McCaffery Stumped by Team's Inconsistent Play

A day after a potentially crippling loss at Northwestern, Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery was asked to search for answers for the team's current slide. He still was searching for them.

Q. As you break down games, are your inconsistencies due to what the opponent presents or your own level of play?

Fran McCaffery: I think it's always a combination of both. Every team that we play is going to have a game plan typically designed for what they think is going to work again us. Sometimes it works better than others but some component of it is going to work.

Our execution, offensively, was average, at best. It needed to be better. But our defensive execution was really subpar. And that's a bad combination on the road.

Q. You look at how you played defense at Michigan and you shoot over 60 percent against Maryland and then you shoot 32 percent (Sunday against Northwestern), how do you deal with that as a coach? You can'r predict it.

FM: The frustrating thing (Sunday) was we got the ball to the rim a number of times and didn't convert. It puts incredible pressure on your jump shooting ability of your team is in a 2-3 zone, which they were the entire game. We got it to the high post. We got it to the baseline. We didn't make shots there. We didn't shoot it well from the free throw line either. That's going to be problematic.

Q. Last year's late-season slide remains raw and fresh to a lot of your fans in their minds. What is it about this team that you think that's it's different, that it can handle a little adversity, whether it's a two-game losing streak and be able to recover and not have the situation as last year's team?

FM: Both teams were experienced. Last year's team was much deeper. You would have thought, especially with our senior class, with Zach (McCabe) and Mel (Basabe) and Dev (Marble) and the juniors that we would be fine.

Our team this year, you can say, OK we're inconsistent. We've lost two in a row. We're playing about the same. You look and you say they play great one game and they don't play so great the next game. Well, that's typified our season this year and obviously that's the challenge for us, to play better and more like we did against Maryland and not like we played (Sunday).

But we have had inconsistent stretches both ends of the floor. That's unfortunate. I don't look at last year or the year before and say what's different about this team or that team. I want to deal with this team.

Q. When you look at Gabe Olaseni, are there any lingering effects issues with his ankle?

FM: No.


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