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March 18, 2019

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

ARCHIE MILLER: We got a quick turnaround, start right away in the opening round. Get Saint Francis, a league champion, two all team conference players. Any time you're playing a post-season event, there's good players. You're going against really good coaches and teams.

For us with the quick turnaround, we have to get ourselves ready to go, get focused in, find a way to see if we can't get this first one.

Q. Did yesterday change at all how you view non-conference schedules, the 20-game schedule in the Big Ten?
ARCHIE MILLER: No, haven't really thought a lot about it. Our non-conference schedule and our schedule in general was clearly not our problem. Winning the games that we needed to win was the problem. If you win a couple more games here or there, maybe just one more, we're not talking about non-conference scheduling and whatnot.

We had our opportunities. Everybody in our program knows we didn't get enough of what we needed to get done in January and February. I also think at the end of the day we're playing pretty good basketball here at the end. We need to see if we can't carry that over.

If you get a couple wins here in the post-season, regardless of what you're doing, that can really change individual player's paths into their future, build confidence, get more reps. That's what we're looking for right now.

Q. What has been your message to the team the last 24 hours or so?
ARCHIE MILLER: Our message is at the end of the day if you have an opportunity to put an Indiana jersey on, you better be ready to play. For us, obviously there's disappointment, but at the same time there's also opportunity. We need to focus in on the opportunity, then we need to be ready to go.

I think any time you have a chance to win a game, it changes the complexion of your group, sort of the morale. We have an opportunity tomorrow night to win a game. That's what we have to try to do.

Q. How much value can there be for this young team to get every opportunity going forward?
ARCHIE MILLER: Experience is everything. Winning games in March is everything. Finding a way to win a post-season tournament game, whether that's the Big Ten, NCAA, here in the NIT. There's great teams in the NIT. There's teams that could win games in the NCAA tournament. The more you advance in it, the more your confidence level and the more big-game experience you get.

Really two freshmen and two sophomores that played heavy minutes this year. You got guys on the bench that are going to play a different role as we get into this. We have to find a way to get guys to finish and find a way individually to feel good about what's moving forward.

Q. How much does it change for you rotation-wise when you think about the NIT, elimination play?
ARCHIE MILLER: We need to play to win. To do that we're going to need to play as many guys as we can. Especially when you get into these situations in these tournaments like this, you'll be surprised that certain guys are ready to play. They're excited to play. When they get their opportunities, they cash in on it.

I'm hopeful we get a good workout today. Quick turnaround. We're going to be excited to play. I think we're going to have a lot of different types of guys to contribute. You need guys to contribute because you're going to play.

Q. Do you play for the future?
ARCHIE MILLER: We play to win on Tuesday.

Q. The NCAA is where everybody wants to get to. The NIT is also a place you'll enjoy playing in. How challenging is it to get guys up for the NIT versus the NCAA tournament?
ARCHIE MILLER: I think every coach is in a different situation. I told the guys, there's two types of teams in post-season play: ones that are excited to keep playing, whether it be down or out, not as excited, these teams get eliminated very fast.

You're playing against conference champions or teams that were like yourself that had their opportunities, didn't get it done. They're still in a field of good teams.

The team that's the most excited, the team that's the most enjoyable right now to be around each other, the team that wants to get to that jump ball tomorrow and is excited, they got a chance to win the game.

That's the big part of it right now, is the willingness to get out there tomorrow night and play as hard as we can like we've been doing and at the end of the day advance.

You're going to get another really good opponent in Providence or Arkansas realistically in a few days. We played Arkansas earlier. Followed Providence closely. A Big East team. You win that one, who knows the next one you play.

For us right now it's about Tuesday night. Let's find a way to win, see how it goes. At the end of the day we'll make adjustments into the next one.

Q. Romeo squashed the idea he wouldn't play in this from a draft perspective. His back...
ARCHIE MILLER: He's day-to-day with his back. He tweaked his back in the first eight minutes of the Ohio State game. Has struggled with some soreness, really uncomfortable. He tweaked it. It's something that he's had a lot of treatment on in the last three days.

It's day-to-day in terms of what he can do today for practice. We'll see. But Romeo isn't shutting anything down. I mean, Romeo has been basically practicing every single day all season long to this point. I think he's hopeful he can get back and back onto the floor. If he can't go or is not able to practice tomorrow, we'll take it day-by-day.

Definitely in talking to him, like every other player on our team, you sit and you reflect. You look forward, say what is the next opportunity for me. I'm a player, I want to play.

Q. There's some rule changes with the NIT, widening the free-throw line, extending the three-point line. How do you adjust for that?
ARCHIE MILLER: Players won't even realize it. I think at the end of the day there's a couple things our staff will have to make a point of emphasis on, understanding what's going on. Fouls and the shot clock reset, our team needs to be addressed. Going back to the international line, I don't think that's ever been a problem. Guys shoot behind the line anyway. The widening of the lane is a good thing. You widen that lane up, you continue to open up the floor a little bit.

All these rule changes they put in place for the NIT I think have all been positive over the course of the year in watching the games and listening to the coaches after the fact.

There's some things our players will have to understand, fouls, resetting, the shot clock, going down on an offensive rebound. In terms of the line and the widening of the lane, I don't think the players will see much of an effect on that.

Q. Anything in particular about Saint Francis that jumps out at you?
ARCHIE MILLER: Looking at them early on, you have a team that won eight in a row. They played really well down the stretch. They lost in their conference title. Were able to win the NEC. Player of the Year in the conference, a mismatch guy inside.

Sometimes when you play in November, you play undersized teams, but they cause you a lot of problems because they're mobile. They have a good point guard, first team all conference player, cat quick kind of guy. They have shooters.

In general you're dealing with a team that's amped up to play Indiana. Indiana has to find a way to be amped up to play the game, as well.

Q. Is there a concern the way that team started the first 30 minutes, which team shows up for Indiana?
ARCHIE MILLER: I don't think so. I think the team shows up, if they're not playing well, we put other guys in the game. At the end of the day our staff is ready to go. The guys who are ready to go, they play. If you get a feeling things aren't going well, you have to adjust.

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