Morgan Big 12 Teleconference

Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan spoke with the conference media on Monday about his team's five-game winning streak and home matchup with Kansas State Tuesday in Ames. Here is a transcription.

On his team's turnaround:

"I'm not sure how simple or complicated it is. We're playing better than we were and that's helping us to win. Tasheed Carr has helped us a great deal, and gave us 22 points and 13 in overtime against Texas. Rahshon Clark has stepped up and that's helped a lot. He had like 19 points and eight rebounds against Baylor. Those two freshmen are playing the way they're capable of playing."

On that approach during early-season stretch of six consecutive losses:

"It was that same approach, as well as everyday let's get a little bit better. And then at some point, we'll get good enough to win games. That's the approach we took."

On discussing NCAA Tournament with players:

"We talk about the next game, and the next one is Kansas State so that's all we're talking about. When we get done with Kansas State, we'll look at the schedule, see who's next, and talk about them."

On playing with a smaller rotation:

"We've struggled with time and use timeouts to get guys rest. Sometimes we call a timeout right before the media timeout to make it a little bit longer. We're in very good condition. We've played against teams that have eight, nine, or 10 guys playing and they've gotten tired."

More on the team's turnaround:

"I think we've got some younger kids that have figured it out. We're playing better together and harder. The main thing is we've figured out if we really get after it on defense, we have a chance to stop people."

On how strongly he believes in zone defense and the advantages:

"Obviously, we believe in it, otherwise we wouldn't play it. The advantages of zone are this: If you ask almost any coach in the country what his man-to-man offense is, he'll show you five or six theories and each theory would have anywhere from five to 10 options on each play. You can have anywhere from 25 to 100 plays. I've seen guys at Utah State and Stanford that have 200 or 300 plays. If you ask those coaches how many zone offenses you have, they have one. It's a whole lot less preparation to play a zone.

"The other advantage is if you can teach it tight enough, it should cut down on penetration and people have to shoot over it."

On more Big 12 teams playing zone:

"I see more of it and I'm actually shocked. It seems like everybody is playing a 2-3 zone now; it's completely changed. You've got guys playing 2-3 zones who would tell you that they'd never played anything but man. That's the way it is."

On that being result of Syracuse winning national title with zone:

"I'm sure it is. I think Rick Barnes has specifically mentioned Jim Boeheim and their conversations on the 2-3 zone. I'm sure that other people have seen the success Syracuse has had with it and emulated it."

On Kansas State and shooter Fred Peete:

"I think Peete has been shooting the ball fantastic. He's a terrific shooter and is shooting it from deep range. I think he made five or six threes against Texas over the weekend. But they have several guys that can shoot the ball, and Jeremiah Massey as one of the best big guys in this league."

AllCyclones Top Stories