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February 10, 2019

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Ohio State - 55, Indiana - 52

ARCHIE MILLER: Well, good win for Ohio State. The guys played really hard. This was a very, very physical game on both ends of the floor, and they were able to pull it out there in the last two minutes with some really big plays. We didn't obviously finish the last 90 seconds well enough in the game to be able to hang in there and either get it to OT or win it in regulation. But we fought hard. Our kids played hard in a very physical game, and we were right there, just came up a little bit short.

Q. Coming out of those two time-outs, the look to Romeo, what were you trying to get out of there and what was maybe the thought process?
ARCHIE MILLER: You know, seven seconds on the clock underneath out-of-bounds, you know, we drew up a play that obviously put Juwan and Romeo in a position to try and either drive it from the top or get a post-up, and wasn't sure if he was open or not. I know it obviously was a deflected pass. It was a bit turnover. But you can put that on me. We tried to get the ball right at the basket with Romeo, maybe get fouled, maybe get a quick bucket, but it was a big turnover.

Q. What did you see with those two last baskets? You had Jackson get open on the three but especially --
ARCHIE MILLER: The three, the one on the clock?

Q. Yeah, and the one --
ARCHIE MILLER: You're talking about the three-point shot with one second on the clock?

Q. Yeah --
ARCHIE MILLER: I mean, he made a heck of a shot on that one. I mean, that was from about 25. Devonte made one right before him. Maybe we get a little lucky one of these times where one of those one-second bombs doesn't go in on him. But give him credit on that one.

The other bucket, I'm not sure which you're talking about.

Q. The Wesson --
ARCHIE MILLER: The tip-in?

Q. Yeah, the last field goal?
ARCHIE MILLER: Oh, the last field goal was a slip play for those guys. They slid him out, and obviously our help side defense needed to be over a little earlier to make either a harder play on the ball, foul him or block the shot, and it just -- he made a good play. They slipped him out. Our rotation was there. I thought Romeo had a chance to make maybe a blocked shot, but he got it off the glass quickly. Obviously we've been dealing with it all game long. It was good action by them. Our help obviously didn't get there in time. But that was a good basket.

Q. I think it was the first five minutes of the first half, first two of the second half was like 18-4. What did you feel the issue was starting the game and the start of the second half?
ARCHIE MILLER: To start the game, our offense was a problem. Just in terms of the way they decided to guard, the way they decided to guard was obviously put the big fella in the middle of the paint and clog it up as much as he could. They went under a ton of ball screens, and we couldn't really get any rotation, get over the top, and our offense hurt us at that point in time. You're not going to be able to just hold those guys down every single time.

To start the second half, off the top of my head, obviously I don't recall the amount of plays, but we got off to a tough start in both, but we were able to obviously finish both halves I thought pretty well with some effort plays and some things like that.

Q. It doesn't have anything to do with this particular game, but the fact Bill Garrett was honored, the first African-American to play in the Big Ten for Indiana, do you have any thoughts on that?
ARCHIE MILLER: Well, it's obviously a special time of the year, and being able to honor Black History Month with Bill Garrett, the first African-American to obviously play in the Big Ten and how much he's meant to the university in general, being the pioneer, is a huge deal. Our players are very aware of that. Billy Garrett, Jr., was behind our bench. We were glad to have him, and obviously to commemorate the uniforms that commemorated that opportunity to represent him, it was just a really, really cool thing to be a part of, to have that staple.

Q. Juwan, is his shoulder okay? Is today just a bad day or is something going on with him?
ARCHIE MILLER: You know, I would probably like to ask the same question, but he played hard. He had 14 rebounds. He had some huge offensive rebounds when we didn't have a whole lot going. He defended really as well as he had here in recent games, just in terms of being able to fight the post for the whole game. Had some good looks from three; they didn't go in. They made things very difficult in and around the basket all game to get either post-ups or catches just because of the way that they treated the post crowds or the traps, and he just didn't get his normal amount around the rim. You know, just one of those games.

