Dec. 31, 2011
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Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery:
On Bryce Cartwright:
I think he’s feeling better. I think even though the other night, in a loss, he was better. You could see that he was making strides. The Brown game he played well, so there’s been bits and pieces of it, but it hasn’t been what we thought it could be on a nightly basis. Tonight, we encouraged him to push the basketball and create some tempo and essentially control the game.
On Iowa’s ability to hit clutch shots late:
We had our best offensive team on the floor–that helps. We had five scorers out there, all of whom can make a basket, but I think the thing that made it most impressive was that we were also making plays. It wasn’t just one guy going off the dribble. Now, Bryce [Cartwright] did once and [Roy Devyn] Marble did once, but Marble also made a great bounce pass on a back cut by Bryce and we got the ball to [Melsahn] Basabe who got fouled. We hit Aaron White in transition by pushing the basketball. So we put our best offensive guys on the floor and we pushed it, spread it and shooting the ball.
On what the win means for the Hawkeyes, especially after a tough loss three nights ago:
I felt like the other night, we sort of played well enough to win. You look at it and say, we’re right there. But you give up 18 layups, can you really expect to win? Defensively, we were not where we needed to be in that game. So what did we do? We learned from it and we focused. I mean, the film session was not a pleasant one. There’s two ways to approach that–you can point fingers at your teammates and your coaches or you can look in the mirror and effect change. The focus and concentration in practice that they had prior to this game was fabulous, and I felt like they bought in totally and completely to the game plan and then carried it out. You can’t come in here [to the Kohl Center] and lose the battle on the glass and expect to win. We out-rebounded them and we chased them off the three–we contested the three and then we executed the offense by pushing the ball.
On whether today’s victory is his most exciting while with Iowa:
Probably. I think anytime you win on the road in this league, there’s a celebration–there’s an incredible sense of accomplishment. Last year we had one at Indiana, and of course it came down to the last shot, so that was exciting. Our first one, we beat Michigan State at home by 22, which I don’t think anybody expected, so that was. But this is the 11th ranked team in the country on the road with a fabulous winning percentage here. So I think our players understood what they had to overcome to make this happen. From that standpoint, I’m certainly proud of my team. They’re proud of each other.
On out-scoring the Badgers off the bench: I don’t necessarily look at that in terms of our bench versus their bench. A lot of times [Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan] only plays six. We play a lot of players, and there’s nights when Aaron White’s been our leading scorer–well, he was today. So that’s going to happen. [Josh] Oglesby is going to have some big nights. So I just sort of expect that my team is going to respond off the bench. They know that I’m going to play ten.
On the defense on Jordan Taylor:
Well, we rotated guys off him which I think you have to do. You know he’s going to try to take over late–he’s going to try to take over when they get behind. So we got up on him, we mixed the coverages on him. We fought over, we went under, we trapped him, we pressed him, we rotated guys. I mean, he’s just that good, that’s what you have to do.