Feb. 19, 2011
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Q. Fran, third time in four games, you’ve gone to the last possession of the game, a chance to tie or win. What do you say to your team in a situation like that?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought today we executed fairly well in those situations. We got good looks at it. Got a good shot at the tip. Great shot there at the end of overtime and then the rebound. So I think what you want in that situation is to feel like you have a chance. And I thought, Wisconsin we did. Overtime was not as good as we would have liked. Tonight was better. Just didn’t go in.
Q. What was the explanation you were given about Cartwright’s 3 at the end of the half?
COACH McCAFFERY: It was still on his fingertip.
Q. Comes down to, when you analyze this, Morgan gets a big offensive rebound. 52 percent shooter. Makes both. Seems like they’re…
COACH McCAFFERY: To his credit, we said if he gets a rebound or if he has the ball near the basket you’ve got to chop him, make him earn it. Don’t let him lay it in. That’s what Bryce did. The kid made both with a timeout in between. Gotta give the kid credit for that.
Q. You really got on your players a few times today. You’re at a point in the season where you’re expecting a little bit more at this point?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yes. And, you know, it’s interesting, because what they do is when I get into them they respond. And sometimes you have teams that you get into and it makes it worse. So you gotta know your team and this team I felt needed me to get into them and they played better. Give them credit.
Q. The decision to start Devyn, was that to shake things up a little?
COACH McCAFFERY: The decision to start Devyn is because I thought it would benefit Eric May. I thought he’d been struggling, pressing a little bit at the start of the game. I felt, if he could take a look at it, come into the game, defend Morris, I thought he was pretty good. I thought he played well, Eric May. I was pleased with his play, with his effort. I just thought he would settle down a little bit coming off the bench.
Q. Hardaway had a good game. Let the game kind of come to him, coach Beilein said… you watch him (inaudible).
COACH McCAFFERY: I think he’s one of the best players in our league. He is. And he had that one stretch where his team really needed him to step up. And he did that. So you have to give him a tremendous amount of credit. Because some other guys weren’t making shots there. He needed to be the guy. We lost him a couple times, and that was part of my rant. But at the same time he had to go make the shots, and he made them.
Q. Were you pleased with your 3 point shooting?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yes.
Q. (Off microphone)
COACH McCAFFERY: What you have to do is you gotta the problem with that is they have so many other guys who are capable. And so if you run at them or double them, you know, his size enables him to get rid of it and find people and they do as good a job as anybody. If he gets rid of it, they make the extra pass. They find that next open shooter. So you’re a little reluctant sometimes to double them. We could have switched on them and just contested that way. A couple of times I thought Jarryd was going to do it. He didn’t. He was worried about the roll. So it’s not easy to cover that kind of action when you have so many shooters on the floor. But he made some tough shots, too.
Q. At the end of overtime, was it set up for Zach or whoever was open to take it?
COACH McCAFFERY: We know they’re going to switch. And we kind of felt like we needed a 3. We weren’t going to take 2 and try to foul or get a steal. I just felt like at that point let’s go for 3, if we get a clean look. Because if you get it in, you still have five dribbles and a shot; you don’t have to shoot it on the catch. And we ran into some action. He couldn’t have been more open. So I feel bad for him. He wanted to make it. He’s a great kid. He wanted to make it. He was open. He is a good shooter. We went in, got a rebound and another shot. You give the kids credit for fighting all the way to the end.
Q. How do you get from 3-12 in the Big Ten to a first division contender?
COACH McCAFFERY: It’s not that far. It’s not that far. We are right there. I’ve said that from the beginning. I’ve been in both places before. And I know what it’s like to be at the bottom of our league and play the first place team in our league, lose on a tip in at the buzzer in overtime and miss the last shot in a one point game. I know what it’s like to be in first place and struggle to beat the last place team, both at home and on the road. We’re right there. We got a lot of people back. We got some good players coming and we’ll be fine.
Q. You have a week off now between games. Does it come at a good time for you, for the team or would you rather…
COACH McCAFFERY: We had some tough games in that stretch. I mean, we just had a late Thursday game and Saturday afternoon game. I thought we battled. Our intensity level was good. I think we need a couple of days right now to step back. We’ve got a couple of guys nicked up, get them in the training room, get them with some ice and get ready for the next one.