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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 10, 2017
Indiana State - 90, Indiana - 69
COACH MILLER: First, give tremendous credit to Indiana State. Knew coming into the game how difficult it was going to be. And I understood that they had a lot of pieces in there that were going to give us some trouble.
Incredible shooting performance. So hats off to those guys. They came in and did the job. No excuses.
From our standpoint, obviously it's really disappointed for our fans. I'm really disappointed for all the positive things that happened around here for such a long time and it obviously wasn't the effort level that we're accustomed to, and it wasn't the start that we had hoped for.
But it's reality. And I think that's a great thing about it is you have to address with good and bad the things that you have to get better at. And that starts for us immediately. And we have a quick turnaround for Howard. So up off the mat, clean some things up in terms of film, go back to work and have another opportunity on Sunday.
Q. Where did you feel the breakdowns were on the 3-point shooting? They made some difficult ones, but they also had some uncontested looks it seemed.
COACH MILLER: Without really seeing it right now, I mean, I think at the end of the day there were breakdowns in some of the things we do every day. There were some communication breakdowns which hurts you. We had some lack of awareness on some things. And I think once a team starts to make a few, that's when it can get challenging to kind of get them under control.
And after a while it just became a lack of pressure, a lack of detail. And it became almost shellshocked to the point where you almost thought every one of them was going to go in.
Like I told the guys, they're not going to miss. You have to make them miss. And part of it is, I think, with our team right now it starts and stops with the ability to guard the ball. And I think they had a great job getting the ball inside to their bigs.
It was in too easy and they collapsed us a few times. And anytime you can work inside/out, you get good looks they're going to go in.
But I'll tell you this much: Barnes and Scott, those guys are really good players. Those two guys can really play. And they did exactly to us what they have been doing. And not surprising.
Some of their other guys I thought they got cooking because those two guys got cooking. They gave everybody confidence in this game.
So I haven't seen 17 3s go in at that rate in a long time. That was an impressive performance.
Q. You talked about the effort level.
COACH MILLER: We're soft.
Q. How frustrating is that?
COACH MILLER: We're soft on that. We're just a soft team. You don't have to sugarcoat it at all. If things aren't going well right now and you're playing in an exhibition game and you're better than that team, you can cover up those mistakes. You can seal them up and get a little bit of fool's gold.
But I think at the end of the day the fight, the ability to resurge, the ability to grind and get back into it, regardless of what things are going on, you're always going to be in the game, that's not there.
That's going to take time. It's going to take time. We have to go through these battles like we did tonight and we've got to get better from it and find a way to have some good possessions on both ends.
But I just think in general, our resolve, the toughness -- you know, you're not going to give up 90 points at home in your home opener if you're playing hard as hell. You're just not. And that's where we're at.
Q. Can it be evaluated maybe having faults exposed so early in the season, in short this is who we are?
COACH MILLER: Reality. We can't make any excuses. We played a pretty good team. And they exposed us in a lot of areas. We're going to play a lot more pretty good teams. So if the evidence of doing it the wrong way or the right way isn't absorbed, the results will stay the same.
And whether you won this game -- obviously we would have been really happy to win by one point. You lose by 30 or one, been really disappointed either way.
But the fight, the toughness, I think you're seeing a team that's having to learn how to play a new way. And they don't know how to win yet doing it this way. In particular, some guys out there playing a lot different roles than they've had before.
But I make no excuses. Indiana State was ready and Indiana wasn't.
Q. You said up through the season that it was going to be a tough battle and a lot of changes for them. But could you have -- Indiana State was a good team -- but could you have foreseen it this bad as it was tonight?
COACH MILLER: No. I think -- I've been in a lot of games where I think -- I know the feel, it's going to be a hard-fought game, it's going to be a tough game. But with the way we're practicing in the group and how we've been operating, for whatever reason we're not getting great turn -- like great translation going from the practice floor to the court here of late.
And I have to look at our start. I think the start of the game really crushed us tonight. I mean it really did. If you look at the offensive possessions in that first four to six minutes, eight minutes and you then you look at the defensive collapses, that thing got away from us way too quick.
And that's when we don't have the ability right now to figure out how to fix it. And we have guys playing at a much higher level too. Right now we had De'Ron and I thought Juwan got things done for us a little bit, but we've got to get some guys playing at a consistent level.
When we do that we'll be better. We'll get better. That's the one thing, I think I have confidence of, we'll get better.
And the guys on the team understand right now it doesn't feel good. But the only way you can get rid of that is to find a way to get the next one.
Q. Your starting guards combined for 18 points tonight. What did you see that maybe prevented them from executing offensively? And what will it take to, I guess, improve on that?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, it's a good question. It's a good question. We're not getting off to a great start offensively, like I said. And it obviously starts with being organized and it starts with me. I have to do a better job. I just have to get these guys more confident in what they're doing because I think what you see on offense early in the game tonight, maybe even if you're paying attention to the Indianapolis game, in half court, when we're not in transition and not able to get the defense to offense, we've struggled.
