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September 28, 2017

Robert Johnson

Curtis Jones

Aljami Durham

Bloomington, Indiana

Q. I just wanted to ask you something about something Archie Miller said. He said you might be one of the most physically well-conditioned guys he's been around. Kind of what have you done to get ready for that -- to do that, and what impact is that going to have on your game? How is that going to help you this season?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I just try to go into every workout and try to get the most out of it. I think, when it comes down to it, it's going to help me as far as endurance of how many minutes I have to play and things like that.

Q. Rob, start with you. What are you guys expecting from the season? If you all want to kind of jump in on that.
ROBERT JOHNSON: You know, we expect to win, bottom line. I think we have the talent. We have enough experience with the guys coming back to do anything that we set out to do.

Q. Obviously, you put your name in the Draft process to get the feedback last year. What was some of the biggest things that they told you to work on? And how do you feel the system will allow you to do that?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Well, a couple of things that they told me basically was they wanted to see if I could play point guard at a high level. They wanted to see how I will handle being one of the primary scorers this upcoming year. And I think, as far as Archie's system, with some of the things that we've already went over, I think it will help me as far as getting in the open court and handling the ball more and pick-and-roll and things like that. That's a couple of things that we've already talked about.

Q. Curtis, what's the biggest difference for you now in your game going into your sophomore season compared to where you were a year ago?
CURTIS JONES: The biggest thing by far is strength. Got a lot stronger this past summer. So that's probably the biggest thing.

Q. Al, what have you been telling folks back home in Georgia about Bloomington and Indiana so far?
ALJAMI DURHAM: I've been telling them how I love Bloomington, how it's so much different than Atlanta, but how much they love basketball more here than they do in Atlanta.

Q. Al, this is for you. What are two or three things you feel like you are definitely better at now after a summer and part of the fall on campus than you were when you first arrived?
ALJAMI DURHAM: I feel like I'm better at controlling my pace, knowing when to go fast, when to slow down, and probably being more consistent with my whole game overall.

Q. Rob, the three freshmen, obviously, getting up to speed with the physicality of the game. Can you talk about maybe each guy and kind of what you've seen from them since the time they got here and maybe how they've progressed since they arrived.
ROBERT JOHNSON: Yeah. One of the things I noticed with Al right away was he picked up things like really quick. So I think from a standpoint of understanding the game and things like that, he's already far along.

With Justin, one of the most impressive things with him has just been his athleticism. You can tell he's a really high level athlete that's going to be able to help us just based off that.

And, Cliff, he has a high upside. He's long, a lot of energy, can rebound the ball, stretch the floor a little bit. So that's just a couple things about each one.

Q. Curtis, I know Coach Miller talked to you about your physique and wanting you to add some strength and muscle, but I was wondering if he talked about a role in regard to James Blackmon departed, you're a shooter. Has he talked to you about that, about trying to fill that role a little bit as providing that kind of outside shooting?
CURTIS JONES: He talked to me before the summer end. It was about just working on my game, getting stronger, being a consistent shooter, being able to score and things like that. So yes.

Q. Al, I know your dad coached you in AAU, and I know he pushed you hard. How much easier do you feel that that's made the transition to the next level so far?
ALJAMI DURHAM: It made the transition very, very swell for me because my dad was like my hardest critic. If you can go from your father calling you every name in the book, I feel like it will be much easier going into a college process.

Q. Curtis, I think Coach Miller mentioned in the spring you were one of like a handful of guys who decided to stay in Bloomington after the spring semester and get some work in. What made you want to stay in town and work here, and what did you get out of it?
CURTIS JONES: I really just wanted to get the most out of summer. I wanted to come in and have a good impact this year on the team and help the team as much as I could. So I felt like staying, getting to know the coaches better, working out with some of my teammates was a good decision for me.

