Following Iowa’s hard-fought win against Nebraska Omaha, Fran McCaffery had this to say about his team:
On Nebraska Omaha consistently beating Iowa’s man to man defense:
It was disappointing because we clearly weren’t as sharp as we were the other night. I think this team is better offensively clearly. But our effectiveness and execution and overall commitment to defending side ball screen action, especially when it’s continuous like that, was not what it needed to be for this team.
So that was disappointing. But it was better later, substantially better.
On Iowa’s failure to get rebounds and turnovers
while it was disappointing that it happened, I felt really good about our toughness to overcome it because, when it keeps happening, you feel like, okay, this just isn’t our day.
When you have a great defensive possession and they bank a three, great defensive possession, they hit a 40 footer, another great defensive possession, and they bank in another three with a hand in the face, and you say, wow. Then we get a great defensive stop, and the ball rolls, and they get it, and they lay it in.
Those kinds of plays really wear on you over the course of a game. So, you know, like I said, I’m upset that it happened, but at the same time, we showed a lot of courage to come back and get this win. That team was ready.
On Iowa’s ability to get to the line
We got to the free throw line. We’re in the double bonus, which was good. We end up going 38 for 49, but you’re right.
Even though I had two guards and three bigs, I had my best ball handling bigs out there.
I’d love to get that every game. I don’t know if we can count on that every game. I do think it’s going to be a point of emphasis where we can drive and throw it inside. It’s got to be a combination. It’s not all drives, it’s not all post feeds, it’s a combination of both.
On the overall struggles of the team
We talk about preseason hype and the professionalism with which we have to attack that. Clearly, it was evident on Friday night.
It’s easy to say that it wasn’t evident today, but our opponent was ready to play, and they played an incredibly good game, and I want to make sure they’re recognized for that.
We can sit there and talk about what we should have or could have done. They were making the shots and getting the rebounds and making the loose balls, and they were giving us trouble. So it’s all part of the journey.
You know, the key is, like I said last year after the Gardner Webb game, two years ago, three years ago, we lose this game. We lost to Campbell. We lost to South Dakota State. I’m not saying we’re going to win every game like this, but we did what we had to do to win this game. It’s on to the next.