home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 12, 2020

Archie Miller

Bloomington, Indiana

ARCHIE MILLER: Iowa has had a terrific season. I think they have started probably like a lot of other teams at the beginning of the year one way, and they have had a few injuries that have sidelined some guys and I think once they have gotten through that, they have really established to be one of the best teams in the country.

If it ended today, and I had a vote, Luka Garza would be the national Player of the Year. To go through our league with how our league's played this season, and to be averaging 26 in whatever it is, ten and a half in league play, you know, is about as impressive of a guy so far as we've seen.

I also think, you know, when you look at their team, they are getting a lot of contributions from a lot of guys, and offensively, they are as lethal as any team that you're going to play in a lot of different ways, inside-outside transition and outside.

Wieskamp, very underrated. Doesn't maybe get the recognition or credit that other guys do nationally, but another guy averaging, 18, 19, 20, a game in our league, it's amazing the way they play. They really move the ball. They share it and you know, offensively, like I said, they have really got their deal.

They changed their defenses. They can press you. They can switch to the zone, man-to-man. So they have got a lot of different things that they bring to the people.

But Fran has done a great job with this team. And to me, playing as well as anybody in the league, and they have a guy that could really lead them to a final four in terms of how dominant he is right now with how he plays.

So one of the best teams, if not maybe the best team we've played all season.

Q. Can you talk about how consistent Garza has been? How much is it maybe defensively an emphasis to try to shut down the guys around him knowing he's going to get his?
ARCHIE MILLER: Without question, they are a good team. I think as you want to throw the kitchen sink at him, he makes shots from a number of different guys. They run great offense in terms of their pace and their movement. I would say C.J. Fredrick, Wieskamp, those two guys in particular can hit you from huge nights from the three. Toussaint, the freshman, is a really stable force in terms of running their show.

You know, McCaffery, his son, just a great ball mover. A guy that, you know, does a lot of -- Jack-of-All-Trades for them. Plays a number of position. Can really share the ball. They are smart. They really know how to play with one another.

And they have an orneriness about them. They have an edge. They don't take any B.S. out there. Those guys are ready to play and compete and you can tell that they believe in what they do.

Yeah, you can try to throw the kitchen sink at them. He's still getting 26-10 with that but they have some other guys that me that can really, really ding you in transition.

Our games in the past, you don't turn it over, that's a huge, huge key against them because they are so good against them.

The second thing is if you have some success against them, you have to find a way to defend in transition and rebound, you don't want to give them second shots and easy baskets in transition.

But yeah, they present a lot of problems. I think that's part of the success that Luka has. He has a great supporting cast around him that can also, you know, really, really space the floor around him.

You know, he does it in such a unique way that he's very difficult to say, hey, we are going to take the ball out of his hands with traps or hey, we are going to double him, we're going to do this. He scores every which way form or fashion, whether it's transition, deep post catches, offensive rebounding. If you move him 12 to 15 feet, he's probably as good of a face-up jump shooter as you're going to see and he also has great savvy to use his body and play off the different ways that people play him, so he's drawing fouls. You mix in the three-point line, shoot in the high 30s, I mean, he's shooting an unbelievable percentage from three off some pick-and-pops and off transition and whatnot.

So he's hitting you from all levels, so it's tough to throw -- hey we want to dedicate to him and do this. Like I said, there's a reason offensively they are this good.

Q. What is pulling guys away from the strengths that you feel like you had earlier in the year on the glass, sort of ball security, kind of at the defensive end of the floor in particular?
ARCHIE MILLER: You know, I think any time a team struggles with doing the things that they typically or hold themselves accountable for being good at every day, probably starts and stops with our inability to buy into those little things, you know what I mean.

If you're going to be great getting to the foul line, if you're going to be great running in transition and you've got to offensive rebound, if those things are not happening, well, that's not really a talent level. That's a want to go do it, a will to do it and an emphasis that we have to continue to get better through, you know, adversity.

