Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes beat IPFW 82-72 on Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Nov. 26, 2011
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach?
Coach, how concerned are you with your defense right now? The last few games you've been struggling.
COACH McCAFFERY: I think what concerns me is the guy or guys that's who's scoring. We're spending time talking about games. He comes into the game now he's a hard cutter now because he's averaging 20 shots a game, averaging 22 points a game. They really go to him, and the point guard does a real good job, one, of getting him the ball.
But if you mark a guy, he can't come in and get 25. You know? And I think that's the thing that's disappointing, because you can't cover a guy that talented who has got that much of a green light with one person. That's a collective recognition.
Where is he going? He's going left. I mean, you could watch one possession and know that he's going left. And he's got an uncanny ability of going left, everybody knows he's going left, he goes left anyway and he's still successful.
He's really quick, and he has a real good feel of how to get a shot off. So you've got to come up. You've got to go up on that left hand, and you've got to get over and you've got to make him work before he gets it.
There's so many things that have to go into it. But to their credit, they do a good job of spreading you out. And if you do overplays too much, you know, they find open people.
Smeathers hit a couple of shots at crucial minutes. Kibiloski they do a pretty good job of that and they've always done that.
What ultimately led to you pulling the trigger to start McCabe over Archie?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought we had to make some change. But it was easy, because Arch sprained his wrist in the previous game. He didn't practice much. He's hurting a lot.
I thought of the people that would go in for him, you know, Zach earned it. He deserved to be the guy. I thought he played well.
You had a good game from Brommer today.
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought, in all honesty, I thought he was the difference in the game because what he did was he gave us a defensive post presence. He has the three steals. He always seems to be in the right place.
He's got a real good feel in there. His frame is such that he takes up space but he can anticipate and move. He's not just a wide body that doesn't think. He thinks to gain. He understands how to play. I thought he was great.
When the teams have shot pretty well against you these last three games, is it more than just the one guy; is it because you're keying on one guy so much you're leaving
COACH McCAFFERY: You know what, I struggled with, in the second half, Rick, the press was good to us in the first half. I didn't press as much in the second half. I thought we could guard them man to man. I wanted to guard them man to man.
We've really not done a great job on Gaines in the first half. He just didn't play nine minutes because he got two fouls. He had, what, 10 at halftime, 10 or 12. I thought we would do a better job on him. Because once he got going I think that's when it opened up things for everyone else.
And so that was disappointing. So in retrospect, knowing what I know now, I would have kept pressing them more, because it got them a little bit sideways. It got them standing around more. It got them going side to side.
They had fewer seconds to run their offense once they got it over the 10 second line.
Do you think May's pressing a little bit?
COACH McCAFFERY: There's no question. He missed that jumper in the second half. It was a great shot for him. He was done shooting after that. I told him after the game, I said: Eric, you take good shots for you. You should get angry at yourself if you take a bad shot. He's moving, moving, moving. He shot faked. He's got a pull up jumper at the elbow. He's been drilling that thing all spring. Gotta shoot it, come back and shoot it again.
There's a point, they cut the lead to three, Coach, and there's a timeout. And looked like you set up a play for Oglesby. He hit the 3. Is that you saying to him: I have confidence in you making the shot? Or were there some options?
COACH McCAFFERY: No, I went to him purposely. I have complete confidence in him in that situation. He did exactly what I thought he would do.
You made a decision in the first half to put Melsahn back in even though he had two fouls?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought he needed to get going a little bit. It was early he got two. And his history has been, if he sits for 16, 17 minutes, it really takes him a while to get going in the second half. I thought he came back, gave us some quality minutes there.
He was banging around, got a couple rebounds. Then I got him out, because I didn't want to risk, because he was playing so aggressively, which is what I needed him to do, but I didn't want him to get his third there.
Do you feel like you guys are having low confidence again after the two losses?
COACH McCAFFERY: No question. We're not completely sideways, but we're struggling a little bit more offensively. We're struggling a little bit more defensively. And we've got different lineups on the floor.
But I think the good thing is different players are stepping out. I thought Marble was great today. I thought Cartwright was great today. He hadn't been so good, admittedly.
I thought Brommer gave us quality minutes. I thought Gabe was solid. Basabe doesn't have a great game, other guys stepped up. Eric May had three good games, couple bad games. Okay. But he'll have good games again.
It's nice if you can just pencil in a couple of guys, you know exactly what they're going to do.
But right now that's not what's happening. So we've got to go to the bench and keep coaching them up and keep working and try to do a better job of locking into the game plan and get ready for teams that are really, really good that are coming in here.
How about Clemson on Tuesday?
COACH McCAFFERY: Clemson's going to be a very athletic group. Obviously in the NCAA tournament last year. They've got a lot of guys back. I've looked at a couple of scores, but I haven't looked at any tape on them yet.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.