Coach McCaffery News Conference Transcript

Dec. 9, 2013

Q. Melsahn came out with good energy in back to back games.
COACH McCAFFERY: He’s obviously capable. But when he’s playing with energy like that, it makes a big difference for our team.

Q. Your press seemed to be effective tonight…
COACH McCAFFERY: They were getting a little comfortable. Got them a little bit sideways. Got a couple turnovers, a couple run outs in that 19 0 run.

Q. Mel and Zach seemed to bring the toughness to the interior there.
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, that and experience, maturity, knowing what we need at any particular time. I think they both understand.

Q. Thoughts on your bench tonight?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, the bench has been great. We got the break going. We threw it ahead. We really attacked their three quarter court pressure with great success. A lot of the game Greg played a smaller lineup, so we dominated the glasses. But we should have dominated the glass, especially when Gillette got hurt, their best big guy.

Q. Five guys in double figures….
COACH McCAFFERY: Not uncommon for our team. That’s the type of thing that can happen with the way those guys shoot the ball. Zach, Jarrod for sure. They’re two of our top four scorers. You can see it coming with Gabe. Every game he seems to get better.

Q. Gabe, is his overall offensive game taking the next step?
COACH McCAFFERY: You can see how much more comfortable he is. Even when he got the ball ripped and drove it from the foul line, which wasn’t a great play, it just goes to show you where his mindset is. He wouldn’t have made that play last year or the year before. He just took it. He’s trying to drive through what is essentially a matchup zone. Didn’t score. But I love his aggressiveness and the confidence he has in himself right now.

Q. At the beginning of the year you were talking about how you were thinking about playing Gabe and Adam together. You did tonight.
COACH McCAFFERY: I just wanted to give Adam more minutes, that’s all. Nothing more to it than that.

Q. Peter Jok seemed to have a good game tonight…
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought he was playing well. He didn’t seem to be tired, so I just left him in, yeah.

Q. Does a game like this help you for the preparation for Iowa State?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think every game helps you. But for us getting back late after the Drake game, having the lock in yesterday, it’s kind of been that all year for us. Short preps, stay focused. I think the approach has been very mature.

Q. Do you like short preps?
COACH McCAFFERY: I’m okay either way. You don’t like short preps when you don’t think your team can handle short preps. But these guys can. They’ve been through it. They’re smart. They’re experienced. They’re able to process the information quickly if they have to.

Q. Peter looks like he’s a little bit more under control on offense. Four assists tonight. Are you trying to get him to take good shots, not shoot all the time?
COACH McCAFFERY: The funny thing with him is, he doesn’t take a lot of real bad shots. Occasionally he’ll take contested. But he gets it off quick. He’s got the green light. But tonight I thought he really made great decisions when to shoot it, when to drive it, when to move it on, when to load up one of his teammates. He was really good tonight, playing with a lot of confidence, I thought.

Q. About a third of the way through the season. Pleased so far with the progress?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, very pleased with where we are. Still got a lot of work to do.

Q. What are your initial thoughts about Friday? Big game for the state.
COACH McCAFFERY: I think the thing about Iowa State that impressed me Saturday was that comeback. Any time a team comes back, you say, wow, that was impressive. To me it was the way they did it. When you’re down 18 with less than 16 to go, that is often panic time. They didn’t panic at all. They shared the ball. They defended. They got one stop, one bucket at a time. They have an experienced team, and they showed it. Young guys that they did play played intelligently. It’s a team with a lot of weapons. You can see that. They’ve got athletes. They’ve got shooters. They can beat you in a lot of different ways. It’s going to be a great atmosphere, a great environment, and we’ll be ready.