Coach McCaffery Postgame News Conference Transcript

Nov. 17, 2013

Q. Talk about the way your team came out and kind of took care of business, really got after it on both ends of the floor.
COACH McCAFFERY: That’s what this part of the season is. We talked about it last time. Every day there are teams beating other teams that you didn’t think were supposed to beat those teams, and you don’t want to find yourself in that situation with five minutes to go because you weren’t ready to go at the start of the game. We really did a great job on their ball screen action. We did a great job, had 25 assists, five turns. That’s impressive. It’s not a big team. They’re in a transitional phase. They’re playing a murderous schedule. Very difficult situation for a team to be going through. They’re in Pittsburgh, New York; then they’re in College Park, Maryland; then they’re in Iowa City, Iowa. I think they’ve got about six more of them. The bottom line is you’ve just got to make sure you take care of business and move the ball, and that’s what was most impressive to me.

Q. Talk about Devin’s start today, just how hot he was coming out.
COACH McCAFFERY: He’s been terrific. He was really mixing up his game, both with threes and drives and pull ups and post ups, and that’s the reason we moved him back to the 2 spot is to get him all over the floor with the ball. I think that’s where he’s at his best.

Q. You looked like you really contested the three point line on them. I think they hit 10 in the first 25 minutes against Maryland, stayed with them, and this one they didn’t really have many open shots.
COACH McCAFFERY: I think if you look at scores of games like that, okay, why is Abilene Christian up six with 13 minutes to go at Maryland. Well, they made 10 threes, right. And if you don’t guard them right, they’re going to make 10 threes. Cook made his first. He made four in that game. You’ve got to chase them off it. You’ve got to close out hard. You’ve got to rotate and play ball screens correctly because that’s what forces helped recoveries. So for us that was the challenge. Take away the three ball, they went with a small line up to start the game and they’re 3 for 23 from three. It’s going to be hard to win.

Q. Is Gabe getting some confidence and stepping into his shot finally?
COACH McCAFFERY: The interesting thing with him, as long as he takes open shots they go in. Sometimes I think he makes his mind up before he catches that he’s going to shoot it, and then if the guy is there, he shoots it anyway. Now, he sometimes makes those shots anyway, but they’re going to be lower percentage. I think the first two shots he missed I thought were shots he should have moved it on, and it’s a fine line, like I say all the time, because I want him to shoot the ball, and I encourage him to shoot the ball. Keep shooting, shoot it, throw him the ball. All that said, don’t shoot when you’re covered. He was open. Not only did they go in, he swishes them.

Q. Is McCabe okay?
COACH McCAFFERY: He’ll be fine. Something with his tooth. You can’t hurt him. He’s like a piece of steel.

Q. Are you worried at all how Pete will play against his brother on Friday?
COACH McCAFFERY: It’s probably something I’ll talk to him about, but I don’t think worried would be the word, no. I think he’ll be fine.

Q. You’ve gotten a lot of players a lot of minutes, deep down on your bench in the last two games. How beneficial does that become that you’re able to get these groups together in like this?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think as the season goes on, the more comfortable they get out there, not only in terms of getting minutes in front of a crowd and having to make plays and make shots, it’s knowing where to line up when we’re running our stuff, if we’re in a zone offense or in a press, where do I go, where are they, how do I react. If they’ve got four guys up and one guy back, do I come up, do I go back, those types of things. You don’t figure that out unless you’re out there. We try to get our guys to be students of the game on the bench, and to a large degree they are, but there’s nothing like being out there.

Q. What’s it like to play a game like this or last week when you’re up so much, you don’t ever want to rub it in or anything like that but you’re going all the way down deep, you want them to play hard?
COACH McCAFFERY: It’s a hard one because I didn’t really think about that until we were up over 30 at the 16 minute mark, so we had 16 minutes to go and I’m going to get some of my guys out, I’m going to put the next group in. Well, they’ve got to get something out of it, so they’ve got to keep playing hard. We’re not going to press. I told them don’t throw any alley oops, although we threw one; he couldn’t resist because he saw it and threw it. It’s kind of like let’s just keep playing hard man to man defense, keep running the fast break, keep moving the ball. Don’t stop playing that way. We’re not going to sit here and dribble out 16 minutes. We might dribble out three minutes and let it go, but not 16. I thought Pete got it going there. Mike was a little bit off. I wanted him to get — he bangs a three. I thought Uthoff was solid again. And then Woodbury comes back in the game and does some pretty good things. He’s been terrific. I think that’s what I wanted to get out of those last 16 minutes.