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January 14, 2019

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Nebraska - 66, Indiana - 51

ARCHIE MILLER: That was probably one of the most disappointing games that we've played as a team this season. We didn't have any energy, any pop, either end of the floor, and we've been able to hang our hat on playing hard and playing tough and having a lot of guys in there contributing, and that wasn't the case here tonight. I didn't think that we played with near enough energy to compete in this league. Offensively we were just horrendous in the first half. We had a couple opportunities to hang in there, just didn't have enough.

Sometimes that happens, but it falls on me to figure it out, and we've got to get up off the mat again. This is a long year. The league is incredibly tough, and you're going to have to be good every night, and you're going to have to have most of your guys when you have them or at least all of them sort of working towards getting better. That's what we're going to have to do. Obviously Purdue is a huge game on Saturday, and for us we're going to have to figure out how we can be a little bit better here moving forward.

But we can't let sort of the negativity of losing and having a rough patch take away from who we are when we're confident and we're playing the right way. We've got to find a way to do that.

Q. Juwan talked about just the key being a better mindset, a stronger mindset coming out to start games to avoid kind of the slow starts. What does this team need to do to find that mindset and how difficult is it when you are dealing with injuries and guys coming in and out of not just games but practice?
ARCHIE MILLER: At the end of the day, it comes down to energy level, it comes down to leadership, it comes down to guys really -- one, being right every day and going through it and honoring the process when it's hard, and it's a grind. I felt like tonight for whatever reason, I didn't see the same team that we've had all year. A lot of the tougher games that we've won, we've been in tough spots. We've always had a very, very good energy level. We've always had a very, very communicating team, a team that obviously is prodding one another, plugging one another along as the game is going, and we didn't even have that tonight. We were very emotionless.

We have to figure that out.

Q. At this point, any idea where that came from? Did you see anything --
ARCHIE MILLER: No, I mean, it happens. It happens. It's mental fatigue as much as physical fatigue for certain guys, and that stuff creeps in. At the end of the day, you've got to find a way to recreate your energy level and your environment that you're in every day. It can't become monotonous.

Why guys aren't excited to get ready to go tonight, as much as we had at stake just in terms of being able to get back up off the mat at home, I don't know. As the coach, you've got to be able to push the right buttons, and clearly we're not pushing the right buttons right now.

Q. Offensively I think you guys were 11 of 37 outside of Juwan. Was there anything in particular you looked at that said, okay these things aren't going well for us offensively tonight?
ARCHIE MILLER: We didn't make any shots. I mean, we didn't. We had a hard time feeding the post. We had a hard time dealing with certain guys out there weren't guarded, and sometimes it's a funny feeling, but they did a good job. They had a good plan, and we weren't able to get off to a good start early in the game. Juwan wasn't able to get established. The first 10 minutes in particular I thought we were -- obviously we were pretty soft on offense, and we got a little better at the end of the second, first half. We got going a little bit at the beginning of the second half, and then to be honest with you, the other end of the floor was where this team has to be good. This team has to be good on that end of the floor. We've had to be good on that end of the floor all year.

But we didn't shoot the ball well at all tonight. To be honest with you, we have some guys that have lost some confidence, whether it's been in and out of lineups, in and out of practices, in and out of this. We're sort of really starting to move into that role, not real sure what we are getting out of certain rotations and certain things.

The big thing is confidence. The big thing is, like I said before, recharging our batteries here. Let's not lose our minds because obviously this group has done some really good things, and we've got a lot of ball to be played. We've got to keep hanging tough.

Q. You mentioned the run early in the second half and then kind of some things got away. You had it down to three, and what were some of the breakdowns that you guys had?
ARCHIE MILLER: Without off the top of my head going through the playlist, they did a great job of responding at a certain part of the second half from the three-point line. I thought Glenn Watson was as good as it gets tonight. He banged two big ones back-to-back; whether that was either inefficient offense or turnovers I'm not real sure, but he banged two big ones. And then Allen hit another one that was a back breaker that put it back over to double figures.

You know, you look for the answers. You watch the film, and I can probably pretty much tell you what I'm going to see on this film was a team that didn't play to its identity, and at the end of the day, you can't do that in this league. Doesn't matter if you're home or away.

Q. You've played three tough games in a row, and now you've got Purdue and Northwestern on the road, then come home and play Michigan. What do you tell your guys to not let three losses become four, five, six?
ARCHIE MILLER: It's all about Purdue. You can't get caught up in the schedule because if you get caught up in the schedule, at the end of the day, you're worrying about the wrong things. We've got to get back to work. We've got to put some things together here. Our guys gotta start to regroup, and our staff has got to do a good job with that. We have to prepare to play Purdue. That's the biggest game on the schedule. At the end of the day, that one means a lot, and our guys gotta be much, much more dialed in than we were today, and we've got to be much better on Saturday to have a chance to compete against them. It will be the same at Northwestern, it'll be the same when we play Michigan. They're all the same. And what we have to do is worry about us and be good at what we do, and right now we're not very good at what we do, which hurts us. You can't just let the other team's best players and the transition opportunities just absolutely mow you down.

If there's one thing about this team that's been pretty consistent is their effort level, their toughness level, their resiliency to be able to fight, play hard and play through it, and for whatever reason, when you lose that, that can really start to cause some problems.

So we've got to get our grip. We've got to get our grip back out on our identity. We've got to start to play harder again. We've got to get our defensive sort of rules and stuff. I think there's just too much slippage, and from an offensive perspective we'll see what we can do to keep getting better, but we just need some guys to play with some more confidence, and tonight we didn't have enough guys playing at a high level. Hopefully we can get there and get it back.

Q. You gave the guys a couple different looks defensively, but what specifically made that 1-3-1 so effective against you guys?
ARCHIE MILLER: They play it almost every game, and if you're not ready to handle it or you're not able to be able to penetrate it or get it inside, you're going to play around the perimeter. We were reluctant to attack the paint with the ball. We had a hard time feeding it inside the paint, and I thought Romeo may have driven it a few times and gotten fouled, but without question there was a little curveball there, but we knew it was coming. I mean, they play it every game. When you play against that type of defense there, you've got break its shape. You have to have some guys willing to take that ball and just go right at it, get to the paint and make somebody better, and we were very reluctant against it. Their length is good, and again, it's something that they do every day, so they're pretty good at it.

Q. I heard Jerome on pregame radio say he's redshirting this year. Was that a decision made because he's already missed so much time, or is that a decision because he physically wouldn't be able to play this year even if he was able to?
ARCHIE MILLER: Physically he's not able to play right now. It didn't matter about the time. It's all about his recovery, and it's about the process of moving forward for him. He's not able to play right now.

Q. Speaking of injuries, Al only played six minutes, didn't come back in the second half. What's he dealing with?
ARCHIE MILLER: From what I can tell, it was some type of a kick or some type of a collision in the back of his leg. I was told at halftime he wasn't coming back. We'll kind of see where that one goes.

Q. Clifton has talked this year about building more confidence. How much more confidence do you have in playing him in some of these more meaningful minutes early in the games?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, we probably gotta continue to work that front court depth. With De'Ron not being able to really go right now, we're sort of searching, and I thought Cliff did a pretty good job when he was in there. He's got to rebound the ball, but he had a couple good plays in there, and I think as things stand right now, we're going to have to continue to kind of fire guys in there and see what they can do. Cliff gave us a pretty good spark in the first half, as well, and I think he got in there maybe a little bit in the second half, I'm not sure, but he's where we're at right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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