Fran McCaffery Press Conference Transcript
Feb. 1, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery spoke with the media after Iowa's 63-59 come-from-behind victory against Minnesota on Wedenesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Talk about your team's resolve. You found a way to pull this out.
It's a 40 minute game, okay? The way we defended in the first 10 minutes is the best we've defended since I've been here. We get up 15 3. This is a good team, phenomenally well coached team. You know they're going to come back. They made it hard for us. Mixed in a little bit of zone. We adjusted.
Then the second half starts. We score three right away, get back to even. They hit some shots to go up 10. We out rebound them, commit one turnover in the second half. We didn't panic when we got down 10. We whittle away at it, plenty of time.
We made the plays we had to make out of the stretch and we rebounded out of the zone, which oftentimes when you're running flare screen action, spreading the floor, that's problematic. But I thought Aaron and Zach in particular and then our guards got in there and Marble and Matt really made some plays. And I thought Cartwright was excellent.
How would you describe the play making you had down the stretch with Marble?
Dev just went and made a play. At that point in time, you got to go make a play. They were scrambling. We're in a double bonus. It's going to have to be a pretty good foul to get a call there, but you have to put your head down and go. What a great play he made. Great finish by Matt. Then defensively we did what we had to do.
Talk about the spark you got from Mel off the bench.
In the zone, he's a great catch and shoot three point shooter. A couple of times we would have liked to have been a little bit closer to him. We marked him and we were there, but we weren't far enough 'cause he's just going to catch it and fire. Fortunately we had enough left.
Eric May's back situation?
I appreciate his honesty. A lot of guys would have suited up and tried to go. I would have put him in there because he's always played well against these guys. He didn't feel like he could go, so we'll give him some rest.
After Sunday's game where you obviously weren't happy with the defense, after two days of practice, they come out and play with a lot more intensity.
But it's a teaching opportunity because it's not all toughness, it's not all lack of concentration. On some level it's got to be a technique, a fundamental. That's on us. So we've got to go back. We broke down every aspect of defense, kind of like it was the first week of practice, five minutes here, seven minutes there, six minutes here, reteach it, make sure we're doing it right, then force them to come with the intensity level you need to be successful in this league.
That's what they did, so...
How much did you like Devyn's maturity?
They were so worried about switching, taking away any open shot, switching is an opportunity to drive because the X is on the O. So we tell our guys, whenever they're switching men, put it on the deck and go, especially when you're in the double bonus.
He knew that. He goes and makes a play. He knew that on the last possession. In a situation like that, they really don't want to foul him. He just made a great pass and a great finish by Matt.
Regarding the toughness, something you questioned after the game Sunday, how would you describe it after tonight?
I think that's the challenge. That sort of epitomizes this league. The teams that can rev it up every night, now you have a chance. It just goes to show you, we have played that way, we've played that well.
We played that well in stretches on Sunday, but not enough.
A lot of good plays out of inbound plays tonight.
I would give them all the credit for that.
Bryce was kind of inconsistent shooting, then has a steal at the end, drives it to the basket to draw the foul.
A couple of forced turnovers in the first half. It was coming easy. 15 3. He threw the one over Aaron's head, then he coughed the one up trying to split somebody. Those are the two he has to get out of his game. To me those are the only two mistakes he made, not the shots he made. I thought he was great.
What about the steal he made.
Big student turnout tonight. Did that give you an extra jolt of energy?
It seemed like Melsahn's energy started on the defense and the boards. How do you get him to continue that?
We've just encouraged him to keep plugging away defensively, fight the post. They have two seven footers. Fight the post, get those traffic rebounds. That will get our break going, get him going. Makes a big difference. I think he's feeling really good about himself tonight.
You beat a really good team two times this season.