Hawks Win by 30 Over Howard
(Fran McCaffery Postgame Press Conference Transcript below)
Times, they are a changing for the Iowa basketball program.
One year ago, a 30-point win at any juncture of the season would have been reason to celebrate.
This year? It led to some grumbling from some fans as Iowa beat Howard 66-36 but the offense wasn’t all that great and the second half was a grinding affair.
Iowa’s defense was where it needed to be. The 36 points are the fewest Iowa has allowed since a 61-36 win over Bryant on Dec 5th, 2008. Iowa held Howard to 14-52 shooting (26.9%) and 3-16 from beyond the arc. The 36 points were the fewest allowed by one of Fran McCaffery’s Iowa teams.
But the offense? Try 4 of 21 from three-point range. I wrote this a lot last season and have talked about since the start of this season; if I were playing against Iowa, I’d play nothing but zone defense in the half court. Iowa is not not a great shooting team or rather doesn’t have many proven outside shooters at the college level.
Fran McCaffery, who is prone to raving about his players, has called Josh Oglesby one of the best shooters he has ever seen. So far this season, Oglesby is 1 of 12 from beyond the arc after his 0-5 performance on Thursday night. He shot a respectable .372 from three last season, but he was 17-24 from beyond the arc in four double-digit losses or in other words when the lights weren’t so bright and nothing was on the line.
Taking away those four games, he was 28 of 97 in the other 31 games. He’s still early in his career and there have been many shooters who get into a hot streak to change the course of their college campaigns and Oglesby will be hoping for one of those to kick in soon. Jeff Horner was not a good three point shooter at the college level until about midway through his sophomore year and then went on a calendar year tear where he shot over 50 percent.
Zach McCabe is really Iowa’s only proven, consistently good shooter from beyond the arc who returned from last year’s team; everyone else has yet to prove they can do it at this level on a consistent basis. Until Iowa finds a few more guns from the outside, they will see a lot of zone defense for the next month and a half and against lower division teams in the Big Ten who don’t want to play an up and down game with the Hawkeyes.
All that said, it’s November 15th and Iowa is just three games into a long season. There is plenty of time for the shots to start falling and they will undoubtedly get those chances.
Devyn Marble led Iowa with 22 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Aaron White added 16 points despite scoring his first basket 16 minutes into the game. He was 10 of 11 from the charity stripe and also had a team best eight rebounds. Eric May had eight points and no other Hawkeye scored more than five.
Iowa is 16-12 during its laste 28 games as a program. While that is not going to set the world on fire, the four-games over .500 in a 28 game span is their best mark since late 2006.
Winning ugly (but still winning by 30) is much better than losing a home game to Campbell by 16 points.
The sledding gets tougher as Iowa will host Gardner-Webb on Saturday night before heading to Cancun. Gardner-Webb beat DePaul 71-59 on Thursday night in Chicago. The game will tip off at 7pm and will be televised on Mediacom. It can also be viewed on BTN2Go if you are a DirecTV subscriber or at www.hawkeyesports.com for a fee.
Q. Pretty impressed with your defense, 36 points.
FRAN McCAFFERY: I thought the defense was great. I mean, we contained penetration. We pressed them and rebounded well. You know, we got after their good players, the guys that we were worried about. (Mike) Phillips got away from us a little bit. He’s a good player. But we made him work. Workmanlike effort, I thought.
Q. You have to probably be pretty happy with the way Marble came out shooting.
FRAN McCAFFERY: (Devyn) Marble is playing great. He’s confident, he’s got a diverse game. He can score in a lot of different ways. We’re obviously a better team when he’s on the floor, and he’s very comfortable whether he has it, whether he’s off the ball, whether he’s playing the 3 spot. It doesn’t matter.
Q. What did you see from the threepoint range? How much of that was poor shot selection?
FRAN McCAFFERY: None of it was poor shot selection. The only thing you could have said was a couple times we shot it quick, but everybody was open. I’m very comfortable with the shots we took.
Q. Everything okay with Josh (Oglesby)?
FRAN McCAFFERY: He’s playing great in practice. He’s pressing a little bit. I feel bad for him. I think I should have put him in in the second half the other night, but it was the kind of a game where we kind of went with that defensive unit, the small, quick defensive group, and those guys got it done for us, so I left them in. He understands that. He’s very professional in his understanding of how we do things.
