Todd Lickliter Opening Statement
Gosh….They didn't get any help from me tonight. I messed up and I feel bad about that. It was a game of runs. Against this group, you have to defend with greater purpose for more possessions. There were times when we did, but not enough. They shoot it extremely well. There were two or three times where we helped off of #5, and he is shooting 50%. We need to do a better job of knowing situations and being in tune with who we were guarding. That was bad decision making. I think it's very obvious what I have been saying; they had 17 points off of 14 turnovers. That is probably the greatest factor in the game. They were aggressive, I give them that. But I would hope that you could handle that. If we cannot, then it's going to be a tough night.
Q: What did the official say to you on how far out of the coaching box you were when you got the technical?
Todd Lickliter: He didn't give me a distance or anything. He just said I was out of it. I was just asking about, you know, you saw the play, it looked like it bounced off their foot and we went and got it. I wanted to ask. I know that I am supposed to be confined. I lost my mind there and got out of my box. I am joking. I didn't lose my mind. If you put that in there, people would believe that. Which would be no great loss.
Q: I forgot what I was going to ask
Lickliter: You lost your mind? That would be a greater loss.
Q: Is Justin in a shooting funk right now?
Lickliter: A part of it is how people are playing him, and not being able to free him up. Sometimes as a shooter, you have to be content to space the floor and to screen. The reason that he is not shooting it as well is that he shoots two or three tough shots a game. Credit their defense, they understand that he is a great shooter. We have to figure out ways to get him involved. I still have great confidence in him. If we can get him good shots, he will make them.
Q: You said at the beginning tonight that the team did not get help from you. Did you mean on the technical
Lickliter: Yeah. I felt like that didn't help our guys. I think the staff does a great job of preparation. I think our guys knew what needed to happen and we tried to make adjustments. I never like to give the other team points, it's like a turnover on my part. If I am going to ask them not to turn it over, I wish I wouldn't either.
Q: Talk about that play from Tony, it looked like he had an open layup and he held up in the lane, maybe trying to draw a foul?
Lickliter: I don't remember that one in particular. He went 6-7 from the line tonight. He has been shooting it pretty well and he hit a couple of big shots, very capable. They switched everything. Their bigs were able to guard our guards, and their guards were able to guard our bigs, and I have to see what we can do about that. We know what we would like to do, but we need to see if there is a way to counter it better. I don't know that every team could do that, but they are versatile.
Q: Did you feel that you ended up with tough matchups on defense when they went small?
Lickliter: I thought we did a good job. More than the matchups, were decisions we made. We went and doubled the post one time off of a shooter. They are very good shooters, when you look at what they are shooting in the Big Ten, it's excellent. We doubled the post when we had them one on one and they shot a three. The one he hit, when we guarded all the way through the shot clock, that is a big shot. I thought more decision making…we helped off of #5 two or three times. Helping appropriately is something that takes a lot of focus and time. Very seldom have I had freshmen, just because of experience, come in and learn how to help appropriately. It seems like we over help or under help. If you ever get a team that really understand when to help, who to give it off of, you are effective. We are struggling a little bit at that.
Q: Coming off of the Michigan State game, are you seeing improvement game by game?
Lickliter: I see improvement every day. I sure wish we could be more consistent. Again, be able to play the game with great purpose. We have empty possessions, offense and defense. Nothing against our guys, they are good, but they are not that good (to win with empty possessions). We have to really value possessions.