·Josh Oglesby scored 13 points shooting 4-5 from three-point range in his return to the line-up
·Adam Woodbury scored a season-high 10 points
·Iowa has won 17-straight home games dating back to January 2013
·Iowa has won 26-straight home games against unranked opponents, dating back to the Dayton game on 03/13/12
·Iowa has won 23-straight home games against non-conference opponents, dating back to 2011
·Iowa finished non-conference play with an 11-2 record for the second-straight year
Q. What a nice return for Josh.
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, I wasn’t surprised. I was honest with you guys. I told you that he looked really good and he looks like he’s in pretty good shape.
Right off the bat, he was doing things. He’s in the pool and the underwater treadmill, and he’s riding a bike right away when he was still in the boot. He was winded a little bit but not too bad — we started practicing him hard this week, get his timing back, and I thought he was really good. But not only did he make shots, he was passing it well. He looked very comfortable out there I thought.
Q. Good for him to come back off the injury, but also his confidence.
COACH McCAFFERY: He never lost his confidence. He looks good.
Q. Have you ever had a game where you win by almost 27 turnovers?
COACH McCAFFERY: I can’t remember any, no.
Q. Disappointed the way the game ended?
COACH McCAFFERY: I don’t care about that really. They were pressing the scout team. I’ve got a lot of inexperienced guys out there. It’s no big deal.
Q. What’s your initial take on heading into the Big Ten season? Do you like where you’re at?
COACH McCAFFERY: I do. I think the thing that you have to do now is just look ahead. You don’t want to look back and say, we could have won this or if I could have done we’re 112, that’s what we are, and it wasn’t easy to get there, and we don’t know what these next 18 are, every one. And I’ve got enough experience in that locker room to know and understand what that means in terms of preparation and execution, and we’ll be ready.
Q. Anything about the Big Ten surprise you so far or jump out?
COACH McCAFFERY: No.
Q. The 3point shooting, shot almost 60 percent tonight and it’s been a lot better nonconference than it was last season.
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought, with the addition of Jarrod and Peter, I thought that would help. But I also knew that both Josh and Zach, in particular, last year, was not consistent with what I thought that they would do. It’s not like it isn’t what they have done before, and both of those guys are making shots. And I thought Gesell, Clemmons would be solid, and I thought Marble would improve.
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So we’ve got a lot of different players who are capable of making threes and we’re going to be an unselfish team, so we are sharing the ball, for example, tonight, the way they played that zone, you have to keep moving it and you have got to keep passing, making shots, faking in and out, side to side, skip pass, shotfakedrive, skip it again. We had some goofy turnovers, but for the most part we handled the ball well and had good shot opportunity and made our threes.
Q. Why do you think you guys were able to stay sharp even with the long layoff?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think we have a maturity. I would have been surprised if it was anything other than that.
I have yet to see with this group, you know, oh, they came out flat; they were looking past that team to get to that game. It hasn’t happened. It didn’t happen against Fairleigh Dickinson or before the Iowa State game and didn’t happen before we went to Atlantis and there’s a lot of expectation there. So I knew pretty much that that wasn’t going to happen to this team.
Q. At halftime, you joked, you were going to get a technical just send him out. Just talk about his last game, you’ve seen him in a lot of games now.
COACH McCAFFERY: You know, it’s interesting with him, because he’s always had an incredible amount of respect from his colleagues, both coaches and other officials, administrators. He’s very successful in his professional career. He does this because he loves the game.
He’s one of those guys that has an incredible ability to manage the game in a way where he can communicate with the players and the coaches, and you always know you’re going to get a great shot. You’re going to get a great night from him. He’s going to give you everything he’s got and it’s going to be fair and you’re not going to have to worry, like, do I have to work this guy to get a call because he’s working it he’s been above that for as long as I’ve known him.
Q. His last game today
COACH McCAFFERY: Yeah, I thought, when I heard it first, it was his last game here, he was going to finish the year. It’s officially his last game. I asked him if we could talk about it but he said no.
Q. Marble and White in the second half, is that just to get other guys in?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, Whitey was sick. He missed practice yesterday, and we didn’t know if he would play at all, so I was not going back to him. With as sloppy as the game ended, I wasn’t going to put Marble out there and get him hurt with a goofy play. That’s pretty much my thinking there.
Okay, happy holidays.
ED HIGHTOWER: He officiated his last Big Ten game today and had some comments after the game.
Ed, a lot of games, not only in Iowa City, but 36 years. How many games? Did you ever count them?
