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November 30, 2017

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Duke - 91, Indiana - 81

COACH MILLER: Well, number one, I want to thank our fans. Assembly Hall was all it's cracked up to be tonight, and hopefully we can provide them with a win in that type of environment. They deserve that for an absolute incredible night.

Give Duke credit. They're No. 1 in the country for a reason. They've been in some hostile games here in the last two weeks and they've been able to come through. And they have terrific players and obviously well-coached.

For us, I thought we really competed. I thought we really battled. And it was tough for us at times in and around the basket just due to the lack of size and depth. But at the same time I thought we did some really good things as well, especially in transition, and some offense where we were able to really be right there with them step for step.

Free-throw line is disappointing. As a team, you have to be better than that to win games like that. And also I think shooting the ball from the perimeter, although it was not our night, we need to make a couple of those open ones and at the end of the day find a way to win that game. But proud of the guys. We're on to Michigan.

Q. Just having a game like this where they can go through and actually feel it, does it give you guys maybe a new standard to kind of aspire to moving forward?
COACH MILLER: Like you don't want to give anybody anything. I don't care who you play; if you play Duke or if you play Arkansas State. I think that's the next step for this team is to bring what we brought tonight and be better at it and be ready to do that against Michigan on Saturday.

That's what it's about right now. Like I told them, each and every night, man, we're going to play against a really good team, and it's not going to go away.

We have to keep getting better. We have to keep improving. We have to learn from tonight and be better for it from the next one. Staff has to be better. I have to be better.

And I think if we just keep concentrating on teaching and getting better and learning, we'll be fine. But the intensity level, the physicality that was in there tonight, that's what it's going to be like every night. And it should give us some confidence that if we can compete like this for 36 or 35 minutes, you know, let's put it together for 40 and execute a little better, make a couple of free throws and see if we can't win by one.

Q. People talk so much about their length and their size and Carter and Bagley but you were only minus-2 in points in the paint. And it felt like you were creating a lot of good looks. What in particular was maybe making that work at the offensive end around the rim? And how important was De'Ron in particular in that second half?
COACH MILLER: De'Ron plays three minutes in the first half. So we didn't have that ability to post it. But I think offensively in the first half, especially playing through Collin, he's really almost like a quarterback out; he really knows what he's doing. So we're able to get some really good possessions in the first half as well with our spacing. And I thought we capitalized.

Second half, clearly having De'Ron as a presence in the second half was a real benefit. They played a couple of different styles on their ball screens where they're switching. They played a couple of different styles of defenses in terms of sometimes they were chin on shoulder.

They made it harder. That's what they've done really in all their comeback wins. If you watched them play, they turn it up another level, their talent, their size, their athleticism can really get in to you.

So being able to play through De'Ron in the second half one-on-one in the post, he's tough to deal with, with that type of spacing, and he delivered for us. He really played well.

He has got to continue to work at the foul line, because I think he's a much better shooter than that. But, yes, he definitely gave us a different look there in the second half.

Q. No field goals in the last five and a half minutes. What was different at that part of the game?
COACH MILLER: Like I said, I think they turned it up. They made things very hard. Some switches, keeping our guards in front of them.

And then when we did get fouled, went 0-for-2, 0-for-2, like a turnover. If you get fouled, go make two free throws, it's a different story. Get fouled again and make two free throws, it's a different story. The free-throw line killed us as much as anything. So when you say no field goals in five minutes, we got fouled.

You've got to be able to knock those in. And that's the name of the game. I thought we got a little stagnant. And I thought they made us play one-on-one a little bit too much, but that's what they're able to do with their length and size. They switch. They deny. They don't give you the normal catches there late in the game and weren't able to convert.

Q. When De'Ron was on the bench for most of the first half, how important was the play of Juwan, Freddie and Collin keeping you guys in the game?
COACH MILLER: They did a really good job. I think Collin, in particular, you're starting to see him to get back to form and how important he can be for this team.

