Opening Statement: I'm very, very pleased with our effort. And we've been really pleased with our effort. But our effort was more concentrated tonight at both ends for 40 minutes. We knew we were going to have to do that because being at home off of a loss there's more pressure on you. Our guys really handled that pretty well. Now, we've just got to kind of build from that. We got about seven days to get ready for an outstanding Drake team that's playing very, very well. They've got two games here this weekend. We'll take a couple of days off. Our guys have got to do a really good job through finals week. We'll practice occasionally through the finals week and really try to put a run together here during Christmas break before we get into Big Ten play.
You mentioned Tuesday that you guys didn't quite know ho to finish yet. Tonight, Iowa State made that run and got it to eight and then your team kind of took off from there. What was the difference?
Well, hopefully, experience, having Mike back. Mike was pivotal in there. He could pentrate, he can get to the free throw line, he can create for others, and he can really guard. Mike made it very difficult on them. They turned the ball over 26 times. Our guards had a lot to do with that. We were disruptive with our defense. We can do that. We've just got to get everybody back healthy. Cyrus is beat up a little bit. Kurt has got a sore hand. Mike has been out for quite a while. This seven-day break, at least from basketball, comes at a very good time. Mike was a pretty good key of getting some good minutes and getting back in.
How much of a focus was on finishing games these last two days of practice?
It's a fine line because you're dealing with a psyche there. We talk about it. We show them some tape. We really just show them a five-minute stretch in the first half against Northern and then the last five minutes. We tried to show them the difference, the types of shots we got, the decision-making that we made, what we did defensively. That's as good as Northern's been guarded all year. I might be bias with that. So, not beating a dead horse, but just trying to teach them and show them, and to their credit they came in and they wanted to learn. They showed improvements tonight.
Do you make a point with Adam to have him post up after what happened with Josten?
It wasn't so much posting because he does that. If he has a smaller guy on him, he'll go stand in the post. It's about movement regardless of it's a 6-foot guy or a 6-5 strong, athletic kid guarding you. It's really about how you cut. Adam has a tendency of what I call banana cuts, but one direction, one speed. He's extremely strong and extremely athletic, but moving without the ball is about change of pace, change of direction. He came in Wednesday night and Thursday night and that's all he worked on. Tonight, it wasn't his best offensive outing. It wasn't his best shooting game. But this was the best that he moved. He really moved well without the ball. He drove it. He hit a pull up shot. He made threes. He got to the free throw line. He really did a lot of good things.
What were you looking to get of shuffling the starting line-up?
You have to send that message. You lose. You lose at home. Messages have to be sent. Players shouldn't be happy. Coaches aren't happy, and you've got to make some adjustments there. That doesn't mean that it was Kurt, Cyrus and Justin's fault that we lost to Northern. It was really looking at tape and seeing who really did some good things in the Northern game that deserved to start. Those were the five guys that we found positives in that deserved to start. This is going to be a team that might be like that. I an see Mike working his way in again. We're not going to have like last year where we have the same lineup every night. Those will change. If guys can get quality minutes like this…you know Justin Johnson doesn't start, but he had a lot of quality minutes tonight. He did a lot of good things offensively and defensively. Cyrus and Kurt were the same way. Kurt hasn't been rebounding. Tonight he rebounded. So, I was just trying to press some buttons that might work. J.R. is playing his role as well as anybody right now. He's far from being the best player on our team, but as far as playing his role, he does that very, very well. That helps us a lot.
Coach, you guys gave up 20 offensive rebounds tonight. Is that still a point of emphasis?
Oh yeah, we're far from being a perfect team. We got a lot of work to do. The encouraging thing is that they shot 38 percent. So when we break down tape, we look at what they shot minus the 20 offensive rebounds. So, defensively we're doing a lot of good things. We have to work a lot harder on what we're doing on the backboard.
Rahshon Clark has a reputation of being on of the Big 12's best defenders. Tyler really had his way tonight.
Tyler is a special player and he's playing at a high level. And I still don't think we've seen the best of Tyler. He made a couple of off balance plays tonight. He'll learn to make those same plays on balance. When that happens, he'll become even more efficient. For a freshman in a big game to get 16 and six and defend Rahshon very well, that was a match-up that ended up being lopsided. That's good for us.
Henderson, Looby and Tate checked in at the 15:40 mark of the first half, replacing Freeman, Gorney and Angle. Henderson scored his first basket of the season at 14:26 on a steal and breakaway lay-up.
Faces in the Crowd: A list of football recruits in attendance according to my very untrained eye – David Gilreath, Brian Smith, Marvin McNutt, Cody Hundertmark, Colin Sandeman, Bryan Bugala, Jordan Bernstine and Adam Gettis.
Iowa football players spotted in attendance were Adrian Clayborn, Paul Chaney, Alex Kanellis, Pat Angerer, Rafael Eubanks, Charles Godfrey, Marcus Wilson, Miguel Merrick, Albert Young, Marcus Paschal and Herb Grigsby. Former Hawkeye Eric McCollom also took in the action.
Crowded House: Friday represented one of the best showings in recent memory in regards to the Iowa student section. The three sections behind the south basket were almost completely filled with students.
The overall crowd was much better than Tuesday night against UNI. Few empty seats were available. There were a fair amount of Cyclone followers, but not an overwhelming number.
The announced crowd was 14,577.
Big Shot: Iowa State put together a run to pull within eight points of the home team around 5 minutes into the second half. Hawkeye fans began to get déjà vu from Tuesday night's implosion against UNI.
Fortunately for the home crowd, Iowa righted the ship when Haluska stopped the run with a clutch 3-pointer to help send Iowa on a game-deciding run. Looby also contributed a turnaround jumper after an offensive rebound, and Tyler Smith came up with a steal a high-flying dunk in the spurt.
Tip-Ins: Iowa committed just four turnovers in the first half while the Cyclones had nine. The Hawkeyes held a 17-4 advantage in points off of turnovers. For the game, Iowa State turned the ball over 26 times to Iowa's 12. The home held a 31-10 bulge in points off of turnovers…The Hawkeyes also enjoyed a 44-20 advantage on points in the paint…Tyler Smith came out and signed autographs and took pictures with fans well after the game was over…Iowa held the ‘Clones to 38.6 percent shooting from the floor…The Hawkeyes led the game from start to finish…Iowa shot 45.9 percent from the floor, including 6 of 8 from 3-point land…Iowa clinched the Cy-Hawk Series by taking an 11-4 lead. There are only six possible points still out there.