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November 6, 2018

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 104, Chicago State - 55

COACH MILLER: Well, we have one in the books. And it's always good to get the first one out of the way with a win. We did some good things in the game, had some unselfish plays in the game. And there were some positives.

I didn't think from our staff's perspective we had a real good feel defensively on what we were doing out there. Just wasn't as happy regardless of the score with our defense and what we're trying to do.

So hopefully there's a lot to learn from this. Friday will be a much different opponent with a different style. And it will be a hard game. And for our guys to realize, especially our young guys, it comes quick. You've got to be ready to go tomorrow and take in the information, go to work, and just try to find a way to get a little bit better. But I think we can play a lot better defensively.

Q. Going off that, what do you feel you guys need to do better defensively going forward?
COACH MILLER: It's always going to start and stop with your balance. I thought that Chicago State really pushed the ball hard on us and they gave us the opportunities where we were going to have to fight to get back. And at times we did. At times we didn't. So that's step one.

Our on-ball defense, our pressure on the ball, wasn't where it has to get to. And just in general defending off the ball with a lot of screening actions. You saw a lot of just communication breakdowns and you saw some guys, really to be honest with you, just fade into the screens and die.

And we can't do that. So we have a lot of work to do on that end of the floor. And inexperience and youth is something that you have to deal with early. And we're going to have to deal with that. But those guys gotta get sped up. As our older guys gotta get more dialed in.

Q. Speaking to your youth, with Romeo's debut, what were you pleased with and what would you like to see him improve upon?
COACH MILLER: I think the overall team did a nice job in transition, of advancing the ball early. Using the pass as a strike, almost as a strike. And Romeo was the beneficiary of some good advance passes, across the floor, up the floor, and from that point forward he's in his strength zone, when he's in transition, heading to the basket, you saw a guy really was efficient, makes a few more free throws, probably looks almost like a flawless game for him, offensively. Second half of the game was a little bit different. It was a different flow in the second half. But I thought just in general in the first half he was very efficient. I think it was 17 points in 17 minutes in the first half.

Q. What did you see from Evan Fitzner tonight? What does he bring to the team?
COACH MILLER: He did a nice job. Very high IQ, very skilled offensive player. He has size and length and great touch with either hand around the basket. He obviously can stretch the floor. I thought he did a nice job of throwing over the zone at times, catching it in the middle and skipping it out at times.

And he's a very good free throw shooter as well. So for him it's a good start. But that's who he is as a player.

Q. Talking about Romeo, seemed like earlier on it was his passing that really was --
COACH MILLER: Without question. If you look at the first four minutes, he probably had three to five passes, unselfish plays, on kickouts, drives to pass, looking for the bigs. I thought he got off to a really good start passing the ball which helped our team. We got him in foul trouble.

At the rim, we were at the rim so much, the foul line was going to be the one indicator. And I think that was probably the one thing in the first half. Why did it feel funny? Again, you've got to knock your free throws down.

Q. Also looking at Evan's night tonight, he got open a few times down low. Is cutting another kind of strength of part of his game?
COACH MILLER: We played a lot of zone tonight. Obviously he was free to float. He's not a guy that obviously anchors down, but he can get to his spots. And today, against the zone, he has a really good feel in the paint, how to catch it, how to move, in and around the basket he's got good touch. I thought our guards did a really good job hitting behind the zone early in the first half, seeing Justin, Evan and Juwan.

Q. Going 19 of 33 from the foul line tonight, anything that you can pinpoint as to why you had difficulty in that part of the game?
COACH MILLER: Just didn't go in. At the end of the day, as difficult -- it's black and white. You make them or don't make them. Guys have to step up, go to the line, knock them in. Especially your better shooters. And I think that will always balance out over the course of the year. Sometimes your guys that aren't very good free throw shooters, it's just going to be what it is. You've got to keep working to get better, and we'll do that. We're going to get fouled.

That's our aspiration as a team, is to be a team that continually attacks the paint and the rim. And to get fouled is something we really, really want to get our guys focused in on attacking. And when you get there, though, you've got to take advantage of it.

Q. What did you like most about what Phinisee did tonight, and kind of overall --
COACH MILLER: I thought just in general he got taken out of rhythm in the first half with the two fouls. We've got to watch the film, see if we can help him out. But we can't afford for our point guard to pick up two fouls in the first three minutes.

So he's got to maybe concentrate a little better and hopefully maybe get a different call in a different game at some point in time.

But the second half he's much more in the flow. Rob is under control. As he learns our system and our style and exactly what we want him to do from that position, he can execute that.

And I think guys have a lot of confidence in Rob. I think he has a lot of confidence in himself. And I think in the second half, as he got more minutes, he was much better.

Q. A few minutes tonight, when Rob and Devonte played together, what do you like about that look, and how do you see Al kind of factoring into that once he gets back healthy?
COACH MILLER: If Al was healthy, he would be in the rotation with these other guys. We're having to play -- we're having to play these guys too many minutes. So I think it's going to be really good when Al comes back. But Devonte can play with Rob. We have that ability to do that. And it gives you two guys off the dribble, I think, that are your best creators.

Hopefully in time you see those guys as being able to be attack mode. Al will fit right in with those guys as well, whether he's playing the point or playing with one of those two guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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