PIERRE PIERCE Q&A
It seems like the (opposing) fans are starting to get on you. Does that bother you?
As long as we keep winning, I don't have any problems with that.
How do you block that out?
There's so much that goes on during the course of the game. You just have to have an extremely tough mindset and have focus and concentration.
You knew it was coming though, right?
I knew it was going to happen. I knew that I would take care of it and my teammates and coaches would help me out. I've gone through it for a couple of games now. It hasn't affected me.
Has anybody given you advice?
The coaching staff just said that you have to block this type of stuff out.
Does it make you play harder?
It definitely makes you play harder. Whenever you can go into an opposing team's building and get a win, that's just a lot of adrenaline for you right there.
Is there anything you'd like to say to opposing fans?
Not really. I just let my game do the talking. I just try to play hard for 40 minutes and help my team get the win.
Do any of the opposing fans send you email or letters?
No. I don't even check the emails. I just stay focused about what I've got to do with my schoolwork, my personal life and basketball. That's my focus in life.
The big men opened practice getting the ball on the low block with a manager on each side pounding them with hand held blocking pads. Later in the drill, they ran off manager with pad as if setting a screen on low block before bouncing out for wing jump shot. They finished the drill by setting a perimeter screen on padded manager before bouncing off and cutting to basket.
The guards started with catch-and-shoot, 15-foot wing jumpers. They progressed to ball faking and passing around a defender in a monkey-in-the-middle type formation. They finished up with work on jab stepping out high in the half court to get defenders on their heels to create space for jumper or drive.
Ben Rand had a very athletic dunk during a full-court drill without defense. The freshman held the ball out to the side with a hesitation before throwing it down with one hand. He then missed the flush the next time down the floor.
The guards and forwards came together and worked hard on full court transition defense and offense. They flowed into half court sets to work on the man-to-man motion offense and recover man-to-man defense in the half court. Iowa's help-and-recover D looked great against Ohio State.
After running full court drills, the players hurried to the foul line to work on free throws. This simulates game action when a player is winded when he steps to the line.
Dean Oliver showed up at practice to help out his alma mater. It was good prep for an Iowa backcourt that will face on of the conference's top point guards Wednesday in Michigan's Daniel Horton.
Coach Alford was not happy with his team's rebounding during practice. It was outrebounded by Ohio State. "If you rebound like that on Wednesday," he said during practice. "We're not going to win."
Erek Hansen really needs to continue to work on his strength. The other Iowa post players seem to know that they can push the sophomore around in practice and more often than not do just that. It appears since the Illinois game that the Hawkeye opponents also have outmuscled him.