Indiana head coach Archie Miller discusses a 68-56 win over Minnesota on Wednesday night at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
The Hoosiers (17-9, 7-8) will return home to face Penn State at noon ET on Sunday.
See also: Final stats and highlights
Well, gutty performance from our guys. Minnesota is a really good team. The first 8‐10 minutes, it was really tough sledding for our
guys defensively, but give our guys credit, that was when they really figured out how to make the game a little bit grind‐mode, a
little bit grimy.
That was one of the missions going into today’s game was to make it look ugly. We were gonna have to make it look
ugly, we couldn’t let them get in transition, and we were gonna have to find a way to defend.
We felt a lot better at halftime than the score may have looked, because we felt good with how we competed with a lot of different guys in there. And then in the second half, especially the last 8‐10 minutes defensively, I thought our guys did a really good job sticking with it, not letting them get a big run.
Offensively, our main goal was to get Trayce going early. He is so important to our team, and he responded with a great
performance. But we had a lot of other guys. I thought Race Thompson’s 21 minutes were unbelievable in terms of being about to win on the road. What did he get, 10 rebounds in 21 minutes, which is huge for us. Just being able to outrebound them on the road is big.
It was a little bit our night. I thought they missed some good shots. Kalscheur is probably not going to shoot like that ever again. We were a little bit fortunate with their shooting. I thought they missed some good ones.
On Trayce Jackson‐Davis’ performance and the offense.
“I thought the big thing was we didn’t freelance as much tonight. We didn’t let our transition game just take over where a lot of guys
were handling the ball. I thought we controlled it, I thought our guards did a really good job of keeping things under control on the
road. Keeping it close on the road is important in this league, and if you just look at our assist totals, 15 assists to 10 turnovers, that was big.
But being able to control the ball a bit more and getting (Trayce) some more touches was big. He had to do his part too, at time he doesn’t post hard, and at times he’s not as engaged, but he plays 35 minutes a game as a young guy on the road, so it’s hard, but he was engaged tonight, delivered on some big second‐chance shots. Credit to him. Like I told the team, at this time of year you’ve got to be numb to it and we have obviously a really good Penn State team on Sunday at home. Home opportunities are the ones you want to get, but there is so few of them left so we’re going to have to be ready to go on Sunday.
27 and 16, those are serious numbers. He doesn’t get enough credit nationally, and that’s usually typical when we are losing some games, but he’s been a bright spot for us all season, and I think he’s freshman of the Year in the league. He’s my guy, and tonight he delivered. Like I told him after we got done at Michigan, you can’t be the best player and then on any given night you don’t feel like traveling with us. You’re going to have to travel with us to Minnesota. But we did a better job of keeping him engaged to. We gave him the ball as much as we possibly could. We thought we had some matchups down there and he’s an unselfish passer so he’ll kick it out. Everybody did a good job, our whole team played hard. That was the big thing, we competed.”
On Race Thompson’s effort of the bench.
“Race is a blue‐collar guy. He plays hard, and he’s our most physical guy just in terms of putting his body on people. You saw it tonight four times around the basket he’s in the right position, he walls up, he doesn’t foul. Per‐minute play, he’s a great rebounder for us, and tonight we needed defensive rebounding and I thought offensively, in transition and on some pick‐and‐rolls, I thought he did a really good job.
You really think back to how Race has been playing since . Michigan State, against Michigan State I thought he was terrific, he gets hurt and doesn’t play in the next few games, and now that he’s back against Iowa he was really good, nobody was good on Sunday but tonight he bounced right back and had another one. Rebounds per‐minute played, he might be the best rebounder on our team.”
On defensive ball screen hedge adjustments.
The adjustment was to not get as extended on their system and what they do. Our system wasn’t able to be executed on Sunday against Michigan and our guys lost confidence. I thought in this game to start the game we needed to be a little bit more reserved and more compact with our defense and not as spread to see if we could hang in there on the glass a little bit better against this team. After about the first eight minutes of the game, which we weren’t good, from that point forward I thought defensively we hung in there pretty good.
On free throw attempts.
First half on seven free throws, but I didn’t have the feeling that we were getting a lot of tough calls or anything like that. Obviously at the end of the game in the last two minutes you add some free throws in there. But we got some and-ones. Trayce got some and-ones on some stick backs and I think Race may have had one, but the 22 free throw attempts, making sixteen, that was big for us. They struggled from the line a little bit which could hurt.
On the improved guard play.
Slowed down. We weren’t as reckless with the ball. Sometimes that is what gets us, driving the car on a wet road. Know the conditions. At times on the road the conditions have been too slick and we’re driving too fast and the next thing you know the game gets away from us. Tonight we were much more under control, and I thought part of being under control was our guards being strong with it and executing what we wanted to do. When we executed we got the ball where we wanted to and that’s all we could ask. I thought Al made some terrific passes, Rob had a couple, Devonte had a couple good looks in there. But the ten turnovers is what I’m most proud of on the road.
You can follow us on Twitter: @daily_hoosier
Find us on Facebook: thedailyhoosier
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”
Seven ways to support completely free IU coverage at no additional cost to you.