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December 5, 2012Fran McCaffery was happy to pick up a win on Tuesday night against a pesky South Dakota team. He was happy with his offensive play and the performance of Anthony Clemmons. But he wasn't happy with the open looks that South Dakota had against his press and that was disappointing. He talks about it after the victory and much more.
See our videos and read the transcript below.
Q. Coach, what was more concerning? Your accuracy from three or the looks you were giving them from three?
COACH McCAFFERY: Early on our press was bad. It was bad. They got open threes right off the bat off of our press. We were underneath them a little bit too much early. That's how they got six threes in the first half, so that was disappointing.
I mean, if you play this team, they do a really good job with their handoff action. They have a really good low‑post player in Gruis and they're going to shoot threes. They made ten threes against Gonzaga. They make threes.
But Kasperbauer made five against Gonzaga on the road. So that's what's disappointing. You say, okay, a three‑point shooting team, get up, get up and guard. But, again, it all started with poor execution with our defensive pressure at full court. Then they got going a little bit. To their credit, they were executing. They weren't coughing it up or turning it over against the press or anything like that. They were getting shots. They were going to shoot threes, and they've got multiple three‑point shooters on the floor at any given time.
Q. In the first half, you could tell the difference from when Anthony was in the game to when he wasn't in the game. Got eight assist turnovers. How has he grown as a point guard?
COACH McCAFFERY: He's seeing things. The match‑up zone is not the easiest thing to play against, unless you have a feel for how you play or unless you see it. He made great decisions: When to pass it in, when to drive it into the gap, when to drive it on the baseline, when to shoot it, when not to, when to fake them. I mean, he was terrific tonight.
Q. You guys relied on Matt a lot to make threes. Is it just part of the adjustment?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, Zach's pressing him. Zach's a terrific three‑point shooter. He is pressing. I told him one bad shot. The last one he took was a bad one. He turned it down. He didn't catch it right. He was a little deep. I thought Oglesby and him took good threes. They're going to make them. Mike's going to make some and Clemmons can make some. We have a number of different guys.
Obviously, Matt was really special in that area, not only in terms of his ability to make them, but his ability to stretch the defense because of how they guard him.
Q. Was it an energy thing today? It seemed like you guys played with intensity. Especially with the press, you played well.
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, early on what they did was they inbounded with their point guard. Sort of let the guy‑‑ the guy threw it to a good trap, threw it back to the point guard, then he took it. So what he needed to do is trap stronger and maybe shoot the gap and get after him a little bit more. But that spreads you out.
So I do think the energy level wasn't what it needed to be. But the execution wasn't, and to their credit, they did some good things to get the ball down the floor.
They essentially for a good portion of the game were playing four guards anyway. Those teams are often times hard to press because they have so many good ball handlers. That and the fact that the guy they're inbounding the ball to is a five‑man, who is a very good ball handler. He's a skilled player and a handful.
Q. It looked like in the first half you were playing (Indiscernible) at the post, and Gabe didn't play. But when you put him in, he made the most of his minutes.
COACH McCAFFERY: Gabe was terrific. He almost had a double‑double. What he did is he played relaxed. He didn't make any mistakes. When Gruis was taking him into the post and shot faking him, he was staying down and making it hard to shoot over him, really followed the game plan. But you could see in his face he was playing relaxed, and that was good to see.
Q. What kind of (Indiscernible) does adding him offer?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, I was worried about that because I really would have liked to get him in in the first half. You put a guy in with 13 minutes to go, I think it was 13 or 11, I can't remember. But a lot of times he's been sitting for so long, he's bound to be nervous or jumpy. I think what he did was he was able to really study what was going on in front of him, and then come in with an understanding of, okay, the game plan was this. This is what I'm looking at. This is what we need right now, and effectively execute that.
Q. How has Mike taken to moving to the two?
COACH McCAFFERY: Mike's just a team guy. "Whatever it takes, Coach. I'll play the two. I'll play the one." He knows he's going to play some one. He knows he's going to play some two.
We're fortunate we have three guys that can play the point. It's been a little bit of an adjustment because he really wasn't at the two at all since he got here in the summer. So he's essentially learning the two spot on the fly, so he forgets where to go sometimes, but little by little he's figuring that out.
Q. I mean, he was your guy. He was going to be your point guard, and then it just kind of seven days into his career he moves over to the two?
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, and I don't know. Right now it looks like that's a good move. He'll play a ton of one. But he is such a good scorer, and he's so good off the ball. We're playing him both places.
Q. Woodbury played 16 minutes. He looked dominant at times.
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, the guys that came in, and at that point we were up 20, and I wasn't going to put him back in.