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3/4/2013: Fran McCaffery teleconference transcript (premium)

Posted on 04. Mar, 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 another good week defensively for our team. You know, we split — we beat Purdue at home, lost to Indiana on the road — but I thought defensively, we were pretty solid against two very good teams.

“Again, our offense has been inconsistent, but I’ve been impressed in particular with the play of Devyn Marble. I moved him back to the point with Mike [Gesell]’s injury and he has been spectacular at that position. I think everyone is adjusting to the fact that we don’t have Mike and I know we can keep getting better and better these last two games.”

On how remarkable it has been for Marble to have started at three different positions this season:

“Well, it’s not an easy thing to do, but I think it is for him. You know, he has the I.Q. for it, you know, and a lot of people, they just look at doing what you said in terms of the ability to do it. You know, more people have the ability to do that than actually can. You got to remember a lot of stuff to play three different positions, sometimes in the same game and that’s what has been impressive to me.

“He has done that from the minute he got here, so he came with great basketball I.Q., but I think he is a student of the game. He’s a competitor. He’s in phenomenal physical condition and I’m really proud of the fact that he persevered through what was a shooting slump for him, but he just kept plugging away and was a very effective player for us and now that he’s scoring again, he’s a dominant player.”

On Marble playing in the shadow of his father’s legacy:

“Well, I think what he has done is I think he has embraced it. I mean, they both have. But you know, Roy has been great. You know, I don’t think Devyn ever looks at it that way. He just kind of goes and does his job. You know, he performs in a very business-like manner and I think that’s what you want from your best player.

“You need that approach and I think Roy has been good in the sense that he encourages him, he’s here. You know, he doesn’t crowd him. He doesn’t put pressure on him and I don’t think Dev feels that at all. I think it‘s a very good relationship that, you know, I appreciate.”

On whether he has contemplated putting Eric May in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game against Illinois:

“You know what, I’m not sure. I think it’s a possibility. But we’ll figure it out over the next day. You know, I mean, yesterday we went light. We got home late Saturday night, so yesterday was a light day physically. It was not so much in terms of film. So you know, I think although Josh [Oglesby] has shot the ball not as well as he can, he still has been a very effective player for us, so we’ll see.”

On how he’ll handle Gesell and Marble in the backcourt when Gesell returns from his foot injury:

“Well, I’ll move him back into the starting lineup. But he’ll either be the point and Dev will be the 2, or Dev will be the point and Mike will be the 2.”

On whether Gesell is out for sure this week:

“Yes.”

On if he hopes Gesell will be back for the Big Ten tournament or is pretty sure he will be:

“I was told that he will be. But you know, I don’t know if you can ever be certain. What you do is you evaluate it in two weeks and see how he’s feeling. You know, I would not want for this to be an injury that lingers for him over time. I know how badly he wants to get back. He knows we need him. You know we need him. But we wouldn’t in any way jeopardize anything down the road.

“My understanding is he’ll be able to, by virtue of taking these two weeks off, be fine for the Big Ten Tournament. That’s how it has been described. But again, what will happen is he’ll be evaluated at that time and a decision will be made at that time.”

On what he liked specifically about his team’s defensive efforts against Purdue and Indiana last week:

“Well, I thought the intensity level of it was good. You know, I think we got back for the most part. It was hard against Indiana because we just weren’t making any shots. You know, we hoped to shoot the ball better. Obviously, it was better in the second half, because they’re a tough team. When you’re missing shots, they run on makes and misses but they really, really run on your misses.

“In the Purdue game, I felt we locked into [D.J.] Byrd and Terone Johnson in particular. I mean, those two guys are a handful. We did  a much better job on the glass. You know, we out-rebounded Indiana. You know, that’s a big step for us. They’re a very good rebounding team.

“So you know, we addressed in the offseason our rebounding and our defense as things that had to change and if they hadn’t changed, you know, we would not have 18 wins because we have not shot the ball well enough to have 18 wins. But we’ve defended well enough and shot it enough to get to that point.”

On the challenges Illinois guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson will present Iowa on Tuesday:

“Well, what they are are two seniors who have been through a lot. They’re very talented players. I’ve always been a fan of Richardson. Paul, I mean, you’ve seen him have performances where, I think he went for 35 [points] at Gonzaga this year. I mean, he has had a number of those kind of performances in his career.

“They’re both interesting in the sense that they have size and athletic ability, but they can handle it, they can shoot it. If they’re making 3s along with the other stuff that they do, it makes a terrific impact on their ability to win.

“But they’re playing right now with a lot of confidence and I think with a lot of determination in that this is their senior year and they want to go out the right way.”

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