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December 14, 2018

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

ARCHIE MILLER: The Crossroads weekend here it's always an exciting game, especially taking our guys into Bankers Life, it's a great venue, the environment is almost a tournament feel and Butler brings all the good qualities that they have had in their program over the last 15 to 20 years. LaVall's doing a great job with their group, they're a really tough minded group. They're connected defensively, very good, offensively they really shoot the ball, they it really, really stretch you from three and they go a good job of playing inside out as well through Nate and Brunk, so they have a nice balance, they have a nice rotation, you can tell their core group has been together for awhile, they got chemistry. So we expect obviously a heck of an opponent to be ready to play and from our standpoint we have had a good week and got to keep preparing here today before we get there tomorrow, but we're excited to play.

Q. Coming out of finals week is everybody healthy, eligible, where is it coming out of finals week?
ARCHIE MILLER: Well first, finals aren't -- we had some guys finishing up here today, some guys finished up middle of the week -- so we'll wait to see, but all indications are things went really well for the kids and this has been one of the rare finals weeks where our coaching staff has been pretty pleased with our practices. Typically this is a very tough week to sort of balance that, you have one or two guys just not there mentally, they're fatigued, they're tired and we had give them an extra day off in the middle, practiced late last night so we can give them almost a day and a half, but we have had good work and I think we're continuing to get better. We have had our full allotment of guys pretty much available now for a good two and a half to three weeks which is helping our team become better overall. We just have more guys out there in practice starting to get their feet under them a little bit more and so that's been good. Practice has been a good week.

Q. You said something on the radio show about how it used to be top-25 rankings were something you just tried to put to the side that you just didn't feel it was worth a lot until March, but a little bit of that has changed kind of since you come to Indiana, just maybe do you look at them differently now?
ARCHIE MILLER: I don't look at them differently I just think Indiana and in general our program over the course of time I think being represented in the rankings and stuff like that is always probably a given and right now it's probably not so much of that and to be back in there to watch our team sort of grow up through our first 70, 80 percent of our non-conference, played good schedules to find ways to win and to be playing pretty good basketball right now you have to he will for a good about that for your group. Long-term and whatnot you obviously you would love to reestablish the ability to sort of take that for granted because that's what Indiana has been so long, but I think it's good for this team.

Q. Given they have, given their personnel, they play through the 1, but with multiple their three-point guys, Jorgensen can go off, McDermott can go off, what's your approach in that regard, defensively?
ARCHIE MILLER: Well we played a number of teams this season that are good behind the three and deadly behind the three. Butler's team is drastically different when they make them versus when they don't make them. So clearly I think they depend on using their skill level to make those shots and they get good ones too. Without question McDermott is a game changer, Jorgensen can be a game changer and I would also put Baldwin in there as well, he's just a terrific, terrific college basketball player. He's had a great career. But for us we have to do what we do well and part of it is assignments and scouting, part of it is understanding who you're guarding and what situations you have to really be dialed in. And the other thing is to always be great offensively where you're not turning it over. Transition is where threes usually happen. So we have to be good on offense, can't turn it over, that helps, and then be organized in the half court. I think Louisville took -- I don't know how many threes they took over the course of that game, but clearly we did a good enough job in the Louisville game to take away some of the inside looks where some of the shots end up being challenged at the end of the clock so you hopefully can do that as well. But make no mistake guarding the three is priority one in this game.

Q. Race Thompson you mentioned in your radio show as being back in the flow. Is he ready -- where is he at right now?
ARCHIE MILLER: No, it's been a slow process. He's still in what they would consider concussion protocol. He's going through his gradual plan of getting the recommendations and the treatments and whatnot have the docs. He's being around a little bit more, he's starting to come to practice a little bit more, but he's nowhere near ready to start to re-engage in any basketball type of form. He's had a difficult time coming back from it, we're hopeful that obviously as the weeks go by and he continues to get better and better then we can sort of see where we go with it. But right now he's still on a time to be determined deal and we're just hopeful that Race can continue to start to be around us more and be more involved with what's going on because it's taken him some time. Now that school's over, he's got a little bit more time on his hands, hopefully we can spend a little bit more time with him in the meetings and whatnot. But no he's still slow and day-to-day.

Q. How much have you had the chance to scout Jordan Tucker and how do you think he's going to change the dynamic of what they do?
ARCHIE MILLER: Jordan's a guy that I saw, we saw just from a high school perspective and AAU basketball quite a bit. He's got great size, great talent on the perimeter, and range. He'll add another weapon offensively for those guys on the perimeter. Whether they use him as a wing or guard I'm not real sure how they will phase him in, but they have a pretty distinct lineup right now with what they're doing with their rotation, making them a little bit deeper. At the break here will be something I think they will probably look for as they get him acclimated into Big East play but on the reports so to speak he's just to me is another really good offensive player.

Q. Obviously you're familiar with Jordan Tucker's playing style but just I guess as a follow-up to that, how difficult is it to kind of scout for a guy like that when you don't really, he's obviously making his debut and you don't know what kind of role he could have?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, you just have to pretty much go on what they're doing right now and concentrate on that and when he's in the game you understand you're dealing with a guy that can score the ball, he's a three-point shooter. He's more of a guard than he is anything, so you kind of just do it as a personnel-related thing. Without watching him on film you're not going to know how they're utilizing him but as you watch them play and how their system unfolds on both ends of the floor you can kind of see what they're asking him to do. So we'll prepare obviously for him to be available for the game and ready to play and when he's in he's got good size so you're going to have to put a guy, matchup-wise on him that can match his size a little bit. But yeah it's difficult, you don't see this very often where in this type of game a guy becomes eligible, but treat it like an injury, treat it like a guy who's been out for awhile that could re-engage the team.

Q. Can you tell at all how he might change their dynamic defensively?
ARCHIE MILLER: No, I think Butler's a proud man-to-man team. And watching them play it's Butler basketball, they're tough on the ball, very tough off the ball, it's a physical game inside, it's a physical game on the glass, so I would assume he'll be able to guard multiple positions and do some things that they ask their other wing guys to do.

Q. Looking at some of the guys who have won that gold jersey in practice this year it looks like it's pretty much been Juwan and Romeo outside of the short time that Jerome had it. Is that what you want your best players to kind of be the winners of that or do you want to see other guys kind of emerging and pushing?
ARCHIE MILLER: You would love to see it being spread around, but that gives you the indication that a lot of different guys are doing really well. And I think things have gone well for our team in terms of our practices, Juwan and Romeo are two guys that are prominent guys and I think the fact that they're in there working hard and practicing every single day that gives you an indication that your best guys are available and are there. We had some other guys that had some weeks, we had some other guys do some really good things throughout the course of practices and getting better. I think Cliff Moore's doing a really good job right now Damezi, although not really in the flow of the game as he was a little bit earlier he's still continuing to progress and do some good things as well and I think without question Zach McRoberts has had his best week since or the of getting back he's had a couple weeks on and off where he's sort of trying to get his game feet under him where he's not as sort of slippery out there and now that he's started to put some games under his belt, I thought the second half at Louisville helped him and then this week in practice he's really worked hard, so we're pleased with that.

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