End of the Line

Saint Louis knocked off Iowa, 70-69, in the opening round of the NIT Tuesday night. The loss completed the careers of seniors Brody Boyd, Glen Worley and Kurt Spurgeon:"It's not like I'm going to leave," Boyd said. "I'm always going to be a Hawkeye for life. I'm going to come back to support these guys every year. It's hard for me being a senior and knowing that this is my last go-around. It's going to be rough, but you've just got to deal with it and go on."

Postgame interviews conducted by HN.com basketball expert Bobby Hansen as heard on the Hawkeye Radio Network and Learfield Sports:

Steve Alford:

Steve, in a bizarre year, just a bizarre ending and another heartbreaking loss for the Hawkeyes. Nobdy wanted to lose that one, but when the kid shot it it looked like it was good all of the way.

We did a great job. We do a good job defensively. We really busted our tail. We didn't get a lot of stops down the stretch. Fatigue hit us. They had Drejaj came in off the bench and got 23 on us. You've got to give him credit. But Pierre did a great job on Bryant. Spurg really helped out when Pierre got in foul trouble. We get four guys in double figures. Glen had a big time game. Jeff put up big numbers for us again. We shoot the ball 53 percent.

The bottom line is it's a tough break. The NIT schedules a game in a building that's never hosted a college basketball game. The clock was malfunctioned the whole night. I don't think there was five seconds left. That's the judgment of the officials and it went against us. And they made a big play down the stretch.

Steve, talk about the last play when you set up your defense. Drejaj did make a great play to find the opening. What was the thinking, that you wanted to keep the ball in front?

We just wanted the inbounds to come in front, which it did. They inbounded at our free throw line, so they had to go the better part of 70 feet in less than five seconds once he catches. We didn't get real good pressure then on the basketball, which we wanted to get. We didn't put anybody on the ball just because I wanted to play 5 on 4. Five seconds is a lot of time. If you put somebody on the ball and they throw it in, now that guy that's on the ball is meaningless. Now, they're playing 4 on 4. Now, drive and kick really becomes a premium. By at least getting back, we could have a 5 on 4 situation. I'll have to look at tape how things got broke down. But Sloan drove is really hard. We talked about not giving up the three. But they obviously got a good look at three.

Steve, once again, the turnover problem affects the Hawkeyes. Fifteen turnovers led to 19 points, I believe.

We got the shots that we wanted. We executed our offense at a high rate. We shot the ball well. We scored points. I just thought that it was our turnovers. We were very careless with basketball at times. Eighteen turnovers on the game versus their six turnovers was the difference. This will be a good game for us as we've got this team coming back into our building around New Year's Eve next year. It will be a good game that we'll wait on.

Steve, it's probably hard to believe that the seniors are done. Glen Worley, Brody Boyd and Kurt Spurgeon, who gave you valuable minutes tonight, have got to he heartbroken inside that locker ropom.

Yeah, they really are. Kurt really played well in the second half. Brody got it going in the second half. I know that his back is very sore. Glen really played at a high level tonight. He almost had a double-double; three blocks and really had to play the majority of the game with Bru really battling some migraines. We had to keep taking him in and out of the game. We've been very appreciative, and I told those guys before the game how appreciative I've been of the efforts that they've given. We were hoping that we'd get some luck in this tournament. We've had our share of very bad luck the last two years. It builds a lot of character or it rips you apart. I've got to hope that that locker room continues to build character because I love coaching them. They do a great job. It would have been real easy just to hang our heads and not compete tonight. That would have been the easy way out. These guys fought at every possession. We were down one time in the game. They may have got ahead 2-0; the first possession and the last possession. So, in between we did a lot of good things.

As you look ahead to next year, the future certainly looks bright for Iowa basketball.

It does. We've taken some steps forward. We don't like ending the season on one and done in the Big Ten Tournament and one and done in postseason play. That wasn't the idea of finishing. We played a better basketball game tonight than what we did against Michigan. I've got to give our guys credit. This is a heartbreaking loss for them. It's hard because this has got to sit with you for six months. The seniors sure didn't deserve to end their careers like this. But we like what we've got coming in. We like the baby steps that we took this year. Hopefully, we can build on it next year.

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Brody Boyd:

Brody, it's probably hard to believe sitting here that this is the last time you'll have that uniform on.

Yeah it is. It's hard to believe. Going into this game, I didn't want everything to be my last, whether it was taking my uniform off or taking my last jump shot. Unfortunately, things like that happen and this was my last. Life goes on. You've just got to deal with it.

Take us through your view of the game and that last play?

The position never should have been what it was there at the end of the game. We should have never got ourselves into that position. Dumb fouls and a lot of mistakes did that to us. When you do that against teams that are good at coming from behind, that's not the way to do it. That's what we did. We had a lot of bad mistakes there at the end of the game, and that cost us.

Talk about your four years; the friends that you've made; the guys inside this locker room. What are you going to miss most about playing for the University of Iowa?

Just being around this coaching staff and the entire team. Every road trip is a lot of fun. Juts being around the guys, I'm going to miss that so much. But it's not like I'm going to leave. I'm always going to be a Hawkeye for life. I'm going to come back to support these guys every year. It's hard for me being a senior and knowing that this is my last go-around. It's going to be rough, but you've just got to deal with it and go on.

What would your advice be to the guys coming back next year?

We've learned a lot of lessons growing up. I know that I have in my four years, and I've tried to teach them. They've learned them also going through the tough times that they have this season. They're going to learn from that and they're going to be a lot better.

What was the highlight of your career wearing in the black and gold?

I could say a lot of them, but this year definitley; having a solid year; leading the Big Ten in steals; winning record in the Big Ten. But I can go back to my freshman year having a great Big Ten Tournament. But I've had a lot of highlights. I wish I could sit here and I could go on and on. But it's just been a lot of fun; a tremendous ride for me.

Brody, on behalf of all the Hawkeye fans around the land, they want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the Hawkeyes when you could have gone the other way. You stood tall among a lot of things. Thanks for all of your hard work and all of your patience with me during postgame interviews.

I want to thank everybody; all of my fans; all my support. They do a great job there in Iowa. They've been great supporters of me. I want to thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to sit down with you after the games. It's just been a great ride. Thanks.

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Glen Worley:

Glen, that's a tough way to end the season.

When you're out there and the scorekeeper and the refs are going against you it's kind of hard. We played our hearts out. This team has really shown a lot of resiliency. But to end up like this, it's real sad.

Glen, you were right in the middle of that last play with Sloan coming at you. Did you think he was going to drive to the hoop or did you see Draja coming in for the open three?

I didn't see Drejaj. I just saw Jeff take a charge, and they didn't call it. That was the second time that it happened on Drejaj. On a play or so before that, he ran over Brody but they never called it. But you've got to deal with those things. I thought that we did a great job to fight, but when you're fighting against three refs and the scorekeeper, what can you do?

Glen, talk about your Iowa career. Would you do it again if you had to choose over again? Would you still come to the University of Iowa?

Yeah. Definitely. I had a lot of fun. I met a lot of great people, not only on the court but off of the court. This institution has done great things for me. It will always be a great institution. The biggest thing that I'll take out of it is just the people; the friends that I made and things like that.

Give me a highlight of your career. Would it be the Big Ten Tournament Championship in your freshman year when you played so great?

That is definitely a highlight, getting to the NCAA Tournament. That was our goal this year. It didn't happen. But we fought realy hard. To tell you the truth, more than that the last two years the guys have been stepping up and playing even though we're low in numbers.


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