Northwestern shoots down Hawkeyes

Wildcats shoot 52.7 percent from the field in a 77-68 victory at Carver-Hawkeye. Iowa Coach Steve Alford called out his seniors for a lack of leadership and hinted that there would be a lineup shakeup for Tuesday's game at Minnesota. Read the coach's postgame press conference right here.


It was another tough afternoon at the line and finishing layups and too many turnovers and our defense wasn't near what it's been throughout the season. You've got to give Northwestern a lot of credit. They shot the ball very well. I don't know of too many teams that shot the ball at 53 percent on us this year. So, they did a lot of good things to us. I've got to give them credit.


Did you feel like your guys were ready?

Well. We practiced two days. We worked two days on this offense, and we've got four seniors that played against this offense for four years. We watched a lot of tape on them. We didn't do anything different than we did all year long as far as preparation. So, if they weren't ready, I don't know what else we would have done differently because we didn't change anything as far as how we go about doing things for this game as we had before any other game.

Is it safe to say that that's the best you've seen that offense run in the last couple of years?

That's the best that they've played against us. They had lost four in a row. They had a lot of guys not shooting the ball well. Hachad has not shot the ball well, and Parker has not shot the ball well. Both of those guys came in and combined for almost 35 points. Pierre did another great job on Young. He really made things difficult for him. We just couldn't guard the other positions. Vukusic got away from us. And then we had a hard time. Turning the ball over 21 times is going to get you beat in a lot of games.

What was the problem there?

They went to like a 1-3-1. They only did it a couple of possessions against Michigan. They did it a lot more against us. We didn't move the ball well. Our guards picked the ball up a lot and stood with it on the perimeter. That's something that we're definitely going to have to work on. Minnesota will zone us some as well. And Minnesota is a lot bigger than this team. We can't stand like we stood against a zone. We talked about that for the last two days. But our guards really turned it over at a high clip. And we had a lot of senior leadership that just didn't show up tonight.

Does Jared Reiner need to get more shots?

Yeah. But his minutes aren't going to go up if he can't guard and if he can't run the floor to defend. It's hard to get him shots and get him the ball when we've got guards turning the ball over at a high rate.

It looked like Pierre reinjured his finger.

Yeah. I don't know exactly what happened. It happened real early in the game. So, he wanted to be taken out.

Every time you guys had a run, Northewestern answered. Were you surprised by that?

No. That's what you've got to do in this league. The thing is is this is a team that's got one senior (Jitim Young). Their one senior did a very good job with leadership and getting his team ready to win a road game. And we've got four guys that have been through this for four years. So, it's a little frustrating if we weren't ready to play, and we didn't undertsand the logistics of this game. It's pretty frustrating from our senior leadership standpoint.

Are you considering playing Kurt Spurgeon more?

Yeah. He was a little tentative, and he didn't look fo rhis shot. But he does do the things that I like done. He works out there. He does a very good job defensively. We probably need to turn him loose and let him get some shots up because he is a very good shooter. Kurt works awfully hard. He knows scouting reports. He knows things very well.

We tried to do it and work a lot of different ways. I would anticipate some changes come Tuesday.

In any particular area?

No. The staff will have to break down tape after the lettermen's function. Minnesota plays tonight on TV. We'll just have to look to see what best matchup for us is.

You talked about Jared. Is Brody one of those guys too that might be in jeopardy come Tuesday?

We've just got to look at who's consistent. Who is there every night. It's getting a little frustrating 12 games in not knowing which player is going to show up. We should be dealing with this with a senior class that's played as many minutes and as many games as they have. It doesn't mean that you make all of your shots. It doesn't mean that you have to be the leading scorer. It does mean that you have to do the little things to get your team ready to play and then produce out on the floor. We're just not getting enough production out of our senior class.

You've got three straight road games. Is this team entering a critical part of the season?

It's a big time critical position for us because we're going against three really good teams. We can't go on the road and turn the ball over 21 times. We made eight threes tonight. We shot the ball pretty well. But we can't turn the ball over. We've got to make foul shots. And we've got to do a better job defensively.

Do you expect the Big Ten to be like this with highs and lows?

The teams that end up doing the best will be the ones that are consistent. That's why I kind of thought going in with our senior leadership we would be able to keep at an even keel. Tonight, I didn't see the same things that I saw against Purdue. That's a little disheartening knowing that (they) only had two days to prep. They've been on the road. They played at Michigan. It should have been an even more difficult situation for them, expecially with a young team. I didn't think we handled that very well.

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