Nov. 17, 2013
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COACH BLUDER: This is one of those games we were waiting for as far as the change in the officiating. We were kind of dreading and it came to fruition tonight. This is what worries me. Maybe they called the right way tonight, but it was totally different than the first three games of the year, and that’s what has my concern is that there is no consistency across the board in that, and I think that’s difficult for the players to adjust game by game to officials, adjust to the tempo of the game. Sitting on the bench for a long period of time like Bethany had to do tonight and then come back in the game, it’s hard sometimes to refocus and do that. We had a battle with Bethany in foul trouble, Sam in foul trouble. Sam got a quick two in the first half as well.
It’s just something that we’re going to have to adjust to and it doesn’t make the game perfect by any means. On the other hand, some other good things. Ally I thought did a nice job for us as our leading scorer, leading rebounder tonight. Shot the ball extremely well. It’s fun when every one of your players scores and every one of your players gets a rebound. I think when Hailey Schneden hit that basket, our bench was so excited; it was like we just won the Big Ten Championship. But that’s how much this team gets along and cares about each other, and that’s what makes it fun. So, you know, moving on to Colorado now, and that’s obviously a big challenge, top 25 team and our first road test.
Q. How valuable are Hailey’s minutes going to be when you get into games like this?
COACH BLUDER: Well, very important. I mean, she’s had to step in and play a considerable amount, nine minutes tonight. Some of that was in the first half. It was kind of crunch time still as far as it wasn’t our game yet. She had to come in and play well. She had a rebound for us; she blocked a shot, but it’s not an ideal situation, no. That’s what we were nervous about with our lack of numbers and we’re going to have to keep working on it and adjust to the officiating.
Q. So you had one game to fine tune some things before Colorado. Did you accomplish that tonight?
COACH BLUDER: I am glad that we had a game like this before it happened in a pressure situation. So I think it will help us in case we are facing this type of officiating again on Wednesday night. Now we’re better suited or better equipped for it.
Q. You guys have already played one ranked team this year and got the win against them. How much did that game help you for what’s coming up now with the Buffaloes?
COACH BLUDER: I think any time you get a ranked opponent, it just builds momentum. It builds confidence for your team. Now we’re going on the road, so we have that. New road tests, have to get ready for that, but we know we can beat top 25 teams. We did it seven times last year, so we’re prepared.
Q. Coach, has there been anything that’s surprised you about Ally in her role in the first couple of games?
COACH BLUDER: She was shooting the ball very well in preseason. I guess, if anything, I’m most pleased with her ability to accept contact and still make the basket. I think she does a good job of really being strong with the ball, going to the hoop, kind of pump fake and still being able to draw that contact and get the basket. I think she does a really good job of that.
Q. How much improvement or have you seen improvement from Ally over these last few weeks since she started playing games? (No Microphone)?
COACH BLUDER: She really was impressive right off the bat. Obviously, in the first couple games she played very well. So Ally has been seamless in transition. But maybe it’s because she spent so much time in those seats across from the opponent’s bench the last couple years watching us play, and I really do think that helps being able to envision yourself out there. Seeing the style of play, seeing what you’re going to be going up against, she’s just done a great job. I think having practice in June and July this year, I think that helped the freshmen as well to learn the offenses and defenses and expectations early.
Q. Coach, talk about lack of depth maybe on the bench, but yet you have 33 points and I know Ally had a lot to do with that tonight but what does that say about the people you are bringing in?
COACH BLUDER: We really believe in the group that we have. We may be small in numbers, but we have full faith in every one of us in the Iowa jersey. That’s a good feeling. I’d rather have the right ten than having a good five and a suspect back up five or seven or ten or whatever that number is. I’d rather have what we have.