Highlights from Archie Miller’s radio show

Indiana coach Archie Miller recapped the Hoosiers’ back-to-back victories during Monday’s episode of Inside IU Basketball with Don Fischer.

Highlights from Miller’s appearance follow:

— On the week that was: “Our guys haven’t blinked. The last two-and-a-half weeks, we’ve had a good disposition about us. We believe in how we do things, and our effort level is way up right now. Our defense has given us confidence again. This past week, for the first time in a whole, some shots went in from the perimeter.”

— On Rob Phinisee’s recent play: “You don’t find very many freshmen as good as him defensively. We learned early in the season that he’d be a capable guy. You add in the experience he has and the confidence he has, he’s a guy right now that’s as good as any on the ball. He’s as good as any there is in our league. As a freshman, it’s impressive. … Now that he’s back 100 percent mentally and physically, you’re starting to see him play a lot better.”

— On Devonte Green’s defense in the Michigan State game: “He had about three really key deflections in the game. He dug one out on (Kenny) Goins in the post off the dribble, which was good. He then dug one out on Goins driving the ball from the right side of the floor into the middle of the paint. He was right where he was supposed to be and he dug that out. Then, off a couple deflected passes, he was able to gather it and convert on two-on-ones, one to Rob (Phinisee), then one to Justin (Smith) on the lob. Devonte had maybe his best game in a long, long time.”

— On IU’s recent rebounding success: “It’s really a concerted effort. It’s a really important thing for our team because if you don’t have a potent offensive attack, you can’t give them second chances. We’re defending so late in the clock most games that if you (have to) defend them again, that’s almost 60 seconds at a time, or 75 seconds at a time. We’ve really committed to blocking out. We’re doing a better job blocking out. We have more guys with concentrated efforts in film sessions seeing themselves block out better and do things (correctly). I think our guys understand that when you lose on a tap in, or you lose to Iowa at home because you can’t get long rebounds, then they make 3s — it’s not that they made the 3, it’s that they got the rebound. You can control that. Early in the (Michigan State) game, we weren’t very good. We were down 9-2, 7-2. Halftime was 19-11 on the glass. That’s why the game felt funny. Then, the second half, lo and behold, at each timeout we caught back up. … We end up out-rebounding them 31-30 in the game and that’s a big, big deal. Rebounding is huge. Our guards are doing a better job rebounding the ball and Juwan Morgan is really rebounding the ball as a guy that’s in the game a lot. He averaged 13 rebounds a game last week.”

— On Justin Smith’s bounce-back week: “His energy level is up. His concentration is back and he’s got a great attitude. He’s not worried about mistakes, or what’s gone wrong. He’s worried about ‘What can I do right now?'”

— On the intensity of his coaching staff: “I just think everybody’s got a heightened sense of awareness of what we’re trying to urge our guys to do right now. It can’t come from one person. Sometimes the energy level of your assistant coaches changes the mood in the huddle. There are no excuses being made, and whatever is being said from the coaching staff right now, guys look at that and say, ‘Whatever we need to do.’ Our staff has done a nice job. As a staff, with the meetings and film sessions, with the info and input that we all gather and give to each other, we can all speak the same language to the players.”

— On IU’s seniors: “Great, great guys. Obviously, the guys that are in the games get talked about more, but the guys that aren’t in the games are just as important. Quentin (Taylor) and Johnny (Jager) have been instrumental in helping us develop our culture. They don’t get as much attention, but they’re all-in and great teammates. They’re both really good students, as well. Evan (Fitzner) has been here only one year, and you couldn’t ask for a more professional guy. … Sometimes it hasn’t gone perfect for him, but he doesn’t budge. He’s been very coachable. … Zach McRoberts was a guy who was a walk-on when I got here, then you figure out that this guy can really help you win. As he’s gotten into his senior year, he’s dealt with a lot of adversity. His health hasn’t allowed him to be the same player, but he’s showing up and practicing every day. Whatever he’s asked to do, he’s always done. Juwan (Morgan), obviously, has been a key, key figure for us in our early time here. He’s an All-Big Ten performer and a mature guy. It’s nice to be able to communicate with him. He’s smart. I’d say all five guys will have bright futures in whatever field they decide to settle in on.”

— On the health of the team: “Right now, we’re doing OK. We’ve had the illness bug creep into our team the last two or three weeks where we’ve had guys with strep. De’Ron (Davis) was out all last week. He played against Wisconsin in the second half, but he didn’t do anything leading into the Michigan State game. Rob (Phinisee) was sick going into Minnesota. He had five days out with the flu. … We’ve managed. We’re practicing well right now.”

— On Thursday’s game at Illinois: “They’re very dangerous. They’re probably the most improved team from January 1 to now. Everyone knows about their frenetic style of defense and how many problems they create. Especially in Champaign. It’s a different feeling when you play them on the road. Their young guys have gotten used to the system and they’re better at running their offense. … Their team has changed a little bit where they’re much better offensively than they were early in the season. Being able to play them there, they’re forcing a ton of turnovers. They’re way more confident and as dangerous as any team.”

2 comments

  1. Appears our goose was totally cooked tonight by Purdue folding in the final minutes at Minnesota. Needed the Gophers to lose their final two. Only hope now is the rare chance of winning the BigTen Tournament.

  2. Gotta have Northwestern pull the mighty upset tonight. Could still give us a sliver of hope. Basically, OSU needs to lose their last two (@Northwestern tonight and Wisconsin on Sunday)…and we need to win our last two (@ Illinois tomorrow…and Rutgers on Sunday).
    Even if that could happen, we lose the tiebreaker with OSU because of the head-to-head. But will that matter if our Quad 1 wins are stronger…and if we accomplish a bit more in the BigTen Tournament? Ain’t over ’til it’s over.

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