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2/27/2012: Fran McCaffery teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 27. Feb, 2012 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

Below is a written transcript of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery’s teleconference on Monday with the Big Ten media:

McCaffery’s opening statement:

“Well, you know, I think it has been a pretty good week for us with a great win over Wisconsin and a tough loss at Illinois. But that sort of typifies what this league is. I’m very proud of Matt Gatens for being co-Player of the Week. He’s playing as well as anybody certainly in our league, but I think as well as anybody in the country right now.”

On whether opposing players reaching career-highs has more to do with them or his own players not following the scouting report:

“Well, I think it varies by game. Sometimes it’s a matter of it might be a difficult match-up for us. At times, it might be you have to tip your hat to the player. At times, it might be we didn’t focus like we should have on that particular day. It could be a function of inexperience. It could be a function of a lot of things.”

On if his team had to adjust on the fly to Brandon Richardson the last time Iowa faced Nebraska:

“Yeah. The thing about him, I mean, he’s a really good player. He just, he wasn’t, I wouldn’t say he wasn’t shooting the ball well. It just wasn’t really what he was doing at the time. He wasn’t the kind of player that was going to take seven 3s. He was going to run the offense, he was going to drive the ball, he was going to shoot it when he was open.

“He hit a couple early and really caught fire and that was the difference in that game. You know, credit to him for that and we didn’t adjust at the time to get after him. I will say this, we got after him a little bit and he kept making shots. So I just think he’s a very good player.”

On early offensive woes in the previous two road games against Illinois and Penn State:

“You know, it’s interesting because I think the first thing you do in a situation like that, and you’re right, we have struggled, I thought we were getting good shots. You know, if you’re not getting good shots, you’re really concerned because you’re not running your offense efficiently. I thought in particular [Devyn] Marble yesterday in the first half, I thought he didn’t take a bad shot. I thought he took shots in his range, I thought he took shots at the appropriate time on the shot clock, and they didn’t go in. They normally do from where he shot the ball.

“The other thing that’s a little bit of a concern is we didn’t convert in transition yesterday in either half. We had multiple transition opportunities, which is typically our strength, and we just didn’t do it. I think that’s the one thing of concern to me. We just didn’t pass it well on the fake.”

On whether the players need to not let a player like Illinois’ Meyers Leonard affect their game mentally:

“Well yeah, and I think you saw Aaron White make an adjustment. He short-armed the ball and then the next time, he went in there strong and got an And-1. That just comes with experience. I mean, when you have a legitimate 7-1 shot blocker, I mean, he’s going to impact the game that way. I think you’ve seen Melsahn [Basabe] do that the last couple of weeks. Eight blocks in the two games prior to this one, and people were doing the same thing. That’s just a function of what happens.”

On Gatens finally receiving his first Big Ten Player of the Week honor:

“Well, I mean, I certainly think he deserves it. I thought he might get it last week, too. I think it just shows you how hard it is to win that award because of the incredible performances in this league and I’m just happy he’s getting recognition. I hope it continues because he certainly deserves it when it comes to getting invited to NBA pre-draft camps or all-star games, the Final Four, the 3-point shooting contest. Those kinds of things.

“He is the epitome of character and class, not only in terms of what he has done on the floor, but in how he carries himself. I hope this is just the beginning of what will become a number of different accolades for him.”

On if he has to make any adjustments with Nebraska being a new environment and what adjustments could be made from the first meeting:

“Well the interesting thing about the first Nebraska game, we were in position to win. We didn’t attack their zone. They went zone, and we did a very poor job against it. We got decent looks, not good looks. What I said at the time, and it still holds true is, the reality was that was a game that either team could’ve won. They played better than we did for the last 3-4 minutes, and you’ve got to credit them for that and their coaching staff.

“So hopefully, we’ll play better for the duration of the game and be able to handle any defensive change. You know, in terms of the arena itself, that doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of who we’re playing, and I have a lot of respect for this team and this program and Doc Sadler, so we’re going to have to be ready.”

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