Transcript & Video: Fran McCaffery Wisconsin Postgame Press Conference

November 30, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – No. 14 Iowa lost a heartbreaker Friday night here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Twenty-second rated Wisconsin knocked the Hawkeyes from the ranks of the unbeaten, 72-66.

Following the contest, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery met with the media.

Here’s the transcript and video from his postgame press conference:

Q. You guys didn’t shoot the ball well, but were you happy overall with the shot selection?
COACH MCCAFFERY: Not early I wasn’t. And that’s a tough call, because it wasn’t like we weren’t open. I didn’t like the fact that we quick shot it early. I wanted to move it a little more, get the defense moving. But Isaiah, Luka, they had some really good looks at 3 early, even late.

Bohannon, I thought his looks from 3 in the first half were good, maybe a little deep. Maybe could have had a little more patience, but in the second half he caught fire. So that was good.

We didn’t do some things down the stretch we wanted to do. But we also did some things we wanted to do, and just — we ran some good action, the ball didn’t go in. So that’s frustrating, but if you execute, you’re not too upset.

Q. Seemed really connected on defense tonight, especially in the first half.
COACH MCCAFFERY: You know, I think when you’re playing Wisconsin, the way they play and the players that they have, you’ve got to be locked into the action and their personnel. Because they have a lot of people who are talented in different ways. Some guys are drivers. Some guys are shooters. Some guys do a little of both.

So you’ve got to be locked in; okay, who is on the floor for them? And where is Happ? Where is Trice? And those two guys are going to have it a lot. And they’re two really good players. They’re both terrific.

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But you just can’t say, okay, we’re going to sell out — because this other guy, Pritzl, is going to make shots. And Davison is going to make shots. And Iverson will hurt you in different ways. That’s why they’re good.

Q. We’re you happy with the defense on Trice?
COACH MCCAFFERY: It was a terrific shot. I think we gotta give him credit. Connor got hung up on the screen a little bit, got there a little late and contested hard. It was late clock; we would typically switch that. I would like for TC to just go out and take him. He’s worried about the role.

But if I had to critique it, I would rather TC had just gone out and got in his face and not let him make a 3. Maybe he gets blown by or maybe he drives or gets a layup, but TC moves his feet pretty well, so I don’t think it would have happened.

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Q. How do you feel Cook played against Happ?
COACH MCCAFFERY: Cook was tremendous. I loved his activity on the offensive glass — 19 and 15, four assists. I thought he played with great pace. Because you just can’t put your head down and go on this team. They’re going to be in your lane. They’re going to be in your way. You’ve got to wait and go. And he did a great job of that.

Q. (Indiscernible) the part you’re running in the second half and how did —
A. Bohannon was a big part of it. I thought Wieskamp made some great plays, but Cook and Garza were really terrific in the second half. We really got those two guys going, inside and in transition. Our transition game was much more effective in the second half than it was in the first.

Q. I think you’re about 32 percent 3-point shooting team. Should you be better? Will you be better?
COACH MCCAFFERY: We’ll be better.

Q. (Question on ball movement)?
COACH MCCAFFERY: I thought in the first half it was getting stuck a little too much. I thought in the second half it moved a lot better. I thought Connor moved it pretty well in the first half. I think that’s an important thing when you’re playing Wisconsin. The ball’s gotta move. But then you’re making decisions: Is this a good shot? And you can get 3 happy. And we got a little 3 happy, like I said.

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Q. Quick turnaround. How do you turn this into a teaching moment and also obviously build —
COACH MCCAFFERY: We talked about it after the game — the good, the bad, challenged some guys. Overall, I was impressed with our fight. It wasn’t a thing of beauty. We didn’t make some plays coming down the stretch we would like to have made, and they did. That’s why they won.

But I thought we fought. I thought we did some really good things. I don’t think we played that well in the first half and fought to a tie. So you treat it like any other situation: You review the film. You make your teaching points. You move on to Michigan State.

Q. What Nicholas Baer was able to do, I think there was a sequence there where he had a 3, blocked a shot and got a rebound —
COACH MCCAFFERY: That’s what he does. He was an unbelievable factor in this game. And a game like this he needs to be on the floor. And just gotta be careful leaving him out there when he’s exhausted. I tried to make sure he was rested because I knew he would be effective. Played a lot at the 4 spot, too.

Q. You look at the way Tyler just seems to — seems like his game has gone to another level on both ends of the floor, not only offensively but defensively.
COACH MCCAFFERY: He’s much more under control. He has great speed — for a guy that big — phenomenal speed and quickness.

And he’s figured out how exactly — used to just use his athletic power and beat you in the post and dunk the ball. He’s figured out how to do it off the dribble, how to do it coast to coast, how to recognize, okay, I thought there was space and there was no space, move it. Don’t just be the — just don’t spin in traffic and knock three guys over. His decision-making is really good now.

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