TODD LICKLITER OPENING STATEMENT
Somebody said that 65 points is the most we have scored. That was in 32 minutes. That is pretty good. We are going to try to score before the second media time out from here on out, just to let you know. I will say this, as you can see, if you will try to defend and you have some character, which these guys do…the offense was a struggle. It escalated because we got anxious and then we played low percentage offense. But we continued to guard and guard and guard. It may not be the prettiest thing, but I quit rating wins a long, long time ago. I just like them however they come. For what it's worth, that is what I have to say.
Q: Dan Bohall threw the lob to Looby and the dunk to start the second half. Is he becoming a spark?
Todd Lickliter: I don't know. I think he does exactly what he can do. He plays within himself. I don't know if he is a spark or if he is just a great team guy that has the ability to do that. The pass was good, the screen was good and he finished it.
Q: You outscored them 23-3 off the bench tonight..
Lickliter: Did we? Part of that is that they don't go real deep into their bench. How did you like our defense on number five, so…you guys are used to me, aren't you. I don't blame you. I don't blame you.
Q: When Jeff picked up that fourth foul, can you talk about how that changed your rotation?
Lickliter: You have to sit him. It's neat that Dan has become more comfortable at the point. I think getting the job done is very underrated. Doing a job well should be something that we really celebrate. For whatever reason, we decided that that's not what we want nowadays. I thought Dan did a great job of getting the job done. I commend him for that. I couldn't get Jeff out quick enough. I had someone I was trying to send in, but he didn't hear me and so that was a mistake on my part. Sometimes adversity will come and you had better be prepared for it.
Q: Do you think the team handled it well?
Lickliter: I would think so. I thought they handled it great. It's not something you choose, but they handled it terrific. We kept extending. You don't hurry up and win. I don't want to hurt our guys feelings, but we have good solid players and we are going to have to play good, solid basketball.
Q: Is this team ready for improved competition this weekend?
Lickliter: I will let you know on Sunday. I don't know. I do think the competition is getting keener, and people are getting better. I don't think we are progressing at the rate we will need to and that is my responsibility. They are attentive, they are doing what they can do and I think I need to do a better job. I better hurry up.
Q: Was there a reasoning behind JR and David's increased minutes?
Lickliter: You know what, how would you like it if I just said no. Would you have a lot of confidence in me then? I want to say this; there is 200 minutes, it's impossible to distribute them equally, when one player plays another one sits and I think we make way too big a deal out of minutes played and points scored. They are important, but those guy's worth goes way beyond whether they play or not. They have handled it well, they have practiced well and I thought it was a time when we could use them. The team we were playing was struggling. And I felt that they have practiced well, let's give them a chance here. You have to admire them for going in and playing the solid basketball they did, being prepared. It's a good lesson for people. It's not about themselves. Team's can be disruptive by people who think that it is about me, and these guys are not like that.
Q: You are the first Iowa team that has held four straight opponents under 50 points. Is the defense where you want it?
Lickliter: We did it in 1923 or something? No, 1948. It's a combination of things. Like tonight, they had really low possessions, they held the ball a long time. They were very patient. It has something to do with that, too. But our guys were pretty poised, we cut the turnovers down and we did continue to guard. We let five get comfortable and that is a bad thing. My hat goes off to him, he is good.
Q: Talk about Johnson in the second half, he answered #5.
Lickliter: I would rather him answer him in guarding him. He did try to guard him, but at that point, this is what happens; if a guy gets comfortable and has freedom, Tyson is multidimensional. It gets tough. I thought Justin really did a good job of trying to challenge him in the second half. Sometimes we concentrate on that and the other end is a little easier. I will say this, guys found him and our assistant coaches made two great calls for him. They changed his position and made a call, our guys picked it up, he ran it and he was standing wide open and we make the play. Our players and assistant coaches, they made it available to him and he took care of the easy stuff, like just shooting it in there, which is not the easy stuff. I admire his talent for that.
Q: Talk about the progression of the offense, that is the most points you have scored this year.
Lickliter: Well, you have to have more than one way to score. When they have to extend the floor, you have to handle it well. What we did was handle it well, get a foul and make our free throws. They beat us from the field, so you have to have more than one way to score and you have to be able to adjust to the game and we did that. I am pleased with the way they approached it. I will gladly take free throws.
Q: What are you looking for out of this weekend's trip?
Lickliter: I am just looking for the same things all along; I would like for us to become more consistent. I told them that if you don't play an entire possession, and you keep doing that, you are cheating yourself out of minutes of your college career. What if you only play half of a possession in an entire game, that is 20 minutes. You do that twice, you lose a whole game. Let's be consistent, play an entire position and play it the right way. I think some of it is new to them. There are different ways to teach and to coach and different ways to play. These guys are competing, but they are trying to do what I want them to do and that is demanding and I am proud of them.
Q: How is Tony's rehab coming?
Lickliter: I think real good. That is completely out of my area. We have a great medical team and I know that he is doing everything they allow him to do except for putting weight on that foot. He is doing situps and pushups. He is a competitive guy.