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March 2, 2019

Devonte Green

Rob Phinisee

Justin Smith

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 63, Michigan State - 62

Q. Talk about the defense on that last play?
ROB PHINISEE: Really I knew he was going to get the ball, and I knew a ball screen was coming, so I just had to fight to get over and stay in front of him.

Q. Justin, both halves, strong offensively, just where did all that kind of start for you, and I guess at some level where did it come from?
JUSTIN SMITH: I mean, I was due to hit some shots, hadn't hit a couple in a while, and then once I got a couple going, my teammates kept giving me confidence, told me keep shooting it, and that's what I did, and I was able to make a couple.

Q. Devonte, as a guy who's kind of struggled with consistency throughout your career, what did it mean to come out and light it up in the second half?
DEVONTE GREEN: It always feels good when you're making shots, but I mean, I just stepped up and made the shots.

Q. They were up 12 in the first half and you guys just kind of kept chipping away and it felt like in the second half you kind of got some stops, your confidence grew. Is that kind of how it went, and kind of what gave you the confidence when they were up 12 to kind of stick with things?
ROB PHINISEE: Really we just stayed together and everybody on the bench and everybody, just the coaching staff, kept encouraging us, so we stayed with it. We've been in that position before, and we just fought back.

Q. Coach talked both times you played these guys about transition defense. You beat them today in points off turnovers and significantly in fast break points. What was key for you not just in transition offense but in particular in defending when they tried to get out in transition?
JUSTIN SMITH: I would say that was a big focus for us, preparing for them in practice. A lot of their offense is in transition, and we wanted to make them play in the half court and not let them get easy baskets, and we were able to do that today.

Q. Rob, what was the challenge like going against Cassius Winston? What made you successful, and what was your approach coming into that?
ROB PHINISEE: Yeah, Coach was on me all week in practice, so the big thing was ball screens, just fighting over, and the bigs did a good job sticking and helping plugging, so it was really a team effort.

Q. Justin, I don't think you played after halftime at Iowa, but you step in and fill De'Ron's spot against Wisconsin, come in and hit some shots early today. Has anything changed with your approach this week or has anything mindset-wise been different for you in the last six, seven days?
JUSTIN SMITH: No, just trying to get better every day in practice, really focusing on preparing in practice, really trying to take practice and put yourself in a game mindset at practice and really play with your teammates and just really going out there and playing hard and playing for each other.

Q. Justin, what do weeks like these, what do they do for you guys mentally maybe in the locker room, just kind of morale-wise going forward to the end of your season?
JUSTIN SMITH: It's definitely given us momentum. We had won -- we were 1 for 12 or something like that, but we really weren't focused on that, we were taking it one game at a time, and now that we got two in a row, it's next game up. We're looking to build off of it, and it feels good to win. It always feels good to win, and we're just going to continue and we want this feeling again. That's what we're going to strive for.

Q. Rob, obviously you guys had a really tough stretch there. Some teams fold when it gets to be late in the season and they're losing. Why do you think you guys were able to fight back and get wins over ranked teams back-to-back late in the year?
ROB PHINISEE: I'd say leadership really, just staying together in practice and just staying together on and off the floor. We have a good team chemistry and we just want to fight for the seniors.

Q. Justin, just to follow up, not to read into it, but did you take practice for granted a little bit earlier, or have you kind of changed your approach within practices?
JUSTIN SMITH: No, I did not take practice for granted, but I kind of changed my mindset, just trying to go out there and put myself more in game situations and really trying to mimic a game in practice, and that's really what I would say has prepared me so well.

Q. Rob, how much do you see that kind of clutch gene stepping up hitting big shots from Devonte in practice?
ROB PHINISEE: I mean, he's a really good player. He just stepped up, knocked down threes when it mattered and helped us.

Q. Devonte, you've gone against a lot of good players. What were your thoughts on the way he defended Cassius, someone of his caliber today?
DEVONTE GREEN: I mean, I was proud of him. I was proud of the whole team, the way we defended him as a team, and I wasn't surprised. I mean, he's a great defender. I make him work every day in practice, that's for sure, so I mean, I was happy. Happy for him.

Q. What makes him good?
DEVONTE GREEN: He's quick laterally, he's strong. He's not easy to just blow by.

Q. Devonte, kind of a similar question to what Justin answered. The fact you've won two straight games against ranked teams, how confident are you guys not just the last regular-season games but even in the postseason?
DEVONTE GREEN: Our confidence is definitely up, and I think we needed that moving forward, and I think it's big for us, but like Justin said, we're just moving on to the next game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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