Iowa Suffers Critical Loss

Purdue dealt a big blow to the Hawkeyes NCAA chances by knocking off Iowa, 66-63, Wednesday night in West Lafayette. Iowa dropped to 4-7 in the Big Ten and remained winless on the road in conference play. Iowa Coach Steve Alford said his team lacked leadership: "In loud environments like this, there's got to be really solid leadership on the floor to direct things and get guys in things offensively and defensively. We just don't have that."

Steve Alford

Carl Landry picks up his fourth foul. Things are looking good for the Hawkeyes and then and then another collapse.

Yeah. It's unfortunate. This team has just got to learn in the last eight minutes on how to put a team away and how to win on the road. We've had a lot of one possession games. Five losses now on the road. Two went to overtime and two were one possession.

In loud environments like this, there's got to be really solid leadership on the floor to direct things and get guys in things offensively and defensively. We just don't have that.

Carl Landry was a load all night long, really their only offensive threat. But in the end, they go to the free throw line. Brandon McKnight goes 8 for 8 down the stretch and stepped up big time for them.

Nah, that's what we talked about for two days that when teams make a run, especially on the road, you've got to get to the line. We were in the bonus. They zone us and we got real passive, settled for deep jump shots and didn't attack.

We called a couple of timeouts in that stretch to get them to attack and them we missed some wide open looks that hurt. And then at the other end, we couldn't get a stop.

It was a very similar game to what we experienced at Wisconsin. We outplayed them for most of the game, led for most of the game, but couldn't finish it off.

Can you talk a little bit more about playing against the zone? You did settle for outside shots. Were they open inside or was it just good defense inside by Purdue?

They've got big guys that you ought to me able to be able to attack. We never attacked. our guards stayed on the perimeter. Mikey was about the only one that would look to penetrate.

He did a very nice job all night of penetrating. He got tired in the end, and McKnight got away from us. But I was real pleased with what Mike did.

We just didn't get much outside of that. And then when they really conjested things inside on Bru, we had some really wide open looks. We just didn't make them and they made their shots.

It's almost like you've got to win out for any hope for the NCAA Tournament?

I feel for the team. They're a hard working group. But you've got to learn to get over the hump. And you've got to show toughness for 40 minutes.

We're just really missing some on the floor leadership. That really gets hard on the road in tough environments. It's a little bit easier at home.

But on the road, loud environments where you can't hear coaches, you've got have leadership out there that can get you into things. We're just not getting that.

Is leadership something that you can teach or is that something you're born with?

You constantly talk about it, and we constantly are trying to help and assist guys on how to do things. We try to make it really simple. At halftime, we made it really simple what we wanted to run with hand signals so that you didn't even have to verbalize it.

But then it comes down to - what kind of shot do you get? Time and score - do you need to get to the free throw line versus settling for the deep three or a shot off of one pass or taking care of the basketball against the press?

That all includes leadership; smart play; playing with poise. I just didn't think we had that tonight.

You played Illinois to overtime in Champaign. What are your thoughts on the Illini coming in and the chance to knock off the No. 1 team?

It's an opportunity. It's a chance. We're going to have to play extremely well to have an opportunity to beat them because they're the best team in the country; playing at a high level; playing extremely well. It will be a very difficult game for us.


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