Minnesota at Iowa
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
“I think our guys responded the right way. We were focused, ready to play and we had great balance. The numbers weren’t great as far as scoring was concerned, but we executed the game plan and stayed within the game plan. I thought we had good individual efforts all the way around. I thought Trevor [Mbakwe] did well, going 10-11 from the free throw line and Rodney Williams stepped up and had a solid game, probably one of his best games in a long time. We also got good play from our freshmen and that’s a big help. Certainly, we know that we’re coming off four-straight losses and we needed a win bad. I know the Hawkeyes have been playing well and they have a pretty good team, but our defense was superb today.”
How important was it for your team’s confidence to get a big win on the road?
“It’s important and you can tell that by the guys’ attitudes and demeanor in the locker room. We knew we were pretty close in some of these losses, but we’ve been trying different things. We’re eliminating things and trying to simplify things and I think that’s been a big help. And going back to the big lineup, Colton [Iverson] really stepped up today and I thought he played well. Taking care of the ball was a big key and then sharing the basketball. We really passed the ball well; better than we have in our last couple losses, that’s for sure. It’s a big confidence builder.”
Talk about your defensive zone and the struggles it gave Iowa..
“We play a 2-3 zone but it kind of oscillates and adapts to whatever kind of offense you give us but we’ve played it all year. It’s just that our guys are learning how to play it and doing a better job of protecting the middle and eliminating second shots. What hurt us were their second shots. Even though they only got nine, they got a few that they scored on.”
Sophomore Eric May
On playing well against Wisconsin and then not coming in and playing as strong today
“We started the game off with a lot of energy. The first five-ten minutes we played really well and then after that the shots just weren’t going so it got really frustrating. “
On what needs to happen for a quick turn-around for this Thursday’s game
“We just need to focus. We need to turn out focus and put this game behind us. There is nothing we can do about it. We have a game on Thursday that is going to be a really tough game. Going over to Northwestern is something that we need to look ahead to.”
On losing to Northwestern previously this season, what needs to change this time around?
“We need to play with a whole different mentality. We came into the last game against Northwestern the same way we came into tonight’s game. We need to rely on shooting and not let things snowball out of control and play good defense. We need to play collectively as a team.”
On Basabe not playing a lot of the first-half
“It was upsetting. It was too bad he couldn’t play much of the first-half because of the fouls. We still need to find ways to get inside without him in there.”