Coach McCaffery Postgame Media Transcript

Feb. 13, 2011

Q. How big of an impact did Basabe getting a foul ten minutes into the game have?

COACH Fran McCaffery: You know, we need him. They’re so big and strong. I thought Brommer gave us some good minutes. Obviously we were struggling more so at the offensive end. Okay, we gave up maybe a few too many offensive rebounds, they’re big and strong. But our problems today I think were more at the offensive end.

Q. Turnovers.

COACH Fran McCaffery: Yeah, turnovers are part of the offensive end. Our decision making is not what it has been.

In Bryce’s defense, we were struggling. He was trying to make plays, maybe forcing the issue a little bit, trying to hit the home run every time up. Five turnovers is too much for him. His turnovers have been down.

But, again, we were really, really struggling. As a result, he felt a need to go ahead and make those kinds of plays.

Q. Did you anticipate seeing so much zone from them?

COACH Fran McCaffery: We anticipated seeing a lot of zone with a big lineup, as he’s been playing both the big and small lineup. He tends to go back to man with the smaller lineup. We were struggling offensively, so he stayed in it big small.

We worked on it. Doesn’t look like it, but we worked on it a lot. Actually, executed really well all week in preparation for this game. To be honest with you, at times our execution wasn’t that bad. We just couldn’t get anything to go down. Became really perimeter oriented. Trying to get it all back at once. Then we started driving the ball a little bit more, I thought, got the ball into the teeth of the defense a little bit better. But we just didn’t have anybody tonight that rang the bell for us.

Q. Their length…

COACH Fran McCaffery: You’re not going to finish when you get in there. You have to get in there and draw, and you’re still going to end up with a jump shot, maybe not a three. It’s hard to finish. You were at the game up there. Most of their transition baskets were as a result of our driving to the basket, getting shots blocked, getting tangled up because of four guys rotating. We wanted to space and get some jump shot opportunities that were clean looks.

We got them very early. Even in the first half I thought we got great looks at it.

Q. Matt took all of his shots from three point range.

COACH Fran McCaffery: He was open, I thought. I felt bad for him. He’s not a guy that hunts shots. He’s not selfish. He was trying to hit some shots for us, I thought. He was running. He was working to get open. Normally, I mean, you give Matt Gatens 11 looks at three, he’s going to hit seven. Different game.

Q. 6 of 28 from beyond the arc. An off night?

COACH Fran McCaffery: We usually wouldn’t take 28 threes. We took 28 threes because they were in zone. With few exceptions, I thought we had open looks. Eric May had some open looks, Marble. Zach was struggling from the field, no question about it. We have to get him straightened out.

Q. How much of it is a confidence thing when they start missing those threes?

COACH Fran McCaffery: I think it’s clear that once we started going south, we were not a confident group. So there’s a couple things you can do. You can change the lineup. You can change the offense. We did both. Or you can stay with some guys and just tell them to keep shooting. We did that.

hey were trying to get it figured out. They were trying to execute what we asked them to do. I don’t think our defensive intensity was what it needed to be at those junctures. That’s disappointing because our defensive intensity early was fabulous. We jumped them 14 6, we were playing great defense. We got a little sideways on offense, we got a little softer on defense. We had been getting away from that. Today, we got back into that a little bit.

Q. In the second half, what was it about their game?

COACH Fran McCaffery: Well, we were not rotating on a few occasions. We started pressing them. Got some dunks off of penetration out of our press. That was disappointing. It happened three times. That’s one of those, there’s no excuse for that. You have to rotate if somebody is driving here, somebody drives up. You’re up pressing the ball, trying to anticipate the next pass, try to get a steal, get some momentum, sometimes you don’t.

But he’s big and strong. He’s a handful.

Q. (Indiscernible).

COACH Fran McCaffery: They’re so big and strong and they run so much from wing to post, from wing to high low. As much as we talk about don’t get caught behind, you know, it’s not always the easiest thing to do because it’s based on ball reversal and ball pressure. I thought our ball reversal initially at the high post or the wing was good. After that it softened a little bit. They’re used to that.

One time right in front of me, Brommer was right in Sampson’s face and he’s just back like this and just threw it anyway. He’s 6’11”, so… It’s something that they’re good at and it’s something we worked against and didn’t do a good enough job.

Q. Several threes early in the game in and out. Are you a believer that once things start going a little sideways, it kind of affects everybody?

COACH Fran McCaffery: Oh, there’s no question. It happened in Wisconsin the other night in the first half. Nankivil is 0 1000. He’s shooting 53%. It happens. You start to go a little bit sideways and you can’t get it back.

thought for the most part our execution was pretty good. Second half we got a little crazy, got a few turnovers, tried to be overaggressive. At that point in time we were down 15 and you’re trying to make a play. If the first half, our spacing was good, our movement was good, we got good looks at it.

Q. Including today, three times in seven days, how do you turn momentum around?

COACH Fran McCaffery: We got to prepare. I didn’t think we had the greatest practice yesterday. We had a good practice Friday I thought. Yesterday was not so good. So we’ve got to make sure that that doesn’t happen and we’re a little bit better.

I’m sure we’ll have their full attention tomorrow.