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January 28, 2018

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Purdue - 74, Indiana - 67

COACH MILLER: Hats off to Purdue. Tough environment to come in to and probably didn't shoot the ball as well as they have in the past. Give them credit. That's what really good teams do. They find a way when it's not their day, in a tough environment, and they are able to get the job done.

For our guys, played really hard. Our guys really competed for the most part. We're in a catch 22 there with the big fella (Haas), he's a tough cover, especially for our guys in terms of the size differential. But, we battled, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game and like I told the team afterwards, I'm very disappointed we didn't come through. Our last two minutes, we squandered possessions, especially offensively. You can't do that in a big game like this against that type of team that'll make you pay.

For us, we have to have short term memory loss. We'll be on the plane tomorrow to Columbus and we play Tuesday against another ranked team, so we are going to have to be ready to roll on the road against obviously a team that has been sitting around for a few days waiting on us. And they are having a great year as well.

Q. On Purdue's difficult game on perimeter shooting?
COACH MILLER: Like I said, we didn't do a good enough job in our post coverages. At times, we had to stay in between him and the basket and make him earn tough baskets at times when we trapped. But when we post trapped tonight, it really cost us. I mean it really cost us. Our perimeter guys were completely non-existent on post traps. I think they scored probably nine points on us. So we couldn't establish a rhythm to continue to post trap. We weren't good enough at it and it hurt us. We needed to be able to do that more against him. We got to go back to work on that a little bit.

From a three-point perspective, they had been shooting the ball at an unbelievable level that at some level you would hope the numbers would come back. They missed some good ones. But I thought for the most part our guys did a good job of being on shooters and challenging shots when we could.

Q. On what happened in the final two minutes with squandering opportunities?
COACH MILLER: It was just organization. You can put it on me. The last two minutes, I probably should have gotten ourselves into a few timeout situations, where it could have helped out our team. Purdue is obviously tough to score on anyways. But Rob (Johnson) had a tough finish, I though it was rushed, we had a turnover in transition on a ball screen, and then late in the game when Rob had a curl and drive and ended up losing it. So those plays, you can maybe put those on me. I could have had our guys more organized in the last couple minutes and call a timeout and make sure we get a shot. We didn't do that, that killed us.

Q. On changing things to force Edwards to do things differently offensively?
COACH MILLER: I thought in the first half, clearly he was around the perimeter. He's been shooting the ball really well from three. He had some good looks that didn't go. Second half, he was much more of a driver, much more of a physical presence on the glass and in the post. They put him up against our forwards at times and he made some really good drives. He's maybe player of the year in the league to be honest with you as important he has been to their team. He's a great competitor.

I thought for the most part we hung in there pretty good. A couple of their other guys we didn't let them go off as much. You look at Mathias and Edwards, those guys didn't kill us from three like they have been coming into the game. The big fella was the difference. He neutralizes the game. Matt (Painter) does an unbelievable job of just getting him the ball where he doesn't need to do a lot to catch and score. He's so big. And we knew that coming in and that was going to be a problem.

Q. Freddie had some nice finishes and guarded Hass for long stretches. What did you see from him today?
COACH MILLER: Freddie did a really good job. He played strong. Obviously I thought he battled. I thought he really competed; he battled.

Then from an offensive perspective he gave us some great activity on the offensive glass withe some taps and a couple finishes.

So Freddie really came and helped us today. He's going to need to. I think Collin will be out for an extended period of time, so we'll need to move J-Mo back maybe to the small forward position and have Freddie in there a little bit more with Justin.

Q. What are some positive takeaways?

Q. Yeah.
COACH MILLER: About today's game or just...

Q. Yeah.
COACH MILLER: We competed.

Q. In general.
COACH MILLER: It's big time. This is February. You're playing against the best teams in your conference. The stage is big.

I thought whoa rows to the occasion in front of an amazing crowd at our disposal tonight and guys really competed, played hard, and fought. That's all you can ask for right now.

As you get ready to go into another gauntlet like we're going to go Sunday, Tuesday, Saturday, Monday, four games in about eight days, you just really have little time to practice.

What you're relying on is film and energy and doing a better job of teaching through some days where you're not going to work a whole lot on the floor.

Without question, I thought we played extremely hard. I think you're looking at a team that understands this type of competition level, what you have to do.

I don't think anybody left the arena tonight and said those guys didn't bring it. I thought we played really, really hard today, so that's the positive.

Disappointing thing is it's about winning.

Q. Follow up on Collin. When did you know he couldn't play? How long do you think he'll be out?
COACH MILLER: You know, he had an awkward landing in practice yesterday towards the end. Really wasn't a foul or anything, just an awkward landing on a catch.

I think more than anything he got nervous. Just going through the docs and the checkups and whatnot. We'll leave it is as a lower-leg injury that's probably going to take him some time here. Hopefully not more than a couple weeks.

I suspect he probably be out moving in probably to the next couple games, especially having to play in such short order with recovery times.

We got to be careful with him, but I do think he'll be back.

Q. Not to beat a dead horse, but the free throw shooting...
COACH MILLER: Yeah. Just got to keep working on it. It's cost us. I mean, it really hurt us at Illinois, and again even tonight. You're in a 1-point game with about two minutes to go and you leave 7 at the board. We just have to keep working at it.

It's one thing not to dwell on. Just keep working at it, putting our guys in situations where they're clearly practicing the right way and getting in there.

Yeah, it's frustrating. You got guys that go to the line every day in practice and make them, and then in the game it just becomes that first miss sometimes I think that gets everybody a bit edgy.

Definitely hurts.

Q. (Regarding Robert Johnson.)
COACH MILLER: Rob is really ready to play. He's a great leader; wants to do well; wants our team to do well. He's about all the right things.

I thought he really set the tone very early about how aggressive he was going to be. He made big shots, tough shots for us throughout the game. His defense for 36 minutes was really, really good. I thought he really battled defensively.

To me, Rob is an Iron Man for us. I think he is just a senior who has been doing things the right way. I think he just wants to finish as strong as he can.

Watching him today I thought he did a great job. We'll need him as we keep coming to play big minutes down the stretch against some of these teams.

Q. With Collin out, all your starters log really big minutes.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
COACH MILLER: Yeah, it's about recovery. We have a quick turnaround, as you said, to Tuesday night. We also have Saturday, Monday. Tonight really stuck with I thought a group that was really competing.

Our court rotation is really slim when you take a guy out. I thought the guys did a really good job. They logged heavy minutes, but I though we had a good group out there. They had good chemistry for the most part.

We kind of stuck a little bit with those guys. We tried to use our bench as much as possible.

Q. Last couple weeks Rob has really steadied his game. Guys like Josh and Devonte still kind of up and down, how do you kind of ride the highs and lows?
COACH MILLER: We're 22 games in; been riding it 22 games. Just keep trying to make him better and get guys to play their best ball at the right time. February is when you want to start to find guys in a rhythm.

No question: consistency and productivity from our guards, that's been something that when we've had it we've been good.

Obviously Rob answered the bell today. We didn't get much scoring from anyone else. Hopefully as many games continue to pound, we'll get some guy that can give us better minutes.

But it's been an issue all year, just consistent play, you know what you're getting. For the most part we were pretty good in that area tonight. Just got to find more guys playing their best at the right time of the year as I said.

Part of it is you got to learn from this, but you got to move on quick and get ready for Tuesday.

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