Give them credit, they did a nice job, and we were -- our team in general during the game needed to make some perimeter shots the way that they were playing. You just needed to make a few. If you don't make a few, obviously the game is going to kind of look like that. Once we made a couple, obviously the game changed pretty quickly, but that's what needed to happen throughout the course of this game with the way that they played. They did a really good job sagging under, keeping the bigs in the paint and post trapping some, so they were going to make us make some open shots and some perimeters, and we didn't until too late.

Q. Your players were asked about the sense of urgency there is both to start games and to close them out. What type of sense of urgency or how significant do you want that sense of urgency to be for them at this point?
ARCHIE MILLER: Oh, without question. You're having to play high-level games in the middle of February that mean a lot, and our games do, they mean a lot. We had two opportunities this week to play terrific teams and came up short, and there's some things that obviously we have to get corrected at the beginning of the game to be able not to take those leads down, but we climbed back, and both games at halftime felt fine.

Being able to finish the game comes down to execution. It comes down to getting quality shots, being able to do that, and then you've got to find a way to rebound the ball at times, as well, and that was a big deal in tonight's game was just the rebound, the ability to rebound the ball. So many, five to seven, 50, 50 long, we have our hands on it and they take it from us, we have two guys go up for it, it goes out of bounds. Those are just back breakers.

Q. Romeo came in here with so much fanfare. How do you feel like he's held up this season? What kind of season do you feel like he's had both in terms of what he's done well and what he maybe needs to work on?
ARCHIE MILLER: Awesome. Number one, very few people in the history of college basketball can come in with, number one, the hype, the reputation and the amount of responsibility that he was going to be handed, and he's handled it with unbelievable team approach. He's a learner. He works hard every single day, and he's also a guy that understands that there's a lot of eyes on him, and sometimes he's allowed to make mistakes. We've had to remind him of that throughout the course of the year. You're allowed to play poorly at times, you're allowed to make mistakes. You're not going to be perfect.

But I think in output of all freshmen in college basketball, I think he's third in scoring behind the two guys at Duke. He's obviously our leading scorer, and he's gotten tremendously better defensively.

But he's a freshman, man. He's a young guy. No one has handled it better than him in terms of being able to really not show when he's frustrated or be able to play through some mistakes. He's been able to do that, and I thought in today's game he was 37 minutes. He basically went 6 of 13, made three more threes, had 15 points, three assists, two turnovers. You're asking a guy to do a lot, and he is doing a lot for us. And he's got a lot more ball to be played here down the home stretch.

Q. Jumping back to the late-game execution thing, you guys had those games in December when you were able to come out on the winning side, Northwestern, Penn State where you could execute down the stretch and win. Does anything feel different about the way the team either approached the situation today or just the feel of the team in general when it comes down to a close game now compared to then in December?
ARCHIE MILLER: No, I don't think so. Obviously when you're able to win some games early in the season, close games, one-possession games, they obviously could have went a number of ways. In some ways maybe you got fortunate. In some ways maybe you did good things.

Tonight this was an instance where we needed, number one, underneath our basket needed to get that ball clean in and we needed to get a shot, and down the other end, give them credit, they ran a terrific play and we weren't able to make the read off the help. But that's how it comes; it comes down possession to possession. We've won a few like that. There's also obviously -- today is one of the instances we weren't able to finish it. But throughout the course of this game, though, the perimeter shooting from three needed to be there for us, and I'm not sure as you go back and watch the film how many good ones we got, how many rhythm ones we got, but we needed to be able to make a few tonight to alleviate that pressure in the paint, and doing it all over again, just watching how the game finishes, I wish I could go back 20 whatever.

De'Ron I thought was a big added bonus for us in the game. Again, he continues to play good minutes for us, so to have him in the game there maybe in those last two or three minutes with Juwan could have potentially helped us in a couple of those situations, but we didn't have him in there.

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