Steve Alford Postgame Presser

Steve Alford talks about his team's performance against Wartburg College in this premium postgame transcript.

Steve Alford: Well, this was one, scheduled that way, a much tougher opponent that we know was going to fight us. I think that's what's neat about playing the in-state schools. You get a sense of kind of what we have to go through every ear playing Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and Drake, especially when we've got to go to their buildings. It's a very tough contest; we knew we'd get a fight tonight. A lot of in-state kids, the coach does a tremendous job with them. That was very good prep for us to have an exhibition game where we had some 4-mintue games where we had some adversity to overcome, I thought our guys did a very good job of that. It's the second straight opponent that we hold under 50 (points), second straight opponent that doesn't shoot 30% from the field. I thought we did some really good things. Their 3-2 zone bothered us a lot in the first half. I think we had 10 possessions in the first half where we scored 1, then in the second half we had 10 possessions where we scored 9 straight. The guys did a lot of good making some adjustments. We haven't worked a lot against 3-2 zone, we're a man team, we play a lot against man, so zone's the last thing we get to. It showed up a little bit tonight. I thought their zone gave us some trouble early. Yet, in the second half, we were able to stretch out and get into the 40s in the second 20. I thought that was a good adjustment for our guys, we've got to spend some time against zone defense here in the next couple weeks.

Q: Ready for Monday?

Alford: Not yet, not yet. We'll practice again tomorrow, trying to get them ready for double-doubles. We've got the potential, if we win our first two home games, to do that back-to-back thing 3 times in a 4 week frame. We'll practice really hard tomorrow and really get into them and make it a game-like atmosphere. Watch a lot of tape first, but really get into them, a good lengthy practice, then give them Friday off, and then come back Saturday and Sunday. We'll start our prep tomorrow for Maryland Eastern Shore, but obviously half of the practice will be trying to learn from the situation.

Q: Does it bother you at all, in the 1st half, you score 28 points, shoot 40%, 12 turnovers against a Division 3 school?

Alford: No, because I've coached a Division 3 (school). I think there's not enough credit given to kids that play at that level. I think you look at Wartburg's tradition and how competitive they've been over the years and what they've been able to do. There's history, going back, some schools play Division 3 (teams) in their regular season in this state. This was an exhibition game where we had to learn and it was a good learning experience. I guess I'd be concerned if basketball games were 20 minutes. I think that's part of it. I think we could play a lot of D3 teams in this state and they'd all fight us. Buena Vista, we go up there for summer, it's a great program. I think it's just a neat opportunity for those kids and it's a near opportunity for our guys. I think our guys learned some good things tonight, and they responded through some adversity. They were coming off a 50-point exhibition game, and I thought they weren't really truly prepared, maybe, for just how hard Wartburg was going to get into them. I really enjoyed watching Wartburg get after it defensively. I thought they did a lot of good things to us in particular in the first half. The second half, we turn it over 7 times, and we end up having more assists than turnovers. We forced 24 turnovers, we shoot 65 percent in the second half. I guess I'd be more concerned if the second half was similar to the first half. It's good seeing an experienced group use their experience and learn from it and correct it in the second half.

Q: (A question about Jeff Horner's injury)

Alford: He lost a tooth. I think a cheerleader found it. He'll get that underneath his pillow tonight. The tooth, not the cheerleader. (Laughs) It'll be the tooth. He'll have to see the dentist tomorrow and get that all straightened out. I always have to make sure I'm clear in this room. It's the tooth.


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