Carbon Copy: Steve Alford Teleconference

The Hawkeyes were flying high after their one-point win against ranked Louisville on Saturday. But once they got back in Iowa City, Steve Alford reminded them that there was still work to do. Alford talked about that on Monday, and he also talked about Glen Worley's health and when he might be back on the floor for Iowa, he spoke about Greg Brunner and his performance, Jeff Horner's grit and determination playing on a bad ankle and much, much more.

Q: How do you guard against your team being too ‘high' after their win on Saturday?

"I think that is the thing that we have to guard against if we want to be good. Those are the things that you have to take care of on your own. We have a very difficult stretch; we talked about that once we got back to Iowa City, of having four games in seven days starting tomorrow. It is a very demanding stretch right in the middle of preparation for finals."

"This is a good test for us. We play three home games against three quality opponents, then we play at Northern Iowa who is sitting there waiting for us right in the middle of all of the things going on academically, to finish this stretch. That will be a good test of what we are about and who we are right now."

Q: You talked about getting your reserves more time this week. Are there any guys in particular that you need to get on the floor this week?

"In saying that, I didn't know what was going on because we were so beat up. Sonderlieter, we didn't know if he was going to play (on Saturday) and he only went 10 or 11 minutes and did a really good job in that time. We are hoping that we can get him back on the floor more to where he is getting more run. Nick (DeWitz), he was a bit uncomfortable being on his first road trip. So we want to get Nick more involved, and I think that (Mike) Henderson was the same way. Those are three guys that usually get more minutes than what they got in the Louisville game. We need to get back to that normal rotation and see how Ben (Rand) and Erek (Hansen) can fit into their role of the spot minutes that they are going to get."

Q: What do you think about Jeff Horner playing 45 minutes like that on a sore ankle?

"Well, we understand how tough Jeff is. He hopefully can continue to lead us and guys can play off of him. He is very resilient and we knew that he was going to play on Saturday, but we didn't know that he was going to do that and play well. But to play 45 minutes on a bum foot and only turn it over twice, there was no bigger key than that for us. We controlled tempo through what he did. Brunner makes a heck of a block late in the game in OT and it's Jeff that goes to his knees to get the loose ball that started our fast break for a lay up. He is very active. Six rebounds, six assists; he is doing a lot of us right now. Hopefully that foot can continue to get better. When he is full strength, he is awfully good."

Q: Talk about Greg Brunner and his effort

"He has had a great two game stretch here. He has taken advantage of an opportunity that has presented itself through injuries and I think that is what you do. You try to make the most of it instead of it instead of letting the door shut and not doing anything with that opportunity. Bru is explosive, he can shoot it, he has great hands, great footwork and he is really taking an interest in guarding. He boards well; there are not a lot of things that he doesn't do well. He is a very talented individual. He is getting minutes now and he is learning to play with minutes. That is the maturity of Bru. Now, he goes to another state in his career where he ends up getting co-Big Ten Player of the Week as a sophomore, now how do you respond with three games at home when all of that stuff is on the opposing bulletin board. It will be interesting to see how he responds this week."

Q: Do you know anything more on when Glen Worley will be back?

"The thing that we are optimistic about is that we think he is going to be back soon. We don't know that for sure. I know that Glen has high hopes that he can make it back by the weekend. Whether that happens or not, we have to wait and see what the doctors say. He has worked very hard to stay in shape. He has done the things he needed to do to keep his weight down and stay in shape. He has done a great job of leading. He has been great over the last few games in talking with Greg and helping him out. That is what a senior has got to do. We have played three games without him and we have gotten three wins. That is key because once we get one of our better players into the mix, and we can do that after winning games and getting experience for some other guys, hopefully that will help us down the road."

Q: Do you see Ben Rand and Erek Hansen's roles evolving?

"I think they are outstanding players, but they are just in a situation right now where they are both young players and they are fighting for minutes. We are talking about a freshman and a sophomore. They are part of the future. Ben will end up being a Brody Boyd type of player with size and athleticism. He can really shoot it and he understands moving without the ball. I just want Ben to learn from the guards that are ahead of him right now, keep competing in practice, keep getting the experience and when you are called on, do the tough things that you have to do in those spot minutes. Erek is the same way. Erek is the big man of our future. Of the five seniors we lose, three of them have size. So every bit of experience that Erek can get this year is going to help him going into the next couple of years where he will be one of the men in the middle."

