Lickliter Talks About Illinois Loss

When asked if his team could be physically fatigued, playing with such a short bench this year, he still wasn't willing to offer that up as an excuse for the way the Hawkeyes have faded down the stretch, adding "You play the hand you have been dealt and that is where we are at." Indeed. Lickliter spoke to the media after Iowa's 58-47 loss to Illinois in front of 15,500 home fans...

Todd Lickliter Opening Statement

I think we're somewhat proving what I have told the team and what I have said all along, is that if we are on top of our game, we are a competitive team. If we are not, if we miss assignments and we are not sharp, we are not competitive and it doesn't matter what the standings say. We are not competitive with anyone, and we won't be. That is what has happened to us. I do think that we have responded well. I think back, the Ohio State game where they beat us so bad and we responded well. I don't think we have responded real well from Penn State. Not taking anything away from Illinois; that was something that really hurt. It was a game we felt like we had control of and didn't finish. Whether that affected this or not, I don't know.

But I thought the first half, they established that they were the aggressor. They were comfortable and played well. I thought in the second half, there were times when we tried to right the ship. If we make a couple of shots that are very makable…it's a little bit different. I don't always put it on that, but it would be different. I thought we would get to the line, just from the way they are aggressive. I thought that would be a good thing, but 16-27 is not a good thing. There are areas…it's kind of obvious what happens to you. Illinois was the aggressor today and they were in charge and we were not able to do anything about it.

Q: Three-point shooting was a big problem on offense?

Todd Lickliter: Yeah, it was. We had some pretty clean looks. But I do think 16-27 at the line, if you make six more of those, now the game is a lot tighter.

Q: Do you see some fatigue setting in, you have said before you didn't think so.

Lickliter: I know this; I have played guys in the past longer minutes. We have really monitored practice and we have played deep into March with guys that have averaged 35 minutes a game. If it is, I feel bad, maybe they are not accustomed to it. But you play the hand you have been dealt and that is where we are at.

Q: On the goaltending by Cyrus, what did you think when you saw that?

Lickliter: I thought the ball was going to go short. I thought we had played defense for the majority of the possession pretty well. If we rebounded it, we would be in good shape. I don't know what Cyrus thought he saw. I am sure he thought he was blocking a shot. He just went up to do that and they called goaltending.

Q: If it's not physical fatigue, could it be mental?

Lickliter: It could be. When you think about some of the things we have done, we have worked hard, competed at a high level and we haven't always been rewarded and that is draining. Like at Penn State, you are working hard and you want to win, so how do you respond. I don't think there is any question; you can become….I don't know if drained is the right word, but you lose your focus possible. But that is the way life is. You have to respond. This is just a game. You have to be able to respond to a game.

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