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October 28, 2017

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 93, Marian - 62

ARCHIE MILLER: Well coached Marian team, excellent opportunity for us to evaluate ourselves playing against a team that was really disciplined in terms of running their offense. You know, one of the things when you get into your exhibition season is you hope it just doesn't become a transition game up and down where you don't get anything out of it. I thought our guys got a lot of work, having to be disciplined at the end of the clock.

I think you saw that in the beginning of the first half, just a couple breakdowns right at the end of the last four, five seconds where they made some threes. That's what we were really harping on at halftime is we had to apply a little more pressure to them. We had to make things a little bit harder for them, and challenging shots, and just making sure that we were grinding away a little bit because, when you play against that team, you have to earn it on every possession. To their credit, I thought we consistently played pretty hard.

Offensively, we're a work in progress. We're learning how to play with one another. There's new guys out there at all times learning a new system. And I think for the most part we were okay.

In the second half, our transition got going a little bit, and then we had some guys really start to step up and make some plays. Devonte, I know, is going to get a lot of the credit, but that's who he's been every day in practice. He does a little bit of everything for us. I think you're starting to see a guy, if he stays with it, he's going to be a very, very important player for us.

If you look down the line, we've got a lot of different types of contributions. Obviously, having two other, what I would consider, guys in the rotation out for today, hopefully, we can get those guys back as we move into next Sunday.

Good opportunity for our guys. They're going to learn a lot from the film.

Q. Does it seem like some of the shots they were making late in the shot clock in the first half, in the second half, those same shots weren't going down. How big is it for you to be able bring that fatigue to that team?
ARCHIE MILLER: It's huge. Our depth and our pressure, applying pressure on the ball, being able to just -- you know, you want to be a team that can wear another team down. You'll see first two or three minutes, guys get a couple good looks, and they go in, and you just have to stay with it. You have to keep preaching what you preach every day and get a little luck on a couple of long bounces.

But I thought some of the shots they made were tough. Second half, they didn't go down. Law of averages usually works out. If you have a team taking threes at the end of the clock almost every other possession down. We'll see. I'm anxious to watch the film because they did a really good job of spreading us out and kind of moving us around and running us around. It was a good test for us.

Q. There were a couple runs of turnovers, kind of two or three in a row, but it seems like guys really stopped them quick and didn't let them expand real fast. What were guys doing in real time to cut down the turnovers that were coming in little flurries?
ARCHIE MILLER: I thought we did a better job playing out of the post as the game wore on. We still had, I think, two turnovers maybe in and around the post area. We have to get the ball deeper. You don't want to play against a loaded defense out of the post where you're not getting good touches. The second half, we did a better job of getting it deeper in there.

De'Ron had a good assist coming out of the post to Curtis for three. He got a good post move there as well. Playing out of the post was good.

And the big thing is in transition. Being organized with your spacing and making good decisions. We didn't connect on one screen tonight. That's one thing that's obviously got to get corrected. We left -- if you had 40 screens in the game, we probably had 35 misses. That's going to be a big emphasis as we move into the next game. If you miss screens and you don't execute, the chances of you having a good possession aren't good.

We had 10 turnovers in the game, 17 assists. Obviously, very good. If you look at our guards, they kept it down. Justin, being in his first college game against somebody else, had four. You're going to hope a freshman obviously is going to learn the ropes a little bit. Even Clifton had one. So five of our ten came from two freshmen in their first game. They'll get better.

Q. What encouraged you about what you saw tonight, and what maybe concerned you a little bit?
ARCHIE MILLER: I think our guys were bought in. I think our guys are trying to do exactly what we're asking them to do. It's going to take time for them to get the chemistry they need. We know we're going to have to be a very, very hard playing team.

I think the thing that's concerning is how we're going to score. If you're not making threes, if you're not scoring in transition, how are you going to score in the half-court? That's going to be something we're going to have to work at all the time and we're going to have to continue to get better at it. But we're going to have to find a way to score in the half-court.

My hope is that we're a team that can shoot the ball, though. I think you got a glimpse tonight, there's multiple guys that can stretch the floor. And you had Al and Collin not in, who are both very good shooters. So I think being able to shoot the ball is going to be a big thing for us. But how we score in the half-court against really good teams who won't let you score in transition. How that's going to be is going to be the biggest concern.

