COACH ALFORD QUOTES
Opening Statement: This was really a game that obviously we needed. We were really consistent. We just have to build from this. This was a really good performance. They've played Florida State. They've played Georgia Tech. They played Charlotte. They had Hofstra beat on Hofstra's floor. After Christmas, they go to Clemson, who is undefeated. This is the worst defeat that they've had, and we're not as confident as some of those other teams. To do what we did to them for two consecutive halves, any time you can do that at this level, a lot of positive things have happened. We got some pretty remarkable stat lines out of a lot of different guys tonight, and that was encouraging. But it's one step. It's a good step in the right direction, but as I told our guys we've got 80 minutes (before the Big Ten) where we've got to continue before that Jan. 4 date (Big Ten opener against Michigan State).
What were you most pleased about tonight?
How they responded. They're inexperienced, and most inexperienced teams are inconsistent. We're falling right into that mold. We've talked about that the last three days. We've got to make sure that as we move along we get a little more consistent. That's all the guys playing their role. It was nice having a different head to this body tonight having a Mike Henderson that is healthy. He was terrific tonight in all areas. He just had no flaws to his game. That relieved a lot of pressure to Adam and Tyler in particular.
Did you get the aggressiveness out of the bigs that you were looking for?
Yeah. Cyrus got in some foul trouble, and Seth had some breakdowns defensively, but Seth made his shots. We went to the four-guard lineup. In the first half, we were plus five with three guards and plus 15 with four guards. We got really good production in that four-guard lineup. We're going to continue to work on that. They did some good things, we just had some breakdowns with what we're wanting to do with post defense.
What did you think of Adam?
That's a pretty good line. The guys found him well. We screened a little bit better. The big key is that we got out in transition. What helped Adam was that he got to the line and he got transition baskets. He's got seven two-point goals. I would bet that three, four, five of those were lay-ups. That's what you've go to do. That's what helps get you in a rhythm.
Did you see the toughness factor?
It improved. But as I told the team, it's one game. In 36 baskets that we made, there were 26 assists. That's impressive. We outrebounded them by nine. We haven't outrebounded anybody for a while. We pursued balls. We guarded. We changed defenses a lot and they really reacted well to that. It was a step in the right direction, but as I told the team, you're not a tough team yet. You took a step in the right direction but you're not at the level where you're ready for Jan. 4. We will be. We've got two weeks.
Did this team need to have some fun?
There's not question because they'd be the first to tell you that the last three days they wouldn't say it's been fun. (laughing) But guys will tell you it's tough and guys will tell you that they're sore right now, but we did it together. It's not like it's been torture. In my mind, it has been fun. They might say it's been a little bit different, but it's at least relieved a little stress from what I had to go through with them on Saturday. From a coaching standpoint, I had fun getting them ready for this game.
*Mike Henderson started his first game of the season. The senior point guard missed the first month of the season with a broken finger.
*Iowa used some extended pressure defense on Wednesday. They moved out to ¾ court with a 1-2-1-1, placing Henderson at the top and Looby in the back. The Hawkeyes also employed some 1-3-1 halfcourt zone with Smith at the top, Haluska, Gorney and Johnson in the middle and Henderson at the back. They also played 1-2-2 with Henderson on top.
*Kurt Looby was the first player off of the bench, replacing Gorney. Angle came in next for Tate. Freeman then checked in for Haluska. Johnson was the ninth man.
*The announced paid attendance was 9,024. The actual attendance was about 5,000.
*Justin Johnson shot his first free throw of the year at the 9:31 mark of the first half. He connected on both ends of the one-and-one.
*Haluska paced Iowa with a career-high 36 points on 13 of 19 shooting from the floor, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc. It also tied the CHA record for most points scored by an Iowa player, matching Rob Griffin's mark on March 4, 2000 against Penn State. Haluska notched 22 in the first half and played only 10 minutes after the intermission.
*The visitors enjoyed a 15-14 lead with 12:50 to play in the first half when the Hawkeyes embarked on a 21-4 run over the next seven minutes to put the game away.