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September 26, 2018

De'Ron Davis

Clifton Moore

Robert Phinisee

Bloomington, Indiana

Q. De'Ron, what exactly do you have there?
DE'RON DAVIS: Just a little vlog. It's nothing big.

Q. Coach talked about your recovery process at this point, that you started running again in June, you started to be able to do some contact stuff. Where do you feel like you are and where do you feel like you want to be by let's say the start of the season?
DE'RON DAVIS: I feel pretty good. I'm just trying to experience a little discomfort, but other than that, this process has been smooth. Really I'm just planning on being back by the first game. I don't know how healthy I'll be just yet. The timetable is still kind of weird looking. But I'm just trying to contribute to anything and everything I can.

Q. Juwan was just saying that he felt like you came in and caught on quickly that you were a quick study. I heard that even when you were still at McCutcheon that you came down occasionally to watch practice and study some Indiana game tape and whatnot. Is that true?
ROB PHINISEE: Yeah, every time I did I tried to pay attention to what they were doing in the game, just how each coach was coaching the players during the games.

Q. After being here with the team for a month or so, how do you see your game fitting with the team?
ROB PHINISEE: Really well. We play a lot of transition ball and using ball screens, so I feel like that's my game.

Q. Rob, what are the key things that you felt like you needed to improve on to be as ready as possible to contribute right away as a freshman?
ROB PHINISEE: Just getting a lot stronger and really just listening to whatever Coach tells me, and like on defense, I feel like I can play.

Q. De'Ron, given the way Juwan kind of came on last season and Justin emerged in the front court and you add Romeo into the mix, how do you foresee your role changing this year if at all?
DE'RON DAVIS: Honestly, my role just probably continue to do what I'm doing, be dominant in the post. I feel like I'm a great passer, so I can draw the double-team, kick it out. Romeo is a great shooter, offensive player, so he's going to open the floor up a lot more, and J-Mor has actually expanded his game way to the three-point line, so he's kind of a do-it-all player, so I feel like my role is not going to change at all really, just to become a better leader and grow in that area.

Q. Where do you feel like your game is or what are the biggest steps forward you feel like you've taken from this point a year ago?
CLIFTON MOORE: I feel like the biggest thing for me is becoming more comfortable in the core principles we teach every day and just going out there and playing more confidently and having a year of strength under my belt and just adding more to my game. They do a great job of development, and I feel like I'm a better player than last year.

Q. De'Ron, how much talent do you see on this team maybe compared to the other ones you've played on here? Just seems like there's talent at every position.
DE'RON DAVIS: Yeah, I feel like my freshman year we was actually pretty talented with the guys I had and the guys I had to look up to, but I feel like this year we're just a bigger team, we can spread the floor a lot more, and we run the floor well. Overall I just feel like this team compared to all the other teams is just the size difference is probably the biggest thing I noticed.

Q. Rob, you probably know Romeo the best. What has surprised you having played with him now every day? Is he a guy that also can help with the point guard position and handle the ball? Juwan talked about how good he's been passing the ball.
ROB PHINISEE: Yeah, he's a do-it-all player. He's really smart and he can pass. Pretty much he can do it all. So he's not stuck at one position.

Q. Clifton and De'Ron, De'Ron, you just mentioned it's a bigger team. A guy like Evan Fitzner comes in; talk about him a little bit, and guys like Race Thompson that the fans haven't seen yet, some of the guys you share the front court with. Talk about those guys.
DE'RON DAVIS: Well, I know that Evan, he's real smooth on and off the court, and the way he plays his game is real nice. He's got that soft jump shot. He gets to the rim real smoothly. I think he's going to be able to -- like another guy like Romeo is going to be able to spread the floor, and I think people underestimate his postgame, too. He has a real smooth and like majestic postgame. I feel like this team is like a mixture, like we can really -- there's really no limits right now. Everybody is just playing trying to build chemistry and trying to learn their roles.

Q. (No microphone.)
CLIFTON MOORE: I feel like Race is very strong in the post and he's got great post moves, and just like me, he's become more comfortable, and he's playing more confidently and becoming a player that I see is going to be very good. And Jake, he's learned very well, and he's got a lot of energy attacking the glass for rebounds, and just -- he's just been picking up on the concepts very well.

Q. After the last couple of years not making the tournament, the whole coaching transition, coming into this year now, how much more now do you guys expect winning this season?
DE'RON DAVIS: Honestly, we just focus on the day-to-day. Our mind -- our goal is to win a National Championship, but we're not focused on that, we're focused on getting better each and every day, building chemistry and just trying to be ready for the first game. I feel like we're going to take one game at a time and shoot for small goals. I feel like the Big Ten championship, win the Big Ten Tournament, just work our way up, so just focusing on ourselves and getting better as a team.

Q. Clifton, you and Jake are both from a very similar area. Did you guys know each other, have a relationship before he got here, and how has that relationship developed?
CLIFTON MOORE: I definitely knew Jake before he came here. We never really had like a close connection, but we knew of each other, and I just feel that as soon as we knew we were from the same area, we connected more from the very start.

Q. Clifton, what are the big keys for you to make more of an impact this year and kind of how do you envision your ideal role this year would be what?
CLIFTON MOORE: I believe that I just need to play the game that I know I can play, and by doing that, I need to follow the game plan that we do every day in and out of practice and how we play and the transition that we play, and I feel that I need to be more versatile.

Q. You talked about what you've seen from Romeo on the court, but when I see you around campus you're always with Romeo. What's your relationship like off the court?
ROB PHINISEE: We're pretty close. We're roommates and we have a couple classes together.

Q. Rob, who wins in Fortnite?
ROB PHINISEE: I mean, I'm better than him, but -- I'm better than him.

Q. How would you characterize your freshman class if you can, generalize on the court what do you expect it to bring, then off the court what kind of dudes are they?
ROB PHINISEE: Off the court everybody is well connected, especially in the summer. Everybody -- we're all clowns, obviously. But on the court we bring energy, and everybody is just really together. We play as a team, and nobody has a big head.

DE'RON DAVIS: You know, my class is definitely better, but that's okay.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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