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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
November 8, 2019
Q. First question will be what was it like for each one of you to run out on the floor and get to play in a regular season game for the first time last Tuesday.
Trayce, we'll start with you and work down this way.
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Okay. Just crazy to think about playing college basketball and then coming to this prestigious university where college basketball is loved so much here. Just to be out in front of the fans was just a great experience.
And then to win, get the first win, was really good.
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: For me, it was exhilarating. I was a little nervous, but just playing in front of these great fans you have so many expectations. Just got to live up to them. We just got to play our best basketball. It was a fun experience.
JEROME HUNTER: For me it was an exciting experience because last year I had to sit out all year. So being on the court for the first time and seeing how excited the fans were and how great the environment was, it just made it a very fun night.
And even getting a win just made it even more exciting that night.
Q. For Trayce and Armaan, both of guys are freshman and a lot of times it takes freshman a while to get acclimated in. You guys have shown that you can make an impact immediately on this team. How has that been for you guys?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: It's been an adjustment, but we just have some great upperclassmen that showed us the ropes from the beginning. Showed us what we needed to do, showed us everything we need to do, everything we can get away with, can't get away with. So we basically give credit to the upperclassmen for that, for getting us prepared.
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yeah, what he said. Upperclassmen been really good from us really right from the summer just getting us in and fitting us in the system. Coach Miller has really just made us work hard, and we just been working as hard as we can every day.
So that's about it.
Q. Armaan, you said you were a little nervous before you took the floor on Tuesday, but you had eight assists and zero turnovers. How comfortable are you handling and distributing the ball in maybe in a role weren't expecting to do this early in your career?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: For me it's just playing basketball, making the simple plays. You know, find the open man. If I have a shot I'll shoot it, but mostly just looking for the open man. Just playing basketball.
Q. To follow up on that, where is your confidence level? How are you feeling going into more games?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: Just got to seize every opportunity I can. Always got to play with confidence. You can't get down on yourself if you make a mistake. You always got to play with high confidence.
Q. Armaan, just refresh my memory or how much point guard did you play in high school. So when you had to play more point early in the season, how much of a steep uphill climb was that to learn?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: I was thrown into playing point my junior year at the last minute, so this is kind of like another situation for me so I was kind of ready for it. Just had to learn at a faster pace. There was more things to learn at this level, so I think I'm starting to adjust to it a little bit.
Q. Question for Trayce here. Your comfort level at power forward and how much are they kind of teaching you both positions, or are you just kind of focused on the forward now?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I'm still playing both positions, I would say. I sub in at the five. We have four groups that we play with, so four in one and there are five in the other. I'm pretty comfortable with the four right now. Just really working on my on-ball defense is probably the biggest key.
I played for four in EYBL, so it's an adjustment still that I'm making, but I think I've done pretty well so far.
Q. Jerome, you didn't play last year, but you were around this team a lot. Do you see Coach Miller challenging you guys at a different level defensively? He's talked with a lot of ambition about how good he thinks this team can be on defense. Is that reflected in your mind in practice and meetings and things like that?
JEROME HUNTER: Yeah, I mean, Coach Miller always his big thing has always been defense, so playing for Coach Miller you know you're going to have to play defense at some point.
If you don't want to play defense he's going to make you play defense. So it's like he emphasizes that a lot. He just makes sure that's our No. 1 thing when they think of Indiana.
Q. Trayce, coach has talked early on here about your ability to guard the perimeter a little bit as a key to maximizing your ability to be on the floor. Can you talk about how you played the other night, where you are in that progression?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I thought I played pretty well. Really just got to be used to getting in the gap, just making right plays, closing out on shooters. Really what coach worries about is catching shooter's shots, but I thought I did pretty well with that last night. I just got to keep working towards it.
Or not last night, but on Tuesday.
Q. Your outside shot may not have gone the way you would like it to so far, but you gone inside the paint and posted up smaller guards to get yourself in a rhythm. How comfortable is kind of going in the paint going to probably help your outside shot as the season goes on?
JEROME HUNTER: I mean, being out a year, that's definitely a long time from the game. I mean, starting inside and working my way out is going to be a big key for me just because I haven't played for a long time against this type of competition.
So starting this, how I work my way out is just going to help my outside shot far more.
Q. Trayce, you won the gold jersey I think a couple times.
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Three.
Q. Three times?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yeah.
Q. Are you wearing the gold jersey this week?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yeah.
Q. Has that been a confidence builder for you? When you did lose it that one week, did it upset you?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Most definitely. I'm just always trying to compete. I know all of our teammates are trying to compete. What really helps me is the rebounding aspect. So I've just been really trying to hit the glass hard, especially after the Marquette scrimmage; Coach Miller put an emphasis on that.
So that's what I've been doing a lot, and it's rewarded me with the gold jersey each week, so...
Q. Jerome, before the exhibition Coach Miller said that he was looking forward to seeing you kind of getting out there and getting in front of a crowd, getting adjusted to officials. What are some challenges that you've ran into in the first couple games in front of a crowd, and how do you feel like you've played in front of those challenges?
JEROME HUNTER: I mean, being out just made me realize how much a year can really mean to you of not playing the game of basketball. I mean, going out there running up and down the court, that even felt different just from sitting out a year.
So getting comfortable and getting myself comfortable I think I'm going to work on game by game, and I hope I get better at it.
