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12/6/2010: Fran McCaffery teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 06. Dec, 2010 by in Iowa Basketball


By Brendan Stiles


Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery held a teleconference with the local media on Monday prior to the Hawkeyes’ game on Dec. 7 against Northern Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Below is the complete transcript from the interview:

On the production from Iowa’s post players:

“You know, they give me everything they have. I’m pleased with the development. You obviously want things to get better. A lot of times, I’ve got two young guys on the floor. I played [Zach] McCabe and [Melsahn] Basabe together a lot. They’re going to make some freshman mistakes, but they have been excellent at times. I think [Andrew] Brommer, especially on Saturday, was spectacular. He and [Jarryd] Cole down the stretch, I thought, were really the difference. I think Jarryd has had some great games. I think he’s getting healthy. He was a little banged up. And [Devon] Archie has given us some quality minutes, so there’s a lot of ways I could go down there.”

On what allows UNI to be an effective team at the defensive end:

“I think it’s the way they play. They’re over toward the ball. They’re going to close on penetration. You don’t get to the rim a lot. They get back. They’re very sound fundamentally. I think they’re physical, so they’re going to fight you in the post. They’re going to fight you off penetration. But I think all in all, what they do is they really support one another. If you’re trying to score, you feel like you have to score against all five guys, which is the way it should be. But I think they do a particularly good job of it.”

On how much it helps be familiar with UNI dating back to his days coaching Siena:

“Well, I have a real good knowledge of their personnel. I think I have a good knowledge of how they play, their defensive style and philosophy, and their offensive style, although this year’s team is different in terms of who they’re going to. But it’s kind of like their system is so good, they just plug good players in there and try to do a lot of the same things. They run a really good offense, they do a lot of different things offensively with their play sets. They execute well. I think with that, in particular, what they don’t do is they’re not a mistake team. They just don’t make mistakes, so they force you to beat them.”

On whether Bryce Cartwright has exceeded expectations and has the leadership skills to play the point:

“You know, we signed him so late, I’m not sure I exactly knew what I was getting. What I saw on film was somebody who had great feel. I mean, he knows how to play. He has played a lot of basketball. He doesn’t seem to rattle in any venue, he can score. I could tell that he could score, I could tell that he could find people. Then when he took his visit, and I met him, he seemed to have character, and that has been true. So when you take somebody who has played a lot of basketball, has got some athletic ability, can play two spots, and has character, then you have somebody who has a chance to be pretty good. He has been terrific.

“I think for him, he doesn’t want to be satisfied. His concentration wanes at times, and that’s not a good quality for a point guard. He has got to be the one who is relentless with his concentration and execution and focus. He relies a little bit more sometimes on his athletic ability, and his ability to make plays and make reads, which is wonderful because that’s what you want. You want to have somebody with that kind of ability. But I think for us as we move forward, what I want to see him do is be a little more solid as a point guard, and then I think you have somebody who is really special.”

On UNI’s front-court and challenges it presents:

“Well, [Lucas] O’Rear, he was a starter, but he was sort of like a starter before. He seemed to be on the floor a lot at the end of the game. They trust him. They run a lot of things through him. He’s a rarity in the sense that he’s kind of a wide body. He looks like a hammer guy, but he’s really not. Well, he is a hammer guy, but he’s also skilled. He can put in on the floor. He can really pass. He makes big shots at the end of the game. He makes free throws. He’s really a good player in so many different ways. What he does is he gives them a low-post presence, even if he’s not scoring, because he’s such a good passer down there.

“I think Jake [Koch] has really played well. He gives them a pick-and-pop threat. He can drive the basketball out of the 4-position, and he’s a good athlete. I think some of their young kids have also impressed me. [UNI coach Ben Jacobsen] doesn’t go with a lot of three guards because he has some experience back there and that’s a good way to go when you have those kinds of players, but at the same time, he’s got some big, young kids behind O’Rear and Koch that are pretty good.”

On the importance of setting the tempo Tuesday night against the Panthers:

“Well you know, it’s always important, but it’s not always easily done. You’re talking about a team that gets back on defense and they get underneath you, so you’re not going to be able to come down and quick-shoot the basketball, nor do you want to against them. So a lot of times, I think everybody thinks it’s Northern Iowa keeping the score down. A lot of times, it’s the other team, because it’s going to take you a while to score against that defense. You got to work it. You come down and quick-shoot the ball against Northern Iowa, you’ve got major problems. We’ll try to get some transition opportunities, and in order to do that, you’ll need stops, so we need stops and run-outs. But if we don’t have a run-out, we’re going to take some time off the clock ourselves.”

On whether he seeked any input from players on UNI’s personnel when assembling the scouting report:

“Well, all we do is we have a number of meetings and we have open discussion. We have a lot of guys that have played with these players and they’ve given their input. I appreciate it. But most of the decisions that we make will be based on what we see on film and what we tell our guys. I know and understand the relationships, but in terms of evaluating personnel and coming up with game plans for how we’re going to defend each and every person, we’ll pretty much decide that.”

On whether it’s important to perform well against the in-state schools from a PR perspective:

“You know, I haven’t really thought about it like that. We’ve already played eight games. We’ve played on national television, we’ve gotten some pretty good crowds. The fact that there may be more people coming, I think that’s great. But I’ve never really looked at it that way, no.”

On whether 3-point shooting has been a concern and if he feels the players shooting have gotten good looks:

“Yeah, I think we’ve had real good looks at it, and I mean that sincerely. We have taken open shots. Matt [Gatens] had good looks at it, [Jordan] Stoermer had good looks at it, Eric May has been shooting the ball well. I think [Roy Devyn] Marble has had good looks at it. We’ve got good shooters taking good shots, and as long as that’s the case, I don’t have a problem with it.”

On when the players received the UNI scouting report and are expected to know everything:

“We gave it to them yesterday, and expect them to know it by today.”


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