Freeman, Palmer Talk About New Coach

The Iowa players filed into the tight confines of the Big Ten room in Carver on Tuesday to hear their new coach conduct his introductory press conference. HN.com caught up with Tony Freeman and David Palmer for their impressions and also if they feel their good friend and teammate Tyler Smith will stay with the Hawkeyes. Read all about it in this Premium Transcript package.

TONY FREEMAN

How emotional of a time has this been for you?

You don't want to see Alford leave, but he has to do what he's got to do for him and his family. There's been a lot of speculation the last two weeks about who our next coach would be. Now we know. I'm excited about that.

Can a situation like this bring the team closer together?

Definitely, it was kind of tough before because we didn't know who our guy was. But now we do. He seems like a very cool guy, a guy that's about academics and winning. It's going to be great to play for him.

You're kind of the spokesperson for the team today. Are you already moving into the leadership role?

(Laughs) Yeah, that's always been the type of person I am. I've taken a backseat in the past because we've always had leaders. I led in my own personal way. The time is now to start leading more vocally and action wise to. I think the guys respect that side of me.

It didn't seem that Iowa got some of the positive talk when it came to the job openings this spring. Did you read that and do you think this job might be a little better than some people think?

Iowa is a great state. I came here not because of the basketball or coach Alford, but the fans here. When I came to visit a couple of years ago, the fans were great. They treated me like I was a king. This is a great place, not just because of basketball and football but because of the overall community.

Was there ever a time in your mind when you thought you wanted to transfer during the coaching change?

There was always a thought about if I would like who they brought in, but I always had in my mind that I was going to stay. I mean, Iowa is my home. I can't see myself being anywhere else. I know everyone in the whole building. There's not one person that I'm not familiar with. Since Day 1, I've been an Iowa Hawkeye.

Will all of your teammates stay?

I hope so. There's always speculation, but I'm sure all of the guys are committed and interested in seeing what we were going to bring in.

Tyler seems to be the one most people speculate could be leaving. How has he been during this time and does it seem like he's on board to stay?

He's my buy. Tyler is a real personable guy. He's a great talent. He likes it here. He likes the program. He likes us as guys. Hopefully everyone stays, not just Tyler.

Would you be surprised if he left?

Yeah, I would be real surprised because this is his home. He's been here for a year and he's liked it. He was third-team all-Big Ten. I don't see why he would want to go to another school and sit out. He's already established here and he's loved.

DAVID PALMER

What are your first impressions of Coach Lickliter?

He's a great guy. I'm excited to play for him.

What's this process been like for you?

Coach Alford really helped me a lot. He helped me mature as a person and my game on the court. I guess I get to play for Coach Lickliter now. You can't go wrong with the national coach of the year.

Are you learning life lessons? Louis Orr gets fired. Steve Alford leaves. You're on your third coach and only played a year of college

Yeah, I know. I've been through a lot, but I can handle it.

Was it tough sitting out this year?

Yeah, I felt like I could have helped in a lot of games, but I get to prove it next year.

Have you talked to Tyler at all? Are you guys all staying together?

Yes, sir. We're planning on it. We're one Hawkeye team right now.

Has this experience brought you guys closer together?

We've always been one team and we've always been together, but right now, we were on our own.


Hawkeye Insider Top Stories