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March 22, 2019

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

ARCHIE MILLER: Having to go back and see Arkansas when we played them in the third or fourth game of the year, and to watch their young guys turn the page and to see some of the seasons that their guys have had is impressive. Coach Anderson's style is one in which they get better. Obviously their team has changed here in the NIT with Daniel Gafford (being out). But I think that the one thing that goes unnoticed is how versatile they become without him and how random they become with their offense and their defense and their pace of play is so fast. When you take into account the shooters that they have and how they shoot the ball from the three-point line and how they can change up defensively, they really make your team read and react throughout the game. So we're going to have to be really organized in terms of what we have to do defensively and offensively.

But should be a good match-up. To be honest with you, should be a really exciting game just in terms of the style that's coming in here that we have to be prepared for.

Q. Aside from that versatility being more prominent, what else is different about this team without Daniel Gafford?
ARCHIE MILLER: Well, he's a first-team all-SEC player. His shot blocking, his offensive rebounding and the presence he gives them inside is something a little bit unique.

He's obviously a very, very good player. But without him, like I said, they become way more wide open in terms of the way they attack and shoot the ball from five positions and drive it from five positions. Their motion allows them to really move, and it's just one of those things where it's not a very structured game. They're very free flowing. Isaiah Joe, making 110 threes on the season as a freshman, leading the league in three-point shooting makes and percentages, incredible. You look at Jones and the way that he's made 85 threes, they can really, really shoot the ball, and I think that's the thing that in watching them play against Providence, that was really evident in that game, how fast they played, how well they shot the ball, and then defensively their ability to change defenses, match up zones, the press, the man-to-man, it just keeps you off balance, but the three-point line is something that's very scary.

Q. How much of an advantage is it to have already seen their press this season?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, their press, it's a couple different types of presses. I think when you play them at Arkansas, it's a very different game than when you play them on the road or at home. Maybe they don't go to it as much.

But definitely when they put it on, obviously you have to be very organized, and I think the thing that they do is they put the ball in other guys' hands with the doubling and getting rid of it and moving it that other guys have to make decisions other than maybe your main ball handlers. So our other guys, I think that's the one thing coming out of it playing the first time is you really can't get sped up. You have to try and be very, very detailed, very, very smart. Once you break the press, to be able to be organized, because charges, turnovers and quick shots is what they want, and I think in Game 1 you saw a couple of those instances, especially early in the game where different guys had problems, whether it was charging, taking quick shots, not being organized.

So I think playing them at one time, you have some feedback, but we've also played a lot of games now, and hopefully we're a little better at that.

Q. Having already played a game in this tournament, maybe settling in a little bit, are guys maybe locked in a little more than they were going into the first game?
ARCHIE MILLER: It's definitely a different game. The first game is one of which you don't really know what to expect and it's on you fast and you're dealing with a lot of different types of things, whether that's not getting in the tournament or who are we playing. Next thing you know is you get through the first one, it becomes a little bit more of your normal routine where you have an opponent like Arkansas won a game, you now have gotten one game under your belt at home in the postseason and you're playing another one, and just looking at our guys in terms of getting through the first one, now moving into yesterday's practice and whatnot, I thought we had good vibe about us and guys worked really hard yesterday, and we're going to have to do that again today to be prepared.

Q. Obviously not having Romeo, but your starting backcourt, 30-something points, double-digit rebounds and assists, not a ton of turnovers between them. As you kind of triage that performance from Al, Rob and Devonte, what did you like?
ARCHIE MILLER: Well, I thought those guys for the first time played on the floor at the same time. It's a very unique deal. Romeo plays a lot of minutes, so having Zach and Damezi available is good but also playing your best offensive players at times is something we'll have to do, and I think that'll be part of what we have to do tomorrow. It also gives your ball handling, gives you -- it gives you speed, it gives you some guys that offensively can do a lot of different types of things.

So I thought those guys did a nice job, and they'll be a big, big key at both ends of the floor defensively and offensively against Arkansas. You need multiple ball handlers at times, and the decision making and turning it over is something that Arkansas is like 12th in the country in forcing turnovers.

You need your guards to really play well. So hopefully those guys getting on the floor and playing a ton of minutes is good, and hopefully the next game obviously they're ready to go.

Q. Talk a little bit about Al; he had a career high last game and about his development over the course of the season.
ARCHIE MILLER: You know, Al has played a lot of minutes for us and he's been very consistent. We're trying to get him to be as confident as he possibly can on offense, and I thought you saw that at times this season, but you also saw that the other night. He's very aggressive going to the basket. He's one of our best shooters, so we need him to do that. He'll be a big key as we go into however games we play here but especially on Saturday. He's played a lot of minutes. He's much more experienced right now than he's been, and he's been a consistent guy every day. For Al, I think the big thing is to finish on a high note, continue to play with confidence.

Q. Devonte Green has almost had a calming effect on this offense; that's something we wouldn't have said at the beginning of the year, but he has really had a resurgence this back half.
ARCHIE MILLER: Devonte has been a big key to -- I guess probably five out of six games now and then the sixth and one loss was Ohio State where he made eight threes. So offensively he's shown his talent. He's playing a very, very confident style. The big thing with him is he can do a lot of things. He's the one guy that not only can make shots but make plays for others, and he's stood out here in our last four weeks of play and has done a nice job.

Q. Have you had to challenge De'Ron at all coming off the last game?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, De'Ron was good yesterday. I think coming off the Big Ten Tournament and moving into that first one, he wasn't very dialed in, and then physically and mentally you have to be dialed in at this time. You have to be motivated, you have to be ready to go. Very, very good attitude the last few days, especially yesterday in practice, and like I told him, we're not going to be as good as we can be unless you show sort of the ability to do what he's done for us in the last month and some change was to give us a low post presence and play heavier minutes, and I think it'll be a tough game for him because there's really no true low post presence in this game. There's a lot of movement, but on the other end, if he can establish himself in the paint, especially from an offensive perspective, I think that helps us.

Q. Trying to flip a switch with a guy like that mentally, is it kind of pushing a different button than you haven't done all season? Is the onus kind of on him? How do you get him to get locked in?
ARCHIE MILLER: No, I think it's up to the individual player right now to be motivated, to find a way to bring yourself sort of to the challenge and be the best that you've been all season. I talked to him a lot about that in the last three or four days and I was proud of his effort yesterday. He was very, very good in practice. As long as things go well today, I think he's going to be ready to go.

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