From The Locker Room: Archie Miller, IU Media Day

Jordan Wells, Staff Writer
The Hoosier

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IU head coach Archie Miller met with the media on Thursday for Media Day prior to the start of the college basketball season.

TheHoosier.com was on the ground and has quotes plus video embedded below.

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Jordan Wells/TheHoosier.com

Q: How do you see the defense shaping up - where's it at and where do you need it to be?

Miller: "We spend I'd say 75 to 25 in our team workouts defense to offense. We're having the base stuff put in. We're not as sophisticated as we're going to be, but I think from a base perspective, our team is learning what we're about - especially in the halfcourt.

"It's an adjustment. It's repetition after repetition. It's technique after technique, film after film from this point forward. I think we'll be a team that hopefully can continue to improve. Sometimes it's going to take games - these guys are going to have to experience it in a game, see it on film in a game, and that's kind of what's happened throughout my coaching career. You develop defensively as a team just as well as you do offensively. I don't expect on Day 1 we'll be the "Steel Curtain", so to speak, but I think we'll be a team that prides ourself on that. Our guys know that, and individual defenders will improve just like they do on offense. We're sticking to the script - we started in the summer, we'll be here in the fall and I think from a practice perspective right now we're going to be try to great on both, but we're spending an abnormal amount of time on it."

Q: What areas do you feel really confident about this team, and what are some of the real challenges you think you face?

Miller: "I would say some of the things I feel good about is having a physically strong backcourt with Robert [Johnson] and Josh [Newkirk] and Devonte [Green] and Curtis [Jones] and a young Al [Durham.] That's a five-man crew that I feel is sturdy, strong, and should be able to compete on both ends of the floor, regardless of who we play. Shooting is something I'm hoping can be a strength. I've watched our team over the course of the spring, summer and fall - we have a lot of guys right now that I think take pride in being able to shoot the floor. So I think we can stretch the floor a little bit.

"Concern obviously going into things and learning how to win doing things our way. They're not going to understand how to win doing things our way, yet. Being able to compete and win tough games on the road or at home or early in the season, we're not going to be as familiar or as good at our staff as we would be normally, as a team that's been together for two or three years. Our frontcourt depth, that's definitely something you have to keep in mind in terms of how deep are we really in games when it comes to the frontcourt, with fouls and what not, so developing a rotation there and having guys that can play multiple positions is something we're considering."

Q: Who do you feel are your most likely three or four best offensive players?

Miller: "I think De'Ron [Davis] is a very gifted offensive player. For all the things people want to see in frontcourt players like jumping, all that good stuff - De'Ron has terrific footwork, amazing hands and great touch. I think he can score the ball for us.

"Robert [Johnson] is a proven scorer over his college career and I think he'll continue to do that.

"With minutes and how it's dispersed, I think Juwan [Morgan] has to become an offensive threat. Juwan has to become more of an offensive minded player from a production standpoint. He's got great skills - I think he's got to do it consistently over the course of some months. But I think Juwan has the ability.

"And not that everyone can't score obviously, I look at Devonte [Green] as a guy that can get his own shot, create for himself off of ball screens and get to the basket and get fouled and what not.

"As I look at the shooting on our team, guys like Curtis [Jones] and Collin [Hartman] have made shots in workouts. You always have the ability with shooting on the floor to get a guy that can stretch it a little bit.

"I'm probably - you always leave some guys off, but you look at a guy like Josh [Newkirk], he finished the season really strong last year scoring about 10 a game.

"But from a pure, 'how are we going to operate' getting scorers, I look at De'Ron, Robert, guys like Juwan as guys we can really focus on sometimes and get them touches."


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