Nov. 15, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head basketball coach Fran McCaffery fielded questions from the media after the Hawkeyes defeated Howard, 66-36, on Thursday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Q. Pretty impressed with your defense, 36 points.
Fran McCaffery: I thought the defense was great. I mean, we contained penetration. We pressed them and rebounded well. You know, we got after their good players, the guys that we were worried about. (Mike) Phillips got away from us a little bit. He’s a good player. But we made him work. Workmanlike effort, I thought.
Q. You have to probably be pretty happy with the way Marble came out shooting.
Fran McCaffery: (Devyn) Marble is playing great. He’s confident, he’s got a diverse game. He can score in a lot of different ways. We’re obviously a better team when he’s on the floor, and he’s very comfortable whether he has it, whether he’s off the ball, whether he’s playing the 3 spot. It doesn’t matter.
Q. What did you see from the three point range? How much of that was poor shot selection?
Fran McCaffery: None of it was poor shot selection. The only thing you could have said was a couple times we shot it quick, but everybody was open. I’m very comfortable with the shots we took.
Q. Everything okay with Josh (Oglesby)?
Fran McCaffery: He’s playing great in practice. He’s pressing a little bit. I feel bad for him. I think I should have put him in in the second half the other night, but it was the kind of a game where we kind of went with that defensive unit, the small, quick defensive group, and those guys got it done for us, so I left them in. He understands that. He’s very professional in his understanding of how we do things.
I went to him early. He got great looks our guys were looking for him, and I would tell him to take the exact same shots in the next game if not more.
Q. Marble is doing a good job of getting inside that zone and scoring fast. That’s what you guys do, right?
Fran McCaffery: You’re moving people around. If you’re flashing somebody to the high post, it’s got to be somebody who can make a play from there. If you get it to the low post, it’s got to be somebody who can make a play from there. And I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job, certainly with (Devyn) Marble in the high post. Aaron White was there. And the low post they were doubling from the opposite post, they were doubling from the blind side. We didn’t have too many turnovers, but we had a few and we didn’t get a lot done down there offensively.
Q. What did you notice Aaron White doing better in the second half?
Fran McCaffery: I played him a lot in the second half. I just think he played the way he plays. I played him at both spots in the second half. I thought he was terrific in the first half on the point of the press. It’s funny because we only had one steal at halftime but we had a five second call, we threw it out of bounds a couple times, had to take a time out, might have had to take two time outs, I don’t remember.
But we were giving them problems with it and we were disrupting their rhythm. They’re a rhythm team; they like to come down and run sets. They run a lot of good stuff, and we just disrupted them with our pressure.
Q. How do you feel the freshmen have settled in?
Fran McCaffery: Well, I thought they played great. They didn’t shoot as well as they did in the last game. I thought (Adam) Woodbury was terrific, Mike (Gesell) and Anthony (Clemmons) I thought were really good making plays, running the break, pushing the ball, and we got some real good looks at it, both of them. They didn’t make them from three but still were a main factor in the game.
Q. Do you expect some maybe tough spots as you try to look for combinations and settle on a rotation?
Fran McCaffery: You know, I’m real comfortable with what these guys are doing. We’re trying different combinations. They all seem to be working. Obviously the real challenge will be as we move forward, but we found a combination that worked the other night and won us a close game, and then same thing tonight, we were able to spread it.
Q. Gabriel (Olaseni) came out and played with more confidence than I think I’ve seen him play.
Fran McCaffery: You know, it’s funny because he’s so conscientious. He’s almost too conscientious. He’s playing (Mike) Phillips, a shot fake guy, and the first time he catches his shot fake, Gabe goes up and gives him a three point play. That’s the kind of thing that a lot of kids would just be able to let it go and he just knows he wasn’t supposed to leave the floor, and he’s probably tougher on himself than I am on him. I was pretty upset when he did that because we had talked about it. But he came back, I thought his activity in the second half I thought was spectacular, and that’s great to see.
Q. Next game, Gardner Webb. They’ve already played North Carolina. I think they’ve lost by 17, but they’ve been in an intimidating environment before.
Fran McCaffery: That’s a terrific program. They’ve got athletes, they’ve got some experience, they’ve got good guard play. We’ve got our hands full with them.
Q. Do you change the way you approach this with just one off day in between?
Fran McCaffery: You know, we’ll still make some teaching points from this game. We’ll move a little bit quicker on to Gardner Webb. Obviously we’ll have a couple of meetings tomorrow and a practice, and we’ll go ahead and meet again on Saturday before they shoot, after the meal, and we’ll have enough time to digest the game plan.
Q. You mentioned with the three pointers today you thought your guys got a lot of shots. What do you think was the issue with them not going down?
Fran McCaffery: I don’t think there was any issue; they just didn’t go in. I mean, I don’t think you can do anything other than if good shooters are taking good shots — keep shooting. If you’ve got the wrong guys shooting contested shots, that’s a problem. But that wasn’t the problem tonight.
Q. Talk about the defense leading to transition lay ups and dunks, especially in the second half.
Fran McCaffery: We felt like this was a game we could run, and we really wanted to push the ball. It happened a little bit in the first half, obviously much more in the second half. We got out, and once we got it comfortably above 20, then they hit a couple shots, but we felt like we were in control of the game. And that’s how we want to play, we want to play fast.
Q. Devyn (Marble) was icing his hand on the bench at the end of the game. Any concerns with the quick turnaround?
Fran McCaffery: No, he’ll be fine. He’s a tough kid.