Juwan and Freddie have been doing it together here for four or five games, giving us good effort. And I thought just for the most part those guys are fine right now. They're confident.

Q. They went up by double figures early in that second half. You were able to come back, take a lead. What allowed you to make that run?
COACH MILLER: First of all, them to start the second half, they really bullied us one-on-one. And we had three or four plays. I think a couple of conventional and-ones on 7-foot jumpers or whatever.

They were going one-on-one went right at us. And we weren't ready to absorb the punch. I thought once we got calmed down, we came right back, dug ourselves slowly but surely out of it, with a some good possessions couple on offense. And we were able to at that point in time sort of be right there, nip and tuck.

But definitely the start of the second half was disappointing out of the gates. We knew they were going to come out and go right at us. We weren't able, especially on the perimeter, able to get like a challenged two-point shot to miss. We fouled them and they made it.

Q. You talked about just how important Collin was in the first half. But you've mentioned since he's kind of been back how important he is in doing a lot of different little things. How critical was he in both halves tonight, maybe just cleaning up a lot of details for you?
COACH MILLER: We haven't had him, so he hasn't played. But literally I think today he played 16 minutes and he practiced for the first time back to back leading into this game all season.

He's a big, big part of what we're doing because of who he is as a teammate, his leadership, his experience level; he's fearless. I think once you started to see him get in there, more and more you'll see our team get a little bit better and look a little bit better.

But that's not to say that guys like Justin and Al and Clifton and Curtis Jones and Zach McRoberts, all those guys aren't going to help us win, they've got to keep developing as well.

But, definitely, Collin, you can see he's a big-game player. You can see right now, just in terms of him being back engaged because he's with the guys, it's a whole different locker room with him.

Q. Just in general, because I think a lot of people in here are impressed with how the team played. What are you impressed in general with just how the team played against Duke tonight?
COACH MILLER: I thought in general our guys were ready to play. They weren't scared or afraid of the moment. And I think you saw throwing punches, they got knocked down a few times. They came back. And just learning how to win, learning how to win that type of game. It's just so important to your program as you keep going, finding ways to win those type of games. Because if you do, it spearheads the belief in sort of what you're doing. But make no mistake, it's about winning the game.

Q. It's about winning, I get it. At the same time, at the end of every game you play you want to see proof that we're going in the right direction; we have something here. Tonight, how much proof did you see compared to other games?
COACH MILLER: I would say as competitive an environment we have been in, and we were ready to compete, that's a positive.

From an execution standpoint, I think for the most part we took care of the ball and we played with poise. Clearly we were in a big-time disadvantage inside. Thought we did some good things to maybe try to help us, but I think everybody is going to deal with that kind of problem when you play Duke.

What we weren't able to do tonight was the simple ABC things, which is knock two free throws down, hit the open shot, and get that one stop where there's a loose ball or a loose ball rebound that helps you get the next play.

Winning plays in the last four minutes, if you look at Duke and you just look at the winning plays that they made at the end of the game with either a challenge shot stop, a blocked shot that led to something with -- Grayson Allen hits a heck of a step-back, well, yeah, those are winning plays.

You have to find a way to step up as individuals, and as a team you have to expect to make them.

But I will say this: If we continue to grow up and continue to keep getting better, tonight should be the norm in Assembly Hall. And if it's not, then it's on me.

But we're getting ready to go to Michigan. And I think the point being is Michigan, it's got to be the same approach here tonight. We're going to deal with a hostile environment against a good team, and we've got to be ready to battle.

And I've been on it a long -- not as long as obviously some coaches, but if you get 81 points at home, you've got a win. Period.

You get 81 points in your building, you've got a win. And that's where that ability to get stops and hold a team off in your home court and win the game with defense as well, not that it's just offensive plays, but 81 points at home should be good enough in Assembly Hall tonight with that crowd.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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