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March 21, 2015

Archie Miller

Jordan Sibert

Scoochie Smith


THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions for the student-athletes.

Q. This program for 30 years won one NCAA Tournament game. The last two years you won five. Where do you think the program is right now?
JORDAN SIBERT: We're definitely changing. We're evolving. Over the course of these years, well my three years and Scooch's two years, we've definitely tried to change the mindset around here and focus more on winning and just focus on together. Coach Arch has done a great job bringing us together and having a true team philosophy that we've embraced. And I think it's really working, and we've really been able to change the culture around there.

SCOOCHIE SMITH: We have a real good staff behind us and just to bring in the type of recruits that we have, just to be together and stuff, as Jordan said, it just helps a lot to change the face of the program. And we're just buying in on what Archie is selling us each and every day, which helps us play as hard as we can and be for one another throughout the 40 minutes of the game.

Q. Scooch, I know you guys aren't tired. But what time did you guys get back to the hotel? Did you get some sleep? Is there a nap planned for today? The game was done at 1:00, but what was the sleep schedule for you?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: For me I didn't get to sleep until about 3:00. We had brunch today. But it's just back to work. So however much sleep we got, we're just ready to work and just ready to play the next game tomorrow.

JORDAN SIBERT: Kind of the same with Scooch. I didn't go to sleep until late. Got a little extra treatment and I kind of crashed. But we'll figure it out. Whenever we can get rest we'll get it. We're just excited to still be here and being able to play.

Q. Sixth game in ten days now. How is your body feeling? How would you describe what this sort of grind has been like?
JORDAN SIBERT: We feel fine. Our training staff has done a great job of making sure we get extra treatment. Our staff makes sure we get rest whenever we can. And we've just done a great job staying off our feet and trying to take a more mental approach instead of a physical approach. We have had a lot of games in a short span of time, but we're just doing the best we can to make sure that we're recovering.

SCOOCHIE SMITH: We feel good. Getting a win and having another chance to try to survive and advance, we get rejuvenated just from that. Everybody is feeling good, getting recovery, treatment, eating well and drinking water and staying hydrated and just not being tired.

JORDAN SIBERT: Yeah, we don't get tired.

Q. Can you give us an analysis on what you see from Oklahoma or have you had a chance to look at them?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: I had a chance to see them a little bit this year on television. But not so much -- I know they have great perimeter guard play in their three guards, starting guards. And that's something that we have a little bit of emphasis on for next game.

JORDAN SIBERT: Kind of what Scooch said. Just great perimeter scoring. Gotta work on our transition defense. We know they're great in transition. But that's mainly what we saw so far on film. I haven't watched them like Scooch has. But from what I've seen from film just a great shooting team.

Q. Scooch, can you talk about your comfort level yesterday going up against Dunn. He hadn't played in the tournament before. Just your comfort level as sophomore -- the same age as him, but the experience of last year and coming out to a big stage like this and playing well?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: Just being real comfortable and have my teammates and the coaching staff believe in me, it just helps a lot and just being in this moment before it also helps a lot, just to know what it takes to win and how hard you gotta play, how tough you gotta be for the whole 40 minutes of the game. And just stick with your team just to get that win and be right there to win the game.

Q. I was going to ask both of you having the experience last year how has that prepared you for the "grind" of the tournament?
JORDAN SIBERT: Coming into it, we were used to it. Especially after last year. You kind of -- you kind of get used to the feeling of what it's like to be on the biggest stage in college basketball. You get used to the lights and you get used to just being in the atmosphere. And it's good that we've been able to stay close to home and we've also had our home crowd support us and that's really helped us to victories. But it's a mentality. And winning is a mentality. And over the course of these two years we've been able to gain that.

SCOOCHIE SMITH: As Jordan said, just being here, it helps to grind even more. It puts you even more just to want to win. And just as a competitor you should want to win regardless, and just being on the biggest stage in sports in general is a blessing.

Q. It may be hard for you to answer this because you're inside the bubble. But what do you think the perception is of UD nationally? Do you think they think of you as a mid-major program. Is that something you hate that label?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: I think everyone says we're a mid-major program. But you know we've battled with the best of them throughout my two years here at least, and we just take pride in that. And as I said before, just being competitors and just playing as tough as you can, you never know who will come out with the win, each and every game.

JORDAN SIBERT: I don't know what people think of us. And I mean me, personally, I really don't care. I mean because regardless if they think we're a mid-major team, they think we're good or we're not good, we still have to go out there and we have to compete against high-major teams, against great teams like Oklahoma tomorrow. And we have to prove ourselves regardless if people think we're good or not, we have to go out there and play and prove it.

