Fran McCaffery News Conference Transcript

Nov. 6, 2013

F. McCaffery News Conference Transcript

Q. Buzz Peterson, what do you know about him and the guys he’s got surrounding him?
COACH McCAFFERY: I know those guys really well. Obviously I coached against Buzz when he was at App State and I was at Greensboro, and then Houston Fancher (UNCW asst coach) replaced him, so I coached against Houston, as well. And then I coached against Eddie (UNCW asst coach) when he was at UNC Asheville. I see those guys on the road. I’ve known them for years. He’s got a great staff, really good people.

Q. Have you had any interaction with your team and how have they responded?
COACH McCAFFERY: They responded really well. I think they realized what I was saying and tried to effect change. That’s what you want to see. You want to see improvement as an understanding of what’s expected. In particular from some individuals, I think Marble has really been good and Basabe has really been good.

Q. Do you have an update on Anthony at all, his ankle?
COACH McCAFFERY: He’s doing fine.

Q. You mentioned the other day about Uthoff. People forget he hasn’t played for two years. What unique challenges does that bring on a Friday night when you’re playing a game and do you have to do anything to temper
COACH McCAFFERY: The only thing I do to temper that is I just keep encouraging him to shoot the ball when he’s open, to drive the ball, just go play. Don’t be trying to make it a game of perfect. It’s not what it is. Just trust his talent and rely on his instincts. He’s got really good instincts on how to play, and he can really score. So go score, don’t turn shots down and try to get closer and then you drive into packs of people, then you get all jammed up and turn it over. Just take what’s there, and that’s easier said than done sometimes when you haven’t played a regular game. Again, he’s had an exhibition game, we had the six games overseas, he’s doing really well in practice. I think he’s getting more and more comfortable.

Q. Is he right now after Zach, the next guy in?
COACH McCAFFERY: He and Gabe, yeah.

Q. Have you gotten feedback from the players? Did they talk to you about how it was officiated and the adjustments they’re having to make?
COACH McCAFFERY: No, they didn’t say much about it. I mean, I think obviously we got to the free throw line 50 times, but I think it’s a function of a couple things: How it was being officiated. We’re a driving team, but also Augustana is a physical team. That’s how they play. That’s their style. They’re not going to give you lay ups around the basket. They’re going to bang you. So I think it’s a combination of those things. Friday night might be a little bit of a better gauge as to where it’s going.

Q. Zach draws a lot of charges and it doesn’t seem like it’s that easy to draw a charge anymore
COACH McCAFFERY: You still can, you’ve just got to get there sooner. You have to anticipate the play sooner, get there sooner, and be rock still. So it’ll be a lot harder, you’re right.

Q. Along those lines, have you tried to teach your players to attack more because it’s harder to draw?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, we haven’t like I said, we’re going to do it more. That’s kind of what we do all the time. We want to be an attack team. We want to get to the free throw line, we want to push it and go and drive the ball to the basket. Even when we’re shooting jumpers, it’s dribble drawing kicks. We haven’t made any concerted effort to change, we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing.

Q. Does it seem like their record may be a little deceiving, since I think they have four starters returning?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, this is a real good team. You’re right. You look at last year’s record, you don’t think that. But it starts with some of those guys really started coming on. They’ve got tremendous quickness on the perimeter in particular. They’ve got very similar depth to what we have. They’re going to go at least 10 deep. And then you add a fifth year senior point guard to kind of settle everybody down. It’s a team that presents a lot of challenges. This is not an easy opening game by any means. It’s a well coached team, and it’s a veteran team, and it’s a team with a history of winning. They’ve got a lot of different weapons, and they’ve got a combination of size and speed that I think will challenge us in a big way.

Q. Do you think there’s any particular enthusiasm for Jarrod since he hasn’t been here for two years?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, I think they’ll be fine with him. I think everybody appreciates a guy who really wanted to be here, and they know he’s talented. He was Mr. Basketball in Iowa, and he’s going to be great. But he might have a bump in the road or two, but I think our fans will stay with him as he goes through that.

