Fran McCaffery Press Conference Transcript

Nov. 14, 2011

McCaffery Press Conference Transcript

Q. Second half seemed to lose your focus.

COACH McCAFFERY: You know, I don’t know if we lost our focus that much. It was a matter of as much as you try to prepare for a game like this, it’s not easy. It’s going to be a rat game. That’s how they play. They’re going to trap you all over, they’re going to scramble. When to take the three and when to pass up the three and when to keep them on defense, it’s not as easy as it looks.

I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job. Now, we probably turned it over. You’re going to turn it over against a team that’s playing like that. You’re going to turn it over more than normal. We turned it over more than we should have.

We out rebounded them by 20. Five guys in doubles. I thought we got some big time performances out of our experienced guys in the second half. I think our young guys learned a lesson. That’s what it’s all about, just getting better.

Q. Report on Brommer yet?

COACH McCAFFERY: He hurt his knee kind of the same way, so that’s not good. Not as bad. Swollen a little bit. It will be day to day. I felt bad for him because he worked really hard to get back and I thought he played pretty well when he was in there, considering he was out so long.

Q. Is there concern with him if he hurt it again in a similar way it’s going to continue over and over again?

COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, I think so. But I think it’s too early to rush to any judgment about it. We’ll see how it is tomorrow. Can we sit him out for a few days and let him play or is it going to be a longer period of time? I don’t think it’s any worse than that.

Q. Did you like the way your team played the first half?

COACH McCAFFERY: I thought we were aggressive at both ends. I thought we had a lot of energy. I thought our shot selection was good. I felt we mishandled some advantage situations. I would have liked to have done better there. I didn’t like how we played the last 51 seconds. That was a little bit upsetting.

But the way we started the second half I thought was critical because they hit a three, it was 19, could have gone to 20 or 21, it goes to 16. Start the second half, if you don’t have the energy you need, you’re not playing well…

We scored the first 10. I think from that point forward, I was pretty comfortable we were going to win the game.

But the thing about this team is they’re going to keep coming. They won 15 games last year. They play a hundred guarantee games. They’ve got seven of the top eight back. They’ve got a terrific point guard. They’ve got a great backup point guard. They got some guys who can make shots. The only thing they’re lacking is the big guy they had last year, or else they’d be a 20 win team and probably win that league.

The guy knows what he’s doing. I’ve known him for 30 years. He played in the NBA, he coached in the NBA, he knows what he’s doing.

Q. (Question regarding Eric May.)

COACH McCAFFERY: I thought he was great. Two or three turnovers he coughed up that he shouldn’t have. The one off the top of the key in front of our bench, then in the corner, when he tried to make a play when he should have called timeout in the first half.

20 and 9, I thought in the beginning he was great. He was all over the glass. When you’re playing a game like this, you expect a couple turnovers. We’re going to go, we’re going to attack, flick you from behind. But five is too many for him. He knows that.

Q. Matt had a career high. They were effortless points. Got them all on the offense.

COACH McCAFFERY: I thought he shot it pretty well, too. He made three out of four threes. He got some transition buckets. But his shot selection is always good. I thought he made some shots when we needed a bucket. That’s good for him.

Q. Did Aaron just not get in the flow tonight?

COACH McCAFFERY: I think it’s hard. He’s a freshman. He has a great game the other night. Today he tries to make plays right away, turns it over a couple times. He finally makes a good play. Thought he got fouled. Got a little sideways because of that. Then the second half, they stripped him on the rebound, thought he got fouled, got sideways because of that.

In a game like this, you’re going to get fouled. They can’t call it. Too physical a game. They’re chopping you five times a possession, ten times a possession. You cannot look to the official to help you out in that situation. You have to play through it.

If you are making an aggressive play and they chop you, they’re probably going to call a foul. If you’re not aggressive and they chop you, they’re probably going to call it.

Q. Solid effort from Zach coming off the bench.

COACH McCAFFERY: Zach knows how to play. He’s in great shape. He can make a three. He can post up. He was involved in our press attack in a big way today. Thought he did a great job.

He doesn’t panic too much out there. Last year he made a few freshman mistakes. He’s not doing it this year because he’s been through it.

Q. (Question regarding rebounding.)

COACH McCAFFERY: We were. I think that’s great. A lot of it was from our wing guys, our secondary, not necessarily our post players. In a game like this, when they’re pressuring the way they are, overloaded to the ball, it’s oftentimes your other guys that have to rebound. We did that. We did that a little bit in the second half. Like to see us do it a little bit more. We also shot 56 in the second half so not many to be had.

Q. Talk about the transition defense in the second half.

COACH McCAFFERY: Transition defense in both halves wasn’t good. It wasn’t good the other night. So if we’re going to press, we need to get back and protect the basket better than we did.

It’s one thing to get up. A team like this, you’re going to get on the side of them and they’re just bullet quick. They’re going to go. Some teams are going to break your press and be content to pull it out. This team is going. You have to get back, set up shop, protect the basket. If we get on the side of them at 85 feet, you can’t get on the side of them at five feet because they’re going to score that. They’re going to get it up on the glasses, then they’re going to go tip it. Sometimes it’s hard to understand exactly how the game is going.