BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Watch the reactions of Indiana head coach Archie Miller and the trio of Justin Smith, Trayce Jackson-Davis, and Devonte Green react to Indiana’s 100 to 62 victory over the Troy Trojans.
Transcript of the Players
(Courtesy of Indiana University Athletics)
Q. Trayce, for you. You’re 17 and 14 in a short number of minutes. What do you feel is giving you the opportunity to be this productive right away?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Really on offense it’s just my teammates putting me in the right position to score and then really just anticipation for rebound. Just got to anticipate where the ball is coming from, and I thought I did that well tonight.
Q. Devonte, how did it feel to be back in action? I know you’ve been going through obviously some hamstring issues.
DEVONTE GREEN: I feel good.
Q. Any feelings on returning to the court? How did it feel out there for you?
DEVONTE GREEN: I mean, feels good to be back.
Q. Devonte, what do you do to stay in shape? I assume when you had the hamstring injury you couldn’t run much. Did you swim? Bike?
ARCHIE MILLER: I did a lot of walking and jogging on the treadmill, and also on the bike.
Q. Justin, just wanted to get your thoughts on Damezi. He sort of keeps coming along, coming along, getting more shots. You’ve been around him now for a little more than a year; been a teammate. What did you see from him tonight that you thought led him to have the game he does?
JUSTIN SMITH: He’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s shooting with confidence. He’s really using his body well on rebounds and inside, so he’s just confident. Way more confident than last year. Shooting the ball well, and that adds to it.
He’s looking to build on it probably.
Q. Justin, tonight you were two from two from the three-point line. As a team you guys are just under 40%. Do you think three-point shooting is something that could really be a strength for you guys?
JUSTIN SMITH: I mean, yeah, it can. We work on it every single day. You know, we’re just looking to continue to get better and just hit open shots, take good shots, and really just get the ball moving.
Q. Trayce, you had success on the offensive glass again today. Have you noticed a difference rebounding at the high school versus college level, and have you made any adjustments?
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS: Most definitely. Going against bigger competition, so you really got to carve out. In high school you could really just jump up and get the ball, but you really got to make an emphasis on hitting your guy and anticipating the ball like I told him.
Q. Justin, you talked about the team’s performance. Jackson mentioned you had two on your own. How have you felt confidence-wise with your shots from the perimeter?
JUSTIN SMITH: Confident. I mean, if they’re going to continue to leave me open I’m going to shoot it. I’m not going to force anything to try to prove anything to anybody.
I’m going to take the shots when they come to me. I’m just preparing to make those shots we practice every day, getting up extra shots.
Q. Justin, Coach Miller talked after the last game about you guys need to get a lot better defensively and in a hurry. Do you feel like tonight was a step in the right direction? What kind of things have you been emphasizing in practice to get better at?
JUSTIN SMITH: I think definitely in the first half it was a building block we can take going into the next couple games.
Coach Miller has been preaching on-the-ball pressure. With on-the-ball pressure it allows us to really get in and help on the pack line, so that’s really been our main focus and making sure our rotations are correct. Really just honing in on our defensive scheme.
Q. Justin, this team seems particularly better at playing up tempo, getting out in transition. How well does that play into your particular skillset?
JUSTIN SMITH: I like transition, so probably one of my strengths. Being able to use my athleticism and our guards are doing a really good job pushing the ball, getting it out, and whoever gets the rebound, whether it’s the 4, the 5, they’re really looking for our guards and our guards are really keeping their heads up.
That’s really playing into all of our strengths.
Q. Justin, how much does it help to have Devonte back?
JUSTIN SMITH: Oh, it’s a big, big help. It’s another shooter, another spacer, another ball handler. Also defensively he makes things happen defensively and offensively.
We’re glad to have him back. We’re looking forward to him getting back into a rhythm.
Transcript with Archie Miller
(Courtesy of Indiana University Athletics)
ARCHIE MILLER: Good win by our team. Started the game much better defensively than we have in our previous last couple outings in particular. I thought we were unselfish. When you combine the effort level that we had early and the unselfishness, I though we got off to a good start.
We continued to do a really good job early in the game on the offensive glass. We were able to really neutralize some things. I think we hit the bonus in about five minutes in the first half, which is probably a record for us, but we’re constantly preaching the ability to get fouled and play downhill, get inside, and thought our guys did a good job.
We played with a comfortable margin. I thought the first 6 to 8 minutes in the second half were pretty good. Obviously got sloppy and very — you know, lack of maturity and some details and concentration things played a par in the later part of the game.