“I never counted them. I just know that it’s been a lot of games, a lot of fun, a lot of fond memories. (Bobby) Hansen and I were kidding out there before the game. Basically, my career started on the rise right here when Hansen played. Remember the new arena? When (Iowa) opened the new arena with Michigan State, and I had that last play of the game where (Steve) Carfino stepped out of bounds, and Hansen hit the 3 and I disallowed it. We were reminiscing about that. I’d been in the Big Ten, but that gave me credibility as far as not being afraid to make a call against the home team or the visiting team. A lot of great, great memories of this league, coming to Iowa City over the years, and I’m sure with Frannie (head coach Fran McCaffery) here, you’re going to return to those glory days.”
Is it hard? You look emotional. It has to be emotional.
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“It is emotional. Frannie and I were kidding before the game and then throughout the game. For example, I called a double-dribble, and he knew it was a good call, but he said ‘I want to make him call a technical foul on me.’ He said, ‘Hightower, in the second half, I just may get a technical foul.’ And I said, ‘if you do, I’m throwing you out.’ But those are the friendships, those are the emotional ones, and I’m going to miss it greatly. This game has been so good to me. It’s put me in a position to meet some of the great people of college basketball and to see some of the great players. When I see Aaron White improve like what he has through this period of time, and to be a great kid, your heart just goes out. And those are the kinds of things that I’m going to miss.
“I have been the luckiest guy in the world. How many people can you say can go through life and do the kind of things they want to do? Think about that for a moment. I’ve been an educator. I worked my first national championship in 1988, had an opportunity to go to the NBA. Stayed in education, because again, I would have had to give it up. To stay in college basketball and work with young people, then my day job, working with young people, how many people can say they go through an entire career and really do the kinds of things they want to do? And I‘ve been fortunate, and the game has been so good to me. The game is in good shape. I don’t want to hang around. I’m healthy. I feel good. The coaches still respect me, and I want to go out with that respect and not hang around and have them remember what I used to be. That’s what this is all about.”
Are you 61, 62 (years old)?
Are you still going to keep you real job as an educator?
“Yes. I have been superintendent at Edwardsville School District, one of the top districts in the state of Illinois for 18 years. I have this year and two more years on my contract. I will go this year and definitely one more year. I’m not sure I am going to go that third year; my wife and I have purchased a home in Fort Myers, Fla. We will continue to keep our main home in Edwardsville, but we will want to go down in the wintertime and spend time just enjoying the kinds of things. You know, 40 years counting high school, this will be the first January that I will be home. So my wife and I are going to have to court all over again — we’ll have to start this relationship and we have been married 39 years.”
Will you watch basketball games?
“I will. I will be a fan of the game. Like this guy at Iowa — Frannie — I knew Frannie before he came here. I said at the time you were getting a good guy. There are some great guys in the Big Ten, there are some other great guys around like a Bill Self at Kansas — you get to know these individuals — Tom Izzo, and I could go on and on in the Big Ten — just great guys. I will be a fan and I may just even criticize the referees. Why not, I’m a fan now?
“I told Frannie before the game, I said hey Fran, go after those two guys today (other game officials), then after this game I’m going to get with you and I’m going to go after the referees. I’m a fan of the game, I enjoy great coaching, I enjoy good play, I enjoy good sportsmanship, again, going back to my days as an educator. I will be a fan of the game, not a fan of a particular team and that is the key thing there.”
You mentioned your first game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Are there any other specific highlights in Carver or officiating the Hawkeyes?
“I can remember when you couldn’t get a seat in Carver-Hawkeye Arena 32 years ago. There have been some good times and some bad times but I see a special energy level that is starting to come back here. Those are the good memories I think that you are going to return to very shortly under the leadership of Frannie.”
How do you want to be remembered?
“The best thing is when I go to Iowa, some of the Iowa fans say I don’t like Iowa. When I go to Illinois they say I don’t like Illinois. When I go to Michigan I don’t like Michigan, when I go to Michigan State (I don’t like Michigan State). That says hey, it doesn’t matter whether it is the home team or the visiting team, I’m a fair person. The coaches know that I am a fair person and I don’t care who wins the game I am going to control the game. The game is for the kids, not about the referees, not about the coaches, it’s about the kids. What I want to be remembered as someone who gave something to the game, tried to make the game better, and always kept education as a priority as I work with young people throughout my 36 years in NCAA basketball.”
Now you have to give up that striped shirt you wore a few times.“I’m going to give it up and I’m going to put it out there and let somebody bid on it.”