I was real pleased with our ball club the first half. We did a good job of hanging in there and putting ourselves in good position. In the second half, it got away from us a little bit, which happens against good teams. Iowa fits that description. They've got a good ball club. They've got a good backcourt, a good frontcourt, good depth, good size; a nice team. For us, we would have had to play a pretty strong game to get the job done here tonight. I'm certainly pleased with the effort this team continues to give, and yet recognize that we still have a lot of work to do.
Tom, could you talk about your emotions coming back?
I tell you, it was as strange as I thought it would be. Luckily, there's so much going on that you don't have a lot of time to dwell on it. The people are the thing that kind of jumps out at me. I kind of anticipated that coming in because of the people that were your friends - the fans, the people that worked here, from security through facilities at every level that meant so much in terms of doing your job. People that are important to getting the job done. You appreciate them. When you come back in and see them, that's kind of the emotion that you have. And I've always thought a lot of the Iowa fans. They are about as loyal and caring as you get. I appreciate them still even though I'm in different colors.
Did it affect the emotions of your players?
I don't know. I don't think we're a real emotional team right now. They are so young. I have a couple of guys that I think are going to be pretty good emotional players. But they're pretty stable. They're taking care of business pretty well. I don't think they got too caught up in the moment. They probably kind of got a chuckle out of it, to tell you the truth, with the cameras and everything getting off of the bus. Young guys, they see the humor in things. They see some things that we all should appreciate, probably.
You took the lead 25-24 in the first half. Did you start to think that magic might strike here?
Oh yeah. I believe. I've got a nice young team. I've got some nice dimensions to it. And I am an optimist, and I do look for the best. I'm looking for the best that I can get out of these guys. Whether I can get it out of them I don't know. But there are some things there that we can get to help them to develop their games; to make them be better players than what their recruited status was. That's part of coaching, to get them to play at a higher level.
But when you took the lead, did you think "Wow, this might be a special night" You might come back here and actually win?
No. Not really. Coaches don't think like that very often. Players do, however. Coaches, we've done this too long to think that.
How do you think Iowa handled the press?
Hey Brooksie (Bob Brooks). (Loud Laughter)
Brooks: How are you? (Very Loud Laughter)
Davis: I'm doing pretty well. Thanks. It's good to see you. They did a good job. They did it when they had to do it. We did OK with it, too. It showed that we've got some possibilities and that some of our players are better at it than others. We had hoped that we could turn them over more and make it more of a factor.
Are you happy to have this day out of the way?
I guess so, as far as it being a tough game. I appreciate the people and all of that, but it was a little bit of a distraction toward trying to get ready to play.
What did they do better in the second half?
It wasn't any one thing. It was probably something as simple as missing a few shots in a row, coupled with a turnover or two. And then Iowa making some good shots in a row, coupled with a foul or two. That's usually what happens. And then instead of (the deficit) being four, it's 14. It wasn't anything all that great, but that's what good teams do. They jump on you and take advantage of whatever mistakes you make and parlay it into control of the game, which they did a very nice job of.