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February 14, 2018

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 78, Illinois - 68

COACH MILLER: Every time that you're going to play against Illinois I think you're going to get a chance to see just one of the harder playing teams. And as they continue to build their program they're going to be very difficult to play against in the Big Ten moving forward. They do a great job. Play really hard. There's no quit in any of their guys. They keep coming at you.

For us tonight, to be able to battle through it, thought we had a lot of guys step up, give our bench credit with Josh, Al and Justin, in particular, did a fantastic job making big plays. And I thought the defensive effort for the most part on Trent Frazier was pretty good. He had really hurt us in the first one, and when he gets going they're hard to deal with.

So I thought some things were good there. All in all, we'll take it. It was a really good win for us.

Q. As you are kind of building this thing what's the value in a bench performance like that? You get multiple guys stepping up on a night where guys --
COACH MILLER: In particular it shows that the team is continuing to do the right things -- coachability, working towards getting better individually, caring about everything that we do. You don't have performances like that off guys off the bench if they're not completely locked in.

So I think we have a locked-in team which is good this time of year. We're clearly playing as well as we have played all season, and that's a good sign. Obviously going on the road here, the next one will be very difficult as we know, but I think the guys right now are enjoying playing with one another.

Q. With those three guys, how much has confidence been for those that had fluctuating seasons?
COACH MILLER: Freshmen, they go through ups and downs and good starts, bad games. That's what a freshman season is. But moments like tonight, hard-fought win where guys make winning plays, they stick with you -- that's how you learn how to win. And these are experiences that will help them develop into really good Indiana players.

Q. How much is just learning the defense and being able to actually do it for a consistent number of minutes and back to back games with guys like Justin Smith?
COACH MILLER: Defense is like offense. You can become better as an individual player on defense just like you do offense. It's the same. And when you rep it like we rep it and you believe in what you do -- you teach it, you teach it, you rep it, you rep it -- eventually you start to get better at it. And I think you've seen some guys, although I didn't think we were completely dialed in at times, especially in the second half a couple of our ball screen stuff we were sloppy. But all in all I think the guys in general kind of know right now how we have to do it and what they have to do to be successful.

Q. Illinois forced you to 18 turnovers, both teams this season, what do they do defense-wise?
COACH MILLER: Well, their style, you don't see it very often. It's a very disruptive half-court, man-to-man, literally four feet above their man. You can't make a pass. When you can't make a pass you've got to have guys that can put it down, make some plays for us. I thought we had some good possessions. I thought we did some good things, but I thought we had some sloppy turnovers. And both games kind of played out a little bit the same way except I thought we were better on the glass tonight and we made our free throws.

Q. Turnovers aside, the efficiency was pretty much off the charts across the board. Everybody was within a couple of points of each other as far as scoring, five in double figures, almost six, and everybody is four to six, five to seven, very efficient shooting across the board. Is it the new makeup, starting lineup?
COACH MILLER: I think just in general we're more confident. Guys understand right now what we're asking them to do in terms of the passing, the reads, the looks that guys are getting. I think we're a much better passing team than we have been. When you're a better passing team it's inevitable you start to shoot the ball a little bit better. We're taking less challenge shots as well.

But when you play against Illinois it's kind of feast or famine. You're either going to get a layup or good look or turn it over most of the time. You've got to take advantage of the easy ones you get and shot 59 percent from the floor. Take back a couple of those turnovers, I think we may have more of a cushion.

But I'm proud of our guys. We didn't get off to a great start tonight. I thought we were a little lethargic, battled through it and were able to control. We had a lot of guys, like I said, step up and we are very pleased just to be able to be in the situation right now as a staff and as a team where you enjoy being around one another. Sometimes at this time of the season you get tuned out and that's not the case here.

Q. The turnovers, I think it was like only four in about the last 11 minutes of the game. Was there something a little bit different in terms of maybe could you see a little bit more sharpened focus as it got into some of those winning moments late?
COACH MILLER: I thought some guys that got subbed in did a good job. Al did a better job. And Freddie, Juwan, Justin, those guys played pretty well. We turned it over early in the game and we turned it over early in the second half a few times to start. You basically had ten turnovers in your starting back court, that's not good.

But I thought being able to pressure release with Freddie, Juwan and Justin was the way to go and I thought those guys did a nice job.

Q. During the playoff season, as far as Juwan's play, five blocked shots tonight. The way he controlled the paint, how big was that?
COACH MILLER: Huge. He's doing it almost every game. Doesn't get as much notice but blocks a lot of shots and defensive rebounds and steals the ball. He's a very good defender, a valuable defender on our team, not the biggest at times guarding in the post, but I think what he's done for our team on both ends of the floor has been really good.

Q. I know Black was causing some problems aside, Juwan was still able to (inaudible). How reliable has he been regardless of the matchup?
COACH MILLER: About as reliable as you can get. He's been a stud for us all season, especially as you come through these February games, he's still playing really hard, really well.

If he's not a first-team, all-conference member maybe it's because of our record. But I have a hard time imagining there's an impactful player on a team that's done as much as him for us.

Q. Any update on Devonte Green?
COACH MILLER: I think he got landed on his ankle. I'm sure he's sore. I think he'll be fine.

Q. Josh has had some really large baskets in the game. How would you -- have you seen like some more confidence in him during practice or how has he kind of stepped up?
COACH MILLER: He did a good job. First half he drove and got a couple of big baskets for us to alleviate the pressure and then I thought in the second half he made a big 3. A really big 3. And he had a couple of good drives. Got to the foul line and he made his free throws. So it's nice to have him play the amount of minutes he did and also put some points on the board and also make some crucial shots for us.

And he'll get more. I mean right now we're by committee. If we have a group that's playing well we'll stick with them.

Q. Didn't see De'Ron here tonight. I didn't see him Friday either. What's his deal, De'Ron?
COACH MILLER: De'Ron he's not feeling well. The bug that's going around a little bit. He's obviously trying to get himself back into academic shape he was at shoot-around today I don't think he felt well but it's nothing other than a bug.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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