I think our team in general, probably like a lot of teams, has lost some confidence here of late but typically when you lose your confidence, you don't hold yourself accountable as individual players or teams opponent doing what we need to do to be successful every day.

And I think, you know, our team in general, confidence is one thing, but also buy-in and being unselfish and caring about the guys in the locker room is probably the most important thing that we have going on right now.

I mean, you've got to stick together. You've got to fight through these things and at the end of the day if everyone is going to -- when things get hard be a little bit more quiet, be a little bit more reserved and take things for granted to so speak, you're going to have a team there's not playing really well, and for us when we've played well we've had great guy in, we've had unbelievable contributions from everybody on the team and we're not asking to be real sophisticated: Play hard, rebound the ball, play great defense at times, have different guys step up and be unselfish, and at the end of the day, be committed to the next guy next to you.

That's what's most important when things go awry or they are not going well. I think our team in general has really got to focus in on each other, our unselfishness, our togetherness and we have to go through this thing together.

You know, at the end of the day, there's a lot of basketball to be played along the season, and sometimes you can lose your focus on the grind when things aren't going your way, and for us we have to recommit ourselves to one another.

Q. You mentioned -- ability to shoot the three and stretch the floor -- similar to -- would you consider playing (indiscernible) -- worked a little against Smith when you guys played them.
ARCHIE MILLER: We tried a number of different things. I think Jalen Smith is a different player than Luka is. Jalen is much more, especially in that game, heavy, heavy 90-10 perimeter.

And yeah, he made some threes in that game and obviously I think he's having a great season but to me everything start with Luka's physicality and his motor, as much as you want to say, boy, we have to cover the three-point line with him; his ability to get to the foul line and post and rebound, that's where it starts with him and his motor is nonstop.

Great, best motor, best motor in college basketball for a big guy. There's very few big guys that are playing with that type of motor night-in and night-out.

If there's one thing that, you know, you can't teach, it's that inner -- inner drive, that motor of how hard you play and he brings it now. It's not as if he's picking and popping in the middle of the floor all game long just looking to shoot threes. He's getting it done all over the place and to me it starts with his ability to run, command the ball, and then it will move that way.

I think you have to have a team approach and do I think that you can play quicker lineup, yeah, I don't necessarily know if that's the right answer or the wrong answer. But I know this; whoever is out there playing against him better be ready to go because you know, the minute you take a possession off, the minute you're not thinking about running whack, the minute you're not thinking about, you know, blocking out, he gets you, because he's just nonstop.

Q. Rob struggled a little finishing inside. His three-point numbers are higher than his two-point field goal percentage. Is that a matter of missing some practices early or not being 100 percent, or needs to be a little smarter?
ARCHIE MILLER: I think, you know, in general, it tough to score two-point field goals in our league unless you get an easy layup.

Rob is a pretty good finisher, especially when he has a lane to get to the rim. He's a physical guy. Can get in there. I think twos are tough and he's missed a few easy ones over the course of time and made some tough ones, too.

Just, two-point defense in our league, it's tough for guards to get to the basket to score. Rob has been doing a pretty good job. He's taking open shots. He's making them. I think as he gets, you know, some better opportunities at the basket he will knock a few in.

But you know, part of guesting easy baskets is your defense is playing well. If you're having to earn it against a set defense with the size in our league, that would be tough on guards. Where you get some good two point two-on-ones, transition opportunities, but with the halfcourt and size in our league, shot blocking, physicality, it's tough sometimes for guards to be able to knock them down.

Now he's had many games where he probably did do a better job finishing, but Rob right now he's got to stay with it. He's got a great attitude. He's working hard. I think the fact that he's been able to establish his confidence as a shooter is a big thing for us.

Q. I know you've talked about this team going into a shell during this stretch. What more, if anything, do you think you can do to get these guys talking a little more confident or what have you maybe tried to do this week?
ARCHIE MILLER: I'm sure every coach plays Dr. Phil every day with your guys. You're always looking for different ways to motivate them.

