Black and Gold Blowout Notes/Quotes

After the football team's dramatic victory on Saturday, the Iowa men's basketball team made its first public appearance during the annual Black and Gold Blowout at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Hawkeye Nation was there and has a notebook and interview transcipt from Tod Lickliter's meeting with the media.

QUOTES

Coach Lickliter:

Opening Statement - What a great football game. My goodness were our guys poised and stayed the course. What a deal. I had to watch that. I've never done that before a game where your sitting in there watching another team, but I had to watch that.

What you saw out there (on the court) was a group of guys that really care. They're trying hard to complement one another and pick up a system. Kind of a downside of that is it's hard to be aggressive and intense while you're concentrating on doing things right. So, that's what we're going to see a little bit.

I thought they worked some of that out. Tape will help us. But you just saw a group of guys that really care. They share the basketball. As we get more familiar, we'll be able to compete at a higher intensity level. That's my feeling on it.

How much actual scrimmaging have you done?

Not a lot. Not a lot. May I ask…that‘s a good question. Why do you ask that? Do you think like we looked like we didn‘t do it.

No, I was just curious. When you install a system you might have to work on the intricacies.

It‘s a real interesting balance and it‘s pretty quick right now, too. The season starts a little sooner than normal or than it has in past years. This in a lot of ways was good for us. It‘s hard in coaching because you don‘t stop them as much, but it was good for our guys not to stop. You can look at tape. But we haven‘t done near as much as what we need to.

As far as installing offense, how far along do you think you guys are at this point?

We‘ve got it in. And they‘ve got a feel. And they‘re showing more poise. You see a lack of fluidity. That‘s just being unfamiliar. They understand it. They know it. But doing it against others…and the other thing is when you play against your teammates, they have a really good feel for what you‘re running. That‘s usually not conducive to looking very polished. That‘s one of the issues.

Is it tough to judge the defense in that respect as well?

It‘s really tough to judge both, yeah. That‘s a great…yeah. You‘re looking and you want your offense to work and you want your defense also. What do you do? Intersquads are as tough as anything that you come up against; striking that balance of was it great execution or was it a breakdown defensively? Basically, what you‘re wanting to do offensively is break down the defense. But defensively, you want to stay, what we would call, stay solid. It‘s a test for the coach to know how to balance what you‘re willing to accept and also what to praise.

Thursday you‘re going to have to put a starting five out there. How close are you to figuring that out?

Well, it‘s Saturday. I‘ve got until Thursday. And I think this group will fully understand that a starting five is not a goal in itself. It could change. We‘ll have five guys out there, and those five guys won‘t play the whole game. I‘m sure of that. And they‘ll be different combinations. It‘s how well we play together. How prepared we are as individuals and understanding that you make a contribution no matter how much you play. You need to contribute as much as you‘re capable. Our guys will do that.

A couple of players mentioned on media day that they‘re starting to learn defense for the first time since they‘ve been here. Have you noticed a willingness…?

That‘s probably an overstatement, don't you think? I think maybe different defense, what we would ask for is maybe unique. It is challenging, what we ask. But when you‘re able to master it, it gives you strength. It gives you strength as a team. If it were easy, maybe it wouldn‘t be so satisfying. We know it‘s going to be tough. As I told our guys, they care and I know it‘s going to happen because they care.

How is Peterson coming along?

I think well. Yeah, he‘s doing a good job; he and 10 other guys. They‘re all doing a pretty good job. But he is, yeah. We‘re pleased. I couldn‘t complain about any of these guys. Are we ready to compete and do the things we want to do? I don‘t think so. But with their approach, if it‘s going to happen, it will happen. It won‘t be because of a lack of effort. That‘s what you want as a coach. It‘s our job to see that it gets done.

This was your first time out here in Carver. What were your impressions of the environment?

I was impressed. I can remember last spring going to the spring football practice and 20 some thousand people. I was thinking how this speaks to the passion of the fans. I‘ve been involved in intersqaud scrimmages before tat sure didn‘t draw this many people and have this kind of atmosphere. It was good for our guys. The fans contributed to an atmosphere that probably gave us a little anxiousness. That‘s a good thing. So, I appreciate them being here.

NOTES

I didn't get to the Blowout until halftime because of the football postgame. I passed quite a few people that looked to be leaving Carver as I walked in. I would say there were about 5,000 or so left for the second half.

Justin Johnson is going to like this new offense a lot. He found himself open for a lot of 3-balls and looked very smooth shooting it. Seth Gorney also looked much more comfortable stepping out and hitting the 15-18 footer. J.R. Angle looked to be enjoying the new sets as well.

I like Jeff Peterson a lot and would not at all be surprised to see him starting at point guard at some point this season. He runs the floor really well and has excellent court vision. The question will be whether or not he can knock down the open look. He'll get them.

Ran into Jeff Horner after the Blowout. He's back living in Mason City right now. He got screwed around by the team in Paris. He's still getting paid for the season even though he's not on the active roster. Jeff told me he's going to play for the D-League team in Des Moines. He feels like the 2008-09 NBA season might be his last crack at the NBA. He's also not sure if he'll give overseas another shot after his latest experience. He's getting married next summer.

The guys almost looked robotic in ways running the offense. You can tell they're trying to figure things out and thinking while they're moving. The defense relies a lot on help and recover and that also looks a bit uncomfortable at this point, but that's to be expected.

PUTBACKS

There's lots and lot of movement in the man offense. Iowa likes to use baseline and backdoor cuts.

Dan Bohall was running some at point.

Johnson finished with a game-high five steals. Bohall added three.

Freeman led the way with 18 points, while Johnson netted 17 and Peterson 11 on 4 of 7 shooting from the floor.

Looby snared a blowout-high nine boards, while Palmer grabbed eight.

Freeman handed out five assists with three turnovers. Peterson had four and two.


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