Q. Your crowd was tremendous last night. Can you talk about how big a factor they were, and then you had them in the first game as well, and what you expect against Oklahoma, from a crowd standpoint?
SCOOCHIE SMITH: The Flyer Faithful, they're terrific. They support us wherever and whenever they need to. Just to have them there they kind of get us going, get us a little more energy. And they're behind us in our best moments and our bad moments. And we're real grateful for that.

JORDAN SIBERT: Kind of what Scooch said. It's great to have them there. It's great to have them be able to travel. Travel as well as they do. And it was great even yesterday watching Providence try to call plays and our crowd is so loud they can't even hear each other call plays. That's a credit to our fans. And we appreciate them so much for just coming and continuing to support us.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. I don't know if the nation needed a reminder, but do you think the environment that they've seen for your two tournament games so far, and what people have seen on television in Dayton and the games in Columbus, overall, have provided an audience what basketball means to Ohioans?
COACH MILLER: I think so. I think that our fan base, in my opinion, is the best basketball fan base in the state of Ohio. I don't know if there would be a lot of people that would argue with that, year-round. The fact that we're in this timeframe and playing and they get to take center stage, I think it almost overwhelms people to a point where they feel the need they have to talk about it, it's so impressive. For my guys, our staff, it's common for us. We know what they do, what they're about. And I think it's also why a lot of people are probably picking at us a little bit for playing these "home" games, because they know what's coming when we play close to campus. But I also say this, if we were playing in Charlotte, if we were playing in Pittsburgh, they would travel there, too. So I think that's the impressive thing about it.

Q. Since you've been in Dayton, how much have you gotten to know about or know Roosevelt Chapman and what he did 30 years ago and his story, particularly his game against Oklahoma out in Salt Lake City?
COACH MILLER: I mean, that's part of the glory days, Roosevelt and Coach Donoher a run in '84, and the all-time leading scorer in school history was a terrific player. And Coach Donoher, about a year ago, it wasn't a year ago, maybe a season ago, we were talking about zone offense, and he brought me some old tape of his with Roosevelt playing against the zone and some of the NCAA Tournament games, and it was amazing to watch him play at his size what he got done and he'll probably go down as probably the greatest player ever to play in this school.

Q. What's your stance now that you've played an NCAA Tournament game starting at 10:50 p.m. local time, how much of kind of a bind did that put you guys in?
COACH MILLER: There was no bind. We took the extra time and got extra rest. I was actually a little bit excited we got a few more hours off our feet. The disadvantage of playing the game isn't actually the game, it's leaving the arena and arriving at your hotel at 2:30 in the morning. When you have the turnarounds in the tournament, that's something that you don't want to have to deal with, because you know at 2:30 they're not able to sleep right away. I know myself, it's 4:30, 5:00 in the morning, and you're still sort of doing it. And then you wake up and you've got to deal with the hangover effect of a late night. But young guys are resilient, we'll do our best to keep them off their feet. By the time we get to 6:00 or whatever it may be tomorrow we'll be ready to go.

Q. Your two players in here a while ago, they refer to you as Archie. Is that understood?
COACH MILLER: I've been called Arch my whole life. There hasn't really been any other name other than what my mom calls me, which is Ryan. Everybody calls me Arch and sometimes when you're recruiting them, it's Coach Arch, it's Arch. And when you're around a lot of people that say the word Arch everyone says Arch. I don't really get too bent out of shape about it. If I have to stop the first-name basis with a guy, it's usually he doesn't deserve to call me Arch.

Q. Does that mean that you played six in ten games -- excuse me, six in ten days. Does that mean that being tired shouldn't be a factor for you you think?
COACH MILLER: I don't think so. I think when you take the floor in the games of these magnitudes, it's very, very difficult mentally not to be ready. I think it's the mental. If you tell them you're tired, if everyone says you're tired, and you allow them to buy in, they'll be tired. We haven't done that all year. We've been dealing with these turnarounds all the way from December, January and February, whether it be a Thursday game at home and a Saturday game on the road. It's the same sort of feel for us. So we're used to it, really.

Q. You talk about the turnarounds, now you're out of conference. When you start scouting, putting together scouting reports for games like this, does it become a matter of you start comparing them to opponents you've played in the past and if so who might it be when it comes to Oklahoma tomorrow?
COACH MILLER: I'd say yes that when you're playing against certain players or you're going to do certain things scheme-wise you can refer back to some of the things that you did against similar styles of play, so you can bring back a game in January or February and remind them of what we're talking about in terms of both sides of the ball, what we're trying to get in terms of the visual. Off the top of my head, I don't believe we've seen anything like Oklahoma. I think their defense is outstanding. That's the quickest perimeter defense that we've seen, comparable to even a VCU. They're very good on the ball. I think they do a great job of pushing things down. They don't give you your normal reads that you're able to get. And their front court is very mobile. So defensively they're very good. That's where I'm concerned. A lot about the game plan in a short amount of time, not being able to rep your offense versus -- defensively it's the fastest push makes and misses we'll see. And they've got three guards that are great off the bounce that can advance it. Their bigs run and they shoot the heck out of the ball. So to me this is an Oklahoma -- when you think of Oklahoma, you think of Coach Kruger as the type of team you think of. Well-coached. Battle tested, play extremely hard and unselfish. This is a really good basketball team.

