Fran McCaffery Postgame Transcript

Dec. 31, 2012

Complete Coach McCaffery Transcript

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery met with the media after Iowa fell, 69-65, to Indiana in its Big Ten opener Monday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Q. In the final minute you guys got the turnover off the inbound, did you think about calling a time out?
COACH McCAFFERY: We just felt like scrambling and I felt Dev was in a position to make a play.

Q. What did you think of the shots at the end, they were open looks.
COACH McCAFFERY: You know, he made a great read on the first play. We didn’t give him a great pass and he missed the first one. The next two I thought were great looks. He’s got to shoot those while he’s in there. I would tell him to shoot them again, every time.

Q. Got to the line to make the free throws, just one of those days?
COACH McCAFFERY: You know, we started off slow offensively obviously. I mean, they were up into us pretty good. We were not doing a great job screening and we were shooting under duress, and he’s the guy that then goes and tries to get tries to make plays for our team. He’s always done that. He’s very good at that.

And they were getting after him pretty good, with different guys on him and they were face guarding him. You know, so at least he was able to get to the free throw line a few times and get us going.

Q. Did Basabe tweak his ankle?
COACH McCAFFERY: The other one. He was playing well I thought. And I thought in this game, he would have been very effective. He’s always played well against Indiana and played really well last year and he was ready to go. So that was disappointing.

Q. In the zone the second half, their offense
COACH McCAFFERY: It did, and it slowed the game down a little bit. It enabled us to run out of the zone. That was good.

I thought our movement and our execution of zone defense was pretty good. We started to get a little bit tired. The longer you stay in it, the more any team, and in particular a team of this calibre, is going to figure out where to get open and how to get open.

You know, would like to have seen us foul on that last rebound. Obviously want to get the rebound first, but you’ve got to put them on the free throw line there.

Q. What did Adam Woodbury show you?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought defensively he was tremendous, especially early. He moved his feet. He held his ground. He wasn’t chomping. He wasn’t flying at shot fakes. And I thought battled him physically in a big way. It enabled us to kind of get our break going a couple times.

We didn’t convert early like I had hoped, but we had some opportunities.

Q. Was there anything that you think execution wise
COACH McCAFFERY: The only thing I would point to is we cut it to one, we got the ball back I think three times. You know, I don’t remember what happened all three times, but I know Anthony through it to Josh, got stolen, and Josh through it over Aaron’s head.

That’s always a fine line with us because we want to run, we want to get attack. We want to get the ball and look ahead, and so that’s how we school them, so they make a turnover and start yelling at him and say, what are you doing; what are you thinking.

I would like for Anthony, since it was cross court to have brought it a little bit closer to Josh. Especially in light of the fact that we had just turned it over; we didn’t need that third turnover like playing with one hand. But it’s something that I think he’s obviously a terrific player, he’s a bright kid, he’s a great kid and he’ll learn from that and be a better player next time.

Ultimately when you’re in a game of this calibre where it’s a one or two possession game, it’s those kinds of things that ultimately add up. You can survive a bad shooting day, if you rebound well and execute and don’t turn it over.

Q. Do you think as far as your preparation, coming into this game, would you say they are 100%? And in retrospect, looking back, do you think could you have done better?
COACH McCAFFERY: I would have liked to have run we didn’t execute our offense in the first half. We ran pretty well. We didn’t convert. Converted in the second half on our transition and in the first half we didn’t convert like we needed to.

But I thought offensively, it was a struggle, early on. And that’s you know, that’s a credit to Indiana. They played hard; they fought; they got up into us, and they were the reason we shot 24 percent.

Yeah, maybe we had something to do with it, but I think a lot of times, that situation, everybody likes to say, well, we should have done this, we didn’t do that. Sometimes you just have to say, well, you know what, really good team, got after us pretty good, held us to a low number.

To our credit we were much more effective in the second half in terms of our execution. They were going zone in the middle of the possession for a good portion of the second half and then they went with the tandem zone a little bit in the second half. We executed extremely well against that. I thought our zone execution was tremendous. We had great looks at it. Just have to shoot it better.

Q. The fact that a younger team
COACH McCAFFERY: You know, I’m not into that. What I am, I’m going to be honest with them. I was impressed with our fight. We have got great character on our team. We fought hard. We hung in, but we have to understand is the anatomy of the game. This game is different than any other game we played before and a game we’ll play from now.

So what you’ve got to be able to do is, know and understand: What are the things we have to do to win this game and what are the things we can’t do, because if we do those, we are going to lose this game. And they did a little better job than us at that, in that aspect of the game. A little bit more experience, and a little tougher for them; they are on the road.

So you know, we are pleased with our play. We are pleased with the effort of some individuals. Thought Mike Gesell was tremendous, proud of him. That said, we are going to go to work on some of the things that he needs to do better and he knows that.

Q. What do you see looking at the stat line for Marble?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, I look at that, I see he got to the free throw line and he got nine rebounds for us. I thought defensively he was tremendous. He didn’t turn it over. I love him. He fights for me every night out, and you know, he didn’t want to shoot 1 for 14. We tried to set him up a few times and down the stretch, I thought he was really fighting for us to keep getting it back to one possession, getting to the free throw line.

Q. First game, national TV, how was the atmosphere?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought they handled it extremely well. All of our freshmen yeah, they made some mistakes. But what they all showed was ability to play through those mistakes. I think that’s critical for young players.

A lot of times when you’re young and you turn it over in that situation, it just kind of snowballs on you, and all three of them to a man I thought were able to come back and really impact the game positively as the game progressed.

Q. Seemed to be more assertive in the second half, what did you see out of him?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, the second half we played more zone and he got behind the zone a couple times. He got five offensive rebounds, most of those in the second half. But I think it was a little bit more of that. It’s not like they could really come down and say, we are going to him, we are in a zone. They went to him early and you know, he’s a special player. He realized that he needed to go get it off the glass and he needed to be a factor in the game. He wasn’t a factor in the game the first half. He wasn’t. He knows that. And to his credit, he made sure his team won the game. Got to give it to him.

Q. What did Indiana do so well down in the post? Of your post players, Aaron was the only one that seemed to be effective scoring the ball today.
COACH McCAFFERY: Nothing different than they did anywhere else. The X was on the O. They were pressuring us at every position, taking away our space, and they are big and strong.