Defensively, how many fouls can we absorb in the frontcourt? We basically played De'Ron and Freddie a little bit in what we call the five slot, but we may need a third guy. Who's that going to be? And being able to be bigger on the wing. I don't know if you can play three small guards against every opponent on our schedule. We may need to have Justin move over to the left a little bit as well.

There's a lot of things that are concerning right now. I think the big thing for our team is to take this film, ,our staff be able to teach them, and get better this week as we head to Sunday.

Q. Devonte had a team high of 22 points and 7 assists. What are your thoughts on how he's creating opportunities for himself but also creating opportunities for others?
ARCHIE MILLER: He had a really good overall game. Like I said, he's been doing that in practice. When Devonte is unselfish and he's making people better, his team always wins. When Devonte isn't making guys better and thinking score a lot, the team doesn't win as much.

I think you saw that in the second half. He made some really good easy reads, getting guys some easy baskets under the basket, pick-and-rolls, or chase dribble. He dropped a little curl pass on the play.

He's the guy that's the best on our team being able to skip in that paint and get out and do some things. He's going to be a big end of clock play-making guard for us as the season goes. That's where guys like Rob and Josh and those guys can benefit from him, they can get some shots.

Q. Archie, as you get through this, how comfortable are you in terms of -- how big of a rotation?
ARCHIE MILLER: That's a good question. You know, I think -- I've coached teams that played upwards of 11, and I coached teams that play 6. I think right now we're trying to figure out who's going to be able to play in the games when they really, really matter. I think right now we're developing that.

You hope that Collin, being a fifth year senior, is obviously going to get back in there. We're going to need a fifth guard, getting Al back in there as well.

No doubt about it. We're going to have to find the rotation. I think part of it is learning on the run. Who's playing well in the game? Who's doing some good things? Keep them in there. Keep their window open where they can earn the right to get more trust out there. We're definitely flying right now trying to figure some of that stuff out.

Like I said, this is another huge week for us to get to Sunday and play another team. How much better can we get? How much more clear can we get on the rotation? But I think we're going to be on the feel. In my opinion, I'll be on the feel side of who's doing what in the game, and we'll kind of adjust to that.

Q. Coach, experiencing your first game at Assembly Hall, any pregame nerves or pregame jitters?
ARCHIE MILLER: I'm not worried about that. I'm concerned about the game. I'm concerned about the team. I think getting out there for the first time, once the jump ball goes up, you just become yourself. You don't really care where you're at anymore.

But, yeah, getting your pregame routine, understanding how it works here is a little different. You've been somewhere for six years and had your routine down and knew exactly what you were doing. It's a little different. I've got to figure it out. But once the ball gets tipped, that's where I kind of just know what to do, I guess, when that happens.

Q. Archie, what's impressed you about the freshmen so far? Not just tonight but --
ARCHIE MILLER: Very coachable. Very coachable, very patient. Learners. None of them -- they may get down on themselves a little bit, but they're not emotionally where you're dealing with young guys that are really shook confidence-wise. These guys have been very coachable. They're trying their best to learn what we're trying to get them to do.

If you have a player that's willing to learn and willing to go through it the hard way, then they're going to experience at some point in time some good moments. When? That's all up to when they can find a way to become a college basketball player.

Right now, some of these guys ran out there the first time and probably didn't even feel like basketball, to be honest with you. They're not comfortable yet. They're a great group. They learn. They're in the gym as much as anybody when practice is over. And I think that they're going to get better just because of their willingness to be coached and willingness to learn. There's no fight in them.

Q. Seemed like a lot of the open looks they got in the first half off the pick-and-roll. How would you assess the way you guys played the pick-and-roll defensively? Specifically the bigs.
ARCHIE MILLER: I didn't think our ball screen defense was terrible tonight. You really don't know until you watch it on film, what we're going to get. But I think the big thing with us and ball screen defense is I thought our guards got beat. I thought our guards got beat. We typically don't want to, obviously, get rejected or give up baseline drives as the ball screen is occurring because we don't have our help set up that way.

I thought probably four or five times we gave up threes in the first half because the man guarding the ball got beat in a straight line. You get beat in a straight line, you converge, and next thing you know the ball is kicking around. I think they got probably three or four threes off just getting beat off the bounce before the ball screen ever got there.

I didn't think our ball screen defense was terrible. I thought guys looked the part of what we're trying to do. I think we just have to be more connected. We'll get better as we go. We're going to deal with more sophisticated offenses and ball screens, obviously, coming down the line. But I like where we're at there.

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