Fran McCaffery Postgame Transcript

March 22, 2013

Q. Marble had another terrific game, 28 points. He seems to be really getting better.

COACH McCAFFERY: He was phenomenal tonight. He handled the ball, got to the free throw line. He set the tone in a lot of ways. When I look at the stats, I look for things that jump out at me, and the thing that jumps out at me is 20 assists and 26 baskets. I think that applies to our team and he’s the guy.

Q. Coach, it seemed like you were hitting the three point shot tonight.

COACH McCAFFERY: Well, definitely the flow of the game once we hit in transition, but the way Stony Brook defends, they’re going to protect the basket. They’re going to protect the drive. That’s how they play. They do a phenomenal job of that, and they’re going to make you make jump shots. We had drive-and-kick opportunities. We got some guys loose on the baseline a couple times, especially early, but to beat Stony Brook, you’re going to have to make some jumpers.

If you look at the teams that have beaten them, and not very many people have, I mean, Steve’s a tremendous coach. He’s done a phenomenal job with his program. I said after the game, that is a Big Ten team. They won 25 games; they won 13 road games; they had multiple weapons. They’ve got a post game. They’ve got three point shooters. They’ve got drivers, and they’ve got gamers.

Q. In that 13 3 stretch, McCabe had a three that really pushed you up to a 10 point lead?

COACH McCAFFERY: I think he hit a jumper before he hit the three. I think that was the first double digit lead we had, if I’m not mistaken, on that shot, and that’s what he does. He gives you solid play at both ends, and then he’s a threat. We needed to be able to have some three point shooters in the game with the way they guard.

Q. That was also a perfect play at the end of the half with Oglesby out on that three.

COACH McCAFFERY: Josh is really good at getting open. We executed it well. We went at the right time, loaded him up. His hands and feet were ready and he drilled it. That, from a momentum standpoint, you’re right. That was a big play for us to go in at halftime with the lead.

Q. You play two teams that kind of took runs at you in the second half and you’ve been able to close these two games. Is that a sign of maturity?

COACH McCAFFERY: No question. We’re taking care of the ball, we’re making plays late, and we’re going to have to keep doing it if we want to win the championship. We may have to do it on the road as well.

Q. Can you talk about Gabe and just keeping the ball live on the glass?

COACH McCAFFERY: Well, Gabe one, he’s a handful, Warney’s a handful so rotating Gabe on him, we felt like we needed one of our two bigger guys on him. He was moving his feet, really made him work, got a couple of buckets, but we really made him work. Then he got a big time offensive rebound once, and the other time the rebound and put-back and the and-one. I’m so thrilled for him. When you see a kid work as hard as he’s worked to become the player that he’s become, that is what it’s all about. There’s not a better kid out there. To see him smile and enjoying the success that his hard work as created, I mean, it’s just a tremendous feeling as a coach.

Q. Adam had a couple of really nice passes out of the post to get an assist on the first couple of possessions?

COACH McCAFFERY: He had a huge block late, had a big steal early when they were trying to get it inside to Warney. I thought Warney was tremendous tonight.

Q. Did you get what you wanted out of Mike tonight? 19 minutes?

COACH McCAFFERY: That’s exactly what we hoped to get. We got a shot maker, a penetrator, an assist guy with three assists and no turnovers, a solid defense. We thought he could give 19 or 20 minutes. We kept spotting him. At the end, I probably left him in and just said, okay, I’m going with you now. I’ve got four timeouts left, if we need to start calling them, we’ll do that to get home.

Q. Coach, Coley had 11 points in the first half, and he was scoreless in the second half. How did you adjust?

COACH McCAFFERY: I wish I could tell you there was something magical that we did. We paid attention to him early. I mean, that one three he hit, we were right in his face. I mean, that’s just the kind of player he is. In the second half, we played him hard again, we played him tough, and he was just off a little bit.

Q. You talked about the way you guys closed tonight. You guys had maybe three fast break points in the second half, so you were really leaning more on your half court sets. Just kind of talk about the effectiveness you were able to have on the half court?

COACH McCAFFERY: I think it speaks to how far we’ve come because, you’re right, we typically rely more on our fast break opportunities. They were aware of that. They got back. They shot a decent number in the second half. They shot 42%, so they made some shots. But even on the misses, for us, it was a matter of keeping the floor spaced, moving the ball side to side, making cuts and screens that made sense, and making them continue to guard us because that’s how they’re going to break down. That’s what’s going to wear them down. They run too, so we wanted to limit their running opportunities.

Q. You guys were outrebounded in the first half, I guess. What adjustments did you guys make to come out and own the glass in the second half?

COACH McCAFFERY: Well, we felt like we needed to get more on the offensive glass. We only had three offensive rebounds in the first half against seven in the second half. When you’re not making shots down that one stretch of the first half, we weren’t making shots and they were cleaning everything up. We just challenged the guys to get a few more on the offensive glass.

Q. Going back to Mike, it was 41 41 early in the second. He comes in, hits the three, and then hits Basabe for a dunk. What was that like to see Mike come in?

COACH McCAFFERY: I think what it says about him is what kind of an amazing person he is. Not a lot of guys can do that. He’s sitting on the bench. He’s analyzing what’s going on, what we need. He comes right off the bench firing, making plays and being aggressive. That’s just, I think, what makes him special.