INDIANA UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
January 22, 2023
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Postgame Media Conference
Indiana 82, Michigan State 69
Q. Talk about contributing so much not only from three but drives and everything else.
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: It just opens the floor early. I missed a few bodies early and they were sitting but we were moving the ball around and they were sitting shots.
In the second half, spaced the floor and allowed me to go one-on-one. I feel like there's not a person in the country that can honestly guard me. So it is what it is when we hit shots, and everything is clicking. We're a great team and we're tough to beat.
Q. You guys had lost three in a, row and there was some grumbling and people were questioning this team. You've now beat Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State by an average of 15 points. What's changed?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: I think we have finally got acclimated to the new unit that we had in and only, we're just playing for each other and that's the biggest thing for us. Like I said about JG didn't have a great game today but Malik came in and stepped up. That's what we've got to do. Guys are starting to step up.
Race came back, so that's good. We're going to try to get him in, and with X hopefully coming back here soon, we've just got to keep rolling and guys have to keep stepping up.
Q. Trey, we saw you do some primary ball handler stuff last season when guys were injured or out or whatever. Coach said he challenged both of you this summer to step up your ability to kind of bring the ball up the floor, get the team into the offense and you had a lot of that today. What has that journey been like for you in terms of being not an out-and-out point guard but doing a lot of point guard type stuff?
TREY GALLOWAY: Just running that second unit -- helped me out to get ready for the season. It was really hard going against Jalen and Xavier in the fall. They made me a lot better, being able to handle the ball and practice against each other and getting that experience in practice, really helped out and it showed today.
Q. Did you see what Leilani did at halftime?
TAMAR BATES: I did see -- the come back win, and really because she was ready to get picked up. I seen she was crying the whole time but we'll take it, first competition ever. She's undefeated.
Q. My real question is: You went into this game, Michigan State is playing a lot of three-guard lineups. Were you being prepared that you might have outside role in this game because of that?
TAMAR BATES: No doubt. And the way Trayce is playing, we knew we had to stay ready whether it's to be able to shoot or drive but more so just being ready on the defensive end because we knew with them playing three guards. Our three guards had to be able to make up for everything that they bring on both ends of the floor. We were all definitely ready to go.
Q. Tamar, what's it like playing in an ultra competitive atmosphere against such a well-coached Tom Izzo team? Coach said you knew that you had to bring a little extra energy today?
TAMAR BATES: It's literally what we do it for, all the work we put in as individuals and as a team up to this point. That's what you play college basketball for. We look forward to every game, but especially when we have a really good opponent coming in, every raises their level of play.
Q. Trey, wanted to get your thoughts on Trayce, kind offing about picture, ties Jeff Newton for the IU block record, back-to-back 30-point games and 40 career double-doubles now. What are we looking at when we look at him playing this well?
TREY GALLOWAY: I mean, it's a good question, it's pretty special. I mean, because just the improvement that he's made from last year, just taking the pressure and handling it so well, I think just -- because our backs are against the wall early in the Big Ten season and he stayed composed. I know he was hurting and he's battling through that, and now he's finally kind of healthy. It's showing.
So I think just him sticking with it and I think just him being a willing passer, too. They can't -- they are not doubling as much. He's been able to create so much more options for himself or others.
I think it's honestly just incredible just to watch him keep performing like this, and I'm glad he's on my team.
Q. Tamar, seems like every Big Ten team has gone through the stretch that you guys have gone through, a number of wins followed by a number of losses or vice versa. You guys can only control your own house, so how do you keep things going and avoid that trap that some of the other teams in the league have fallen into?
TAMAR BATES: For us, it's about staying locked in, solely focusing in on every opponent one at a time and then just sticking to what's working. We can tell from playing a game and watching film what's winning us these games and everything is starting on the defensive end. Just sticking to our habits and like you said, controlling what we can control. I feel like if we do what we do best, we'll live with the results.
Q. Trey, one of the things talked about with the losses is the lack of fire, and now you guys have won three straight and the defense has come back. Something I saw today, it seemed like a lot more emotion and not just tenacity, but emotion. What has been the difference between the three-game losing streak and the three-game winning streak? What changed for you guys?
TREY GALLOWAY: We just kind of looked at ourselves in the mirror and knew what we had to do, and it was play defense and play harder.
I think getting back to what we did last year, we were really good defensively last year, and we watched some of those games and we saw some of that. But obviously it's a new team but we had to go back to our principles and what Coach Woodson preaches, and that's defense. We weren't doing that in those losses.
Now we are finally coming together and playing harder on the defensive end and it's leading to more offense since we are getting stops.
Q. Was there anyone on the team after that three-game losing streak that said, we've got to make changes, and what were those conversations like when you guys kind of had to do some soul searching and figure things out as a team?
TREY GALLOWAY: I mean, we all just kind of came together. Nobody panicked because like I said, there was no reason to panic because it's a long Big Ten season and there's still a lot of games left. We can't get too high and we Kent get too low. We just have to stay even keel the whole time and know that we have a lot more games to be played. We just have to take it one game at a time and keep focusing on the task at hand.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports