January 27, 2013

McCaffery talks about the loss

For the second time this week the Hawkeyes mounted a furious second half rally. For the second time this week, that rally fell short of a positive outcome. Fran McCaffery met with the media following the overtime loss to the Boilermakers and talks about the late game situation, missed free throws down the stretch, and the offensive struggles of his Iowa team.

Q: After they scored to tie the game, you called a time out to set up the last shot. Was that the play that you had called and what was going through your mind as you saw Marble take that shot?

McCAFFERY: I thought we had a real good look at it.

Q: Is that the shot you wanted and what about the tip?

McCAFFERY: It was a nice play by Mel. I thought he had it.

Q: With their play at the end of regulation with the double screen. Did you kind of see that happening?

McCAFFERY: Well, Mike had it. He went under the screen and kept Johnson in front and he still ended up on the side and they sealed Basabe. I thought when the play first materialized that we had it guarded perfectly. Mike obviously felt like he had help behind him and they were screened off.

Q: What's the most frustrating part of the loss for you?

McCAFFERY: It's the second game in a row where we have missed free throws late.

Q: In terms of your offensive execution for about 2/3 of the game, you went 7 for 40 during that stretch.

McCAFFERY: We had some clean looks at it. We didn't shoot early. I thought early in the game we shot some contested shots and that's unfortunate. That is sometimes how you get started sideways on offense. We had some real good looks. I remember one possession in the second half where we had three wide open three's. We are just not shooting the ball.

Q: When you guys got down by 11, Mike Gesell was the guy who really provided a spark for your team.

McCAFFERY: Mike was terrific. We were going to him and he has that capability. He was really good.

Q: Were you more pleased by the comeback or more disappointed that you couldn't finish it?

McCAFFERY: I don't know when you lose a game that you are pleased about anything. The first half was as strange of a half as I have been involved with in terms of our inability to get anything going, whether it be in transition, or set plays, motion, in the post, or on the perimeter. We just couldn't get anything going. I felt like when we were down three, we couldn't ask to be in a better position. Then we don't play particularly well at the start of the second half either. We just kept hanging around and hanging around and hanging in. From that standpoint, as we look at it, that was good. We rebounded better. We defended better. Our offensive execution was slightly better. We are not clicking offensively right now. I think you have to give Purdue credit for that, and Ohio State, two very good defensive teams in the last two games that we have played. We can't just focus on ourselves. They are pretty good defenders and you have to give them credit because they were getting after it and they were locked into our guys. They made it hard, but we had shots that we should have made.

Q: When you clear out the side for Marble, does he have options there?

McCAFFERY: He has plenty of options there. They have Terone on Mike, so they had Ronnie on him, so he is a smaller guy and I knew Dev could just shoot over him and he did. He just didn't make it.

Q: Hale had a season high in minutes and played well today. Your thoughts on his play.

McCAFFERY: He gives them another scorer. He is another guy that you have to guard, especially when we were in a zone. In the high post you have to guard him. He had a big tip-in.

Q: Gesell really kept you guys in the game. At one point he had six of your twelve field goals at one point. The team seemed to feed off his fearlessness in the second half.

McCAFFERY: They did and hopefully that will continue because like I said, he has that capability. That is one of the things we saw when we recruited him. We think he's special in that regard, especially on this team. We really need that right now.

Q: You have a couple of guys that have been struggling now for a while in Woodbury and Oglesby.

McCAFFERY: I thought Woodbury played well today. Offensively he only had two points, but I thought he was substantially better. He was all over the glass and making plays. He was playing away from the glass and helping our team. Josh is struggling and that is a little bit confusing because of how well he is shooting it in practice. I keep talking about that. Perhaps the only thing that I can do is to play him more and that's it. But, that is a fine line. If you put him in and he's not hitting and making plays, how long can I stay with him? I think the only thing that is going to settle him down is to give him minutes.

Q: Did you like the toughness that your team played with today?

McCAFFERY: At times.

Q: Offensively or defensively?

McCAFFERY: We didn't play great. It would have been easy to play nuts when you aren't hitting shots. You start jacking. I thought we moved the ball, kept them on defense, and got to the free throw line and got into the bonus. That is what you have to do.

Q: You talk about the free throws and the misses. You were making them up until the end.

McCAFFERY: That is the unfortunate thing. We were making them. Over 80%. Then we missed. Dev missed one that would have put us up three. Mike missed one. Then we had another one and I can't remember if that was Aaron or Melsahn. Then we missed four in overtime.

Q: Do you want Devyn to just take over at the point like you did at the end?

McCAFFERY: No. I want to keep him where he's at. I want him to play some point, play the two, and play some three. I think that's what he has to do.

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