Lickliter Prepares for Big Ten Gauntlet

During Monday's teleconference with Todd Lickliter, one reporter asked what Lickliter had done to upset the basketball god's this year after a few injuries and a rough start. Lickliter's response? The average snowfall in Iowa in December is 7 inches, and we have 20 this year, so that is probably my fault, too." Read on for all of his quotes from the teleconference...

Q: How do you make up for Jarryd's loss?

Todd Lickliter: We don't have any choice but to go on. When he was called upon, Jarryd has responded well, we will have to do things together. Cy did a nice job the other night. We are going to miss Jarryd a lot, he was making terrific progress and he had a positive presence about him. Our thoughts are with him. That is a difficult situation for a guy to be in or have to go through. I spoke with his parents, they are great people and supportive. He will get through it. If there is any chance of a redshirt, we will look into it, but I don't foresee that being the case. As far as defensively, I think Cy and Jarryd are similar with what they can offer you. They are both four men, they are capable of being physical and having a presence in there. What it does, it gives you one less guy obviously. Your rotations are shortened, you have to play extended minutes. Early in the year we played Kurt and Seth together some, but we thought it was better that Jarryd took the four. But we may have to put Kurt and Cy together some.

Q: What roles have changed?

Lickliter: It's not a lot per se. JR played some at the four the other night. JR is not a post up guy, so we will have to adjust when he is in at the four, which is fine. You find ways to be competitive. Cy and Jarryd were splitting minutes early. Jarryd emerged and played more. We are going to have to adapt.

Q: Indiana has seen the emergence of Eric Gordon as a scoring threat, and they have DJ White on the inside. What challenges do they present?

Lickliter: When you say the emergence, I grew up with Eric's father (Eric father played high school ball for Lickliter's father), and I have watched him grow up. He has been right there. I never even doubted the impact he would have. He is terrific. He is very skilled, he is explosive. I think he is a terrific team player. That is a huge get for them. DJ continues to improve. He was good when he first got there and he keeps getting better. But they are not alone, they have a great supporting cast and they play well together. They can extend your defense. That is the tough part. You have to go out on Gordon, Crawford, and others. They spread your defense out, and the guys inside are very efficient with good size. It's a great balance, a great team that has been put together. It doesn't surprise me how good they are. Nobody has found any weaknesses in them. I think they are very balanced and they compliment one another well.

Q: Jeff Peterson played 12 minutes, two in the second half. What went into that?

Lickliter: That group that played towards the end of the half, we got some momentum, that group played well together. So we started them in the second half and we were really battling. If we were going to win, we needed to keep momentum going. It wasn't anything against Jeff, but that group played well. In other games, Jeff has played more and someone else has sat. It was a combination that was working so we stayed with it.

Q: You dad to play most of the non conference without Tony, now the entire Big Ten schedule without Jarryd. What did you do to anger the basketball gods?

Lickliter: You think I am not asking myself that? (Laughs) The average snowfall in Iowa in December is 7 inches, and we have 20 this year, so that is probably my fault, too. More than anything, I feel bad for those guys. You put so much work in and you love to play the game and then it is taken away. That is a really hard circumstance that you need to deal with and you need to try to deal with it positively. I think about Tony and how he maintained his conditioning and work and was able to come back and now he is in there and helping us. For Jarryd, he had a great start. I am just disappointed for him more than anything else.

Q: Do you have knowledge yet of the extent of Cole's ACL and a timetable for recovery?

Lickliter: I really don't. We know that it's the entire year and that he will be fully recovered by next season. But you have to get in there and see how it goes and then what he does on his rehab and all. I think he will attack it. I anticipate that it will be either the typical length of time or shorter, knowing the way he will approach it and our medical team.

Q: After the game, after your press conference, I walked out into the arena and Jarryd was talking to young kids, giving time to them.

Lickliter: I appreciate you noticing that. He is a really special guy. He is a giving guy, he is a guy who understands that the world doesn't revolve around him and he takes a lot of satisfaction in giving. That is a great example for everyone. He will not feel sorry for himself. There will be times when he is disappointed, but he is a guy that has a great approach and a vision beyond himself. You see it. It's easy to talk about this, but you see it in his actions. We are going to miss that part on the floor and in practice. Today, he is down encouraging guys from a chair on the sidelines.

Q: Dan Bohall dressed on Saturday. Is he in good standing with you?

Lickliter: He wouldn't be dressed if he wasn't. We are moving forward.

Q: You talked about your players understanding each other's strengths and weaknesses. Did you see more of that on Saturday?

Lickliter: It came closer at times. We need to be more consistent and not revert back to playing the game in a casual manner, a manner in which it's OK to make a pass if a guy is open or if you think he is open. We want to make passes to guys that can do something with it when they catch it. We want to make a right pass to a guy who can do something with it. You should pass with precision when you play the game. We need to focus on that. There were times when we did it, just like there are times when we defend with great purpose. To play in the Big Ten, you are going to have to play at a high level, consistently. That is the key. I don't think we are doing it enough. I think we are showing signs and I hope that we can start putting together longer segments in the game.

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