Hawkeyes Keep Plugging Forward

Jan. 21, 2011

Complete Coach McCaffery Press Conference Transcript

PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the UI and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn’t allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!

IOWA CITY, Iowa — It would be human nature to be “down” when your team is riding an extended losing streak, but the Hawkeyes are not and are pushing forward heading into Sunday’s game against Indiana.

“It has not appeared to me that they are giving me anything less; that they are getting down on themselves,” said University of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery at a gathering of the media on Friday afternoon inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The toll of a six-game losing streak isn’t wearing the first year head coach thin either. His objective is to help his team improve day-by-day and move his program forward.

“I think it can wear on you if you let it. I don’t let it. We just keep plugging forward. As long as I feel like my guys are coming with a great attitude every day, working hard, trying to get better, trying to follow the game plan; then I feel like we’re making progress.”
UI head coach Fran McCaffery

“I think it can wear on you if you let it,” said McCaffery. “I don’t let it. We just keep plugging forward. As long as I feel like my guys are coming with a great attitude every day, working hard, trying to get better, trying to follow the game plan; then I feel like we’re making progress.

“Sometimes you don’t play well. Sometimes you play fair and lose to a really good team, but the reality is, the attitude in the locker room is still really good. The approach from me and the entire coaching staff is very positive and it will remain positive.”

Beyond the wins and losses, the Hawkeyes are making improvements on a daily and game-by-game basis. The team is getting production from a variety of its players, the key is becoming more consistent and having everyone put it together each night out.

“I think we are improving in a couple of areas,” said McCaffery. “We are getting production from a lot of different people. That’s a good thing. Obviously, the problem is it doesn’t seem to be on the same nights.”

Case in point sophomore Eric May and junior Andrew Brommer.

May had a superb outing at Minnesota Jan. 16, netting 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting with three long balls. He followed it up with zero points and a total of two shot attempts at Ohio State.

Brommer, on the other hand, scored zero points and grabbed a single rebound at Minnesota before playing his best game as a Hawkeye in Columbus, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, three blocks and two assists.

“How do you explain Eric May’s performance on Sunday versus Wednesday, and the same for Andrew Brommer,” said McCaffery. “Andrew doesn’t make a basket on Sunday, and he plays (Jared) Sullinger toe-to-toe.

Eric May looks like a first team all-league player at Minnesota, doesn’t get a basket Wednesday night. The hope is that we can get all of these guys playing as well as they can at the same time.”

When asked what he can do to improve the team’s consistency and to help them get through the rough patch, McCaffery is quick to respond.

“You don’t stop teaching. If one of our guys has a bad game, we break the film down and we show it to them. This is what you did and this is what you could have done and this is maybe what you didn’t see. You don’t stop teaching and you don’t make it about any more than that.

“They have to keep believing in me that I believe in them and that I can help them get better.”

The Hawkeyes look to secure their first Big Ten victory of the season Sunday against Indiana. The Hoosiers enter the contest with a 10-9 overall and a 1-5 conference record after falling 69-60 at No. 17 Wisconsin Thursday night. Indiana opened the season with a 9-2 record before dropping seven of its last eight.

Sunday is being tabbed as Sharm Scheuerman Day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, as Iowa will honor the former Hawkeye great. Scheuerman, who passed away last summer, played both basketball and baseball at Iowa and was a member of the “Fabulous Five”.

After graduation, he took a position at the University as an assistant coach in both sports before being promoted to head coach in 1958 at the age of 24, which is the fourth-youngest head coach in NCAA Division I history.

Sunday’s game will be broadcast to a national audience on the Big Ten Network beginning at 2:06 p.m.