IOWA CITY, IA
ALFORD OPENING STATEMENT
What I really appreciated was our guys' effort on the defensive end again. This was a scary four-game set because, as I told the guys, I've been at the mid-major level. I know what it means to play a team in a big arena and a Big Ten school. Right from the beginning, we had a 14-3 run; I don't think we ever let them smell like they had a chance to stay in the game. It had to do with our defense both halves. Neither half did they get over 31 percent shooting. We dominated the board play. The glaring weakness is that we just get careless. To value the ball, that's what we've got to continue to work on. From the defensive end, we made it really, really difficult on them to score points. Any time you can hold a team to fewer field goals than free throws, you've been doing some things.
What was the difference in the halves?
A lot of it is college basketball. You're up 21 at the half. You've controlled it throughout. That's probably the hardest thing to do. We came out and wanted to get the ball inside. We didn't do a very good job of finishing in the first eight minutes of that half. But in that first eight minutes, I think we scored nine points and they had maybe 14 or 15. As bad as we were offensively for the first eight minutes of the half, yet we still get 36 (in the second half). It was just an eight-minute stretch where we were really poor offensively. As I told the team, "As bad as you've been, they've gained six points on you because your defense has just been rock solid." Other than fouling in the second half, I thought our defense was just outstanding again.
Did fatigue set in?
I hope not. Just looking at the minutes, Pierre didn't get 30. Jeff got 32. Jared only got 20. So, this game helps going into the stretch where we play three (games) in six (days). Each of the teams get better. This game helped in that we got to play everybody. We didn't have anybody logging a lot of minutes. We'll get some rest tomorrow, start getting prepped, practice on Thursday and I think we'll be ready.
Can you talk about Pierre's defense on (Terry) Parker?
He came in averaging almost 18 points. He holds him to 1 of 11 field goals. He doesn't make a 3. He made 4 out of 5 against Western Illinois the other night. We really challenged Pierre. Pierre has done just a terrific job in the four games defensively. You look at the four guys that he's had to guard; he's taken the leading scorer all four times. He had a lot of help from Jeff on Garcia because he got in foul trouble.
Has Jared gone away from the hook shot?
He's got to get back to that jump hook. He doesn't throw it enough. The thing that will help Jared is just getting to play centers. We've played four games where he hasn't played anybody over 6-8. That affects him. You've got power forwards guarding you. They work hard to front. We get a little bit too anxious. Then when he catches, he's a little bit too anxious. He's just got to slow down a little bit. He did a good job defensively in the second half. He busted his free throws. He did some nice things.
Is he setting up where you want him to? He seemed to get a little high in the first half.
Yeah. He gets frustrated because he gets fronted a lot. He's getting a lot of attention. In the first half, all of the attention that he got opened things up for our guards. All three guards were close to double figure points at halftime. Hopefully we can continue to work at that. You send two or three guys at the big fella then it's going to open things up on the perimeter.
Have you seen enough improvement in the half court offense?
Yeah. Other than valuing the ball. We get antsy. We got a little stagnant in screening against Louisville because we were so worried about their pressure. Tonight, the first half, it was outstanding, other than 11 turnovers. Most of those turnovers are in the half court. It's hard to get any continuity offensively in the half court when you're constantly turning the ball over. We want to make one pass and then throw an incredible pass for a two-pass, boom, lay up. That's not going to happen. We had to grind it out in the half court. We're still struggling of understanding transition into flow of half court play. We've just got to keep on working on it.
UW-Green Bay Head Coach Todf Kowalczyk
How we started the game summed up the whole 40 minutes. I don't think we came out and played with any sense of urgency on the defensive end. Offensively, we're not making shots, but we weren't doing a lot of the things that this team is capable of doing. You have to give Iowa a lot of credit in that area. They came out defensively and did a great job. When they have a size advantage like they do, it's hard for us to finish around the basket. We have to find a better way to play on the offensive end of the floor.
You talked about the Iowa defense. What was the most effective part of it?
More than anything, Reiner on the inside changing shots and not being able to finish. He's a long, athletic guy who can really defend. That is a big key. That and the fact that they really hurt us on the glass on both ends. They had 17 offensive rebounds. That's something that we're usually pretty good at. Iowa dominated that part of the game.
What was the difference in the second half?
Nothing more than our mentality, our mindset. We came out the first five minutes of the game and played tentative, played scared and played intimidated. The first five minutes of the second half, we didn't play that way. We didn't play like I would expect our guys to play. That was the difference. I don't think it had anything to do with Iowa. It had to do with Green Bay. How we started the game and how Green Bay started the second half.
Any explanation for that?
A lack of toughness by some older guys. Our young guys played fearless. Our older guys played scared. That was the biggest difference.