Q. I know why it happens and I'm sure we all know why it happens, the late start last night, but is that fair?
COACH MILLER: I don't think if you're in the East Coast you should start a game at 10:55 or 11:00, not in the East. I don't know all the workings of when games get started or whatnot. As a coach, I say that. As a player, I don't think they care one bit what time the game is. If you told them it was at midnight they're going to be ready to go at midnight. I don't think they care. As a coach you worry about everything -- late start, late finish, how is this going to play into the next day, yada yada. But I don't think it affects the players at all. Just for me, it was kind of hard to figure out this morning what time did they actually go to bed last night. What time are we actually going to be able to do something tomorrow? Are they going to be too tired to do it? To their credit we gave them the schedule. Boom, they were right on it. We started with treatment. We started with film. They're over here. And when you look at young guys, especially in this tournament, they're so excited to be here and it feels so good to win, that there's very few things that can actually disrupt them.

Q. To that point of the schedule is there anything you had to adjust this morning because of the circumstances?
COACH MILLER: We backed up, let them sleep. If it's the normal time you probably move your day up just a little bit more so you can have some more time to prepare. But at this point in time, with our guys, our team, the best thing is to lay in bed probably all day long. Eat and lay in bed -- eat, lay in bed. And we'll try to get a little court work or whatnot, a little walk-through stuff. But for us it's recovery.

Q. I don't think Scooch came out of the game last night. But his maturity level as a sophomore has been pretty high. Could you talk about how he played. Dunn is the same age as him yesterday and he outplayed him big time. Just the way Scooch runs the team.
COACH MILLER: He's really evolved here in the last month. He's really evolved. He's playing the game as a point guard how we envisioned him playing. And he is the single biggest reason why we're playing today. You can point to a lot of people on our team that do a lot of good things. He's irreplaceable at this point in time. I don't take him out because he tells me not to. And I think when a guy says he doesn't need a break or doesn't want a break, it tells me how bad he wants to be out there. And his push right now in games, he's getting absolute, putting a lot of pressure on the defense. He hasn't been able to shoot the ball as well as he could, and I think that's a direct result of legs. But he's been terrific. The way he's been able to run our team, make big shots, attack the paint, make the pass. And all the while he's playing defense down at the other end to the best of his ability. But he was great against Boise. I thought he was terrific last notice. If you look at the A-10 Tournament, he by and far and away was the MVP of our team. It's nice to see how he's continued to grow. I think when you have finishes like this, it's the starting point of even bigger things. So as he continues to evolve going into his junior season next year, he's got a lot of mileage under him. He knows what to do and I think the big thing for him is to keep getting better in some other aspects. But I'm really proud of him. He's done a great job.

Q. You guys were kind of Cinderella team last year, now you're back in the round of 32. Where are you guys now as a program?
COACH MILLER: Rising. Rising. We're not anywhere near where we want to be. I think building the program to last is something that we talk about year in, year out, being right there to compete for conference championships, to be in the NCAA Tournament, to have a chance to make a run. Last year's year was special. It created that confidence in what we do. It's carried over to this year that the confidence of that run has stayed intact. And that's what I mean by building to last. Last year's experience in gaining confidence builds to this year's guys who were freshmen and sophomores. Dyshawn going from junior to senior year next year, or Jordan going from last year's junior year to senior year, they're better. I think being here every year, it's a step for our program to win a conference championship. That's what I want the most. I think if you do that year in and year out, I think you'll be in a position to be here. The one thing that's very unique about this team, they've had tremendous success in this tournament. There are some guys, I think I said it last night, five of the guys, and Bobby didn't play last year, but there's five players that played the majority of our minutes last year that had five NCAA Tournament wins. That's a heck of a deal. It's hard to get one win let alone five of them. And I think that when they take the floor, they know what it feels like. And tomorrow is going to be just an absolute really hard game, really hard game. Oklahoma is terrific. But I'm not going to say anything to those guys. I'm going to let them be themselves because I think, I'm not going to strip any confidence or any toughness or any chemistry things that they have going for themselves right now.

