Alford, Knight Hit Windy City

Iowa Head Coach Steve Alford still finds it difficult matching up against his mentor Bob Knight. But they'll be together again Tuesday night when the Hawkeyes take on Knight's Texas Tech team at the United Center in Chicago. Coach Alford talked about the meeting with his former coach at Indiana and the possibility of a future on-campus home-and-home with the Red Raiders during his Monday morning teleconference.

Editor's Note: I apologize that I was unable to transcribe the following teleconference in its entirety. My stupid tape recorder did not pick up the first round of questions from media members. I will start the transcript paraphrasing those questions and answers before typing up those Q&As that I was able to hear.

Again, sorry for the technical problems. Please send complaints to Jon. (I'm kidding)

Paraphrased points:

-Coach Alford talked about not liking to coach against Bobby Knight but seeing this as a chance to get a good idea of how well his team is playing because Iowa and Texas Tech run very similar systems.

-It was asked if the coaches would be doing a interview for ESPN together as they did last year. Coach Alford said that he had not heard of anything like that. Iowa Associate SID Steve Roe said that nothing had been requested in that regard.

-Coach Alford has been pleased with the play of Mike Henderson and Carlton Reed off of his bench. He'd still like to see Alex Thompson, Doug Thomas and Seth Gorney take a step forward in production, and the coach believes that it will happen.

-Coach Alford is pleased that he was able to schedule Western Carolina before taking on Texas Tech. He feels like his Hawkeyes shook the rust off against Western. Last season, they played Tech right after finals and did not look sharp.

-There are "plenty" of tickets remaining for Tueday's game at the United Center in Chicago, according to Steve Roe.



How do you feel about your team's rebounding?

I'm not happy at all. We've always been a very good rebounding team.

With that said, we're making more shots this year. There's not as many offensive rebounds out there that were out there in years passed.

As a whole, I don't like what we've been doing on the backboard. Doug's production has dropped on the backboard. That affects us.

Erek's backboard has got to go up. Alex, Seth, when he's in there, these are guys that really have to rebound when they're in there. Our guards are doing an outstanding job in board play. Our posts have to do a much better job with their numbers.

Going back to the ACC-Big Ten Challenge next year could make it tough to fit in Texas Tech. Do you see playing them down the road?

That's a possibility. Coach and I haven't talked about that. When I go out there in the spring, that's something that we an sit and talk about and see what he thinks about it.

He's had Ohio State and Minnesota and Iowa on his schedule since he left Indiana. If that's something that he wants to do, then maybe it's time to move that into a posssible home and home series. He's done that with Minnesota and Ohio State.

That would be a great situation for our fans to have Coach Knight come back into Carver, and it's a great facility down there in Lubbock. It's something that I would be in favor of if that's something he wants to do. But I've not spoken with him yet on what he wants to do with that.

If you had kept you starters in the other night against Western, maybe you win by 25 and it looks more impressive to the Top 25 voters. Does stuff like that enter your mind?

No. Not at all. That's always been my rub with college football. I don't think that's what sport is about.

Our guys all work their tails off. They all bust their tails in practice every single day. The win was in hand with four minutes to go. I waited another minute just because I wanted to get some of our immediate bench a little bit of extra time. Jack had been sick and didn't practice that week, so he didn't play.

J.R. Angle is young. Justin Wieck is somebody that just busts his tail every day. These guys that I want to get them minutes.

Now, I wasn't pleased with their minutes. They've got to know that there's no exception to how we want to play no matter what the score.

But I never got in the business for that. You should always feel good about sport, not win margin. Hopefully, we always conduct things that way. If it affects us in the polls, thenit affects us in the polls. Ultimately the polls take care of themselves as you win games.

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