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November 20, 2018

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 78, UT Arlington - 64

COACH MILLER: Tremendous effort by UT Arlington. Fully expected our game to be very, very difficult tonight. And watching them on film, the way that they play it defensively, the way they make you work defensively on their motion, it's just a hard game. It really is.

And we made it a little bit harder on ourselves in the first half with our turnovers. And then in the second half didn't turn it over as much. But defensively we weren't as engaged as we needed to be, especially defending the 3. And let some guys get hot. And they fought.

But I thought the last six minutes, five minutes of the game our leadership from Juwan stood out. Guys started to play with more energy and were able to rally and finish the game, which is what you hope.

It was a difficult game to be part of just due to the fact that we have so many guys not available right now that you can't sub and you also are playing combinations that have never played together before and out of position at times.

So I was really, really proud of the guys that were able to step up and find a way to win with some guys that hadn't been out there in the past. And we'll take it. We'll move on. And we'll work towards Friday against UC Davis.

Q. What's the deal with Al and I guess Romeo, how is he doing?
COACH MILLER: Al got taken out on the break-away or at least was knocked out of the air. Landed on his back. I don't have a report other than he said he couldn't go back in.

Romeo, clearly got popped in the nose. I don't have any indication if his nose is broken or anything. But the blood and trying to get it to stop, he wasn't able to finish the game the last four minutes. So that would make seven scholarship players not available due to injury.

And I don't know if I've been around that one too much. But we'll give it a go with the guys we have the next couple of days. We'll have to figure out who is ready. And UC Davis is a good team, and we'll have to be ready for them.

Q. I know obviously you haven't gone through film with guys yet, but do you have an idea how you balance critiquing performances with also maybe recognizing how much these guys had to play tonight, especially guys like Damezi who may be not used to so many minutes?
COACH MILLER: Without question. Rob couldn't come out of the game. He's fatigued, he's guarding their best player. Romeo is fatigued, couldn't come out of the game. That's where our defense really started to get lax. We couldn't apply the constant pressure and workload and how we want to play. We got lethargic defensively standing around.

And there is going to be some critique, obviously, I think on some of the execution things that we need to do. But there's also going to be some realization it's impossible to ask some guys to do as much as we're asking them to do.

But with that type of experience level, with the opportunities for these new guys to get in there and play, it can only make you better down the line, as you hope.

Q. Losing the bodies is obviously taxing on the program just from the standpoint of what you've talked about, but from a leadership standpoint, Zach Roberts not being out there, how much is that hurting your team?
COACH MILLER: Yeah, it's playing a factor that some of our veteran guys aren't there. Some of these guys like Rob and Romeo, Damezi, who played in the game, it's probably the first time they've experienced a home game with a little pressure on, so to speak, and silver lining. Hopefully that's good. But without question we need our most ready, experienced guys who have been in big games before around. And it does take a toll on you a little bit. But, again, found a way to win. Just get better and figure out a way to win the next one.

Q. You talked about Damezi, almost went behind the back when he didn't need to at one time. But down the stretch he hits a big 3 with the shot clock down and has the confidence to take and hit another jumper on the baseline. Is that the kind of thing hopefully that can help as things progress?
COACH MILLER: He doesn't know what he doesn't know, right? One thing he does have confidence in his shot. He believes he can make it. We believe he can make it. Understanding time and score, understanding game situations, he'll get better as he gets older, as he learns. But he's in there right now. He made a big corner 3. That was a huge shot in the game.

Q. You took some time to fire up the crowd at one point in the game when people were starting to get a little bit nervous, just playing cheerleader a little bit. How do you think that helped the players down the stretch?
COACH MILLER: Without question, the energy that our crowd gives our players, they feed off of. They knew in that last seven, eight minutes we needed them. I thought they stepped up. Obviously we don't have school right now. So our students aren't in here. The crowd last six, seven minutes definitely helped us without question. And we needed it. We needed a burst and we needed a little bit of energy to get the guys going and I think the last five, six minutes you saw that.

Q. You mentioned Juwan's leadership down the stretch. From where he was maybe a year ago to now, how much have you seen him grow in that leadership role?
COACH MILLER: Just have so much confidence in him being able to come through when we need it, whether it's a basket, catch, rebound, blocked shot. He filled the stat line up tonight, and he didn't even play with the group he's normally accustomed to play with. He was with Justin and Fitzner. We've never even practiced with that lineup before. So to his credit, he was able to hang in there. He's smart.

But some of these games, right here, when things aren't going real well, you need your aces to kind of stick their head out and say let's go. And I thought he did that: Three blocks, three steals, four assists, six offensive rebounds. Big baskets. He was good.

Q. De'Ron Davis, is he added to that "out indefinitely group"?
COACH MILLER: I would think so. I'm not sure what his situation is. We found out this morning. He's obviously got some Achilles soreness in his other leg and had some pain running. I just listened to what they tell me. He wasn't available tonight. So I guess we'll see tomorrow where he's at with some things and hopefully we can get him back.


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