We’re 4 and 0. We’ll take all the four of them. We have Princeton on Wednesday, an Ivy League contender, terrific big guy. We got our work cut out for us coming back, so we got to find a way to get a little better next time out.
Wednesday night I think we’ll get tested a lot differently, especially inside. Although tonight I thought Zay Williams was about as good a you can probably get, get 28 and 8 on us.
Q. Three-point line. Coach, defensively, 5 of 25. I know they had a quick one. I saw you talking to your guards. (Regarding adjustments.)
ARCHIE MILLER: Yeah, we were better details getting back; not giving up very many easy ones in transition was a huge part. Our guys on the ball I thought did a much better job to start the game in terms of our pressure and just not letting them be comfortable.
A couple we did give up, we probably broke down in the areas we normally have been doing. But over the course of first half in particular, I think they were 2 for 11 at halftime. That was a good step. Second half they probably missed some good ones that maybe wasn’t their night from behind the line.
First half I thought we dictated a little bit of their misses. That’s a big part moving forward. Three-point line is huge.
Q. What do you see from Damezi that you liked tonight, and what’s he starting to do that may continue on throughout the season?
ARCHIE MILLER: Damezi has got to bring a toughness to us. He’s a physical kid. He’s very, very strong. In longer stretches of minutes when he’s had consistent practice time he’s been a guy that we can count on to bring some physicality to the game. He is able to get on the offensive glass, defend bigger perimeter players.
And then his great gift is he can really shoot the ball. I think you’re starting to see in more minutes when he takes good ones and he’s getting the good looks that come off unselfish play, he’s a guy that can really sick it from long range. One of our better long-range shooters.
In the first half in particular he made some really good shots. That’s what you want to see from him. Shooting the ball is a big deal. He didn’t practice the day leading in with some foot soreness or ankle sprain or whatever it may have been.
Happy he was able to play tonight with Rob not being available. We needed his minutes.
Q. The starting guards and Justin knocking down threes. I think they were 6 and 9 combined, the three of them. How much does that open up what you can do offensively, especially considering the struggles you had from three last year and where you can go going forward?
ARCHIE MILLER: Shooting the ball and making the shots just makes the game easy. It just does. Everything is easier when you’re able to make some shots. It’s the quality of the shot is the thing that you concentrate the most on. Are they taking the ones that you’re really working on? Are ou taking the ones that are in the rhythm of the game?
I don’t think we forced very many in the first half. Justin opened the game up with an open one. He was open off a drive and kick. Al, Armaan in particular, and then Damezi got going in the first half as well. So we were able to make some open ones.
With the ability to get fouled and the ability to play inside, you know, that’s something we’re going to have to do, so it’s important. But I have confidence in these guys that when we’re open they can stick shots. They’ve worked very hard, and I think they have confidence in themselves right now shooting the ball as well.
Q. Coach, you mentioned offensive rebounding. When you’re able to be successful on the offensive glass, how does that help the offensive flow and take pressure off your shooting?
ARCHIE MILLER: It’s a huge part of the game when you have the ability to offensive rebound. It breaks the opponents’s back on second shots. Typically you’re going to get a basket, a good look off some type of offensive rebound, or get fouled. That’s a huge part to what we’re doing. I’ve been saying it since the start of the season. This team has got to be a great rebounding team and great on defense.
We’re not great on defense by any stretch, but we are consistently I think rebounding the ball with concentration level. It’s something that on our mind. From an offensive rebound standpoint, if you look at Trayce and Justin and Race is doing a great job. Jerome is in the mix; Damezi is in the mix. A lot of different type of guys contributing in their area.
That’s a strength. Something we have to have as a part of what we’re doing.
Q. Coach, I guess your assessment of what Devonte was able to give you in his first game out?
ARCHIE MILLER: 19 minutes. 19 good minutes for him. Hasn’t practiced at all really. Had couple days leading into tonight. We were hoping 15 to 20 he could give us knowing Rob wasn’t going to be out. I’m just glad he’s not hampered or sore. I think athletically he’s back, but he’s got to shake some rust off and get his feet under him.
He’ll be fine. He plays an important role. I think when he was in there obviously forced one turnover. Took some shots that he’ll make down the line.
It’s good to have him back. I think at some point, you know (knocking on wood) get them all back, especially in the back court. That’s where we’ve really been needing our depth to come through.
Rob will be fine. Hopefully he’s over being sick. The last few days he looks better in the locker room. If we can get him back and get him into the mix and start to get some chemistry into our back court, I think that would be really, really important for this team as we head to middle of November, end of November.
Featured Photo: IndianaHQ