Iowa HC Fran McCaffery Previews Advocare Invitational in Orlando

Iowa hoops coach Fran McCaffery previews the AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando.

Iowa basketball has opened out to a 3-0 start with wins over Gardner-Webb, Coppin State, and Marquette. They dismantled all three in pretty easy fashion especially the latter two. The most impressive victory came over Marquette in Milwaukee by a score of 89-61. Unfortunately for the Golden Eagles, the score was even closer than the game ever was on the floor.

The Hawkeyes now will head south to Orlando, Florida to participate in the AdvoCare Invitational. They'll start the tournament by taking on the ranked Dayton Flyers who made the Sweet 16 a year ago. Another possible matchup in the tourney is against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

Hawkeyes' head coach Fran McCaffery discussed everything earlier today.


"They've been tremendous for a long time. I thin in particular, (Archie Miller) has done a great job with them the last couple years. They're a team that plays defense. They can play fast. They've got a lot of different weapons, I think, and put pressure on the ball, so they'll challenge our offense with their quickness and their speed and their ability to create offense with their defense. But they can also score. They've got various guys who can score, a number of guys in double figures. They have a real good recruiting class, I think, and that gives you the depth that you're looking for to sustain a lengthy season. When we signed up for this tournament, we knew we were going to get somebody really good, and we did."


"We'll know a lot more, but that sort of never stops. You keep learning more and more about your team as the season progresses. You play three games in four days against that level of competition, certainly you're going to find out some things. But just like the other night was the first road test. Now this is a neutral site with great competition, different styles, three games in four days, and you come right back with the Big Ten/ACC Challenge."

"Nothing that we haven't already talked about in terms of what we put together for this team. It's the only way you get better. It's the only way you get it figured out. It's the only way you prepare for the 18 monsters we have got later on."

"Well, in this case, I have been there before. I took Siena there before, so it's a first-class event. We're looking for first-class events with quality competition, with maximum exposure. So we'll move around. It used to be, you go back 15 years, there was only a couple of them, and the other ones were just kind of local. But everything changed. There's more destination locations: The Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Cancun, Maui, Orlando, Vegas. So it's become a critical component when you're scheduling, okay, what tournaments are you going to go to which years and how is the format. You know, this is one of the better ones. We had an opportunity to get in it, and we jumped on it."


"I go one game at a time. Whatever you have to do to win that game. We've got enough bodies to absorb three games in four days. I'm not worried about that at all. I won't not play a guy in the first half if I think we need to play that guy in the first half to win that game. So that's how we'll do it."


"Well, there's no question. That group has been involved in a lot of great road wins since they've been here. When you're a young player and you've never been on the road, it's different. The whole process, okay, how we travel, where we travel, when we travel, how we put it together, and then you come out on the floor and it's a hostile environment, it's loud and they can't always hear the bench, so you have to hold onto the game plan and execute the game plan to perfection if you want to beat good teams on the road, and that's what those older guys did."

"So you know, it was the example of how you do it. In terms of how they prepared mentally, how they processed it, and then how they executed it, and the other guys, they'll just come with you. The young guys will come with you if you have character at the top. I've been doing this long enough. If you have guys that are concerned about themselves, then it won't work. And we've got great leadership here."


"You know Mike is one of the hardest workers I've ever been around, so he was not going to relax after last year. He played great, was on a really good team, but he wants to go out the right way, and he worked unbelievably hard in the spring, summer, and fall. He's in phenomenal shape. You know, he knows I trust him completely, and it's his team."

"Now, he also loves -- his buddy is right there with him, and that helps a lot, in Anthony Clemmons. If I take Mike out, Anthony runs it. We don't lose a thing, and together defensively they're spectacular. They both can make shots. They both make plays. And everybody is settled down when they're out there. It cahnges everything for everybody, especially when we have some of those young guys out there. So I'm thrilled with him."


"He's a lot better. I mean, he's really trying to complete the picture. I'm really proud of Dale. Like you said, we know he can score and rebound, and you need that. We need that in the worst way, and he's not afraid. He's not afraid to shoot it at any time, but the defensive component was where he had to work. He knew that. He's staying in his stance. He's working with the ball. He's got vision, bu tthen he goes and gets it, and that's important."

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