Q. Going 2-of-18 from behind the arc on Sunday, do you feel it was just rust or do you feel like some of those shots could have gone down?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought we had a couple shots that were not in rhythm. We had a couple that were in and out. I just think it was one of those days.

Q. How can Adam build off of the performance you got out of him Sunday with that double double?
COACH McCAFFERY: Just keep doing it. He’s been really consistent at practice. I’ve been saying that. I think he really committed himself this summer to getting to a place physically where he is and then by virtue of having a guy like Gabe right there coming after him every day, it’s really made both of them better. He’s been spectacular. I mean, he’s been rebounding, running, out-letting, moving his feet. He’s been physical, and he’s really been passing the ball well, being able to run the offense through him, and he’s been scoring a lot better, as you saw.

Q. You said Gabe was pushing Adam. Is practice pretty intense between those two?
COACH McCAFFERY: Between those two guys, they go at it every day, and their numbers have been spectacular, which is interesting because they’re both really trying to stop the other one. But they’re both different. Their games are different, and I think it’s been good for both of them that way.

Q. After the game Aaron said that he had the sense that people on the team thought they had already accomplished a lot of things and they haven’t accomplished anything. Is that a sign of leadership coming out of him?
COACH McCAFFERY: No question. I appreciate that. And that’s what our team needs. I can’t be the only one that says that I guess is the point. Somebody in that locker room has to say it.

Q. You said through the off season or preseason you wanted to work on situations. Has that worked out? What areas do you really feel like you made progress?
COACH McCAFFERY: You know what’s funny about that, you work on situations all the time, and you still see mistakes, and you still see breakdowns. That’s part of it. But I think the more you do it, the better chance you have to be successful in those situations when the games come. There’s no guarantee that we’re going to work on situations and therefore we’re going to be perfect. It’s not going to happen. You might run the play perfectly and somebody still has to make a shot, and you might run a play that breaks down and the guy goes and makes a shot anyway. That’s just basketball. But I think if you constantly get your guys thinking time and score, what are we in, what are we running, so we’re all on the same page, you wouldn’t think it would happen, but you might have one guy not running the right play or three guys in one defense, two guys in another because we changed defenses. It’s concentrating on those things to make sure we’re all on the same page.

Q. How important is that with combinations because any five guys could be on the floor at the end of the game.
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, that’s also part of it because we might have a big lineup, small lineup. But at least this year we have we’ll typically have a lineup of guys that have been there before. Last year we were younger. This year we’re more experienced, so that will help. I think we have enough leadership on the floor, whether it’s from your guards or from somebody like Aaron White to step up and say, okay, let’s make sure after this free throw, what are we running. They might press. They’ve been pressing, and let’s watch the trap on the first pass or anything along those lines. Just make sure that you limit the mistakes that may happen.

Q. With signing day just a week away, are you anticipating just using the two, or is there a chance
COACH McCAFFERY: There’s a chance we’ll still use a third, but right now we just have the two.

Q. Talk about Woodbury again. How big is it for him to develop that jump shot that we saw a couple times on Sunday?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, we’d love to have him develop that jump shot, but for him just to be a double double guy, it doesn’t have to be all jump shots, just finish plays around the basket, offensive rebound put backs, making his free throws, just to be that kind of horse that he clearly was last year at the defensive end of the floor. He was a phenomenal post presence defensively. He was still a post presence offensively, and now you’re seeing him score the ball a little bit more, but you’re seeing a guy who’s more confident, he’s quicker, he’s jumping better, he’s more physical, he’s stronger, and he’s just more confident. He’s more comfortable out there, which is what you would expect. He’s a sophomore now.

Q. Are you surprised that Aaron spoke up?

Q. Did you see that coming?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, he’s been real good that way, because he knows what to say and what to do. You can do a lot of speaking in the locker room, but it better come from somebody who knows what they’re talking about and has the credibility to say it.