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March 25, 2019

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

ARCHIE MILLER: Wichita State is on a really good run right now. Finished the season really strong, then continued that into their conference tournament with a really hard-fought loss to Cincinnati. Could have been in their championship game. Now have been on the road in the NIT for two wins, finishing up yesterday at Clemson.

They're a really typical Wichita State team: play extremely hard, do a great job on both ends the floor, they really rebound the ball. Markis McDuffie is one of the hardest covers we'll see all season, as versatile as he is. True size at the five, puts pressure on the rim. Their other guys have gotten older, whether first year in the program or they're freshmen.

Should be a really, really hard-fought game. We're going to have to really bring the energy level and the toughness that you have to deal with when you play them. I think from the environment in the arena, I think both teams are really going to be excited and hopefully ready to play.

Q. As you look at them, they have this pivot point around early January, now 13-3. Do you see differences in them early season versus them more recently?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, without question. They had really a reboot. They had such a veteran-oriented team the last few seasons, you kind of knew they were in transition with all the new faces that they took the floor with this season.

I think they got off to a start they're not accustomed to, with the amount of winning they do. Without question, right around February 1st, you started to see them really kick it into gear in their league. As they go to their conference tournament, beating Temple, playing Cincinnati to the wire, beating Clemson on the road yesterday, they're playing as well as they have all year.

Q. Did you play them when you were at Dayton?
ARCHIE MILLER: We played a fantastic Wichita State team at Dayton in the NCAA tournament. Extremely hard-fought game. The team that they had was very balanced. They had a lot of weapons.

When you play them, you just have to understand what's going on. If you're not ready to rebound and play hard, you're not ready to compete, they're going to get you. That's been their MO as long as Coach Marshall has been there. Their mantra is just toughness.

I remember that game like it was yesterday, us not being able to score enough baskets at the end, but how hard-fought the game was. That team, again, I thought last year maybe won the conference championship, got into the NCAA tournament. But this team is different. They have new faces that are brand-new.

McDuffie is the one guy that's been a mainstay in their program. He's a senior, all-conference player, 19 a game. Offensive rebounds, drives, made 76 threes on the season. He's a very, very difficult matchup.

They do a good job.

Q. Haynes-Jones is a senior guard for them. Most of their team is young. They do have a senior guard averaging double figures. What do you see from him?
ARCHIE MILLER: Very good at ball screens. Very quick, attacking guard. Plays hard defensively. Can really get up after you. He makes plays for them. Hit a huge shot late in the Clemson game yesterday to go from a one-possession game with 20 some seconds, he bangs a huge step-back three to put them up six. He makes plays.

He is their guy at the end of the clock, he's going to make a lot of things happen. They set a ton of ball screens for him so he's constantly in attack mode. He's definitely one of tougher guards you're going to play against that we've seen.

Q. With the way you have been playing, without giving away any game plans, how do you see some of Indiana's advantages over them right now?
ARCHIE MILLER: I think the personnel they have right now is talented, strong, athletic. We're going to have to establish a low-post game in this game. With De'Ron and Juwan, we're going to have to establish some things around the basket because things are going to be tough on the perimeter. You're not going to get great shots. They do a good job of that.

The physicality of the game is going to be way up. For us, we're going to have to find a way to establish the paint. When we've established the paint here recently, good things have happened for us.

Juwan, De'Ron, our ability for our guards, a guy like Devonte, going to have to make more plays. We're going to have to find a way to get in transition. We are at our best when we are in transition. Defense to offense is going to be a huge thing in the game. We're going to have to find a way to get runs.

They're very good. I mean, they're as good as any team here of late regardless of their record. They're playing as well as any team we played here of late. They give us problems with their size around the basket. Like I said, defensively they can get up after you.

Rebounding the ball is huge. If we're rebounding the ball, our team has shown they're able to play with anyone. This is going to be one of those deals where our guards and everyone is going to have to be committed. They're bigger on the perimeter.

Q. With McDuffie, how important is it to make a guy like Justin Smith, that you've trusted, for some of those defensive assignments?
ARCHIE MILLER: He's going to have to step up, a key matchup in the game, being able to defensively hang in there. Juwan, as well. Like I said, he plays like a guard, but he's got unbelievable size and a great motor. He plays hard.

Without question, we're going to need Justin to really give us something on that end of the floor like he has at different times, whether he's guarded Jordan (indiscernible), you name the guys he's had to guard. When he hung in, did a good job in that sort of situation where he's hung in, we've been better.

Without question that matchup is huge. I think Justin has to step up and sort of rise his level a little bit. He has to be ready to go at that end of the floor.

Q. Do you have a target for guard rebounds?
ARCHIE MILLER: It's always been like 12, 12 or more from our guards. Usually that's always a key number. When your guards are rebounding the ball, it means, number one, they're cleaning it up, the other guys are blocking out. 12 or more usually has been a good number for us.

This last game, Devonte had 11 himself. Al and Rob had seven, so 18 right there. We out-rebounded Arkansas. In one-possession games, tight games, you name the situation, rebounding is always a key factor. That will be a big one tomorrow night.

Q. A little bit cliché, but what do you think this team has learned about itself, its ability to refocus the last couple games after the disappointment?
ARCHIE MILLER: It's over now. It's always that first game. You have to get over the hangover. Once you get through the first game, you probably saw it as well as I did on Saturday afternoon, a great environment to play in. Players want to play.

Now you get to the third one. You're playing ball again. You're playing to win. There's obviously a carrot at the end of this one because you're moving on to New York City. You get to New York City, it's good to be playing this time of year. Good for your experience level, good for guys to win games, to be on the spotlight again.

Like I said, that first one's always going to be tough. Clearly it's not what we wanted. You're now through that. You're back playing to win again. You have something to play for, which is a great opportunity on Tuesday.

I think it will be an electric atmosphere for our guys to play in as well as Wichita State. Like I said, either one of these teams wins this game, you move on another week, you're in Madison Square Garden. It's playing ball again.

Q. Echenique can be prone to fouls. Is that sort of the physical presence you're going to have to establish against down low?
ARCHIE MILLER: He's played great in the tournament here, these last two games. He's averaging 17 points a game, giving them an offensive presence. He's a big guy, good touch around the basket. He can do some things.

When you bring in mid guard, it is a whole different level. 7'2", 300 pounds, whatever he is. His presence rolling to the basket reminds me a lot of Jon Teske, gets a lot of rim runs at the basket, playing off the spacing they play with.

Both guys, I wouldn't say they pound ball, but Echenique these last couple games, he's clearly done a really nice job for them. They have true size at the five. McDuffie is a tough cover. They can shoot the ball from a few spots as well. Like I said, they really spread you out and do some good things.

For us, it's looking at what we do well, how does it apply in a quick turnaround. You have to be yourself but there's some tweaks we have to look at. We can't give these guys the easy ones they get off of certain coverages because they will just keep picking on you.

I think it will be an interesting game around the basket. They have great size around their rim. They do a good job of walling up, making things difficult. De'Ron and Juwan, our low-post guys that command the ball, they're going to have to be ready to play through some size down there around the rim.

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