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November 23, 2018

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

UC Davis - 62, Indiana - 76

COACH ARCHIE MILLER: Really hard-fought game. Credit our guys hanging in there. Sometimes it's not easy and it's not always going to be your night but found a way right about the 8-minute mark to dig in, get a little more solid defensively thought Juwan and Romeo, those threes those guys made really give us the confidence to finish it off.

But credit U.C. Davis. We knew coming in the game how well coached they are. That's a team that won 22 games last year with a lot of guys back from a conference championship, so we knew what we were getting into in terms of being able to compete against them. They do a good job.

So you know, credit to them, but we found a way and you know hopefully we can get a little bit better here leading into Tuesday. We have some time hopefully to recover and get a guy or two back maybe which would really help us.

Q. Juwan doesn't come out at all, finishes three points shy of his career high. What do you like about what he gave you tonight?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: We needed everything he had. First half he got us going with his energy level. Offensively he got going.

Defensively he tried to do a pretty good job I thought on the glass.

And in the second half he just is a man in there, and without him, you know, without him playing all 40 minutes, I didn't feel we would be able to win the game, and kept asking him if he was all right, all right, and he never really flinched, so to speak, in terms of his conditioning or whatnot.

But it was a great performance by him and he's had two this week, two "senior" performances, I thought.

Q. Talk about his 3-point shot and how far that has come.
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: He's worked very, very hard on it. Something we spent a lot of time in the off-season.

You know, I think he's a much more confident shooter right now than he's ever been and I thought it showed tonight with his ability to let it go, and you know, it was good to see.

Obviously making five in a game for him has got to be probably a high but he's a good shooter and I think when he takes good ones, he has a chance to make them.

Q. I know you don't ever want to focus too much on any one guy, but at the risk of over oversimplification, do you feel you have the confidence in Juwan and Romeo, if things are getting weird or hinky on the offensive end, to make something happen just to get something going?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: I think when you're in these type of games, when you're possession-by-possession, you're trying to claw your way to get those guys the ability to catch the ball where we want to get it and be able to play through those guys.

Right now, as crazy as it sounds, we just have a natural people that are in the game at certain times, you know, actually even get a little bit more chemistry out there with our experience level, especially at the guard slot and it will put guys in better situation to take advantage of those two guys.

But those two guys have confidence. It was a good week for our team to earn two hard fought wins when we haven't played particularly great. You're not always going to pray great and I think the rest of this month and December is going to be a real challenge. So to be able to have a couple tough, hard-fought wins is good.

Q. Romeo said they had led all the way until 7:20 left and he went baseline and scored a tie at 54, and he said that was a set that was called for him. Do you remember that?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, he went baseline on the guy and was able to get going there. He tied the ball -- I thought once he tied the ballgame, the energy level went up and the crowd obviously played a big role again in the last eight minutes helping us pull it out.

Q. Maybe as simple as Davis just not making shots down the stretch but what you like about your team in the last eight minutes of defense to close out the game? What did you think was different in that period?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: We did a little bet e job guarding the ball. They were piercing us all night. They twisted a lot of ball screening angles at the last second and we just got beat straight line a ton.

I thought the last six minutes, seven minutes we were a little better on the ball which kept them in front of us, which hopefully was causing challenge two-point shots and draw a couple fouls, as well.

We'll have to watch the film. Obviously that was the worst our defense has been all season in terms of being able to get stops and get some things done. I think getting back to work a little bit practice-wise it important for us.

We haven't been able to really, really -- it's been a really tough week on the available guys so we've been trying to manage, but you have to work every day, you have to consistently bring your habits to the floor and I think you've seen a little bit of slippage due to our inability on either end of the floor, really, to be working hard at it every day. We're trying.

I think this will be a good weekend obviously if we can get a couple guys back, even if it's just for non-contact, just more bodies in practice.

Q. A little bit out of left field. Justin is a little bit more subdued statistically than some other guys but finishes plus 19. Are there ways he's learning to impact the game, beyond points and rebounds, that he's maybe embracing?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, I think the big thing is his ability, hopefully, it continue to be a guy that we really trust defensively.

He's guarding a lot of guys right now that are perimeter-oriented, front court players and he's doing a decent job there. He's much better around the basket than he's been in the past, and you know, I thought he helped us tonight.

We've got to continue to get him to rebound the ball. We have to continue to be able to get him going in transition a little bit better, and you know, he's hanging in there.

He had a big three obviously late in the game and a good drive in that eight-minute stretch so he had can a key five points for us.

Q. I thought U.C. Davis had really good offensive action and they used almost the entirety of the shot clock and they would spring somebody open for a three. Is that as well as anybody's played against you?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: They are very organized offensively in terms of their ball screen motion and how they do things. They lift you, their front court guys do an amazing job of sprinting and changing angles at the last minute.

They had our guards really confused at times in terrible of being able to get over a screen or being able to contain the dribble so to speak.

And for the first time all season A.J. John played like A.J. John played a year ago, he came in shooting 15 percent from the floor. We knew eventually the guy was going to break through; he's a 40 percent three-point shooter. So I think that was one key deal tonight that they had a front court player that was obviously really causing some commotion out there in terms of spacing.

They did a good job. They have got a great point guard. He's really, really quick. Get it to the paint. They open the floor up. Like you said, they make you guard it. They make you turn; they make you guard it. You've got to be really, really solid. They shot the ball extremely well tonight.

Q. You said is were hopeful about getting Jerome back with the team this week. Is he back in any way?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: Jerome is back. He wasn't feeling really well tonight, so he didn't come to the game. But he was in the facility and he is back on campus, yeah.

Q. Anything more definitive on what he's dealing with?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: Not right now. He's had a couple procedures on his leg and I think we've got it down to a little bit where he's at right now but it's still wait and see on recovery. He's had a tough last week, but everything is indefinite right now in terms of like timetable or what we're doing or when he can comeback.

Q. You mentioned this week being tough with kind of two hard-fought games. When you're playing as many young guys as you are, as many minutes, how valuable is it for them to have these type of experiences early in the season?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: This is like light a fire just throw them in the fire. They are having to figure out how to get a stop late in the game, how to get a big bucket and they have never been there before. Sometimes you get down at home, it doesn't feel fun. Most of the time, they have been expected to be up big.

Those guys are learning this week, every game is hard. There's a lot of different ways you can win them and to have those guys in there. It's really valuable, you know what I mean.

Hopefully down the stretch as we get healthier and as you get into the thick of things, everyone knows what the Big Ten looks like now and every night's going to be very difficult.

Q. We touched on U.C. Davis's three-point shooting but what you have to do guarding the perimeter with Duke coming up next week?
COACH ARCHIE MILLER: Guarding the ball, getting back in transition and keeping guys in front of you. I thought we got beat off the dribble way too much in the first half, which had us in rotation all over the place. They made some tough ones, too.

But without question this is a driving basketball game coming up on Tuesday with their ability to really spread the floor and play. It's going to come down to the day, how good are we going to be individually on the ball. I think the better you are there, the less you have break downs.

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