Coach McCaffery Postgame Media Transcript

Feb. 9, 2011

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Q. What was the explanation you got on that inbounds pass? First official seemed to call it a travel and the next one–

COACH McCAFFERY: He said that I can’t remember, was it Dev or Bryce, hit him in the head. So he said he saw it clearly hit him in the head, knocked him down.

Q. At the end of regulation your hottest player getting the last shot–

COACH McCAFFERY: He makes that shot, it was right in and out. We got the shot we wanted there.

Q. Did you think about taking a time out coming out of overtime?

COACH McCAFFERY: No, I did not. I don’t usually do that. We had a play called. In retrospect, maybe we I don’t remember how much time was left when Bryce shot it, probably only about two seconds, because he didn’t push it quickly enough. We did not execute the play correctly, so maybe right then you call a time out and you’ve got the ball because he’s way up almost to the ten second line and you’re right there, maybe we could have shot a three and get a better look at one. We would have liked to have gotten a better shot there.

Q. Is Melsahn starting to give you an inclination that you can expect big numbers from him night in and night out?

COACH McCAFFERY: I think we can. This I thought was a big test for him. This is a really long, big, physical team, and for him to go for 13, 11, 6 for 11 from the field, you’re going to have to finish with contact against these guys, and I thought he did that, and three huge blocks. I was really proud of him tonight. I thought he was terrific.

Q. I know you’re not into the moral victories, but what did you tell the guys in the locker room about taking the 18th ranked team to overtime?

COACH McCAFFERY: I wasn’t happy, I’ll be honest with you. If you were in there, there was nothing resembling a moral victory. I was not happy at all. 16 offensive rebounds, loose ball in a two point game, we don’t get it, jump ball. Not happy at all.

Q. There was a point in the second half where you were down four that the momentum swung their direction and you came back with six straight possessions, destroyed a nine point lead. Do you feel like that’s maybe a growing moment for the team with the momentum going the other way to fight back?

COACH McCAFFERY: You know, I think this team has consistently fought back. I’m really proud of them for that. We do some things that make it hard at times, and we’re getting better at that. We’re working at that. But I never thought this team quit on us. They’re going to keep coming. They’re going to come down and make some baskets. Sometimes it’s harder on the road, we know that. But I thought our crowd tonight was absolutely fabulous. We needed that kind of energy, especially going an extra five minutes.

Q. There was a possession Matt Gatens came across the lane, looked like he was a little off balance. Was that a set play or was that just reacting–

COACH McCAFFERY: That was a set play that he had done the same thing earlier on a different play and got fouled, so that’s what he had in mind. He’s supposed to shoot it if he’s open, but if they’re chasing, which they were, then he can curl into the lane and get a pull up or get a foul, and it happened before like that, and that time it didn’t happen.

Q. What would you say about your defense in both halves?

COACH McCAFFERY: Great the first half, not so good the second half. I think the thing that’s frustrating is we only had three guys doing anything in the second half. One kid comes off the bench and hits a three, but other than that it’s the same three guys scoring the ball, and I think that was a little bit upsetting.

You’ve got to understand where they’re going; let’s lock these guys up. They did a pretty good job on Taylor. Taylor 6 for 18 I think is pretty good. Leuer, not so good. We let him get right and we let him shoot the jump hook. We started doubling him a little bit. Nankivil we did a great job in the first half; second half he got away from us a little bit, hit two threes. And then we buttoned him up. So it was really the two guys. We just didn’t do a good job on Leuer.

Q. Is Friday’s practice going to be rebound heavy?

COACH McCAFFERY: There’s a lot of things that we have to straighten out. We’ve got to straighten out how we play in situations, and obviously rebounding. It’s a unique team. What they do is they have three guys that shoot and two guys that space, and they’re capable shooters so you can’t just completely disregard them, and then they’re running rebounders.

Our guards just did not do a good job tonight rebounding the ball, and that’s disappointing, because that was a focal point in our scouting. And I thought our guards for the most part played well. They played good defense. I thought they executed. We’ve got two of them in doubles. You’ve got Devyn Marble I thought was terrific offensively, three buckets. We really needed some pop, he gave us some pop, so they were terrific. But the one area that they could have really affected the game would have been to make sure those guys didn’t get those rebounds, and they didn’t do that, so that’s unfortunate.

Q. Considering the guys and the length of the team you’ve got coming in here Sunday, I guess rebounding would be a point of emphasis here–

COACH McCAFFERY: They’ve tended to play Mbakwe at the three a little more and then they play the two big guys. Up there we had problems with that. They were going on the glass and they were going high low a lot. So we’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of getting us ready to make sure we rebound. I thought Zach did a great job in the first half rebounding the ball, and we need him to do the same. Archie might have helped a little bit tonight if he was able, but Brommer I thought was terrific.

Q. What is Archie’s status?

COACH McCAFFERY: Day to day. You’ve got to be headache free and then you’ve got to pass the tests, and then he can play. So he’s still got headaches. So until that’s done we won’t even test him. Haven’t even tested him.

Q. Can this game be a learning experience for a team trying to get over the hump?

COACH McCAFFERY: It’s always a learning experience. Yeah, it’s always a learning experience. When you’re playing a ranked team and there’s huge momentum shifts, and we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. Neither did they, except in the second half a little bit better, just understanding, okay, how you manage the last 12 minutes, the last eight minutes, the overtime.

You know, I think one of the things I was proud of in particular was you feel like you’re going to win coming down the stretch, and then we had the last shot, we think it’s halfway down, it doesn’t go in, and they hit it we’re trying to win the tip, they win the tip and then get it to three.

A lot of times right there a team goes right in the tank, and we came back and took the lead. So I think that speaks to the character of our players, and I was really proud of them for that.