I went to him early. He got great looks our guys were looking for him, and I would tell him to take the exact same shots in the next game if not more.
Q. Marble is doing a good job of getting inside that zone and scoring fast. That’s what you guys do, right?
FRAN McCAFFERY: You’re moving people around. If you’re flashing somebody to the high post, it’s got to be somebody who can make a play from there. If you get it to the low post, it’s got to be somebody who can make a play from there. And I thought for the most part we did a pretty good job, certainly with (Devyn) Marble in the high post. Aaron White was there. And the low post they were doubling from the opposite post, they were doubling from the blind side. We didn’t have too many turnovers, but we had a few and we didn’t get a lot done down there offensively.
Q. What did you notice Aaron White doing better in the second half?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I played him a lot in the second half. I just think he played the way he plays. I played him at both spots in the second half. I thought he was terrific in the first half on the point of the press. It’s funny because we only had one steal at halftime but we had a fivesecond call, we threw it out of bounds a couple times, had to take a timeout, might have had to take two timeouts, I don’t remember.
But we were giving them problems with it and we were disrupting their rhythm. They’re a rhythm team; they like to come down and run sets. They run a lot of good stuff, and we just disrupted them with our pressure.
Q. How do you feel the freshmen have settled in?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, I thought they played great. They didn’t shoot as well as they did in the last game. I thought (Adam) Woodbury was terrific, Mike (Gesell) and Anthony (Clemmons) I thought were really good making plays, running the break, pushing the ball, and we got some real good looks at it, both of them. They didn’t make them from three but still were a main factor in the game.
Q. Do you expect some maybe tough spots as you try to look for combinations and settle on a rotation?
FRAN McCAFFERY: You know, I’m real comfortable with what these guys are doing. We’re trying different combinations. They all seem to be working. Obviously the real challenge will be as we move forward, but we found a combination that worked the other night and won us a close game, and then same thing tonight, we were able to spread it.
Q. Gabriel (Olaseni) came out and played with more confidence than I think I’ve seen him play.
FRAN McCAFFERY: You know, it’s funny because he’s so conscientious. He’s almost too conscientious. He’s playing (Mike) Phillips, a shot fake guy, and the first time he catches his shot fake, Gabe goes up and gives him a threepoint play. That’s the kind of thing that a lot of kids would just be able to let it go and he just knows he wasn’t supposed to leave the floor, and he’s probably tougher on himself than I am on him. I was pretty upset when he did that because we had talked about it. But he came back, I thought his activity in the second half I thought was spectacular, and that’s great to see.
Q. Next game, GardnerWebb. They’ve already played North Carolina. I think they’ve lost by 17, but they’ve been in an intimidating environment before.
FRAN McCAFFERY: That’s a terrific program. They’ve got athletes, they’ve got some experience, they’ve got good guard play. We’ve got our hands full with them.
Q. Do you change the way you approach this with just one off day in between?
FRAN McCAFFERY: You know, we’ll still make some teaching points from this game. We’ll move a little bit quicker on to GardnerWebb. Obviously we’ll have a couple of meetings tomorrow and a practice, and we’ll go ahead and meet again on Saturday before they shoot, after the meal, and we’ll have enough time to digest the game plan.
Q. You mentioned with the threepointers today you thought your guys got a lot of shots. What do you think was the issue with them not going down?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I don’t think there was any issue; they just didn’t go in. I mean, I don’t think you can do anything other than if good shooters are taking good shots — keep shooting. If you’ve got the wrong guys shooting contested shots, that’s a problem. But that wasn’t the problem tonight.
Q. Talk about the defense leading to transition layups and dunks, especially in the second half.
FRAN McCAFFERY: We felt like this was a game we could run, and we really wanted to push the ball. It happened a little bit in the first half, obviously much more in the second half. We got out, and once we got it comfortably above 20, then they hit a couple shots, but we felt like we were in control of the game. And that’s how we want to play, we want to play fast.
Q. Devyn (Marble) was icing his hand on the bench at the end of the game. Any concerns with the quick turnaround?
FRAN McCAFFERY: No, he’ll be fine. He’s a tough kid.