Q. Does the home-court thing, you mentioned you've been getting picked at a little bit, does that obscure a little bit what you described your team has been accomplishing here and throughout the latter part of the season, do you think?
COACH MILLER: A little bit. I mean, I think a little bit. I think when you get in the tournament, wherever they ship you, you've got a hard deal. And I think our guys being put in the First Four immediately started to play the card of that's unfair. I don't know what's unfair about somebody telling us that we're in the tournament. I think that's the greatest thing in the world. Now, they told us where to play. We had a drag-out fight with Boise. We were able to win the game. Boise could have won the game just as easy. But if they would have shipped us to Pittsburgh, I think we would have had the same crowd. I think our guys would have played the same way. I think they approach it the same way. The fact that we're in Columbus, I'm not sure that plays a big role in our guys' heads other than the fact that they know when they take the floor we're going to have a great fan base. And it's hard to -- it's hard for me to be negative about being here. It's hard for me to apologize for making the tournament. It's hard for me to apologize to our guys getting ready to play six games in ten days. I don't think I have to apologize anything for what we're trying to accomplish or where we're doing it.

Q. Comment you made about Scoochie, I'm curious as a former point guard how is your relationship on and off the court, the conversations you guys have about the game?
COACH MILLER: Off the court, he's probably one of the most terrific kids I've ever been around. If there's a more popular kid on our campus, I don't know who it is. And that starts with professors to academic coordinators to tutors to just regular students. Scooch is an unbelievable, charismatic kid. It helps that he has the name Scooch. That's the first thing that helps him. He plays off that a little bit. On the court, he does some special things that I really like. There's also some things that I'm trying to get out of him and challenging him. And at times I don't think that he says challenging him motivates him. But he's getting better. And I'm going to keep working him over a little bit, because his competitiveness right now is as high as it's ever been. He's accepting more challenges. It's just not okay to go out there and play average. He's attacking the game the right way. And as he continues to get older, he's got to get better in some other areas. But I couldn't ask for a better guy on our team. I trust him. I trust him a lot. I get on him a lot. I think he just kind of shakes things off, he's that type of kid that has a really good personality. He's a great teammate. And to me he's one of the big reasons why we are who we are.

Q. I saw last night your brother tweet you and the team big congratulations. How close are you following Arizona's run, and are you two talking at all during the NCAA Tournament, or just kind of small little messages?
COACH MILLER: No, we follow each other pretty intently. I know they're playing Ohio State today and everyone's going to -- this is Buckeye country, but I'm killing for him to win. He's the guy that took time not just in the last couple of years but he took a lot of time to help develop me for a long time as a brother, as a player, as a coach. He invested in me. So I follow those guys on the team a lot. I follow their coaches. I want them to do really well. And I think knowing where I'm at at Dayton, him being at Xavier, him understanding what it was like to take over Xavier in the Atlantic 10 to try to build it. He understands sort of where we're at. And I think the fact that we're in the tournament here back-to-back years, we're able to advance and do things, I think he feels a little bit proud because the blueprint, the inner workings of what we've done is really a big part of how he's taught me. And that's a credit to who he is. But we don't talk much in the tournament. It's very difficult in tournament to talk to anybody on the phone because you're working at it. Whether it be just a text or just checking him out, I know this will be a big one for him today.

Q. TaShawn Thomas had a big night for Oklahoma. He's taller than your guys, not necessarily bigger, but how do you go into this game looking at that matchup?
COACH MILLER: The good thing about us is we don't get taller. It's the same question over and over: What are you going to do with the big guy? Well, we didn't grow overnight. We're going to do what we do. And we're going to try like crazy to make his tough catches. We're going to try like crazy to crowd the floor on him. But he's a great player. The thing I love about him is he's not one-dimensional. 15 feet and in he can burn you, whether he's shooting, whether he's driving. He's got an agility about him around the basket. Spinning and moving. He can draw fouls and his offensive rebounding, timely offensive rebounds yesterday, was really impressive. He's a terrific player.

Q. Your assistants have been with you since day one. What kind of role has that played in your guys' success?
COACH MILLER: Continuity is everything. And having the same staff every day year in, year out in your office, with your players, it's unmatched. Our system being able to keep developing and having a staff of people that know how to teach it to your guys is huge. Our offseasons with our players and what we do with them, they know what they're doing. To me it's that seamless, everyday approach of we know what we're doing, let's not deviate. And they've done a terrific job. They're all great people. One of the hardest years that I've ever been involved with was this year and a big reason why we haven't sank or didn't sink is because we got great guys on our staff who take care of our kids. And it's a positive environment to be in. And it's good to have very capable guys. All those guys, high level coaches.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.
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