Indiana head coach Archie Miller and Texas head coach Shaka Smart met with the media after a 66-44 Longhorn win on Tuesday afternoon at the Maui Invitational in Asheville.
The full transcript is below.
The Hoosiers (2-1) will face the loser of North Carolina and Stanford on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Video credit – Maui Invitational
Didn’t seem to have it at all today. Was it all phases of the game?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, it really was. Give Texas credit. I think that Texas a little bit stunned our guys in the first four to five minutes of the game, inability to reverse the ball, inability to connect on the screen, inability to do what we wanted to do. They imposed early on how physical and how tough they were going to play and I thought that that played a role to knock us on our heels. I think defensively they’re very good in and around the basket. They have great length and they did a really good job of, to be honest with you, making things difficult. I’m not going to say every shot that we took was tough because obviously I think that right now we’re missing some easy ones in and around the rim. Trayce in particular is really going to have to get something going for us a little bit when we’re struggling. We need him to play a little better than he played here the last couple days, I think just in and around the basket being able to convert a little better. But to me, this is a game you’re going to have to learn from and this is why you play in these events with this type of competition because it speeds you up in terms of learning what you can’t have happen. But for us, to give easy baskets, to give up second shots, and to turn it over, it’s the only thing we talk about. We did all three in the first half. So nine turnovers, gave them at least 11 in transition off ones that we could control. And I think that the rebounding margin was 7 at the half. And you look at the rebound margin at the end of the game and it may be skewed in the last four to six minutes, but we got beat up on the glass and couldn’t run offense consistently in transition, especially early when we were getting stops. We didn’t get it done. They beat us in every one of those phases and at the end of the day we were dominated in those little things. You combine the fact that our offense couldn’t get anything going, to me, over the long course of the game, they wore us down.
Curious, do you worry about confidence when you’re trying to get started. You didn’t have exhibitions. It was an altered off-season. Does this damage confidence, do you think, when you’re trying to get the formation of a team together or do you just throw it away and you take these guys and move on?
ARCHIE MILLER: This is what you need to do. No, no, you need to see this. I mean, this is the evidence that you need. This is the realtime evidence. You don’t have scrimmages. You don’t have exhibitions. You have three games in three days against a great field. This is going to teach you exactly what you need to do to be more, to more, to be better as a player, as a coach, and as a team. And our team, I think in general right now, learned a good lesson today. I think as well as we played, as hard as we played last night, they played harder today, more physical and imposed more will on us today. Got to find a way to respond. And I also think this, early in the year as the season always starts you’re trying to find that rotation and chemistry and we’re not there yet, but we have some guys that just aren’t playing as well as they can and I think once they step up a little bit more, make some more plays, we’ll be better. But today we didn’t play well, didn’t coach well, and it’s not for lack of our players wanting to or preparing. I mean, it wasn’t like we got real high after last night and didn’t work at it. We had a quick turnaround just like Texas and I thought Texas’s defense, in particular, number one, really frustrated us. And I think number two, over the course of the game, not being able to keep it in reaching distance, eventually broke us. But we’re better than we played today.
Any update on Al’s status after he went down late in the second half? And also, just from an offensive prospective, I know you mentioned the turnovers and the poor shooting, but was there anything specific in terms of just kind of getting into the offense that didn’t happen today that maybe happened yesterday?
ARCHIE MILLER: Well, regarding Al, he has an ankle injury. I don’t know severity of it right now. We’ll take good care of him in terms of making sure that we get the proper information, but I would say he’s doubtful for playing tomorrow just knowing what I know now. He didn’t, I didn’t see him until we got into the locker room, but I would say that’s out for right now. Don’t know how serious.
But our offense in general we got, got taken off its rails today. I think yesterday we had a good push. I think yesterday we had good execution, and I think Texas amped up their level today and took things away from us, and for the first time all year we’re having to learn on the fly like we got to get this thing under control offensively. We got to execute better. We have to have better pace. We have to have better movement. And I just think the physicality and the toughness in screening actions and the screening on the ball and in the rim running and just the overall pop, we didn’t have it today. And I think Trayce in general, as I’m watching him down here, he doesn’t have the pop in his legs in and around the rim. He’s logging a lot of minutes and he’s going to have to keep playing. But to me we got to get Trayce going and that will help us along the lines. He’s a guy that clearly is very important to what we’re doing.
You touched on it there. I was going to ask what you thought Trayce needed to do to get going. He hasn’t been efficient offensively these last couple games. Is it just being more aggressive when he gets the ball in the paint?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, I don’t know. We got to watch it. He’s missing some easy ones. I think he’s trying to get fouled rather than just playing and scoring. He’ll figure it out. He’ll fix it. He’s a good player. He’s dealing with a different role, though. I mean, they’re giving him some serious physical bodies right now. Last night an in and around the rim was very physical. Tonight, super physical around the basket. I mean, from a personal foul standpoint, Texas fouled 28 times in the game and he got nine free throws, so he did something right. But the easy ones are the ones that you got to be able to count on when you’re struggling, those are the ones you got to be able to get. But we’ll see. It’s not for his intentional or not wanting to. I think sometimes maybe’s little pressing too much and sometimes he’s bothered that he does miss a shot here or there. But Trayce has always been a guy who’s head, mind, and everything is set straight, who always comes to play when it matters the most, and tomorrow is a big day for him and his leadership. But I just think it’s important for Trayce, if you look at his rebound numbers, if you look at his getting to the foul line numbers, if you look at how many times he’s outrunning people, or getting hustle rebounds, those are the things that make Trayce special and I just think right now he’s not doing enough of those and he’s worrying a little bit more about missing shots, and he’s got to do the other part too.
Looking back at the game it felt like Brock Cunningham was really everywhere for Texas today. He was on every loose ball. He was battling for boards. Just how valuable is a guy like that for any team, especially for Texas here today, but just to have that glue guy who just battles and hustles and doesn’t really care about putting his body on the line?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, coming in on film he was a big part, he’s an X factor in the game. You can’t let him make the hustle plays. He had 11 rebounds in 20 minutes, three offensive. Plays really, really hard defensively and he’s capable offensively of spacing the floor for them. So he gives them a guy that I’m sure that Shaka would say they really depend on him. When you’re dependable, that’s a really, really great asset to have.
Your bench guys were just 1-11 shooting today, didn’t get much from there. Especially on a day when you’re struggling like that, how important is it to get some sort of spark from somebody off the bench?
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, realistically, there’s one player coming off the bench right now, which is Jerome, that’s played in college. So for us our young guys are going to have to get into the rhythm here sort of get going a little bit. We need Jerome to play better, Jerome’s a much better player than he’s played. He’s had a hard time getting going down here and that would really help us with more minutes on the floor where he’s playing better. We need that from him. Clearly, Joey’s absence really shows in the lack of depth in terms of being able to establish continued size and a rim presence when things aren’t going well. But he’s not available so these other guys got to step up. Our young guys they’re just going to get better from this type of experience right here. We play in this event, got a lot of information on what you’re going to need to do to be successful and I just think as we keep going here it’s going to be really, really imperative to develop our bench and to keep counting on them to give us minutes, you don’t want to keep it as a five-man group, six-man group, you got to sprinkle those guys in. Last night Jordan Geronimo gave us a spark, did a really good job. I think Trey’s obviously giving us some minutes. We need Jerome, we need Khristian, we need Anthony, we need all those guys to keep making us deeper.
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