Women's Basketball Postgame Transcript

Nov. 4, 2012

COACH BLUDER: Well, I thought this was a pretty good opener for us. I was happy with the way we took care of the ball. You know, we started out a little scary with that. But then we got better. Only three turnovers in the second half. And I think it’s something that you always see in the first game is your timing maybe not there.

But we had 24 assists and 12 turnovers. And I think those are really good numbers for a first game.

We shot the ball well, especially Melissa had a really nice shooting night for us. And it’s just fun when she gets on a roll like that, everybody feeds off of that.

We shot well everywhere but the free throw line. Free throw percentage was very low for us, but we’ll get after that and improve on that. But overall I thought that this was a really nice first performance for us.

Q – Talk a little bit about Melissa tonight, incredible replacing Jaime, that was kind of new and she kind of ran with it.

COACH BLUDER: She’s used to it because she did it for us last year for us, she stepped in the same way last year when she went into the starting lineup when Jamie came out. We have so much confidence with Melissa shooting the ball. It’s never something we hesitate with.

And she has such a quick shot, really. She’s hard to guard. If she is open, she’ll get the shot off because she has such a quick shot release.

Q – Melissa, what’s it like to have a record that doesn’t count? And when you get in the zone like that, what’s the feeling like?

Melissa Dixon: I think we just moved the ball around really well in our zone offense tonight. My teammates were finding me when I was open. So that helped a lot.

Q – Does it feel like right when it leaves your hand during that stretch it’s going in?

Melissa Dixon: Felt good tonight.

Q – What’s it feel like to set a couple school records that won’t count?

COACH BLUDER: She can get it Friday night. That’s the challenge.

Q – Have you ever there was a stretch where she hit back to back 3s and the timeout was called. She’s on the bench. Do you have a situation where, it’s a exhibition, don’t necessarily need you to go out there?

COACH BLUDER: We wanted to make sure that everybody had an opportunity to play today if we could. And that’s not something that we’re really focusing on. It was more trying to get some combinations in.

And I don’t know she might have been dead tired at that point, I’m not sure. But with Melissa, I don’t worry about she’s on a hot streak, you take her out and she loses it. She doesn’t have that mentality. She really keeps that confidence in her shooting all the time.

Q – Theairra, what was it like getting back in the starting lineup tonight for the first time in a while?

Theairra Taylor: It felt good. No anxiety. So no puke or (laughter) none of those things. I was really excited to be out there.

Q – What was your confidence level at compared to a year ago?

Theairra Taylor: It’s quadrupled basically. I feel like I’m letting everything come to me I’m not going to force anything, and I just feel comfortable out there.

Q – From a mental standpoint, all that you’ve been through, you know, with the three knee injuries, how does that make you more mentally tough player, a stronger player, as you head into this season?

Theairra Taylor: Well, I mean, you just gotta go into every game and it can be your last game. And you know that, especially me, having to go through those things. But just approach it and try to have fun each game.

It’s made me really strong, and I know that everybody on the team can go through adversity and we can overcome it, and I just wanted to be an example for that.

Q – Lisa, how much are you going to count on her this season?

COACH BLUDER: I mean, I just am thrilled to have Theairra back in the lineup. And she’s improved so much.

Nobody’s really seen Theairra like we’ve seen Theairra yet. And it’s fun for me to think of what the Iowa fans, a treat they have in store for them.

Because I know the player that she can be. And she’s there now. And she can do it now.

And so it’s exciting. She’s an exciting player to watch. And I have so much admiration for her because of how much desire she has to be on the floor wearing an Iowa uniform to go through what she’s gone through, to me, I mean, when you have a kid like that that wants to be on the floor that badly it wants you to work that much harder for them.

Q – Morgan, 12 and 9, tonight, seemed like things were kind of difficult in the post. Seemed like they were getting away with some fouls, biggest one on the court. Talk about how you dealt with the post tonight?

Morgan Johnson: You know, they had me a little bit size wise a little bit bigger than me. But you just go in there and you treat each game the same. And I think they did a good job of pushing me off the block a little bit, pushing me and Beth off the block a little bit, which altered our shot some.

