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February 8, 2020

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

Purdue - 74, Indiana - 62

COACH MILLER: Number one, really appreciate the efforts that went in to get the 1980 team back. It was a lot of hard work there. Randy Wittman and Quinn Buckner and Isiah Thomas, a lot of those guys that conversed over the course of time to make that happen. It was huge.

But also the inclusion of Coach Knight meant a lot to those guys. And for us to be able to host them and have Coach Knight officially come through the doors was a big thing. And I think, hopefully, that makes those guys and everybody that's been a part of the long-standing tradition that only played here coached here and obviously all our fans, hopefully that makes some things go in a different direction moving forward, continuing to tie things together. So very, very happy about that for those guys.

Obviously very disappointed in our performance today. In that type of environment with our fans and crowd, it was really ready. And we got off to a decent start. But our turnovers in the first half really killed momentum. And their run at the end of the half was really a deflating deal.

To be able to come out of halftime and find a way to score the ball a little bit but not be able to get the stops continued to be the second half of the problem.

But Purdue deserves credit. Executed well. They've got some guys stepping up right now and coming outside of maybe a tougher start. Wheeler's three 3s to start the game and you've got some guys obviously at the right time of year stepping up and playing well and making -- they got a lot of contributions.

And our offense, in particular, in the second half, when we needed it to be more efficient, wasn't. But give them a lot of credit. I'm disappointed for our players. I'm disappointed for our fans. I'm disappointed for everyone that came back for the reunion. And I'll take full responsibility on the loss today.

For us, we have Iowa coming in here on Thursday, and Iowa is a terrific team. They're a team that, as you watch them play, has had an unbelievable year so far. And Luke Garza is a first-team All-American but they have a slew of other guys playing really well.

You're only as good as the next one. Today, as disappointing as it is, you have to find a way to be about the right things over the course of the next three, four days, to give yourselves a chance to play against another great team. And one way or another, you have to earn the right to break through. And we're at home again on Thursday. We've got to find a way to do that.

Q. How did you find out that Bob Knight was coming and what was your reaction to hearing that he was going to be in the building?
COACH MILLER: This game has been circled on the calendar for a long time. And I think this was the goal for those guys to make this happen. And over the course of the last month or month or so, as the talks went, it looked like it was going to be favorable. But I think as this last week approached, I thought it was going to come down the line that hopefully, cross your fingers, that everything was able to work out.

Coach was able to come see our team before the game today was really, really special. Having Pat here was really special. Karen wasn't in the locker room before the game but I know she came as well. So that's a big step. And it means a lot to a lot of people. And, like I said, I'm really happy for a lot of people, that they were able to experience that today.

Q. Did you have any extended conversations with Coach Knight? And I'm curious, too, how often you're reminded of the fact that you've got the job that Coach Knight once had, that you're sitting in that seat?
COACH MILLER: I was able to communicate with Coach Knight prior to the game as he arrived and he was able to be in the locker room for us. Thanked him. Obviously thanked Pat, Randy Wittman as well. It meant a lot to those guys but not extended conversation.

And in terms of being the head coach at Indiana, I know Coach Knight was a coach here.

Q. You mentioned the turnovers in kind of your opening statement. Why do you think this team is continuing to struggle in terms of taking care of the ball? I think it's now three straight with a turnover percentage over 20?
COACH MILLER: It's hard. I think there's some plays that you'd like to have back that are silly. There's some inexperience that happens as well out there. And we had two illegal screens today, two cross screens that were called illegal screens. Same play, called the same screen illegal both times. You don't see that much in the Big Ten, an illegal cross screen by a small on a big. But obviously that was the way it was going to be called. There's two right there.

I think there was two underneath out of bounds where they made a good play on it when we had Race open under the basket. And there was some sloppy play with 10 turnovers -- clearly played a huge role in the confidence level of how the first half finished.

You've got to be able to respond to that. We were down a couple weeks ago to Maryland after a tough first half. We were able to get right back in it. And it's 56-50 there with nine to go, nine, eight to go. We had our opportunities. Big and-one by Haarms on the pick and roll. Was able to knock that down and kind of just took the air out of the run.

But no question about it, the turnovers continue to be a problem. And it's not like you're not talking about them but you've got to continue to work through it and get better.

Q. I know it was by a slim margin but you were outrebounded again today, the second game in a row. Do you feel that you made progress on that --
COACH MILLER: No, we're not rebounding at all right now. Offensive rebounding is nonexistent. And then tough ones down the stretch. You can just -- I think Boudreaux may have had two in a row, long ones. It just kills you, man.

And why, I don't know, other than the fact that concentration, effort level on Purdue's part. They're the number one offensive rebounding team in the league; they do it for a reason. They've got guys really going. At one point it was a strength of ours. Right now it's not.

If you just say, hey, how do you get better: Rebound the ball better and take care of it. We're a better team. That's what it's going to come down to.

Q. When you think about Bob Knight and Indiana's teams, what stands out to you, what can you do to maybe try to replicate some of that?
COACH MILLER: Coach Knight's teams played with amazing execution, role definition. And I think over the course of his time you watch guys develop within the framework of his system and style, guys as freshman or redshirts become All-Americans as they get older.

So there's a development component of it but there's an amazing amount of execution and role definition where the right guys took the right shots and the right guys set the right screens. And in his own way he had an opportunity to really develop that type of belief in what they do works.

As a coach, I think that's what you're looking for the most is to develop that belief in one another where guys believe in each other. And at times you can see that our team has played well and at times clearly we haven't. But there's a lot of ball left to be played. And the Big Ten is so difficult every night is an opportunity for a great win.

And I think that's what it's got to become about here in the next few weeks. It's not about the doom and gloom. Yeah, it stinks and you're really disappointed and it makes you sick, but the doom and the gloom's got to go away as soon as possible because the next one is coming right down the line. And that's a great opportunity as well against Iowa.

And that's what's going to be the separator of our team and the rest of the teams in the league is who continues to find a way to just plug along, play through it and find a way. I think you've got to give Purdue a lot of credit. Looking at their win against Northwestern and the way they played against Iowa, and now they have gotten this one. They have found a way to plug through it and gotten themselves in a situation where they're playing really well, back three or four weeks.

We have to find our niche and find our way. We are going to have to earn it. Our players will have to earn it. Our staff will have to earn it. We have to earn our way to the finish line, because I think everybody knows that no one gives you a whole lot in this conference right now, and everyone's playing for a great deal of pride, and there's obviously, there's a lot at stake when it comes to postseason.

So for us it's not about any of that. It's about finding a way to enjoy this thing a little bit. And it gets miserable when you're losing. At the same time, got to find another way to get right up off that mat and respond. We need some guys to respond on Thursday.

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