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1/14/2013: Fran McCaffery teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 14. Jan, 2013 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, we had an interesting week. We had a tough loss at home against a very good Michigan State team. Didn’t know what we needed to do at the end of the game, but had some really good moments. I think we learned a lot from that performance and to go on the road 0-3 and play what I would say was probably the best defensive performance since I’ve been at Iowa and that’s very encouraging as we move forward.”

On how he juggles a young player’s confidence when they’re struggling:

“You know, there’s no obvious answer to that question. It’s a good question. It’s a legitimate question. Nobody that sits in my chair has a solution to that. What I typically try to do, initially, is be encouraging. Phenomenally encouraging. No change in the lineup or anything like that. No knee-jerk reaction to the guy having a bad game.

“Yesterday, I went after both [Anthony Clemmons and Adam Woodbury] in a very direct way because I know how good they are and I want them to play up to their capabilities and I thought yesterday, … Adam Woodbury had nine rebounds in 12 minutes. It’s not like you’re complaining about him whatsoever. He missed some shots he would normally make. He’s obviously struggling with that right now and appears to be a little bit more tentative in that part of his game, so I challenged him directly to just go ahead and do what I know he can do.

“You know, Anthony, I thought, was tremendous defensively. Had two steals, put great pressure on [Northwestern guard Dave] Sobolewski. Offensively, it wasn’t one of his better games in terms of turnovers. But yesterday was a matter of when I put Zach [McCabe] and Melsahn [Basabe] in, again, they were spectacular just like they were against Michigan State. Aaron White had a big game and also, Adam was in foul trouble.

“In regard to Clemmons, [Josh] Oglesby and Eric May were terrific and the reality is that’s the team that we have. You know, there have been games where those other guys had struggled and Anthony and Adam had been tremendous. So you know, I haven’t really thought it through yet in terms of making any moves with our starting lineup. I don’t anticipate that happening.”

On Basabe not starting hasn’t become a detriment to him or the team:

“You know what, what I think Melsahn knows is he’s going to get about the same number of minutes regardless. I think they all kind of know that. They’ve all accepted that. You know, we tried it the other way, but part of it was we had no choice where we’re playing our kid personnel 32-plus minutes. You just can’t, you can’t defend this caliber of athlete playing that way.

“You’ve got to have fresh bodies out there. The reason we were able to sustain defensive intensity yesterday was we just kept rotating personnel and everybody that came in, defensively, was spectacular. Now some guys didn’t play as well offensively, but that happens and that’s what I think a coach would always hope, that the effort and intensity defensively and the consistency defensively is there. Hopefully offensively, we play well, everybody will play well. But it usually doesn’t work out that way.”

On what stands out to him about Wisconsin and whether he’s surprised by the Badgers’ 3-0 start in Big Ten play:

“No. You know, Wisconsin … it almost doesn’t matter who’s there. You know, it’s a system in place. It’s a mentality that they have and they’re going to compete and they’re going to play well. They have guys that can shoot and they’re going to defend and they’re going to execute and play intelligently. It’s very hard to beat. You know, I don’t care who’s there. I don’t care who shows up when you go there to play. They’re going to be hard to beat.”

On the impact Chris Street’s legacy has left on the Iowa program:

“Well, it’s incredibly amazing and I think it’s wonderful that we’re celebrating what he had gone through with this program. You know, we’re going to bring all the lettermen back and his family will be there. We do that consistently. You know, we have a golf outing every year in his name. We have a foundation in his name.

“People still talk about him. They’ll profuse their praise of how he played and his approach to the game. His family has stayed connected and we have the Chris Street Award at our banquet and his dad comes and presents that every year and I just think it’s important that his legacy be remembered and that his connection is maintained. Saturday, I think, will be an emotional day for a lot of people.”

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