Drake Pregame: Cyrus Tate Transcript

Iowa players met with the media on Wednesday, two days before wrapping up their intrastate games with a contest against Drake. Junior Cyrus Tate talks about the match-up with the Bulldogs and also speaks about his approach.

The four-guard sets that they run, does it force you out of your comfort zone defensively, having to go out and guard a little on the perimeter?

Well, not really, Coach always tells us to guard our yard. We just have to stay to our principles and the tolls that coach is teaching us and use that in the game and get the win.

Offensively, is your height advantage when they're going that kind of set going to help you in the post?

It helps us a lot. It helps us to back off a little bit and give some space if they do want to make a drive. But our teammates on defense we should help each other out just in case of the bigs does get in trouble.

What are you learning about the freshmen, about the new players?

They're really in tune to what's going on. They really contribute a lot to our team. They're really helping us out. I feel like they're not freshmen anymore. They're kind of coming into their own. Right now, they're pretty much like sophomores. They have a feel for what's going on and they're just going to keep getting better.

What will be the impact of having Jeff and Tony on the court at the same time?

It's going to be good. Tony, he's healthy now. Jeff's hand is getting better. We should be ready for this Drake game but also we're getting all of our weapons back for Big Ten season.

When the four bigs are working together are you working in two pairs or are you all interchangeable?

We're all interchangeable. Coach picks who will be in the black or gold team on certain days. It really doesn't matter. Each big knows his role and you just play it.

And when it comes down to game time and you're in and you get pulled out and someone else replaces you, do you read that any certain way or do you just go in and do your job?

Well, if you're not playing the way you're supposed to be playing coach will take you out. When he takes you out, you should just learn from it. When you go back in just do better.

How tough is it to recover mentally from a mistake that you make on the court considering the speed of the game and the need to let it go and get to the next play?

Sometimes it's hard, but most times you just have to focus on the next play. That's what all the coaches say. They tell you to get your mind off of it and just play the game.

Does he have any advice or tricks on ways to do that because you're a pretty fiery guy out there?

I have a problem with that. I take a lot of things personally. I'm real competitive and I don't like to lose. I don't like things like that. I learn from the mistakes I make. I try to go as hard as I can and do the best that I can. That's all coach would ask for. I try to give him as much as I can. If I'm not playing up to par, hey, coach has to take his actions and try to win games.

What do you think Coach Lickliter's best quality is?

He's a very patient man. (laughs)

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