Did you feel more comfortable with your shot tonight?
At first, I don't know what happened in the second half. I'm just trying to find my legs a little bit. I'll just spend a little more time in the gym and try not to worry about it too much. It will come around.
Were you more relaxed tonight?
I think a little bit. I'll just see what I can do. I can't worry about my shot too much. I've got to do the little things, too, like rebound and get some guys some open shots. This team is playing really unselfish. Guys are really coming off the bench and giving us some sparks. We're having a good time this year.
What does Tony's defense do for you guys?
(Laughs) Tony loves to pick up full court. It's hilarious because sometimes coach doesn't even want him to pick up full court and he just gets the guy and picks him up 90 feet. That's a big asset for this team when you have a guy who's young like that trying to earn his minutes and coming in and doing everything he can.
Coach talked about pushing you guys hard in practice the days after your exhibition games to simulate having to play back-to-back games. Did it help?
I think it did to prepare you for going one day hard and then coming right back and being mentally ready for another game.
Did you feel fresh tonight?
Yeah. I felt pretty good.
What are your thoughts on winning the MVP
It's a great feeling. It's a great reward to have. I would love for everybody to get it. The way the team played, it could have been the pick of the litter. I was lucky enough to get it this time. Hopefully, Jeff, Adam, Erek, all those guys get all of the other ones. If we do that, we're definitely winning. That's fine with me.
How do you feel about the team's defense?
That's our staple this year. We really get into people and defend. Tonight, we got a little bit over zealous. We jumped a little and went for a lot of ball fakes. That's not our normal defense.
Is that what can take this team from being good to being great?
We hope so. The excitement on the defense end and in defensive rebounding is going to push us over the edge.
How is the rotation working out? Do you guys feel like you're fresh?
Yeah. This part of the season you want to play a lot of minutes. You have to get a feel and get into game shape. People say, "Oh, you're starters are playing too much." We're always going to be used to logging the most minutes. It's not anything like that.
How did you feel after back-to-back nights?
We went real hard the days after our exhibitions. So, we were preparing ourselves for it. Then, we had the next day after that off. It helps us. Three different times we went for two days in a row. Now, it will be our fourth when we go to Kansas City.
MVP OF REGIONAL: Greg Brunner took home Most Valuable Player Honors from the Iowa City Bracket. He received a trophy during a postgame presentation.
The senior scored 16 points in each of the two games and pulled down 15 rebounds in 57 minutes.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Brunner skied in for a two-handed, put-back dunk off of Adam Haluska miss with about 14 ½ minutes remaining in the first half.
Brunner missed a fastbreak jam attempt on Monday night. He also missed a slam later in Tuesday's game.
First Half - 1) Thomas came in for Hansen at 15:00; 2) Thompson in for Haluska at 12:40; 3) Freeman in for Henderson at 12:00, 4) Haluska in for Horner and Hansen in for Brunner 9:10; 5) Brunner in for Thomas at 7:13; 6) Horner and Gorney in for Hansen and Thompson at 5:40; 7) Henderson in for Freeman at 3:25; 8) Thompson in for Gorney at 1:45.
Second Half - 1) Thomas in for Hansen, 16:42; 2) Freeman in for Henderson, 13:34; 3) Thompson for Haluska at 12:12; 4) Haluska for Horner and Hansen for Thomas at 9:53; 5) Henderson in for Thompson at 6:45; 6) Horner in for Freeman at 5:00; 7) Thompson for Haluska and Freeman for Henderson at 2:00; 8) Gorney for Brunner at 1:25;
CENTERS OF ATTENTION: Hansen, Thomas and Gorney all played well in their minutes in the post. The trio combined to hit 6 of 8 shots in the first half for 15 points to go with seven boards.
Hansen, who struggled in the opener and two exhibition games, started fast, which helped his confidence. The senior scored a couple of hoops and grabbed a board in the opening five minutes and finished with 11 points and eight boards. He scored a big putback basket with Iowa up 11 at the 8:30 mark of the second half.
Thomas also scored two baskets early, one off of a short half hook and the other on a 10-foot baseline turnaround. The senior appeared to have room to dunk on the hook, but seemed to want to show he was more than a one-trick pony.
Gorney scored a pair of buckets in just 4 first-half minutes. The sophomore finished with 4 points and a rebound in four minutes.
FREEMAN FILE: After a strong debut, the freshman point guard struggled in the first half of Game 2. He missed a couple of field goal attempts where he forced the action and was pulled back to the bench.
The rookie responded in the second half by playing suffocating defense on Colgate guard Alvin Reed.
TIP-INS: Hawkeye recruit Matt Gatens watched Tuesday's action courtside…Football players Chad Greenway, Marcus Schnoor and Matt Melloy took in the game from the friends and family section across the court from the Iowa bench…Maryland Eastern Shore knocked off Utah Valley State, 75-72, in consolation game on Tuesday…Colgate trimmed a 19-point deficit to 6 with 13:34 left in the game…Iowa committed only four first-half turnovers, but gave it up 10 times after the intermission…The Hawkeyes held a 34-16 advantage on points in the paint.