Nov. 11, 2011
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Q. (Question regarding White.)
COACH McCAFFERY: He’s a terrific player. He’s a complete player. I said this before, when you have a 6’8″ player who understands how to play, dribble, pass, shoot, post up, play in the zone, he’s got feel. He doesn’t rattle. There’s no panic in him at all.
Q. Came out with full court press. Strategy was to see how your team would play that?
COACH McCAFFERY: We need to practice playing that way because we’re going to want to play that way a lot. And I thought it was pretty good. I thought it was pretty good. It was not good at the start of the second half. We’re up 23. I think we were a little bit content at that point to trade baskets.
Up 23, with the three point shot anymore, isn’t that many possessions. You’ve got to be able to take 23 and get it to 30, get it to 35. Ultimately we did that, but it took us a while.
Q. Is this like a perfect game because you got to play all your players, especially the young guys who need to learn pretty fast?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, we had the young guys not only on the floor a lot, we haven’t been together a lot. You never would have known they were young guys. They weren’t mistake makers at that point in time. I thought Oglesby had some really good looks. He’ll make eight of those in another night. But he was solid. I mean, White was great. Olaseni was great and I thought Josh played well.
Q. (Question regarding McCabe.)
COACH McCAFFERY: When he came in the game, he gave us great minutes right away. He ran the floor, finished inside. He has a different style of play than Melsahn does. The beauty of him is he can score inside and out. He’s using that 239 pounds well. If you don’t find him in the zone on the break, he’ll stop and shoot that. I can play him at three.
He just knows where to go, knows where to be, and that’s important.
Q. (Question regarding Cartwright.)
COACH McCAFFERY: It was not one of his better nights, no question about that. Marble played better when I put him in in the second half. Once we got to the point when I was going to put Bryce back in, I wasn’t going to do it.
Q. Talk about what you got from Melsahn.
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought Melsahn was great. He gave us energy. He was active. He was active early. He helped us against the press. He didn’t make a ton of mistakes, no turnovers. I thought he was terrific.
Q. When Bryce tried to dunk and you took him out shortly after that, was that just making a point?
COACH McCAFFERY: I wasn’t trying to embarrass him. I just didn’t think he was playing real well at that time. It wasn’t just that play, it was the previous couple plays. We had a three on one. We had a number of opportunities we should have converted. I thought he was getting a little bit too fancy at times, trying to make a great play. Just make the simple, solid play. That’s who he is.
He’ll be fine. I mean, he’s a great person. He’s a terrific player. He’s been practicing extremely well. He played well in our exhibition. He’ll be fine.
Q. At times it looked like the interior defense wasn’t what you wanted.
COACH McCAFFERY: Spread out a little bit. But we were jumping in the passing lane. I think it’s hard to evaluate that once you get to a lead. I thought our defense was really good early, both full and half court. The intensity level and concentration was good. I was impressed with that.
Q. Eric didn’t shoot as well as you hoped, but he had five assists, two steals.
COACH McCAFFERY: He’s always in the right place now. He has good feel. He was in the middle of our press offense. If he was on the weak side, he was over where he should have been so they didn’t get much.
I just have been really impressed with him, just his overall approach. From when last season ended, it would have been easy for him to get angry and blame, point fingers as to why he was not in the starting lineup at the end of the year. He just went back to work. I thought from that moment really I think dedicated himself to being a better player.
What you’re seeing is a much more complete basketball player. Defensively he’s been tremendous. He’s handling the ball. He’s not turning the ball over. He’s finding people. I’ve been really impressed with him.
Q. Do you think you get Brommer back Monday?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think there’s a good chance. He’s going to practice tomorrow full, then we’ll see how he holds up. If he holds up well, we’ll practice him on Sunday. If he holds up well, we’ll play him on Monday. If there’s any setback or soreness, we won’t.