Staying Alive

Iowa needs a victory against Minnesota Saturday to boost its postseason resume. In the Hawkeyes' regular-season home finale, five seniors will be honored: "My hope and prayer is that, with what they've had to deal with...and how they've pushed forward, they will be good life lessons for them down the road," Coach Steve Alford said. Also get an injury update on Ben Rand, Coach Alford's thoughts on his radio show and much more right here.

Are you preparing for Kris Humphries (sprained ankle)to be in or out of the lineup tomorrow?

In. That's how we have to approach it. We had that same issue earlier in the year (with Purdue's Booker). We'll prepare like he's going to be here. Obviously, it will change a little bit if he's not because he is a focal point of what they do.

I can't remember how you defended him the first time.

We had Sean on him some. We had Bru on him some. Obviously with Sean out, it becomes Bru and then now we've got the combination of Glen and Erek.

Seniors Day tomorrow. What, if anything, is going to happen with Jared Reiner and Sean Sonderleiter do you think?

Well, Jared's still on our team. We honor him. We've got Jared and Brody and Kurt and Glen and then a manager, Todd Bruns. Those will be the five that get honored. They've had a very special career. Todd has done incredible things for us from a managerial standpoint. I say that every year that these managers get worked probably a lot harder than coaches and players get worked. We very much appreciate everything that Todd's done for the program over the years. Jared is somebody that has been hurt, unfortunately, a lot these last two years. That slowed what I think would have been an incredible career, but one in which he still was the leading rebounder in the Big Ten. I still think that he's got a great future ahead of him if that foot heals correctly. Brody has got a chance to be Top 10 in school history in steals; Top 3 in 3-point makes. He's got a chance to lead the Big Ten in steals is senior year. Glen is somebody that's over 1,000 points, over 500 rebounds. Of all the players that have played here, he's one of only 20 players that have done that. It's been a very special group from that standpoint. They've been through and had to endure an awful lot. My hope and prayer is that, just with what they've had to deal with that they didn't have any control over, and how they've dealt with it and pushed forward and not dwelling on it and making something positive out of it, they will be good life lessons for them down the road.

With Jared going through the ceremony tomorrow then, does that rule out him playing next season?

No. I just think we do that just because he's a senior. It doesn't rule anything out. We just don't know anything.

With the three regular season games left, there's still a lot this team can accomplish. Is that how you're approaching it?

Without, question. We've got three huge games left. Our last two games are against teams that are right there in the standings with us. Our guys fully understand everything that we're playing for. They were a little down (Thursday). Illinois came in here and out a hurting on us; played very well. We didn't play well. They feel badly about that. It was the first time in over a month that they performed that poorly. I didn't think it was a good thinking game for us. We didn't do the things that we'd been doing offensively, and that affected our defense. of course, Illinois had a lot to do with that. They're excited to get back on the floor again.

How much did Glen's performance against Illinois affect him, and what did you say to him?

He knows it wasn't a good game for him. Obviously with the way we are right now, we're not going to be very good and have a chance to beat teams like Illinois, if one of those starters don't perform well. But as I told Glen yesterday, as bad as his game was, we had some other guys perform poorly as well. Jeff had a very good offensive game, but I didn't think he did good things defensively. Pierre struggled. Brody really struggled compared to the way that he'd been playing. We just tried to talk to all of them. The minutes aren't going away. "Glen, it's not like your sophomore year when this happened and we sit you down and we send a message that way." He's been an extremely loyal person to what we try to do. He'll really bounce back. They've got enough pressure on them. I'm trying to release some of this pressure on the seniors. They just so much wanted to play here and be a part of all of this. I know they're feeling some of the pressure that it's coming to an end. That can be a scary moment. I want them to relax and play and enjoy it; that there's still a lot of games to be played.

We were asking Jared about applying for medical hardship, and he said that he's been told not to talk about it. Does that make any sense? Have you told him not to talk about it?

I haven't. Bob and Fred and others are more involved. I'm really out of the loop when it comes to those type of things. It's all paper work that has to be done through the school. I think it gets signed off by three or four individuals at the school. Then, it moves on to the Big Ten Conference. If it moves passed the Big Ten Conference, it goes onto the NCAA. Jared has probably been told that there's really no reason to talk about it. He doesn't really know what's going on. I don't know what's going on with it nor do I know or understand the whole process. He's probably been instructed that from administration that it's better to not say anything than to get a rumor out there that this might happen or that might happen. Really, none of us have any control over that.

Can you talk a little bit about what it's like to put the head phones on a radio show and not knowing what the people are going to ask you?

(Laughs) One thing that really helps is that you've got a guy like (Gary Dolphin) that is a lot of fun. We've had a lot of fun at Carlos (O'Kelly's). The people at Carlos do an incredible job. They make it a lot of fun and a nice atmosphere; in a family-oriented atmosphere. Then, Dolph does just a great job. If all of a sudden we're hit with something, either he gets blindsided or I get blindsided, it seems like one or the other recovers for each other quickly. But for the most part, and this is our fifth year of doing it, and we've been though a lot, the people have been tremendous. For the most part, 90-95 percent of the questions have been very legit and great questions and questions of interest. As I've always said, I'm a fan first. I enjoy the fan perspective. Whether I agree with it all the time or not, isn't really the matter. All fans have different perspectives. I always try to field every question, whether it's a question that's positive or a question that's negative toward our program.

Did you have a show at SMS?

Yes.

How did Ben Rand sustain a concussion, and what's his status for tomorrow?

It was in practice, and he hit heads with...I don't want to get the wrong person. I want to say Jeff, but I'm not for sure. But he hit nose on shoulder or nose on head of another player. I thought it was Jeff Horner in a drill that we were doing. He really saw stars at that time. We sat him out that day (Monday) almost at the end of practice. Then the doctors instructed us not to practice him the next day (Tuesday). Then when I got to the (Illinois) game (on Wednesday), Ben really wanted to go, but the doctors just felt like he still was feeling the effects of what you feel when you have a mild concussion. They thought medically it would be best if we held him out.

Is he OK for (Minnesota)?

Yeah. He practiced (Thursday). He's been released.


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