Fran McCaffery

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery during media day in November of 2020. 

Q. Any update on CJ and if he'll be able to go on Friday night?

FRAN McCAFFERY: No, no update.

Q. You've had this eight-day break in the schedule, which I know is less than ideal. Has there been anything positive out of having this much time off?

FRAN McCAFFERY: I don't think so. I guess the one thing would be CJ has more time. You've got to look at that from a positive standpoint. He's been able to get in the training room and try to get healthy. We did spend a couple days working kind of on ourselves and not so much on our next opponent, which now they're going to come quick, so it'll be a little different.

Q. What have you seen out of Jordan Bohannon? No one is harder on themselves than he is. What have you seen out of him this last week?

FRAN McCAFFERY: I would say this: For him, kind of business as usual. He's had bad games before. He's had great games before. He's usually very consistent, very competitive, plays really intelligently, and I have no doubt he'll bounce back.

Q. When you recruited Garza, Bohannon, Wieskamp, did you think they had the potential to be 1,000-point scorers or has any of that surprised you?

FRAN McCAFFERY: No, I think I would have expected them all to be 1,000-point scorers, and I think they would have expected it, too. You don't always think of a guy being a 2,000-point scorer. That's a little different.

But as I've said many times, I felt that Luka would be a star in this league pretty much from the minute he got here. To put the numbers up he did as a freshman is really hard to do in this league, and he was terrific, and I thought he was really good with Tyler.

So it's been fun watching those guys produce the way that they have. I'm proud of them, but I'm happy for them. Happy for them, happy for their families.

Q. How would you describe the intensity of this Iowa-Illinois rivalry? Really seems like it's been ramping up the last couple years and last year obviously with the two exciting games down the stretch.

FRAN McCAFFERY: I think I look at it like this: Every game in our league is intense, physical, a lot of emotion. They were two good teams just going at it last year. Both games came down to the last 30 seconds. And we have respect for them, just knowing who they have, and they've proven the last couple years that they're a team capable of winning at this level, and they're a team that I think no matter who they play is going to have that team's full attention.

Q. I feel like I asked you this last year a couple times, too, but with CJ, is it the type of thing where -- are you going to try to play him a few minutes if he can or is it just get him healthy for the long-term and sit out some games if he needs to?

FRAN McCAFFERY: That always is the most difficult decision for a coach, and I typically just rely on my medical staff in situations like that. Can he go? Can he give it a shot? If he waits longer, will that really help his long-term benefit, which will obviously help our long-term benefit as a program, as a team.

A lot of times coaches say day-to-day because they're trying to duck the questions, but it's really legitimately day-to-day with him.

Q. Are you worried it's long-term at all or is it more of a short-term thing in your mind if you can specify?

FRAN McCAFFERY: I would say this: It's possible that it could be something that lingers, but our hope is that we can get rid of it.

Q. Ayo Dosunmu is clearly an elite player. What in your mind separates him from just the common very good player in college basketball?

FRAN McCAFFERY: I think it starts with the fact that he plays both ends. A lot of scorers don't defend. He defends. But he's kind of got a complete skill set. He gives it up. He's got an in-between game. He's got a three-point shot. He can get to the rim. He kind of plays at his pace, and he plays well at the end of the game.

Q. What have you seen from Kofi Cockburn this year in his development? Seems like he's kind of taken another step.

FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, I thought he was really good last year. He is in really good shape, I think. I think that was important to him, to get in phenomenal shape. He was always big and strong, but I think his stamina is better. He's just more comfortable in their system. He's more comfortable with the guys that play around him.

I think he's a little more versatile. He was more one-dimensional last year. He's not so much this year. I think he's really improved kind of at both ends. He's trying to impact the game at both ends. When a guy is shooting 70 percent from the field, it's pretty impressive.

Q. Obviously Luka is in a position to be the nation's leading scorer for the second time in school history, Murray Wier being the other. Is there any value to that program-wise, or is it just a nice subplot to a season?

FRAN McCAFFERY: Oh, I think there's always value when you have somebody like Luka. He's a guy that when people get to know him, they just appreciate who he is as much as what he does. He's been a great leader. He's a phenomenal teammate, one of the most consistent players I've ever been associated with.

So there's definitely value to people saying, hey, look at this young man and what he represents and how hard he works and what he's accomplished. It says a lot about him but ultimately it'll say a lot about the program.

Q. Talking about Luka, the other night he took a lot of ownership in making sure that this team stays focused the rest of the year. What's it like from a coaching standpoint to have him and a lot of other guys on the team that do that?

FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, I'm not surprised, either. I don't think you were, either. That's just kind of who he is. He felt really bad; he had 28, but he'll remember the two shots he missed in that one stretch where we couldn't score, we were struggling to score. He puts a lot of pressure on himself.

Like you said, he takes responsibility. He's a guy that gets 28 and then blames everybody else when we lose. That's just not who he is. He's going to blame himself. He's going to take responsibility and ownership, and he's going to work that much harder in practice and say the right things in the locker room, and as you can expect that makes my job so much easier.

Q. You still have a dozen games left on the schedule. Does this season feel like it's been moving faster or slower compared to years past for you?

FRAN McCAFFERY: I think probably slower, because we're getting bogged down in discussions that have nothing to do with -- I guess ultimately have everything to do with, but seemingly nothing to do with basketball itself. We're talking about when we're going to play these other games and is everybody healthy and how about testing and all this kind of stuff.

It does kind of bog things down a little bit, but our guys have been tremendous with their maturity and handling it all.

Q. The Michigan State game obviously, you expected there might be some two-day turnarounds. Do you have any input on when that game -- the time of day? Would it help you to be earlier in the day, for example, since you have a Thursday night game or anything like that?

FRAN McCAFFERY: The league is really trying to work with all of us in these situations because we're obviously not the only team that is in the situation. Some teams are coming out of pause and some teams are just trying to get the games in. They're trying to be fair. There's going to be some teams that have a one-day prep and other teams that have more days. They're trying to do the best they can.

Do we have input? Yes, we have input. But at some point, you're going to be handed a schedule and you've got to go play it, and that's fine with me.