Transcript & Video: Fran McCaffery Maryland Postgame Press Conference

February 19, 2019

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa lost a heartbreaker Tuesday night here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Maryland won, 66-65, on a tip-in with seven seconds to go.

After the game, Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery met with the media.

You can watch his postgame press conference and read the transcript below:

Q. What kind of options did you have on the last 7.6 seconds?
COACH MCCAFFERY: There was a lot. I think Jordan felt like he was free enough to pull, and he wants to be the guy to shoot it in that situation. Isaiah makes a great play and gets a second one for us.

If you go back and look at it, we had some guys who were open. Maybe could have kicked it. They doubled him. He did a good job freeing himself up.

Q. Tyler gets four shots, is that mostly just what Maryland was doing?
COACH MCCAFFERY: We’re in a motion offense. Yes, they were paying attention to him. They were coming sometimes to double. I want him to shoot more.

We try to get him free in transition, try to get him free in motion. Ran some sets. It’s one of those things.

Q. Seemed like every step was a challenge until down the stretch, here you come again?
COACH MCCAFFERY: Struggled offensively, give them credit for that. We didn’t make shots we normally make in the first half. We missed free throws coming down the stretch. The last minute of the half had a chance to get a tie because we were getting enough stops. This is a team that’s plus 10 on the glass. We outrebound them, have 18 offensive rebounds. At least we recognized shots weren’t falling went back and got it. I credit the guys for doing that. Proud of them for that. They kept our turnovers down in the second half. In a game like this, when it’s a struggle offensively, you just want to hang in there and give yourself a chance. And that’s what we did.

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Q. Tonight was a matter of the shot not going in at the end compared to the last two games, or what was different?
COACH MCCAFFERY: Yeah, kind of the whole game. Shots that normally go in by good shooters weren’t going in.

Q. Didn’t turn it over a lot, but you guys were outscored 20-8 on points off turnovers.
COACH MCCAFFERY: Turnovers in the first half were a little more problematic, I thought. Six in the second half. Eight in the first half. That’s probably a little bit too high. You can survive six. They’re pretty quick. If you turn it over in a live ball situation, they’re going to go.

Q. Would you kind of characterize this as played kind of a pretty average to low average game, still lost by one point?
COACH MCCAFFERY: Every game is different. They’re really good. They’re big. They can beat you with 3’s. They can beat you with post-ups. They can go with a big lineup, small lineup. We did the same. Both teams finished the game coming down the stretch small. We had stretches where we were cooking, and they had stretches the same. And there were stretches where they were struggling and we were struggling. Offensively it was a challenge for us all night.

We really never got where we wanted to, but we made enough shots to hang in. They got it to 11 a couple times. We would get it back. It never got away from us.

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We got into double bonus early, which was key coming down the stretch. And we didn’t really make a lot of 3’s until coming down the stretch again. So credit the guys for that.

Q. Is there any area that concerns you at this point?

Q. (Question about Maryland’s guards)
COACH MCCAFFERY: They did that a lot. Those three guys have made 150 3’s. That’s a lot of 3’s from three guys. They’re all shooting pretty good percentage. Cowan is a little less because he shoots more. But tonight he goes 5-for-10, really good player.

Q. Do you feel like you took advantage enough of that double bonus in that second half?
COACH MCCAFFERY: No, maybe not. It wasn’t like we changed anything. It’s not like we said, okay, we’re going to start shooting jumpers. We wanted to drive and throw it in, wanted to pitch it to the rim. We ran different kinds of actions to get that done. We ran some plays with post-up action.

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We found ourselves open with some jump shot opportunities and fortunately enough of them went in so we could take the lead.

Q. Cowen getting in the lane the way he did, did that set up everything after that?
COACH MCCAFFERY: He’s a pretty hard guy to keep out of the lane. He’s pretty quick. They run good stuff. You’ve got a lot of things to consider. When he’s got the ball, when he’s off the ball; you’ve got Wiggins making 3s. You’ve got Cowan making 3’s, Allen making 3’s and Fernando out there.

There’s a lot of different ways you can go. But he’s a hard guy to keep out of the lane. When you have the lead there, you don’t want to foul him either.

Q. Bohannon made free throws, frustration wasn’t a factor at that point, but he seemed kind of frustrated in the second half. Did you say anything to him maybe after the game just to —
COACH MCCAFFERY: I think he really battled. I think he’s facing teams, not just this team, but teams that are going to focus on stopping him. They’re going to face guard him. They’re going to chase him. They’re going to bang him. They’ll trap him. And it’s kind of what he’s got to get used to. It’s been happening to him since high school. So it’s no different. I think if there’s any frustration, it’s just that he expects to make more shots than he made tonight. And he was trying. He was working. I’m proud of him.

Q. Have you seen a common thread over the last two, three games with the slow starts on offense or anything?

Q. Nicholas made some clutch shots in those five minutes or so?
COACH MCCAFFERY: He was great. But it’s both ends. He’s active defensively. He knows where to go in the press, if we’re man or zone. He’s a fifth-year senior.

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