Iowa Beats EA Sports 99-85

"I didn't like our transition defense. I didn't like our communication in the half court. I didn't like how we finished our defense, and that's with board play. So, I didn't like the beginning. I didn't like the middle. And I didn't like the finish. We've got to spend a lot of time on our defense. You hold a team to 39 percent shooting and you shoot 64 percent, it ought to be a little bit more lopsided than what it was." -Steve Alford. All of Steve Alford's post game comments can be found here



High Basketball IQ: The moment of the night came when Glen Worley, who has been plagued by foul trouble in his career in case you've been living under a rock, didn't pick up his first personal foul until a few minutes had ticked away in the second half. The crowd of about 5,000 let out one of its biggest cheers of the night. Worley had a great big smile on his face, and he wasn't the only one. Worley also took first-half charges.

SITTING OUT:Freshman guard Mike Henderson and senior forward Sean Sonderleiter were the only Hawkeyes held out of action on Tuesday. Henderson is nursing a bruised leg. Sonderleiter is dealing with some legal woes. Head Coach Steve Alford comments on each of their situations below in the press conference transcription.

WELCOME BACK:Former Iowa forward Rob Griffin returned to Carver-Hawkeye Arena Tuesday as a member of the EA Sports team. He scored five points. Griffin was the first Alford recruit after he took the job in '99. The Michigan native was later booted from the team for violating team rules.

NICE START:Freshman Ben Rand looked good in his Iowa debut. He grabbed two quick rebounds when he got in the game, and converted a nice reverse lay up off of a baseline drive. He registered two points, two assists and three boards in eight minutes.

SIXTH MAN:Sophomore Nick DeWitz was the first Hawkeye off of the bench, replacing Pierre Pierce. DeWitz had six points (three dunks) and two rebounds in 18 minutes. He also had three turnovers and four fouls.


Steve Alford's Opening Statement:

This is why we needed to play a game, just to see where we are at after 20 days of practice. The three things that really stand out in my mind, with out watching any tape, are:

  1. We were way too soft defensively. We've really been fighting and scrapping in practice. It came and went (Tuesday). When they got close, yeah we all of a sudden stepped it up. We can't be a defense that comes and goes. It's got to be a constant pressure. There were some good things. We hold them to 39 percent shooting. We take five or six charges. There were some positives. But I just didn't like our inconsistency defensively.

  2. I didn't think we talked well. We've really stressed that through three weeks of practice of really communicating. I just didn't think we did a good job of communicating what we need to do on the defensive end.

  3. Offensively, I just didn't think we valued the ball. There were a lot of possessions in the game. We did a great job of moving it. Twenty-nine assists is a lot of assists in a game. But we can't play a game where we commit 20 turnovers.

I thought those were the three areas that we've got to pay attention to going into our next contest.


Are the assists a result of them moving better without the ball?

Yeah. We had six guys in double figures. We had good balance. We had good shot selection, for the most part. We did a good job of being unselfish with it. I just thought that our decision making at times was very, very poor. We've paid attention to that. We've really stressed it in practice. It's obvious today that we've got to continue to stress it. The other thing that I didn't mention that is so disheartening because we spend so much time on it is board play. Part of our identity is board play, and a team that I think has played four games in four days comes in here and gets 23 offensive rebounds. That is something that we've got to pay real close attention to in the film room.

What did you think of Jeff's performance?

It was just very solid. Jeff did a great job of running the show. He took high percentage shots. He knocked them down. He's got a lot of stats in a lot of areas. The only zero you see in his stat line is blocked shots. And he's probably not going to block a lot. He's just got a lot of numbers. He's a very active player. He's just got to continue to get more vocal.

We had some guys do some good things. This is Pierre's first game in over a year. You talk about Australia. You talk about (the) Black and Gold (scrimmage). But this is really his first game in over a year. Same way with Nick (DeWitz). I thought both were uptight a little bit. And then I thought Pierre loosened up and did a lot of good things late. This is where Mikey Henderson will really help our backcourt. You put him in there and it really helps us defensively when we get in a rut. He can stir some things up defensively with his pressure and athleticism.

Did Glen do a good job keeping his hands off of people?

Yeah. And it's good to see that we've got educated fans with the applause. (laughter) Hopefully that's maturity. But again, that's one game. But he gets to play 27 minutes and he has a good game. He shoots the ball well. He's got to continue to rebound more. But he gets five rebounds. He gets to the line six times. He was solid. And I thought Bru was very solid. Bru has just got to learn to play through being tired. That's maturity. That's something that young players have to go through and learn. But Bru is going to be terrific down the road.

Does Jared Reiner have the chance to have a very big senior year?

We have several guys that have a chance to have big years. Hopefully we're going to continue to work on our unselfishness. His jump hook has really improved. He's really worked on it, to his credit. He stayed after it. When you're 7-foot and you can post low...we've really worked with him on posting low. When he was a young player, he was constantly posting outside the lane. Now that jump hook became a throw instead of a jump hook. He's learning to get close to the basket where that jump hook is lethal. He did a very nice job from that standpoint. He's normally a much more vocal leader than what he was tonight. I didn't think that he did a good job of just talking to his teammates. That's something that he's just going to have to continue to work on.

Were any combinations better than others?

We were going to chart that, but it's so hard to chart that; that's something that we look at in tape. There were times where we went big and put Pierre at the point guard. Brody played a little bit of point. We mixed Nick playing the guard and the forward position. We'll really break that down in the film study and see exactly what came out of it. And you were down two guys who get minutes in Sean and Mike that didn't play tonight. Ben Rand, for a freshman, did a lot of good things. He was our leading rebounder at halftime. He was active. He did some very nice things in his first minutes.

Will Mike and Sonderleiter play Sunday?

We're hoping Mike gets back. He's tried practicing. It just hasn't worked. We're just trying to get all of the swelling out so it's not a nagging injury. Hopefully that will be Sunday. It's kind of a day-to-day thing. With Sean's situation, hopefully the parking ticket can get resolved in the next couple of days, and he just takes care of business. It was a careless mistake. We learn from careless mistakes. He sat out this game. He's not suspended from the team or anything. He's been in meetings trying to get things taken care of. Hopefully that can get taken care of in the next couple of days.

On Sonderleiter, there's also a report now that he did not complete those hours of community service.

Yeah. And I don't know what that's about. I don't know all of the legalities. But he had a year to either to complete those community service hours and only be on probation six months or not complete them and be on probation for a year. Now, don't ask me why they weren't completed so the probation was only six months long. But I just found that out a couple of days ago. That wasn't something that the legal counsel shared with me. We did not know about the 25 hours of community service. But that was not something that he had to do. It was a choice. He's already completed a year of being on probation. So, that really has no bearing on his situation right now.

You played your starters down the stretch. Was that to keep them together or secure the win?

You try to get a lot out of exhibition games. But obviously you want to win games. We tried different combinations. We played everybody. We would have liked to have gotten some guys some more playing time. But down the stretch when it's winning time, go with the guys that are going to be in there down the stretch and see what happens. If that combination doesn't work, then that gives you some time to work on different combinations when it's winning time in the last four minutes.

You talked about not being happy with the defense. Is that particularly the perimeter defense?

No. It's overall. I didn't like our transition defense. I didn't like our communication in the half court. I didn't like how we finished our defense, and that's with board play. So, I didn't like the beginning. I didn't like the middle. And I didn't like the finish. We've got to spend a lot of time on our defense. You hold a team to 39 percent shooting and you shoot 64 percent, it ought to be a little bit more lopsided than what it was. The reason why it was a little closer was because of board play and because of us not valuing the ball.

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