Highlights from Archie Miller’s weekly radio show

Archie Miller and Don Fischer talked through IU’s Big Ten struggles during Monday’s episode of Inside IU Basketball.

Highlights from Miller’s appearance on the show follow:

— On the mental struggles his players are battling: “We’re not taking the floor with the competitive spirit that we need. As a (former) player, you look back on it and you can remember like it was yesterday when things like that happened to you or a team you were on. Really, at the end of the day, it’s about guys sticking together. It’s about guys continuing to play the right way, and when something’s not going well for you individually, or a few guys aren’t playing particularly well, you can’t just suck the air out of the process. You have to be tough to stay with it. Unfortunately, our (result) Saturday was really a byproduct of everything leading into the weekend’s game. It really wasn’t a good week. We couldn’t get out of our own way in terms of getting over the previous week. We’ll see. We had a very good weekend, Sunday and Monday, as we’ve gotten back. We’ve been able to talk and watch our guys communicate with one another, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to, No. 1, be a lot tougher. No. 2, be a lot more confident. I think the third thing is about the winning. It’s not about how you’re playing. If we can just hang in there a little bit here, day by day, there’s a lot of great stories and messages about teams that fight through and find a way, whether it’s early in the season or late, and have a chance to make something out of it. That’s what, hopefully, our group is planning to do right now.”

— On his team’s body language: “You can watch the faces of the guys on the bench when something’s going wrong. Is the spirit there? Is the encouragement there? It definitely wasn’t there (at Minnesota) and that’s disappointing. At the same time, you’re constantly getting them to try to believe in the next play and play through it. … Offensively, we weren’t very cohesive. The one assist in the first half and the shot selection was poor. Second half, as the game continued to evolve and move on, you could see they wore us down mentally. It wasn’t as much physical. There was a lot of mental fatigue out there.”

— On IU’s offensive struggles: “I just think, at the end of the day, the shot selection and things teams are doing to us have really shaken our confidence. It’s not just one guy. We have a laundry list of guys that aren’t shooting it particularly well. Confidence plays a big role in that. … We had five or six possessions where two guys are guarding one and you don’t get rid of the ball properly on the read. You’re thinking about something else, rather than making the correct play. That hurt us as much as anything in the Minnesota game.”

— On Indiana’s problems communicating: “It’s a quiet group in general. It’s their nature. Off the floor, that’s one thing. But on the floor, that’s a totally different thing. You can’t go into yourself and sort of just not talk. We have multiple guys that are introverted guys, but you have to be able to have a voice. We talked more in practice today pre-, during and after practice, as a team, than we have in the last week and a half or two weeks. It’s just a funny dynamic with young guys.”

— On the “drastic changes” that he alluded to after the Minnesota game: “Part of the drastic change needs to come with our communication. It can’t be a team that doesn’t talk to one another. That has to change drastically. … How does it change? Well, it doesn’t just change with a light switch. It has to change with some other things. Part of it right now is our group has to embrace not the hard times we’ve been through or what we’re doing, they have to embrace the path that’s sitting in front of them right now. This is the part of college basketball (season) that goes the fastest. It goes by in a blink. It’ll be over in three weeks. When you paint a small picture for a guy like Juwan (Morgan) and say, ‘Juwan, you’re only guaranteed six regular season games left. You only have 14 practices left in the rest of your regular season career. If you break it down to that, you mean to tell me you can’t have the best 14 practices you’ve ever had in your life?’ If you explain it maybe in a little bit different terms for these guys to understand like, ‘Hey, look. We can control who we want to be right now. Nobody else can. So what are we gonna do about it?’ To their credit, they took the floor on Sunday afternoon and did a great job. Then, I thought today, whether it translates or not, I know the coaching staff and the players left the building tonight and felt really good about each other because we had about as good of a practice as we’ve ever had in terms of guys really competed. Guys talked. Guys were playing to win. I think everybody on the team was engaged. That’s what it’s about right now. Can we continue with that? We’ll see. We have an unbelievable opponent on Tuesday night. Obviously, there’s a lot at stake when you play against Purdue as Indiana. They’ve already gotten us one time awhile back. For our guys, it’s sitting right in front of us. We have an opportunity on Tuesday night to play against a really good team that’s our archrival, in-state. And you know what? If that doesn’t get your blood boiling a little bit here to get yourself kickstarted in another gear, I’m not sure anything will.”

— On IU honoring Dick and Tom Van Arsdale during halftime of Tuesday’s game: “Two special players and, obviously, Indiana is one thing, but they were also special players in the game of basketball (beyond college). They’re two of the greats. To be able to honor them is something I think Indiana fans will love to see. They’ve been very supportive of us and vocal since we’ve been here. We’re very fortunate to have those two guys come back.”

— On Zach McRoberts and how his injuries have impacted IU this season: “Zach has been very frustrated. We’ve all been frustrated. You watch him over the course of last season impact as many different games with so many different effort plays. He’s the sort of guy that you trust so much because you know he’ll play so hard. He hasn’t gotten a fair shake. From Day 1 to now, he’s been a shell of himself, physically.”

— On Al Durham’s growth this season: “No. 1, he got experience as a freshman. No. 2, he works really hard to prove himself, and he’s been given great opportunities here this season to play a lot of minutes. … To me, he’s been a really solid player for us this season. We have to find a way to get him more shots. He’s got to hang in there for us because he’s playing both (guard) positions at times on the court. He’s about the right things and works hard every day.”