Q. Rob, you talked about these two guys a little bit, but what have you seen, maybe a change in Curtis from the guy you saw a year ago this time as a freshman? What's different about him, and what's improved?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think the biggest thing for him has been confidence overall. I can just tell you he has that bounce in his step back, the feeling of he has a big opportunity to really help us with everything we lost last year. So I would say confidence.

Q. Robert, I guess just -- I know you probably get asked this question all the time, but as a senior on this team with a lot of change right now, how do you kind of step up as a senior to help them set some expectations, some realistic expectations?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think that all goes back to just taking it one day at a time. I think the best way to go about that is to just make everyone realize that you don't get to your end goal in September or November. You have to work every day as far as practice, weight lifting, conditioning. You just try to get the most out of everything, and that's how you get to that point.

Q. Robert, talk a little bit about what the difference is that you've seen out of Coach Miller, from what Coach Crean was like.
ROBERT JOHNSON: I don't think it's like we've gotten into the strategy of coaching philosophies and things like that. But I think the energy he has when he comes around us, the fact that he played the game makes it easier, a little bit easier to relate to him. That's just a couple things that I've noticed.

Q. Rob, defensively, what have you noticed in terms of the intensity? How is this defense maybe different than in the past?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think, as far as defensively, I think we're going to have a philosophy that we build and we stick to no matter what. I think that's going to be a big part of our identity, and that's one thing that Coach Miller has made clear.

Q. Robert, this is for you. De'Ron Davis has obviously really sort of changed his physique. What have you seen from him in workouts that's impressed you the most?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think day to day he just comes with a different level of energy than he did in the past, and I think with his conditioning, staying over the summer and cutting 20 pounds, I think that has had an effect on how he's looked from day to day.

Q. (No microphone)?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Yeah, I think automatically, you'll be able to tell he looks quicker, faster. He gets off the ground faster than he did. I think he's developed more of a consistent outside touch from the 15-foot area. So those are a couple things.

Q. Rob, with the new coach coming in, does this put a greater emphasis on these next preseason practices leading up to your first game?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Yeah, I definitely think so because we get time in the summer and the preseason to work on basketball things, but not as much as you do with practice every day. So I definitely think guys are excited to get in the gym every day and basically build.

Q. Working with Clif Marshall, what's that like? And how do you think that's helped you guys improve your bodies?
CURTIS JONES: It's helped me a lot. Working with Coach Cliff, he helps me with my diet and not just -- making it a way of life. Trying to just, as I continue to play throughout my career, have a good diet and track my calories and things as I try to gain weight, and then in the weight room, just come in to attack every day, things like that.

ALJAMI DURHAM: Just to touch on what Curtis said, he's always helping me with my diet, making sure I get enough calories, making sure I'm making my gains. And he also always brings a positive energy to the weight room. So it's always a good time in there, and we're always ready to work.

ROBERT JOHNSON: Yeah, I think it definitely helps as far as the diet. He has a lot of insight on how you should go about maintaining weight, gaining weight, losing weight. He's big on prehab, as far as getting ready for workouts and things like that, making sure you stretch, get warmed up, things like that, different activities that we do. So I think he's going to be really good for us.

Q. Rob, one year left for you. I guess when it's all said and done, what do you want your IU legacy to look like?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I just want people to remember me as a guy who always tries to put his best foot forward and gave everything that I had. That's basically how I'm looking at every day of this year. I'm just trying to give everything I have to my teammates to help reach our goals.

Q. This is for all of you guys up there. What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming season?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Well, I know for me I'm looking forward to every moment because it's my last. Whatever we're going to be doing is going to be my last one. So I'm looking forward to every single thing.

CURTIS JONES: I'm just looking forward, as my second year, as going through it like I've already been through it once. So now I've got it under my belt and more comfortable. So it should be a fun year.

ALJAMI DURHAM: I'm more looking forward to just going out and giving it all for my teammates and making sure I give all for them and making sure I give it all for the seniors for their last year and just make sure I give all to Indiana.

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