home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


December 29, 2017

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Youngstown State - 51, Indiana - 79

COACH MILLER: We will take the win and finish off non-conference. I was much more pleased in the second half. I thought inserting Zach into the lineup in the second half after studying the plus-minus stuff at the break, it was clear that he was a big difference when he was in there.

The first four, five or six minutes of the second half, I thought that was really big having him in there. That got our defense-to-offense going with some easy baskets and extending the lead. And then from that point forward, I thought we played pretty comfortable. We continued to work the ball inside as much as we possibly could to play inside-out with our advantage.

I thought some guys stepped up and did some better things in the second half. It was a very disappointing first half but a much better second half.

Q. Do you see Zach’s role changing moving forward from bench to potential starter?
COACH MILLER: We’ll see. We will study that. As you get into Big Ten play, you are going to need you best guys that are playing the best out there. We will take inventory of what that is and make our decision going forward. But I like Zach in there right now.

Q. What makes Zach effective on the court?
COACH MILLER: He’s an everyday guy. What you see out there in the games is what you see in practice. It’s a little bit like what we talked about with Juwan a couple weeks ago, what you see Juwan doing in the games is what he is doing in practice. That’s why you have to put so much value on the workload that these guys go through in practice and what they are getting done to earn these minutes.

Zach is earning his minutes, not only in practice but he is doing exactly in practice what he does in the games. He’s giving maximum effort. He’s playing extremely hard. He is giving you a lot of hustle plays. A lot of winning plays.

For him, when you start to play that way, you are not worried about scoring or shooting or anything else, just doing your job. Then the next thing that happens is you start to make a couple shots and make some plays on offense. It has been good to see him grow up.

I know as we started the season, we tried to learn our team and figure out the best rotations. And I think as we have grown over the last five or six games, I think we have figured out that he needs to be a part of what we are doing.

Q. What’s the next step, in your mind, for Zach?
COACH MILLER: I think the next step for him is to try to be the best defender that he can possibly be. Adding rebounding. A bigger player in Big Ten play is going to be important on the perimeter. But I think low turnovers, do your job, make the hustle plays, when you are open – shoot it. Be simple.

I think if he keeps it simple, he’s going to continue to give us great maximum effort. If you can count on effort, that’s something a coach can count on and he’s earning trust with our staff right now.

Q. What did you want to see in this game, what did you see and what do you want to see moving forward in to Big Ten play?
COACH MILLER: We are not rebounding the ball at all right now. Even in the Tennessee Tech game. They had 17 offensive rebounds in this game tonight. That’s not going to cut it moving forward. You are not going to be able to survive against the teams in our league if you can’t rebound.

I think our defensive rebounding percentages that we are looking at right now, we have to be consumed with that.

I think the other thing is we have to be a better offensive team. Right now, we are not shooting the ball anywhere near what our capability is. Part of it is, I think we have four or five guys on our team that start the game with – ‘boy I hope I make one tonight’. When you have three or four guys thinking like that and the first one doesn’t go in, next thing you know, you have some guys out there really struggling.

That’s part of it right now, worrying about the wrong things. When you worry about the right things, like Zach for example, it’s amazing how the ball will go in. I think we have to get some guys out of the clouds, so to speak, out of the fog of why aren’t I shooting good or why haven’t I been doing this. Just worry about winning the game. Worry about playing the right way. Do your job and execute better. Then I think it will be a little bit easier for him.

I don’t think the quality of our shots are terrible. I just think we are not making the open ones. A lot of that is just mental right now.

Q. What is it that Zach does to make the team run so efficiently and what can you do to have that affect the younger players?
COACH MILLER: Well I think with this current team, I think we are a low energy team. We are not a hyped team. There are not a couple guys on this team that when the ball goes up, they are coming for you. Zach is moving in that direction. When he is in there, you know he is going full throttle. He is playing as hard as he can on defense. He is on the offensive glass. He’s doing the hustle plays on the floor. He will do whatever it takes. I think when you have guys out there that impact the game with their effort or their passion, it can really spearhead some guys.

COACH MILLER: We need to get some other guys on this team fired up and ready to go and playing like that. And right now I think we've got some guys that have deteriorated as the last month has gone by. If you look at some of our production from some guys, we've deteriorated in some areas.

And I think it's confidence. I think it's relying on offense rather than worrying about the commitment level to how hard you have to play and how much passion you have to play this game with. When you wear Indiana across the front of your jersey, I don't care who you're playing, you represent a lot more.

I think Zach embodies that and we need to get some other guys on this team fired up and worried about, well, why isn't this guy making a shot? He'll make a shot if he just dives in the other pool.

And that's a big part of it. We got to get De'Ron going right now. De'Ron, really, in my mind, isn't playing anywhere near where he was a month ago. Why is that? We've got to get him rolling again, get him back in practice competing. If he's going to finish in the game, he's got to finish in practice. And he can't be a guy that's not giving maximum effort all the time.

If you do, you cheat it, you're going to struggle; you can't cheat the process.

Q. What changed in the second half with turnovers, seems like there's a lot of games where the first half --
COACH MILLER: It's always like that sometimes, especially when -- we're in transition a lot off of missed shots. So you're coming down on your break. And usually when the ball's going away from you, you have to trust your players.

And I think a lot of times in the first half, when it's going away from us, we're not as smart, we're not as detailed, we're not as good. And some of the decision-making in the passing, not good.

Second half, I think, as it's coming to us, we have a little bit more control over those guys and are able to be a little bit more efficient with what we're running and how we're attacking them.

So only having, I think, five turnovers in the second half, much better. But 15 turnovers is too many tonight.

Q. Can we ask about Wisconsin -- Wisconsin and Minnesota, your thoughts on maybe having gotten the early window?
COACH MILLER: We got their early window. And those two games meant a lot, as you know, once you start up, where you're at you've got 1-1, a bunch of teams at 1-1, couple 2-0s, couple 0-2s. As you get ready to get geared up here, we're already a couple in.

And studying the league, I think our league is underrated. I don't think we had a great non-conference as a league, but I think we have two Final Four teams, potential Final Four teams in our conference in Michigan State and Purdue.

And I think those two teams clearly right now have established themselves at being at the top. And from there there's a lot of teams that have done some good things and a lot of teams that have been up and down.

But I think anyone in that pool is going to have an opportunity night in, night out to win. I don't think there's very much difference between a lot of teams. That's from Rutgers all the way to Michigan State, I think every game is going to be a tough out.

It's going to be a heck of a conference race. And I feel like as the conference season goes, there's going to be plenty of opportunities for resumé building wins. And I think our league will be fine.

Q. These two games, to next week go on the road, (inaudible) how difficult is it to actually win on the road?
COACH MILLER: It's the hardest league in the country to win on the road, without question. The home venues are packed.

And in my experience here, to win on the road in this league, is the hardest thing to do. And Wisconsin, it's the only thing you can really concentrate on now, and I know how hard it is to play there. And that's our focus right now is to find a way to be ready at that jump ball to compete and play as hard as we possibly can against them in that building, which we know is going to be very difficult.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297