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The Journal Gazette

Monday, December 04, 2017 1:00 am

Miller's message: IU must move on

PETE DIPRIMIO | For The Journal Gazette


vs. Iowa

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington

TV: Big Ten Network

BLOOMINGTON – Did Indiana learn its Michigan lesson? Hoosiers coach Archie Miller said there isn't any choice. The Hoosiers play host to Iowa tonight and letting Saturday's 69-55 loss at Ann Arbor linger isn't part of the plan.

“We'll learn from it,” Miller said. “It's a quick turnaround. That's one thing these two games in three days does, it doesn't allow you to dwell. We have to improve as much as we can. What's most important right now is focusing on the next one.”

IU (4-4, 0-1 Big Ten) has lost two straight games and is coming off its worst offensive performance of the season after falling into an 18-4 hole.

“This is a first Big Ten game in December,” Miller said of the Michigan game. “There are a lot of teams right now that if they play a conference game on Dec. 1 on the road, they're going to lose. We're going to play Iowa at home. We have to focus on that. This is an important game. That's the most important thing we can do.”

Opening Big Ten play with two games in three days comes with this perspective – every team is doing it.

“It's tough,” Miller said. “It's like playing in exempt tournaments. You have to focus on what you're doing wrong. Emphasize the things that didn't go well and emphasize the things that could have gone well. If you move on quickly, you'll be better for it.

“We have a lot of these quick turnarounds. The entire league is going through it. No excuses. The teams that are able to go 2-0 on this deal will have an incredible start.”

As for those still dwelling on Wednesday's 91-81 loss to top-ranked Duke, Miller had a strong message: Let it go.

“You've got to be a focused team,” Miller said. “You have to be possessed with getting better, and you have to understand the reality of winning and losing and playing to win is everything. Performing, performing, production – it's every day, every game.

“It's not 'feel good' because, hey, we played pretty hard against Duke. We should have beaten Duke. But a good team at home in front of that crowd, with four minutes to go with a 1-point lead, you find a way to win that.”

Iowa (4-4, 0-1) has lost four of its last five games, including Saturday's 77-73 home loss to Penn State.

The Hawkeyes have 11 freshmen or sophomores on the roster and only two little-used seniors – Charlie Rose and Dom Uhl, who have played a combined 27 minutes.

Iowa is led by 6-foot-9 sophomore forward Tyler Cook, who averages 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Jordan Bohannon averages 13.4 points and a team-leading 4.8 assists. Iowa's full-court defensive pressure has produced 48 steals.

Note: IU will face Iowa without sophomore guard Curtis Jones, who will transfer at the end of the semester. He averaged 3 points in 11.4 minutes this season.