Notebook: McDermott's Squad Facing Challenges

Greg McDermott met with members of the local media on Monday morning to talk about the state of the Iowa State basketball program. Find out what McDermott is thinking heading into finals week and also get a Ross Marsden health update in this notebook piece.

  • Coach McDermott began the presser by talking about how last week was a tough one for his team beginning with the loss to Drake on Sunday and ending with a loss to Iowa on Friday night.


  • McDermott said that his team executed as poor as they have all season long in Iowa City on Friday. How do they fix that? McDermott said that they are going to get back to the fundamentals of the game of basketball.


  • McDermott said that Savannah State (5-7) is not a bad team. The Tigers have shown that they can play with big programs already this year. They took Southern Miss down to the wire and were only down by four at halftime against N.C. State. He also pointed out that the Tigers have great guard play that could trouble his team.


  • The Savannah State game offers another challenge to his team due to finals being this week. The players are focused on other things and McDermott said that this could be a scary game.


  • Looking ahead to Bradley on Saturday at the Mediacom Capital City Classic, McDermott pointed out that Bradley isn't returning too many players from last year's team; however they are one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the country and will spread the Cyclone defense out. Bradley has seven players who are shooting above 40% from the 3-point line, which is unheard of.


  • McDermott talked about simplifying his PG position to make it easier on his players who are committing a lot of turnovers at this point in the season. He pointed out that Michael Taylor is not a true PG and also said that the PG position is where everything starts on both offense and defense.


  • McDermott said that on Friday, the turnover problem wasn't all on the shoulders of the PG's. He said that on numerous occasions other players were out of position in timing and screening which made it tough on everyone to execute.


  • McDermott said that his guards are giving up too many straight line drives to the rim. He said that their inability to guard the dribble is bad enough, but they haven't gotten help from teammates very well which makes things worse.  


  • Ross Marsden's health isn't getting much better. McDermott had hoped that Marsden would be able to get in some conditioning this weekend, which did not happen. To make things worse, Marsden has a lost a lot of the weight that he put on before the season. "It's going to be a process getting him back in shape," McDermott said.


  • McDermott said that he's been very pleased with the play of freshman Dodie Dunson so far in the season. "He's not making flashy plays, he's just making easy plays," McDermott said about Dunson. McDermott also pointed out that the play of his two freshmen, Dunson and Wesley Johnson kept his team in the game against Drake and Iowa. McDermott was then asked about playing Dunson at PG on a consistent basis. "That might be overloading him right now," McDermott said of the idea.


Extra Quotes


On his team…


We're a team that doesn't look like we're very well coached and I don't like that. 


On Wesley Johnson…


He doesn't play like a freshman there's no question.


On his team's rebounding at Iowa


If you miss enough shots, there's a few (rebounds) to go get.

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