At this time of year, though, you really are looking for your own guys to get up off the mat, rolling, picking people up. I think so much is about when things aren't going well in today's day and age, they go to their cell phones, they go to the people that love them, and you have 12 or 13 guys all thinking about, man, you know, what can I do, you know, I need to do this better and this need to be -- I wish we would do this a little bit.

At the end of the day, what you end up doing is you end up forgetting about everybody else in the room and it doesn't work that way.

When things get hard in a team concept, the team has to come tighter, more together, more vocal, and when things are struggling, you're looking for your leaders and your guys that really care; who can they bring with them when things are not going well for me.

And as a coach, that's the thing that you aspire to try to bring to the table as much is that, you can't be this good on one day and this bad on another and at the end of the day, you're that drastically different. Where you're different is your brain and how you're thinking. When you have humility as a teammate and you're about the right things, you tend to center on other people, and if you're a leader, and you care about the other guys on your team, what are you doing to help that guy come the right direction, and I think, you know, so much you can be so figured in on, boy, this isn't going well right now or we're struggling, and then every guy starts to worry about them and how that's working, you know, the next thing you know, you have 12, 13 guys kind of quiet with one another and we're not focused in on one another. And I think if there's a trend for our team to catch another uptick, it's to buy into some of the things that when we have done well, what's been working.

Well, it's been consistency. It's been caring about the next guy. It's been overall quality of play by a lot of people, not one person, and sometimes you overcome one guy not playing well when the other guys are all engaged. We need an engaged team with one another. We need our guys really to stick with it and one another and good things will happen.

When you fracture and things don't go well, it's easy, it's easy to sit back in the shadow. Sometimes you need some guys to really grab a hold of the jerseys and the reins and say: You know, who am I bringing with me. I'm not going to be part of the problem. I'm going to be part of the solution. Come with me. I've got this, I've got to fix this and as a staff that, really helps the staff a little bit more of being able to focus in on more of hey, how do we get better and what do we need to do rather than what's wrong with you, what's wrong with you, what's wrong with you; can I help you. It's more about us. How do we fix us.

When you want to fix us, it's usually a little easier and it works a little better when the us is all bought in and doing the right things and hanging in there.

Long answer.

But you know, you can play a lot of mind games. At the end of the day, though, you've got to have a group that's really together and you have to have a group that's really tough. You watch our league, some teams go on win streaks. Some teams go on losing streaks. Sometimes -- different times of the year, it's going to happen and it's tough. It's a tough league and you have to go through it but you're never going to get out of it unless you do it together. That's the one thing I do know.

Q. Along the same lines, out of the leaders, who are you going to and saying, grab some people by the jersey, and are you getting the response from those leaders?
ARCHIE MILLER: I think so. Obviously you have an older crew of guys that have been here together for a little bit. You need those guys to step up and be different.

What's happened in the past over the course of your career doesn't mean that's what happens now because whatever -- whatever's happening right now, isn't working. Change your thought process. Focus your thought process more on other guys, helping other guys and I think that's good.

At the end of the day, like I said, this time of year, man, doesn't matter who you are. If you hear a voice that's a positive thing, that's a great thing; whether you're a freshman or first-year player or whether you've been here two years, I don't really care. If you hear the right things out of guys' mouths and they are about the right things, you can't put a price on that.

I think this team in general, has had an identity from the beginning of the year of who is going to lead; who are your leaders, who is this.

There's no better time to emerge. There's no better time to grab it. We don't have to be an old guy right now to open your mouth and to speak, and I think in general, our team has to find some guys that are willing to step outside themselves, grab more people, care more about what the other guy is going through, not just yourself, and when you have a group that's willing to dedicate themselves to each other, it's a lot easier to go to work every day. It's a lot easier to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297