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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, February 01, 2018 9:00 pm

Thursday Radio Quotables: Miller on Purdue, Ohio State and Bob Knight

DYLAN SINN | The Journal Gazette

Indiana coach Archie Miller joined host Don Fischer for their weekly radio show Thursday night. Here are some of the highlights from the discussion.

Miller on...

His team's execution against Purdue: "The biggest disappointment in the Purdue game wasn't as much when the ball went into the post, it was what we did while it was in there. Our team approach was really sloppy just in terms of post trapping, rotating out, being where you're supposed to be when the ball goes in there. We just weren't good enough on that. If we had to do it all over again, I don't know if we'd change much, just have to be a little bit better at a couple of those things against those guys."

Struggling early against Ohio State: "The first four minutes we weren't ready for the bell. I thought Ohio State clearly was ready and they came off four or five days off of a loss and I thought they were ready to go. (They were) purposeful in terms of the way they started. We gave no resistance, especially at the defensive end, but the first four minutes offensively was disappointing: quick shots, possessions where we didn't get anything going and lo and behold four minutes goes to eight minutes and you're in a hole."

On Devonte Green's recent improvement and his importance: "You're always searching for great consistency from everyone. I think our guard play, we've always been searching for that other guy alongside of Rob (Johnson) most nights. If we can get two or three guards to play well in a game, we've had some of our best wins. I think Devonte probably came off the Purdue game a little disappointed he didn't get as much run or opportunity and I think he took it to heart. He was ready the day before the game (against Ohio State). I thought he was ready, he was engaged. When he started the game against Ohio State I thought he played the right way. I thought it was probably his best game of the season."

On Justin Smith: "Justin's biggest strength is, number one, he's a really intelligent kid. He's a really respectful, coachable guy. He loves the game and he's working on his craft. He's made a lot of improvements that you probably don't get to see just in terms of his skill level. He's learning the college game. Clearly just from a physical presence standpoint, how athletic and how strong he's gonna be. You're looking at a guy who's really, hopefully, at some point in time going to be higher energy, more contact-related, a guy who can drive and get fouled. He's working on his shot, he's got a lot of upside, but if you asked me today what he can do right now that would significantly help our basketball team here down the stretch, it would be rebounding. We're not getting enough rebounding out of Justin. There's too many 50-50 rebounds he's not coming up with."

On comparisons between him and Bob Knight: "First of all, I can't coach one ounce like Coach Knight did it. He to me, and I studied the game and I have a father who studies the game, when you start to talk about Mt. Rushmore of coaches, they always say, 'What's the Mt. Rushmore?' (Knight)'s on it. The ability to coach the game of offense, how he did it over the course of his time, most people will tell you probably the best tactician to ever coach college basketball. So, it's very hard to duplicate anything that he did (at Indiana). I think the one thing that's great about how he did things that hopefully we can do here is he built a program to last. He didn't build it to be good one day, he built it every day to last for a long time. Being at Indiana, you were there for the right reasons and played the right way and everyone kind of knew that's how you do things. We're on the very beginning of trying to establish a culture of being ready 365 days a year representing Indiana."

Former walk-on guard Zach McRoberts also joined the show as the player guest of the week. This is what he had to say about how he handles starting versus coming off the bench.

"With me, it's just any time I get a chance to get out there, just doing what I do, playing my role, whether it's starting or coming off the bench. I don't think that really affects me, I think I just gotta be ready regardless, (whether I'm) coming in 10 minutes into the game and playing a couple minutes or starting and playing that first segment. I just think you gotta be ready regardless."

Indiana plays Michigan State at 8:15 p.m. Saturday in Assembly Hall.

dsinn@jg.net