Q: On your TV show last night, you said that some of the fans have been sitting on the fence on whether or not to come out (to games at Carver). Do you feel now that you have done your part and it is time for the fans to respond?

"I don't know if we have done our part. That is why you have a lot of loyal fans that stick by you. One of the things that I have always been impressed with the University is that we have big time fans. All you have to do is look, and there is probably a lot made of that, but just pick up game sheets from over the country and even great basketball venues, attendance is down in the non-conference. I think we are doing well and we appreciate the support that we get, but there are still some fans out there that look at this as being early in the season, football is coming to a close, that basketball has not come on their radar screen yet. "

"Hopefully after three games and just how we have played and what our guys have done from an effort standpoint, those that have not come to games can look at it and say that this is a pretty exciting team and they are fun to watch and give us a chance and come watch us. Regardless of whether we have 10,000 or 15,000 on Tuesday night, I don't really think it matters from the standpoint of how hard our guys will play. Our guys will play hard. This is a difficult stretch from a coaching standpoint, of four games in seven days; you want your 6th man to be as good as it can possibly be and I think that is the challenge to our fans this week." (4000 tickets remain)

Q: You used to coach at a mid-major school and you pulled off some upsets. How hyped did you get for games against bigger schools, like Green Bay will try and do on Tuesday?

"That is a very exciting time for schools like this. I felt it at SMS. We had a chance to play Missouri once and we had a chance to play a lot of schools like that. When you get a chance, it's easy to get your guys to concentrate and stay focused on the task at hand of what you have to do. We just have to hope that the environment that we put Green Bay in is a Big Ten environment. Not just from the building and the noise and lots of people, but more than that, how we play. How our bodies hit their bodies, how we take care of the ball, how we guard at the defensive end; that needs to be more of an input than anything else in a game like this."

Q: Talk about Green Bay…they are not real big, one of their guards had a big night the other night and they have struggled on the road. What do you expect from them?

"They are going to fight like crazy. They are extremely well coached. It is out of the Michigan State-Marquette mold, so they are all about transition offense and they will probably run as well as anyone we will play after makes, so that is a concern. We have to do a good job after we do make baskets of getting back on defense. They have been getting out rebounded, but they do go to the boards hard. From an individual standpoint, Mike King in the middle is a very talented big man, he is a senior, and so he has been through the wars. He can also shoot on the perimeter, so that presents a challenge for Jared. He has to go to the floor to guard. The guard that you mentioned is Terry Parker, and he is a very talented individual who is off to a great start. He is shooting 71-percent behind the three point line, he is getting 18 points a game for them."

"They are off to a good start, but I think it is just hard when you play three games and two of them are on the road. One of them was IUPUI, who made the NCAA tournament last year and then SE Missouri State is a very difficult place to go in to play and that was a one-point loss. The concern is that they have already been on the road twice. I wouldn't be as nervous had they played three games at home and this was their first road game. But they have already been road tested twice, so we know we are going to get a good shot from them."

Q: Reiner is off to a slow start. What is causing that?

"I think just pace of play and doing a better job of screening will help Jared more than anything else. I think he is very motivated; he wants to have a big time senior year. He needs to relax and play. He has done some good things. I told him that he is off to a solid start, but not the start that he is wanting. I think he wants to be a double-double guy and I think that is what he is aspiring to do. I think it will come. Any time you get out of the gate slow shooting the basketball that can affect your mindset. He just has not finished the way he normally does around the basket. He is shooting 80-percent from the foul line, getting 8.5 rebounds and more than 12 points per game, so it is not like it is an awful start. He will relax here and start doing some of the things that we know he can do inside, but the things that will help him is his pace and how he screens."

Q: When you get Worley back, has Brunner solidified a starting spot?

"I don't think there is any question that Bru is playing well and it is obviously his position right now. But that does not mean that when we get Glen back that he is not playing. I think that is where our depth really comes to the forefront. Last year's leading returning scorer is not with us right now. We are going to welcome him back with open arms and opportunities to play, because Glen is too vital to the success now and down the road for us. It is great that Greg is taking advantage of Glen being out so that when Glen gets back, we have two guys in that position that are playing awfully well."


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