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December 1, 2018

Romeo Langford

Devonte Green

Justin Smith

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 68, Northwestern - 66

THE MODERATOR: First question for the players.

Q. Romeo, Juwan goes out with an injury. There's three minutes left. I think you had a driving layup. Can you talk about (indiscernible) and the ability for you individually and as a team to step up?
ROMEO LANGFORD: Yeah, Juwan went down, got injured. We just knew that it was crunch time and we still gotta do what it takes to win, and Coach drew a play up and we executed a play down low.

Q. So were you the option on that play? Was that was designed to get you that floater?
ROMEO LANGFORD: It was multiple options. It just happened I was open.

Q. Romeo, talk about the play, too, where it looked like you got just enough of a deflection on the ball to send it off (inaudible) out of bounds to get the possession back?
ROMEO LANGFORD: Yeah, out of a timeout, they went in to try and to post me up and I just was able to get around the screen and get a hand on the ball. And he was the last one to touch it. That was a big momentum change in the game.

Q. Did you reverse it or --
ROMEO LANGFORD: I now it was off of him, but I took it, tipped his fingers (inaudible).

Q. Especially with that final sequence it looked like out of the timeout when Juwan went back to the tunnel, coach kind of pulled you aside and said something to you, what did he say to you there?
ROMEO LANGFORD: He was talking about my defense.

Q. Was he looking for you to step up and kind of take over the game for Juwan or anything like that?
ROMEO LANGFORD: I feel like that was already stated without saying.

Q. Is this game symbolic, do you think, of how the Big Ten is going to be all year?
JUSTIN SMITH: Yeah, I would say so. I would say that this year the Big Ten is definitely, has a lot of very good teams, probably pretty much all the teams are very good and can do -- can win a game on any given night. It's going to be a dogfight every night, but we're ready for it.

Q. Devonte, the bench (indiscernible) more of the spark in this game than you were against Duke. Just what it felt like to get back out on the court and maybe your playing ability has shown up through today compared to other times.
DEVONTE GREEN: I wish I could bring a spark, coming off the bench or not, but I'm just working my way into it, both with injury and making open reads.

Q. Justin, you had a tough game at Duke. What have you been working on to get yourself going and get yourself back in the groove and playing like you're capable to playing?
JUWAN MORGAN: Just taking it day-by-day. We're working offensively and defensively to try to shore things up. Obviously turnovers are an issue right now, and we're kind of working just being in more in control and making better decisions when the ball -- when we have the ball and taking our time because I feel like recently we kind of rushed offensively. So just trying to just get in the groove, find the groove and stay within that for the rest of the time.

Q. Justin, just talk about your emotions or the team's emotions when Juwan goes down like that and just what you guys are thinking and all of that?
JUSTIN SMITH: Well, when we saw him go down, and there was definitely some concern. But we already know in any game it was next man up. Devonte came in, gave us what we needed off the bench. I don't know much about the injury. But we'll probably look at it later on. And I mean we just kind of just wanted to get out of here with the win.

Q. Devonte, (indiscernible) especially the second half spent a lot of time trying to implore you guys to move faster, to push the ball more. Why was it difficult for you guys to get that game going more quickly?
DEVONTE GREEN: I think just staying in our lanes and slowing us down a little bit. And I mean once we got it going we just kept rolling.

Q. There was one big transition basket they had after Romeo got the deflection out of bounds. They pressed and you guys broke the press. I think Rob found Justin for the (indiscernible) -- Justin, what did you see on that play and how did it feel to lay that ball there?
JUSTIN SMITH: They put five people in the front court, (indiscernible) to try to pressure the ball. We ran a lot of press break, and I was open down the floor. And Rob got me the ball and I made the bucket and got back on defense because they're going to (inaudible) down.

Q. Juwan's just the latest guy, you guys have had more injuries than I'm sure anybody has expected. What's been the biggest thing for you to overcome because of all the injuries?
DEVONTE GREEN: I think mentally staying together as a team, mentally staying with the everyday recovery. And being down a couple guys and mentally staying together as a team.

Q. Justin, on Pardon, what is it that he does that makes him a tough guy covering?
JUSTIN SMITH: He's very skilled at finishing around the basket. He made a lot of quick moves that I feel like caught whoever was guarding him off guard a little bit. And the way that they played, they left everybody off the baseline so it gives them a lot of room down low to be able to work and make a move and score the ball.

Q. Justin, free throws have been kind of shaky at times so far in the first month. Anything you guys do to address that? How do you fix that and make sure it gets ironed out here moving forward?
JUSTIN SMITH: We shoot free throws every day. We've just got to keep at it and eventually they're going to fall down. And we've just got to keep building our confidence as a team and our free throws and just take our time and get to the line, just make it; it's free.

Q. How much is that maybe a mental point at certain level?
JUSTIN SMITH: It could be. But I really don't know if it varies, but I mean we're shooting free throws every day, we're working on it. It's a big emphasis that Coach is putting into practice. And hopefully as we keep going we'll get in a groove on the free-throw line and we'll start knocking them down more consistently.

Q. Devonte, you're one of the veterans on this team. You've been through Big Ten before. How can having a close game like this to start the season, kind of get you guys ready for what's to come maybe the rest of the conference?
DEVONTE GREEN: It's definitely a reality check because if we're going to be coming down the wire almost every night maybe, like Justin said. Every team in the Big Ten is good and every single game is going to be a battle.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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