Highlights from Archie Miller’s weekly radio show

Archie Miller and Don Fischer returned to the Bloomington Holiday Inn on Thursday evening for the latest edition of Miller’s weekly radio show.

Highlights from his appearance follow:

— On his team’s flat start to the Michigan loss on Saturday: “I think it was a little bit of a Duke hangover. Although we didn’t win the game, there was a positive vibe around our players. … You quickly have to get rebooted and get restarted after a late game, then we hit the road with an early tip. I really think we had a hangover. We had no energy offensively or defensively. We weren’t moving. Things looked slow. It was disappointing, because I really don’t think Michigan played their best, either.”

— “On IU’s ability to regroup after a sluggish start to Monday’s second half against Iowa: “It was like the floodgates opened up. We had a hard time getting stops, grabbing rebounds on the other end, we were missing point-blank shots. It was kind of a disaster recipe going on. We had to regroup. I thought the (early timeout) huddle was good. The players responded. Collin (Hartman) was very vocal.”

— On Hartman’s play since returning from an early-season groin injury: “He’s a guy that’s clearly trying to get as much out of the fruit as he can get. He’s gonna get every drop out of his senior season. … You’re starting to see what he can do for our team. He’s a huge piece to the puzzle. His second half was unbelievable the way he was the quarterback in the huddle, the quarterback on the floor (against Iowa).”

— On the improvements that must be made during the coming weeks: “3-point field goal percentage defense. The 3-pointers made on us right now is an alarming statistic. It’s improving little by little, but it’s not improving at the rate we need it to. We need to be more detailed on shooters to take away their great looks. We have to be detailed in getting back faster to not let teams shoot 3s in transition. In the halfcourt, it’s positioning.”

— Offensively, Miller wants to see his players develop more comfort shooting at the line and from the perimeter: “I think we’re a better free throw shooting team. We always aspire to get to the free throw line a ton. We have to become a more comfortable shooting team. You hope by the law of averages that they feel more comfortable at the line as we start to make more shots.”

— With that, Miller said he’d appreciate more scoring punch from his backcourt players: “Sometimes there’s a guy who gets going from 3 and then the next game (he struggles). We need more consistency scoring the ball from our perimeter guys.”

— The coach joked that no one loves to take creative shots quite like Devonte Green: “He loves to shoot those. If he has the ball at the end of the clock, he’s really happy. … He’s a great tough-shot maker. He’s a risk taker. That’s who he is. I thought he played one of his best games of the season against Iowa. In the last week, yesterday and today, he’s had his best practices since October. He’s a guy who you think should be able to get you a lot of stats.”

— On preparing for two different styles in facing Louisville and Notre Dame in the next two games: “Luckily, these two games are spaced out. The Louisville style of length and size and switching defenses, offensive rebounding, they’re a team that can put 6-foot-7, 7-2, 6-11 on the floor. It’ll be a challenge to score on them. They’re a great shot-blocking team and they force turnovers. We’ll have to protect the paint. Then, when you move into Notre Dame, you’re dealing with an unbelievably skilled team, a team that’s connected with motion. They have great faith in their system. It’s a skilled team that can really, really shoot. I think they’re a little underrated defensively. They’re a lot tougher than they get credit for.”

— A fan asked Miller to explain the effect of travel on younger players: “It’s very taxing mentally and physically. Going on the road, it’s a tough thing to do. The travel times of arrival when you get home sometimes; I don’t think people understand if you play Seton Hall at 6 o’clock on the road, game ends at 8, that plane’s not touching down in Bloomington ’til 1 or 2 in the morning. Then, you’ve got to go to class and practice. Then you fly to Michigan and fly right back, or even Iowa having to travel to Bloomington the day in between and get ready. It’s mentally fatiguing. It’s physically taxing.”

— Another fan asked Miller what would constitute a great or successful season: “At the end of the day, a great year would be (winning) the Big Ten and making a huge run in the NCAA Tournament. With this team, though, I’d love for us to be playing our best basketball at the end. … As we get a little more experienced in the non-conference, I’d like for us to find a way in Big Ten play to be the toughest out we can possibly be. … I’m not evaluating our team on wins and losses right now as much as I am on are we improving.”

— On how losing Curtis Jones might affect the team’s practices the rest of the season: “Anytime you have an injury or departure or have a guy out that’s in that two-hour (practice) window, it can impact practice negatively because the quality of the player in practice means a lot. If you start to get into walk-ons or younger players, your practices can get sloppier. Justin Smith has learned both positions, whether he’s playing inside or outside. He’ll have more of a role on the perimeter in practice.”

— On the behind-the-scenes players who give the regular contributors the best look on scout team: “Tim Priller and Race Thompson have done a great job for us. Johnny (Jager), Ethan (Lasko), Quentin (Taylor), Vijay (Blackmon), those guys are huge in terms of preparation and practice. … Race sitting out (to redshirt), he pretty much gets every rep in practice. He’s a guy who’ll be really advanced next season because he’s going through it all the time.”

— A fan asked whether Hartman might be inserted into the starting lineup: “I probably haven’t seen anything that would say we have to change our lineup right now. He’s gonna play as many minutes as he can handle.”

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