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January 27, 2018

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

THE MODERATOR: Coach, you want to open up and talk a little bit about Purdue, and then we'll open up for questions?

COACH MILLER: Yeah. Obviously Purdue on Sunday afternoon should be an amazing environment for our guys to compete in. With great respect obviously and watching Purdue how good they are, how many things they have going well for them right now, and just a veteran team who clearly has a lot of opportunities in front of them to do some special things as a team.

So heck of a challenge for us. Again, going to be a great environment to be in.

Q. How dangerous is their shooting?
COACH MILLER: They're shooting at an unprecedented level right now. I mean, in college basketball, to have the numbers that they have against the schedule they've played from behind the line from as many guys as they have, is incredible.

I don't see it slowing down a whole a lot. It's not like they're taking bad shots. They're running efficient offense, they're getting great looks, and they play right off the post with the big fella. When you look at some of the numbers they have from different guys, it's just staggering.

They're playing as well as anybody in the country. If they continue to shoot the ball like this, they're going to be hard to beat.

Q. How much do you challenge senior guards in particular in a game like this, knowing the matchup problems they can give you?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, it's a big challenge, but I think one of the thing is you have to bring some energy and some toughness on the ball, something that went missing in the second after at Illinois.

I thought we did a really nice job at the beginning of the game, especially in the first half defensively at Illinois, but we took our guard down. We got fatigued. We just didn't play.

If you do that against these guys, I mean, they just move the ball so well they'll be able to pick you apart. So it's something that clearly has been something we've talked about: the energy level, the toughness level, the on-ball pressure, some of the things we're going to have to be there for 40 minutes to have a chance.

Q. It's an old cliche, but people say that it's a pick-your-poison kind of thing.
COACH MILLER: Yeah, a little bit, a little bit. I think one of the things is it starts in the post with them with Haas. I think anyone who plays them, in the 22 minutes that he plays, you are you're getting a dose.

As you try to figure out how want to do that, you clearly have four other guys on the floor at a given time that can make two, three, four 3s a game.

When you have that kind of inside out presence with that type of shooting, it is pick your poison. You're going to have to figure out how to do it.

For us, and I don't think there are any secrets, I think the size differential, I think the power ball that they're going to be able to play is something they're going to go to. However we want to play off that is clearly going to be something that you're going to have to deal with all game long.

But for us, it's not about that. For us it's about how hard are we willing to play, how many guys do we have willing to compete through the 40 minutes and find a way to claw around and get yourself in a situation where you have a chance to be successful.

As much as you want to talk about those guys' shooting, as much as you want to talk about their size, the other thing is how tough it is to score. They have a great defensive scheme. They're Purdue. They play tough-minded basketball. You have both ends of the floor you're worried about.

Q. Given the way the other game played out at Illinois with the free-throw shooting, notice guys getting in the gym more than they have been recently?
COACH MILLER: We talked about that. Guys got to do their part on their own, but we'll do some more things as a team during our practices and what not.

It's a confidence thing. It's that first guy who steps up to the line going 0 for 2 or making 2. Gives the next guy at the line a chance to come up there with some confidence to make his 2 or whatever. And it snowballs. If you get three of four guys, one or two guys go to the line, miss the first couple, you know, the next opportunity you miss a couple, it's a worrying thing. I'm going to the line missing.

We can't be like that. We've got to get away from that. We'll work on it and ask continue to do our thing here. Hopefully that's an improvement as we come down the back stretch.

Q. You I think scrimmaged against Purdue when you were at Dayton.
COACH MILLER: Yeah, we did.

Q. Okay. What are one of the big things you take away from that? What is Matt Painter's philosophy and things he emphasizes that when you play against him you had to...
COACH MILLER: I mean, you know they're going to be tough minded. You know how hard they're going to play. You know how physical they want to be defensively.

I think offensively they want to run offense that's traditional based: movement, passing, cutting, screening. They are back to the basics. They're a team right now, that if I look back two or three years ago whenever we scrimmaged them, some of those guys were sophomores; now they're seniors.

You're dealing with a very, very veteran, experiences team who knows exactly what they're doing. Nobody steps out of bounds in terms of their roles, their roles, rules, how they play. They've got a deal where they've got a group that's really committed on both ends that's really connected.

To me, they're the best team in college basketball right now. If you look at how they can finish and their aspirations, everything is very accomplishable. They have a very veteran group, a chiseled group, they have chemistry. They understand what Purdue means on the front of their jersey, and I think they represent it well.

Q. Do you have a sense of the rivalry being here a few months now?
COACH MILLER: You know, I understand rivalries. Rivalries are what's great about college basketball. When it comes to Purdue/Indiana it's a little bit new, but at the same time, I know how important it is to our fans, our former players, and everybody around. There is a job to do when you play against Purdue. It means more.

With that being said, we have to get our guys ready to go. We have to be ready to compete. That's the big thing. I think when you're in an interstate rivalry, Purdue/Indiana, I was in North Carolina State, and I've been a part of Tobacco Road. You don't need to tell me or ask me what it means to be. I know what rivalries mean. I know what the opportunities when you play each other can do for you on the good and the bad. It's big.

Q. How tough are they in transition? They could almost shoot on the run. How tough are they to get corralled?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, I mean, defense to offense is good. You have that type of shooting ability. You put Vince Edwards in there pushing the ball; you have unique combinations of guys bringing it up. Most importantly, Carsen Edwards, Mathias, those guys are flamethrowers so to speak when they can't something.

They're not looking around; they're trying to get it. You watch their Iowa game, the way they shot the ball from three. Just an unprecedented clip have shot-making.

So definitely transition defense, those things all got to be in check.

Q. You mentioned former players. What are your thoughts on having Victor Oladipo coming back?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, that's great. What an unbelievable story he's been for not only our program himself and the Pacers this year, but he's really put himself on a different level as a player in the NBA.

Really happy to see that. Victor has been very supportive of us since we got the job. To have him back will be incredible feeling for our fans, an incredible feeling for our players and our staff to have him back. He's a great guy. Just excited to see him continued to his thing.

Q. The last couple days after the short turnaround you had for Illinois, how much of a balance did you have between needing to let them recover from playing two out of three and needing...
COACH MILLER: We're a three out of six, two out of three, and travel is tough mentally and physically. I thought we did the best we could in terms of recovery. I think we'll continue to keep that in mind as we play this one on Sunday, because we're back on the road at Ohio State on Tuesday.

Not only is it a tough, tough grind Friday, Monday, Wednesday, Sunday, Tuesday, you know, that's five games in I don't know how many days.

It's definitely something you have to be cautious about with your players. The physical and the mental recovery is something you're always balancing. Have to continue to try to get better. Have to continue to try to work on the court.

You can't get stagnant and worry about rest. I think at the end the day there is a balance, but whatever you do and however you do it, you have to go hard - even if it's for a very short period of time.

But, yeah, it's definitely tricky.

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