Coach Bluder News Conference Transcript

Nov. 13, 2013

COACH BLUDER: It was a very good first half. We got a break going again. We were passing the ball well. But that second half we let up on the intensity, and I’m disappointed in that because I think we could have really used the time to improve and get better at our game. I told the players we weren’t playing against Arkansas Pine Bluff anymore; we were playing against ourselves, trying to make ourselves a better basketball team, and I think we accomplished that in the first half but not in the second half. So kind of disappointed with that. I’m happy with the 26 assists on 29 field goals, again, sharing the ball very well. Didn’t shoot the ball as well as we’re capable of today, but at the same time, it’s a win. And Claire (Till) to have 12 rebounds, it’s nice to see her coming off the bench and getting double rebound numbers, so that was very good. But we just want to try to go out there and perform at a high level every minute that we’re on the floor. I don’t know that we did that in the last 20 minutes.

Q. With that overtime grind there on Sunday, how was the squad’s energy level in the day’s following?
COACH BLUDER: We gave them a lot of pretty easy practice the day after because Monday they were tired on Monday, there’s no doubt. So we did a lot of film work on Monday and tried to use that to get better instead of really being on the floor and just spent more time shooting on Monday. Yesterday I thought we had a good practice leading up to this. Again, I think we started the game really well and kept our energy high for the first half, but second half we just couldn’t maintain keeping the energy up.

Q. Coach, was there a concerted effort to get Sam’s teammates involved or is that just how the flow of the game went?
COACH BLUDER: It’s a little bit of both, but that’s Sam’s mentality. She’s going to score when she needs to score for us and when she doesn’t need to score, she’s going to defer to others, and that’s just her personality.

Q. What did you see (No Microphone)?
COACH BLUDER: Well, mostly we shared the ball so well, great assists. We shot the ball well in the first half. We pushed the ball well the first half, so I thought there were some good things there. Second half we kind of got away from that a little bit. We still shared the ball well, but just didn’t run our offense as well and didn’t hit as many shots.

Q. What did you think about the defensive energy tonight?
COACH BLUDER: The first half was good. We came out, and the only thing I was disappointed was the box outs. We gave up too many offensive rebounds to this team in my opinion. Way too many. And we need to do a better job of fundamentally going out and hitting them, getting them on our backside and going to get that board. So I was kind of disappointed in our box outs tonight.

Q. You’ve got one more game left before you go on the road for two and a half weeks. What one more home game, I should say. What are you hope to go get accomplished before you guys hit the road for a while?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, this is important because this is the last time we’re in Carver Hawkeye Arena for a while. Our next five games will be away from home. So I think it’s really important that we have a good win on Sunday against Stony Brook. It’s a men’s women’s doubleheader. Little earlier tip for us at 1:00 o’clock. We need to get ourselves better. We need to continue to grow, continue to get better no matter who we’re playing against we need to get better, because next week it gets pretty tough going to play at Colorado and then at UNI.

Q. Coach, is there an emphasis on playing transition basketball and scoring points off the basket?
COACH BLUDER: That’s always an emphasis for us, so absolutely.

Q. Coach, you had different players that played at least 20 minutes tonight with the margin of victory that you had. What did you like from your bench players tonight?
COACH BLUDER: I think Ally came in and played well. She’s our leading offensive rebounder with five. Just personally pleased and happy for Kathryn Reynolds. For what she’s been through, tearing her ACL at the end of her freshman year for the second time and then being able having to sit out in that last year and then coming back and scoring eight points tonight, that was a career high for her in points at Iowa. So just personally kind of happy for her doing that.

Q. How has her progress been, Coach?
COACH BLUDER: She’s had a lot of complications with her ACL, so that was a tough really a setback, a lot of setbacks with it. So it’s good. Right now she’s starting to finally feel comfortable out on the floor. Games like this will help her, so if there’s one bright spot from the second half, I think that would be it would be that Kathryn got some more minutes and got to feel confident out there. Definitely shot the ball well. Shot 60% from the field so that was nice to see.

Q. Can you talk about the same thing how important is it in games like this to get people involved in roles like they’d be in last Sunday?
COACH BLUDER: We’re trying to do that as much as we can even in practice. Just because we don’t have a very big bench, so people are having to play multiple roles and multiple positions and getting them the repetitions at those types of positions. So we’re trying to do it in practice, but nothing can simulate game day environment like game day. So I think it’s good to get in it that situation today as well.

Q. You want to talk a little bit about the recruiting class today?
COACH BLUDER: We are really pleased with our recruiting class that we came in with. Ranked 28th in the country according to Blue Star Reports. We signed four players. Feel like we’ve met all of our needs that we wanted to and signed basically one at every position, a point guard, a wing, a power forward and a center. So very, very happy with what we have.