Q. Armaan, just a follow up. You said it's a faster pace obviously adjusting to the point at this level. Was there any particular upperclassmen or players on the team who really helped with the adjustment, and what are some of the specific things that are just so much faster and different?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: I think the biggest person that helped was Al. Even in practice when I used to like -- when I was first starting to do it I would mess up a little bit and he would just pull me to the side and show me what I can do, what my reads are.
I think that's the biggest thing you got to come across. You got to look at all the reads, got to know all the plays, every position. I think that was the biggest adjustment.
Q. Trayce, I don't think we got to talk to you after Hoosier Hysteria. Where did the Calbert Cheaney jersey idea come from?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: It was actually Brian Walsh. He's the one that gave me the idea. He thought it would be really cool, so told me about how he used to do all those reverse dunks. I thought, why not put that for the show?
We decided to put that together and it was a really good idea. Props to him.
Q. Trayce, now that you've had a game under your belt, how do you assess the way that the three of you guys play in the front court, being yourself, Joey Brunk, and De'Ron Davis, in terms of strategies for each one of you guys and how do you see those roles shifting?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I just really think that just depends on the lineup we're playing. I know Joey brings in, Joey and De'Ron both bring in more physical aspects. They're both around 250; I'm more 240. When we're playing bigger lineups, I think that they're going to be able to guard bigger guys better. I think my athleticism will still help me, but just really depends on the lineup that they got.
Q. Armaan, when you think about a year ago when you committed and look forward to your freshman year, what do you remember thinking it was going to be like?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: Honestly didn't know. I was just going to try to come in here and work my way into anything I could get. If you told me I would be playing point right now I probably wouldn't have believed you.
Everything works out how it did, so...
Q. Jerome, Tuesday when you were in there with Al, Rob, Trayce, and Justin, you guys went on that 16-0 run creating a lot of miss-matches on defense. What stood out about that lineup that you guys were able to play with a lot more pace?
JEROME HUNTER: Well, we were all interchangeable, so me and Justin could guard guards, we could guard the bigs. So it was just like we just figured out our groove and we was out there together. We just figured out how to play together, how to play with one another.
Q. Trayce, you talked about rebounding. Any examples of any drills or anything that you've been doing in practice?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: We do this drill. It's two on two blocks out. You got to usually get two rebounds on defense before you can go out. Then if you offensive rebound you have to stay on defense.
So that's really a big one that's really helped us with our rebounding.
Q. Jerome, did you feel a lot more comfortable this week than the exhibition game, and what was the difference for you?
JEROME HUNTER: Yeah, I mean, like I said, I'm just taking it game by game. I hope to get more comfortable each game and just start working my way in, find my feel for the game as the season progresses.
Q. Do you feel a lot better than you did a month ago?
JEROME HUNTER: Oh, yeah. I feel way better. I mean, with my condition I'm just trying to take it day by day, and each day I feel like I'm getting better.
Q. I guess as much as you can talk about it, like what is that process for you? Is it something you're constantly aware of from a physical perspective as you stretch, work out, as you lift whatever?
JEROME HUNTER: No. It was just more of each day you just don't know how he's going to be. One day can be good and one day can be bad. Like I said, it's just day by day.
Q. Trayce, you've had some big blocks over the last few games. How much do you pride yourself in your ability to create plays at the defensive end?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Really it's kind of just instinctive. It's all-timing. I was really good at that in high school, so just trying to carry over into the college level. It's been tough, but at the same time it's one of the aspects I've carried over pretty well.
So I'm just going to try to keep helping on the help side, but -- so, yeah.
Q. Just a question maybe particularly for Trayce and Armaan. What's the bond like between you guys? Do you room together? What kind of chemistry is between you?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Great chemistry. (Laughter.) We're roommates, yeah. We're brothers. We love each other. We hang out all the time. Even off the court we're always with each other, always going out to eat, doing stuff, playing video games together. We've really created a really good bond over summer. I would say it's gone really well so far.
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: Yeah, piggyback off that. Yeah, we've become really close. Even though we've known each other for a long team, this just brought us even closer together.
Q. Jerome, for you coming back this year, do you have any personal goals you've set for yourself where you want to be in this season and how far you can get?
JEROME HUNTER: I mean, it's just getting better. I mean, I don't know how it's going to be this year. I never played the game; I just watched. So I just want to get better each game and help my team out as much as I can.
Q. Armaan, you said you've known Trayce for a long time. How far back does it go?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: Seventh grade. Played together in seventh grade.
Q. How would you describe Trayce, and Trayce, how would you describe Armaan in terms of characteristics?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: Trayce is goofy. He's a big, goofy dude. Like he'll just say some random stuff sometimes. Be looking at him like, Bro, what are you talking about?
But no, he's a really funny dude. We get along real well.
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Armaan, when you first get to know him he's quiet. After a while he'll get out of his shell. He's a fun dude to be around. We love our movies. Movies time is great time.
But he's a really good dude. He's fun to be around.
Q. For Trayce and Armaan, what's the genre of movies you want to watch together, and also, what's the video game choice and who's better?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: I'm going to start the movie off by we watch a lot of Will Ferrell movies. We even watched Stepbrothers about six times since it came on Netflix. We watch all the Avengers movies, all the Marvel movies. Sometimes we throw some scary movies in there.
But, yeah. You got video games, bro.
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Video games, Fortnite, it's me. Madden, I give props to him minimum. Call of Duty, probably me. FIFA, him.
And then that's really all we play.
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: All the athletic games give them to me. He has all the shooting games.
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Yep.
Q. All right. You guys have bunk beds?
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: No. We got our own...
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: We got our own rooms.
ARMAAN FRANKLIN: Yeah, we got our own space.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports