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November 16, 2019

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Troy-62, Indiana-100

ARCHIE MILLER: Good win by our team. Started the game much better defensively than we have in our previous last couple outings in particular. I thought we were unselfish. When you combine the effort level that we had early and the unselfishness, I though we got off to a good start.

We continued to do a really good job early in the game on the offensive glass. We were able to really neutralize some things. I think we hit the bonus in about five minutes in the first half, which is probably a record for us, but we're constantly preaching the ability to get fouled and play downhill, get inside, and thought our guys did a good job.

We played with a comfortable margin. I thought the first 6 to 8 minutes in the second half were pretty good. Obviously got sloppy and very -- you know, lack of maturity and some details and concentration things played a par in the later part of the game.

We're 4 and 0. We'll take all the four of them. We have Princeton on Wednesday, an Ivy League contender, terrific big guy. We got our work cut out for us coming back, so we got to find a way to get a little better next time out.

Wednesday night I think we'll get tested a lot differently, especially inside. Although tonight I thought Zay Williams was about as good a you can probably get, get 28 and 8 on us.

Q. Three-point line. Coach, defensively, 5 of 25. I know they had a quick one. I saw you talking to your guards. (Regarding adjustments.)
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, we were better details getting back; not giving up very many easy ones in transition was a huge part. Our guys on the ball I thought did a much better job to start the game in terms of our pressure and just not letting them be comfortable.

A couple we did give up, we probably broke down in the areas we normally have been doing. But over the course of first half in particular, I think they were 2 for 11 at halftime. That was a good step. Second half they probably missed some good ones that maybe wasn't their night from behind the line.

First half I thought we dictated a little bit of their misses. That's a big part moving forward. Three-point line is huge.

Q. What do you see from Damezi that you liked tonight, and what's he starting to do that may continue on throughout the season?
ARCHIE MILLER: Damezi has got to bring a toughness to us. He's a physical kid. He's very, very strong. In longer stretches of minutes when he's had consistent practice time he's been a guy that we can count on to bring some physicality to the game. He is able to get on the offensive glass, defend bigger perimeter players.

And then his great gift is he can really shoot the ball. I think you're starting to see in more minutes when he takes good ones and he's getting the good looks that come off unselfish play, he's a guy that can really sick it from long range. One of our better long-range shooters.

In the first half in particular he made some really good shots. That's what you want to see from him. Shooting the ball is a big deal. He didn't practice the day leading in with some foot soreness or ankle sprain or whatever it may have been.

Happy he was able to play tonight with Rob not being available. We needed his minutes.

Q. The starting guards and Justin knocking down threes. I think they were 6 and 9 combined, the three of them. How much does that open up what you can do offensively, especially considering the struggles you had from three last year and where you can go going forward?
ARCHIE MILLER: Shooting the ball and making the shots just makes the game easy. It just does. Everything is easier when you're able to make some shots. It's the quality of the shot is the thing that you concentrate the most on. Are they taking the ones that you're really working on? Are ou taking the ones that are in the rhythm of the game?

I don't think we forced very many in the first half. Justin opened the game up with an open one. He was open off a drive and kick. Al, Armaan in particular, and then Damezi got going in the first half as well. So we were able to make some open ones.

With the ability to get fouled and the ability to play inside, you know, that's something we're going to have to do, so it's important. But I have confidence in these guys that when we're open they can stick shots. They've worked very hard, and I think they have confidence in themselves right now shooting the ball as well.

Q. Coach, you mentioned offensive rebounding. When you're able to be successful on the offensive glass, how does that help the offensive flow and take pressure off your shooting?
ARCHIE MILLER: It's a huge part of the game when you have the ability to offensive rebound. It breaks the opponents's back on second shots. Typically you're going to get a basket, a good look off some type of offensive rebound, or get fouled. That's a huge part to what we're doing. I've been saying it since the start of the season. This team has got to be a great rebounding team and great on defense.

We're not great on defense by any stretch, but we are consistently I think rebounding the ball with concentration level. It's something that on our mind. From an offensive rebound standpoint, if you look at Trayce and Justin and Race is doing a great job. Jerome is in the mix; Damezi is in the mix. A lot of different type of guys contributing in their area.

That's a strength. Something we have to have as a part of what we're doing.

Q. Coach, I guess your assessment of what Devonte was able to give you in his first game out?
ARCHIE MILLER: 19 minutes. 19 good minutes for him. Hasn't practiced at all really. Had couple days leading into tonight. We were hoping 15 to 20 he could give us knowing Rob wasn't going to be out. I'm just glad he's not hampered or sore. I think athletically he's back, but he's got to shake some rust off and get his feet under him.

He'll be fine. He plays an important role. I think when he was in there obviously forced one turnover. Took some shots that he'll make down the line.

It's good to have him back. I think at some point, you know (knocking on wood) get them all back, especially in the back court. That's where we've really been needing our depth to come through.

Rob will be fine. Hopefully he's over being sick. The last few days he looks better in the locker room. If we can get him back and get him into the mix and start to get some chemistry into our back court, I think that would be really, really important for this team as we head to middle of November, end of November.

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