Jan. 2, 2011
PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn't allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!
COACH BLUDER: Well, unfortunately this is a tough one for us today. We couldn't buy a bucket, and our defense was good, our rebounding was good. We took care of the ball, so we did a lot of things on that end, but if you can't score points it's hard to win a basketball game, and today we just couldn't score points, whether it was on penetration or whether it was on the open threes. Even at the free throw line we shot well below our average. Tough way to start the Big Ten obviously, 0 and 2. I really didn't see this coming. I thought we had two really good practices leading up to this game. But again, it's hard to make things run when you can't score baskets, and we're struggling right now. Q. How come Kamille didn't play? COACH BLUDER: She wasn't playing well, yeah.
Q. She wasn't sick or anything?
COACH BLUDER: No, nothing was wrong with her, she just wasn't contributing, was hurting us, we thought, when she was in, and so we went with a different lineup.
Q. Three point shooting was expected to be the strength of the team this year, and obviously it hasn't gone as well as you guys want. So what do you do? Do you adjust or do you figure we've just got to keep doing it until it starts hitting?
Jaime Printy: I think we just need to be more confident. Everyone on the team, I think we need to get in the gym on our days off and get more shots up. I think it's a big part of our offense, and we can't just stop shooting. We've got to keep shooting. Eventually they've got to fall.
Q. You've been saying that the good thing is we're 12 and 1 and the three point shooting hasn't been there. We know it's going to come around. Are you surprised that it's taking it this long to get it?
COACH BLUDER: Very surprised. I still think we're a good three point shooting team, and I watch our team shoot in practice, and we're good, we're very good but maybe we have some game anxiety or something or start worrying about it. Maybe we're getting a little mental with it right now.
Q. Shooting is contagious they say. Is that part of it maybe?
COACH BLUDER: I think that's true because all of that goes into confidence and how confidence can snowball. Right now we're not hitting and so everybody is going the opposite way and not feeling good about it. But yeah, I agree with you there.
Q. Kash, why is it so hard for this team all of a sudden offensively to get going?
Kachine Alexander: Like Coach said, it's kind of hard when you're not shooting well, period, on the floor. We've been kind of down on our field goal percentage throughout the season, so those are things that we need to pick up, get in the gym more, do whatever we need to do. Maybe when we're getting in the gym we're not going game speed because game speed and practice are two totally different things. So I think maybe we need to try to pick up the speed when we're practicing on our own for shots.
Q. Was there a little bit of a hangover from the collapse from the other night?
COACH BLUDER: I don't think so. I thought we had two very good practices, so I don't know maybe that's wrong, but I thought we were good in practice and we were focused, and so I really thought we were going to win this game. I really did believe that.
Q. Was part of the halftime speech, make more of an effort to get the ball inside?
COACH BLUDER: We wanted to get the ball inside. We thought we could. Morgan, again, she shot the best of anybody on our team so we want to get the ball in there to Morgan, but now they're collapsing on our three point shooters so it's making it harder to get the ball in there, too.
Q. Were you surprised they outscored you in the paint 28 to 22 and they're a shorter team? A lot of it was off the dribble. Talk about the problems with handling them on the dribble.
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, we didn't do a very good job of keeping them out of the paint on the dribble penetration. But it doesn't surprise me that we didn't score as many points in the paint because that's the way Michigan plays. They really there's five people that stay in the paint all the time, they're really collapsing, so they take away the paint. They do a really good job of that. I mean, you can live and die by that, and today they lived by it.
Q. What does it mean that the team was able to tag off your shooters? That really hurts what you want to do, doesn't it?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, it absolutely hurts us, so we've got to get it fixed.
Q. You've got Ohio State, Michigan State down the road. How important now does the Minnesota game become?
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, extremely. The next game is always your most important, no matter who you're playing, but when you're 0 and 2 you've got to get off that losing streak and feel what it's like to win again, especially with Ohio State coming in the very next game. We only have one day to prepare for Minnesota because tomorrow is the day off for our week. So we need to have a good one practice to get ready for Minnesota.
Q. Jamie, the team had so much momentum starting this week, now starting the Big Ten conference tough. What do you think the psyche is going to be then when you get back to practice?
Jaime Printy: We went through it last year. I think we'll stay positive, and as long as we stick together as a team and know and believe in ourselves, I think we'll be just fine.