TKR TV: Indiana Hoosiers HC Archie Miller talks Rutgers loss
Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball coach Archie Miller recaps his team's loss to Rutgers.
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Opening statement: “Well, tough game. Rutgers deserves a lot of credit. They play extremely hard and that's why they’re one of the best teams in the league. They really are. They’re impressive with their effort level and especially in here. They get this place charged up. It’s a difficult game. And we didn't handle the environment early. Thought we did a really good job of responding. And then late in the first half, turnovers. (We) let that, you know, that feeling kind of come back in at halftime. Starting the second half and then a little bit midway through the second half, you have to be able to cash in the ones that you can. We had some point-blank shots and those got to go down. You got to get to the foul line, which we didn't. And throughout the course of the game, I thought our guys really continued to stay with it. They played hard. And climbed their way back into it, but you have 16 turnovers on the road. It's a huge problem tonight. It's a big problem moving forward. Our team's got to do a better job of taking care of the ball, especially in tough situations where you can control it. There's some sped-up turnovers out there. And again, Rutgers probably had as much to do with it as anything. But like I said, give them credit, our guys will bounce back. We've got to learn from it. On the road right now in this league is brutal and every game that you play feels like this. You got another opportunity on Saturday. We got to regroup, focus and just lock in and move on to the next one.”
On facing Rutgers’ defense: “Well, they do a great job on the ball. They really work, they pressure, they’re quick. And they have length. I thought their big guys did a really good job of impacting ball screens. They put our guards in situations to get knocked back off hedges. We didn't handle that very well. And then when we did drive at times, they did a really good job crowding the floor and our outlet passes or the balls that came out resulted in nothing. You know, most of the time when you drive the ball and you're penetrating on some of these passes, you get an easy one. We didn't get many. And when we did get them, it felt like even the guys who shot them felt sped up. It didn’t feel clean or in rhythm. So again, the game is dictated by the team that sets the rules. Rutgers set the rules right at the tap. We had to adjust and had to fight through it. But the game was fast on offense for us. They really worked, they pressured and their big guys did a good job of making things very difficult around the rim. We got very few easy ones. And we were 2-for-18 from three. That's not definitely not going to get it done. We have to be able to find a way to make a couple of the open ones, especially on the road. That keeps you in the game and helps you. And for the first time in a long time, 12 free throw attempts in the game. We just didn't get to the line, and probably has a lot to do with our inability on offense to run clean stuff. And then when we did get around the basket, you know, it was one of those games when you have to finish through it. We didn't, but guys played hard. Certain guys really, really kind of grinded it out and hung in there for long minutes. I thought Joey (Brunk) played really hard. I thought Justin (Smith) played really hard. Those two guys played pretty well in the game for us. Our guards didn't take care of it as well as we needed to throughout the course of the game. Just didn't get enough from the three-point line. You'll look back on it when we watch the game. Can you control what you can control? Have to take care of the ball better.”
On missed three pointers: “There was some bad ones, there were probably some probably some good looks. You know, I thought Al (Durham) had a couple good looks in the first half. I thought Rob (Phinisee) may have had a couple good looks. I thought there was some rushed ones too, some panicked threes that weren't good ones. But they have a great defense. I mean, one of the things that goes unnoticed is their numbers and numbers defensively 15-17 games in are really good, elite defensive numbers. And they make threes hard because of the way that they play. You don't get easy ones or rhythm ones, especially in here. When they can dictate that sort of tempo a little bit. One thing that stood out I thought for us, we weren't able to convert in transition throughout the game. I don't know what fastbreak points mean anymore on a stat sheet, but it just felt like in transition when we were able to get some stops, and we've got quite a few, we didn't convert. We weren’t able to capitalize on our break. We had some tough turnovers with numbers. And we just didn't finish around the basket a few times, which you got to do when you got numbers in transition. We got plenty of stops. I thought our defense at one point in time was doing a pretty good job of getting stops, but you know half-court offense is tough, half-court offense is tough in this league. You have to be strong with it and able to make good plays. You got to get better at that. But I thought in transition, we just had five, six times, whether it's turnover or inability to make a tough two or a basket where you got a two-on-one, kind of hurt us.”
On playing the road in the Big Ten: “I mean, one, the teams that you're playing are really good teams. They're really well coached. The environments that you go in in the Big Ten are second to none. They’re as hard as it's going to get. And every team is good. So it's not as if you're running into a place that's kind of like sleepwalking. Every place is charged up. And it's difficult to go on the road and win in this league. You have to really do a great job of taking care of the ball, and you're going to have to find a way to generate some points off your defense. But more importantly than anything on the road, you're going to have to find a way to stick a couple shots. I mean you got to make a couple shots on the road to deflate the run, to create some space, whatever it may be. You're going to have to find a couple shots that go down on the road or a guy just have one of those days every once in a while where he made four or five and it really helps. And I think that's difficult as well. But the Big Ten, I've said this toughest league in the country to win on the road, the venues, the styles, the coaches, the teams. And this league in particular right now, I mean you're, you're starting to see a really deep league that's playing for a lot right now.”
On Geo Baker: “We prepared on the scouting report for him to be available whether he was or wasn't. Glad for Rutgers sake he's back. He's one of their best players, so obviously that really helps them. He played some tonight. I'm sure he was a little rusty. But yeah, always want to see everybody out there guys. It’s not fun to see players hurt.”