of good competition. Going forward we want to focus on one game at a time because we know every night we're in for a battle.

Q. To follow up on a couple things Josh talked about, for either of you have guys, even going back to last season, how much have you tried to support him or just advice or guidance whenever he seeks it, especially as he's stepped into such a big role this season?
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Really, it's easy, because he has a lot of confidence in himself. So I never really see him like that. It's just like when things happen, next play mentality. We all three tell each other that. So it's not a hard thing to do at all to get him going.

Q. Apparently Coach held up a sign that said Don't Hop on it.
JOSH NEWKIRK: Sometimes during games I hop on defenses that are sliding our feet. So that's what that was for.

Q. James, can you talk about Devonte's half-court shot.
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Not really. It was a great shot.

Q. Robert, can you talk about your shot selection?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Yeah, I think it's a little bit of both. I think it's times where I could have been a little more aggressive in (indiscernible) games, but at the same time I think guys have done a good job of, like I said earlier, and just finding me when I'm open.

Q. James, talk about the Big Ten season.
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: I'm looking forward to it a lot really, what I've been looking forward to since the beginning of this season. But it's hard not to look forward to games and not look over one team. But now that it's here continue to work hard in practice and out of practice and just take care of business when it comes.

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