We struggled pretty much -- and we learn how to play a new way of playing, but it's an unsure team of when to pass, unsure team when to shoot and it's an unsure team of how to dribble.
And when you have that, you are going to have wasted possessions. And combine that with some inexcusable not running underneath the out-of-bounds play properly and getting the turnover.
And we're just a hodgepodge. And I have got to do a better job of emphasizing and teaching. That's what it will come down to: How good can we teach these guys? They're only going to get better if we teach them.
That's what we have to spend our time with right now. And I think everybody knows that we're a new group, some guys out there that are learning new roles. I'm confident we'll get better.
I feel like they want to do the right things. And if that's the case, they stay coachable, they keep working, they'll get better. And we'll be okay. We'll keep grinding away.
But this is obviously -- this is a start, one way you can take every negative and make it a positive, but it's a reality check.
Q. When you say you're a soft team, does that mean guys just not being the aggressor, or does that mean not playing through fatigue? Or what does it mean?
COACH MILLER: I think at the end of the day it's one of those deals, there's a soft team -- I sort of mean not physically soft, no incapable. I think it's more of a resolve, mental toughness that we have to go harder. We have to play stronger.
We've got to get the job done. The encouragement on when you're down six or eight or 12, it isn't there. They kind of look around, why is it happening like this. I think that's the name of the game. We have to find a way to become much more mentally tough. We have to have a much more resolve about us that we're willing to keep grinding away and keep working towards getting that lead down.
And I knew halftime obviously in trouble, first four minutes of the second half, when you're at home and at halftime, you address some things and you come out and you give up four straight scores, that's not good enough.
I've been in a lot of games where you don't play particularly well in the first half, but those guys come out the second half and they're ready, their guns are blazing, get back in it. They take a 21 whatever lead, go 8 to 2 or 10 to 4 or 12 zip and you cut it right back down to a working margin.
We do not come out of the gates mentally tough. And that's tough. You've got to find a way to win hard games. You've got to go through some of these moments right here with guys.
And they'll remember this game for a long time, some of our younger players. And hopefully it will set the tone of how you gotta do things moving forward and be better at it.
But disappointed. I'm disappointed for our fans. I'm disappointed for the players. We're better than we are tonight.
Q. How do you as a coach deal with this with the players; is this a situation where you ream them or you let it speak for itself?
COACH MILLER: Tell the truth. Make no excuses, and move on. One thing you can do with a team like this, a loss like this, you address it and you move on because one thing is there's no point of dwelling on it because guys, they're not going to get better from just getting drilled.
I think everybody knows tonight wasn't a very good night for our basketball program. But you take every negative, negative/positive. We've got to find a way to get extreme amount of evidence to these guys and tell them the truth, move on, keep working to get better, find a way on Sunday.
Q. Can you update Collin's situation?
COACH MILLER: Timetable undetermined. Feel bad for Collin. He's worked really hard. He's been able to string together a lot of practices. And he's shown the signs he's going to play an important role.
Big step last week, playing 15 minutes, practiced all week. And unfortunately for him, the day before the game, he tweaks his groin. We'll deal with it. It's day to day. I expect him to be out a long period of time in terms of he won't be back tomorrow.
It's going to be an issue, we're going to deal day to day, couple of weeks. I don't know. But I feel bad for him. He's worked hard. Hopefully he catches a break here soon.
Q. You said you've got to look at the start. Does that mean changing the lineup?
COACH MILLER: I think it starts there. I think it starts with how we are starting the game and what's happening at the start of the game, what happens at the second half, the start of the second half, how can we look at that, make that a positive for us. Or maybe that's not the problem. I don't know. But it starts with how are we starting, what is our approach to start the basketball game.
Q. When you say it starts there. How? How about who?
COACH MILLER: I think looking at both, starts with who is in the game at the start, and then it goes into what are the problems and why are those problems we're having with that group. Maybe it isn't a problem. I don't necessarily know. But we're clearly not ready to go at the very beginning.
Q. You don't strike me as a big dreamer, but you had to be thinking about this game for a while. Is this a nightmare start?
COACH MILLER: I've been thinking about this game since we actually took it on. I think Indiana State is a terrific program. I think Coach Lansing does a good job. And I think anytime you put together these type of matchups here, you better be ready. You better be ready because you know exactly what you're getting on that other end.
And I knew that was going to be part of tonight. And they were a ready team. And I'm not looking at this and concerned about the future of the program. But it's reality. We're here. And I think anyone who is smart is going to look at our schedule, say these guys got their work cut out for them and let's see what they can do.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports