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December 4, 2017

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 77, Iowa - 64

COACH MILLER: Well, good win for our team. Two games in three days in the Big Ten, as everybody had to do it, is an adjustment. And not a lot of time to really prepare for obviously well-coached teams. I thought our team did a great job of bouncing back tonight. Had a number of different guys step up and make a lot of winning plays.

And was really pleased, for the most parte, other than the lack of responsibility coming out of halftime. That can't happen against the teams that we're playing. That just can't happen, especially at home. But it was nice to see our resolve. We ended up digging ourselves back out of that hole and were able to finish the game off and for the most part pleased with today's win.

Q. You mentioned the resolve there in the second half. How much of that is just kind of learning how to fix things on the fly. Is this team getting better at that?
COACH MILLER: What was the question?

Q. With the resolve in the second half, how much better is this team maybe getting at fixing things on the fly, being able to work in the moment?
COACH MILLER: Collin is a big part of that. Collin is a leader. He's a fifth-year guy and anytime that your seniors are out there playing well and talking and communicating, good things can happen.

That lineup with him and Juwan was really a big key in the first half. And I thought it was a really big key in the second half of regrouping us.

And I give him a lot of credit in terms of his spunk, his attitude, what not. And I thought, again though, we had a lot of different guys make some plays. I thought Devonte had a really good first half. And I thought Juwan continues to be very consistent with his workman-like approach. To be able to get a double-double here tonight was not easy, but made some really winning, tough plays when we needed him to start that -- after that first four minutes didn't go well, he came around for us.

Q. The moment you got here you've been talking up De'Ron Davis and setting the bar high for him. Where is he (indiscernible)?
COACH MILLER: He's learning to have to be able to do it every night. It's difficult especially when he has some success, I think, against Duke and all of a sudden he has a game not so good against Michigan. We needed him to come back tonight.

I thought he did some good things in the second half when he was able to finish, but just a little bit inconsistent around the basket in terms of finishing. He has such great touch. I'm not sure why he's having that inability. He was 5-for-11 from the floor, didn't shoot past 1 foot. So he's missing some bunnies. And the foul line continues to plague him a little bit.

But all in all, 18 minutes, 13 points, six rebounds in 18 minutes, I think everybody would probably take that. You're always searching for the perfect game. But he's going be a guy that we need. Especially as we move into the next couple of weeks and into Big Ten play, he's got to be able to deliver for us not only at home but on the road as well.

Q. Does he have it in him to finish at the rim, flushing it in traffic?
COACH MILLER: He's not a great above-the-rim guy. He's playing a lot of minutes, so fatigue plays a bit of a role. But for whatever reasons, he's missing some easy bunnies, which he wasn't missing early.

That will come back around. I think that works itself out. We gotta try to get those guys as best we can around the basket, try to finish it home, dunk the ball, don't leave any doubt.

But I think he was shooting close to 70 percent up until maybe the last couple of games. He's done a good job when he's got it down there.

Q. It's 53-50, you guys go on an 18-0 run. Talk about the things you're able to do there.
COACH MILLER: We're able to regroup defensively. I think we were able to regroup defensively. And our defense to offense was pretty good in this game. I think you saw a much faster playing team than we were on Saturday.

And I think the skill level that was out there with Juwan and Collin really spaces the floor. So we were able to get some really good unselfish plays, unselfish passing, and that team got going in transition, and we were able to hold it off.

But it's 41-26 at the half, I believe, and then it was 43-42 right away. That's the thing that bothers you a little bit. But to be able to regroup and come right back and have a good burst about us was good to see.

Q. Juwan, that's two double-doubles in the last six games, I think over the last six or seven, almost 17 (phonetic). Is he just more confident, more assertive?
COACH MILLER: He's very confident. But he's sticking to the script. He's not trying to do anything that he doesn't do every day in practice. If you watch him in practice, it's very workman-like. And what you're seeing in the game is a guy who is duplicating sort of what he does every day, which is a great trait to have.

And he probably hasn't shot the ball from the 3-ball as well as he can. I think he's getting some good looks. Hopefully as the season goes along he's able to stretch us out a little bit. But he's definitely workman-like defensively. Offensively he's doing a lot of good things for us and he's giving us a presence in the rim. Rebounding the ball, he's got four second shots. He gets 10 more rebounds here.

So he's doing really well. And I think he's having a chance here as he heads to January to be one of the more consistent guys in our league, hopefully.

Q. To follow up about Juwan, you talked about him as a guy that you really felt could thrive with the way you wanted to play, even going back to the spring and summer. Is this kind of player at least at a basic level you had in mind of what he could bring?
COACH MILLER: Yes, without question. He's rebounding the ball better than I ever anticipated. That's a pleasant surprise.

He's embraced the rebounding, the effort plays. He's getting to the foul line with a decent average. And I think the inside/out game that he's able to play with De'Ron is good. But he's also able to play with Collin. So you have two guys out there that can move around a little bit.

You can see they're kind of free flowing when those two guys are out there; they know how to play with one another. Definitely, Juwan, we're asking him to do a lot of different things, but he's definitely a guy I think with the way we play can be successful.

Q. Now that you've done it, how do you like playing Big Ten games in early December, and how strange will it be not to play another league game until January?
COACH MILLER: I think that it's inevitably going to be the staple of our league from this point forward. I think you'll see multiple weeks of December Big Ten games. That way they can really space the inventory out in January and February where your coaches and your players have a routine and a rhythm.

But early in December you could see a couple of these, maybe four games happening. And I think it's great.

Playing a Big Ten game here early, you get tested. You're on the road and you're at home. It's kind of one of those deals where you've got to have that bounce-back mentality. It's tough to do. But I like it.

I think it's going to be great for our league as we continue to push forward with 20 games. But make no doubt, two games in three days, one on the road and one at home, is difficult for your players.

The recovery and prep is very hard. Everyone has to do it, so I guess it's even in that regard, which is good. But I think it's something that will be good for our league down the road; we'll get used to it. No problem playing a conference game right now.

Q. There in the first half you guys were kind of sluggish there early. Devonte kind of got you going. How pleased were you with the minutes you guys had off the bench?
COACH MILLER: He was very good tonight. Devonte had one of his most consistent games, especially in the first half. I thought he made some really tough plays for us defensively.

He was pretty good off the ball. Got a couple of good loose ball steals, a couple of deflections which got us going. It was very, very good to see with Devonte.

Devonte is going to be a guy that he just kind of hangs in there, keeps going, keeps concentrating. I think he's a guy that can show he's a lot more than what he has than the last five or six games. Maybe regain a little bit that he had early in October when he was starting the season. But pleased with Devonte. I thought he helped us win the game in a big way tonight.

Q. Looked like it was Juwan that actually called the timeout at the end of that run. You probably (inaudible) how much has he stepped up as a leader so far this season?
COACH MILLER: Quietly. Juwan is a guy that's, like I said, he's brought his lunch pail almost every day that he's been here. Not many days he hasn't shown up and given great effort.

I think he's a guy on our team everyone's looking at to get the job done on every given night. And if you look at sort of how he's playing, I think he's become a key figure in terms of our stability.

We need him on the floor. He gives us a presence offensively and he gives us a presence defensively. He can guard multiple positions, and he's rebounding the ball well. So I also think he's very comfortable. He understands exactly what we're asking him to do, and he's prepared to do it.

Q. You talked a moment ago about scheduling, have to go back to non-conference games. Louisville up next. Early impressions about that matchup?
COACH MILLER: I haven't seen them as much. I know they're very big and very talented. Going to Louisville will be a difficult challenge.

Their defense and their size is something that clearly is a concern for us. I think offensively being able to play on the road and not turn it over is a huge deal.

But, like I said, we basically had two clunkers on the road. We're 0-for-2 right now on the road and we haven't played well in either game, really. I think the goal is to regroup.

We finally have some chance here for a week where we can practice a little bit and get better at some of the things we're struggling at, which is good, and then heading to Louisville and trying to play as hard as we possibly can against a really good team.

Q. 10 turnovers tonight, seems like overall the turnover percentage from the team perspective is trending downward.
COACH MILLER: Trending downward, yeah. First half turnovers, I think we had seven in the first half. And some of them were just catching the ball under the basket, some sloppiness in terms of catching.

But I think we're taking care of the ball, specifically in the second half I thought we took care of it much better. And we want to be a team that plays no more than 10, 11 turnovers a game.

I think if we're at that range, if we're not turning it over, you know, to our guys' credit, we're scoring some points. But we can't squander seven possessions in the first half.

But it's trending downward for sure. I think a lot of it is just decision-making, and we're not trying to hit the home run as much as we used to with the one-hand bounce pass or the one-hand baseball pass. I think we're starting to eliminate some of those.

Q. There was a period in the first half where Devonte was checking Jack Nunge defensively, 6'11". How crucial was it for you to have Freddie and (indiscernible) some of the bigs to come along and help you potentially?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, it's difficult, because Nunge in their system is playing more of a perimeter role. So they have two true front court players on the floor and they move him out there. It's the gift of size you're dealing with. But that's the hands we were dealt.

So we'll try to guard those -- you're going to see Louisville, the size of Louisville on the perimeter is about as good as it's going to get.

We're a little undersized. I think Zach helps us. If you put Zach out there for 12 to 15 minutes, he's a bigger body. He really plays hard. I think those are really key minutes that Zach's able to give us.

I think eventually maybe some point in time making Justin a true wing guy that he is, but playing some of those guys could be important. It's a concern for our team as we keep playing bigger teams that if we're not able to defend or rebound, there's got to be a counter to that. And I think right now the counter has been Zach. And I think Zach has done a nice job. When we've given him the opportunity he's helped us with.

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