Just didn’t have the usual looks that we have. That was a little difficult. But I feel like our guards did a great job tonight; and the in/out look was working really, really well. So I feel like just getting the ball to them was really important.

Q – How does the post work kind of facing actual bigs tonight?

Morgan Johnson: I think it’s getting better. I feel each time out we’re getting a little better, getting better at offsetting the post a little bit. I don’t think it feels 100 percent natural yet, but I feel like we’re getting closer.

Q – How deep do you think you can go rotation wise with this team?

COACH BLUDER: I feel really comfortable going ten deep. I think we’re there. And it’s so early right now, you hate to even say that, because you just never know who is going to step up or who is going to get in the game anxiety and those type of things.

And so you just don’t know at this point. But right now I feel we’re the deepest we’ve ever been in as long as I can remember.

Q – The timetable for Printy?

COACH BLUDER: I think she’ll be back on Friday. I feel good about it. We’ll hold her out Monday. Tuesday is a day off. So she’ll have Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for Northern Illinois, but I think she’ll be back for that game.

Q – Your team, you had a lot of fouls tonight, is that something you like to see?

COACH BLUDER: We had a lot of fouls?

Q – Early in the first half you got in trouble early.

COACH BLUDER: You know, I’m not sure if I remember that significantly. We shot 16 free throws to their 10. So

Q – Kali Peschel had some early fouls but do you like to see that aggressiveness?

COACH BLUDER: I have to get used to she got one charge which I never like to count charges because, I don’t know, I just don’t count charges as fouls, in my book, at least. I like to see them taking the ball whole heart. A lot of freshmen don’t understand the hand checking rules of college and it takes a while to understand.

You get that one touch and then you can’t put your hand back on them, can’t have two hands on them. Just different thing than in high school how that’s called.

Q – What’s it say about Sam, she has 13, 7, 7 and 5, haven’t talked about her really tonight?

COACH BLUDER: Seven assists I love to see. You know, I thought she led us well. I thought she was strong out there. I thought she was under control.

I thought defensively she had some nice steals at half court that we haven’t seen from her last year. So I thought she was kind of added that part to her game, which was fun. She was really pressuring the ball at half court, and that was really nice to see.

Q – 24 assists on 34 baskets, how huge is that?

COACH BLUDER: That’s something we look at. We love assists. To me, assists is team basketball. Assists are going to give us higher percentage shots, because if you’re getting good assists that means you’re usually passing to somebody who is open. You’re getting that open shot which is a higher percentage shot.

So usually assists go up, shooting percentage goes up and both of those numbers I think are so important to winning and the style of play that we like to play with team basketball, get everybody involved, pass the ball well.

I love it when we have high assists like we did tonight.

Q – Morgan, I think it might have been 14 12 early on. And then the coaches put Logic back in the game, and I think immediately you guys go on a 14 2 run or something like that. And then you just take control and never look back. Having her on the court, what does that mean for the team?

Morgan Johnson: Sam, she’s two things. She’s a great leader, can see the floor extremely well. I have confidence with her having the ball, handling the ball and handling pressure and have confidence in her as a leader.

I know she doesn’t have a captain title, but I feel she comes out and leads our team really well. Everybody has confidence in her. And when she’s on the floor that presence kind of calms everyone down, which is exactly what we needed. So I think she did a fantastic job. I know she didn’t have as many points but I feel like she was a great player tonight.

Q – Talk about the things that you need to work on before you open the season on Friday?

Morgan Johnson: I think we need to work out coming out of the gate a little bit harder. That’s something we really need to take care of and maybe rebounding a little bit more. That’s really important. And I feel like if we get those things, two things down, continue to work on that 3 offense, I feel like we’ll be a great team on Friday.

Q – Is it nice as a coach to see the largest lead of the game with the final score?

COACH BLUDER: Yes, we kept our intensity. Sometimes that can go down, especially this doesn’t count and you’re putting everybody in. So that is nice to see is that we maintained the intensity and the focus the whole way through the 40 minutes.