Quotes & Notes: Charleston Southern

Matt Gatens got his Hawkeye career off to a nice start with 15 points and five assists as Iowa knocked off Charleston Southern, 68-48, in the season opener at Carver. In this notes and quotes package, we have the Coach Todd Lickliter press conference transcript and notes from the night.

Coach Lickliter

Opening Statement: I should have played (Gatens) 40 minutes (so he could have beaten Ricky Davis' 18 points score in an Iowa freshman's debut). He probably would have gotten three more. You can't imagine the relief after you miss a game and they win. If you don't win, I was afraid they might take a vote and I would have to stay away all of the games. I'm glad to get through that.

There were times when we would get stuck, offensively. I don't know that we had the droughts that we had last year. And I don't want to keep comparing to last year. But there were those times. I don't think they were that long. But we did have a couple. I think we were on 27 for quite a while. There was one other one I thought.

But it didn't affect defense. And that can be consistent. And I'm not saying we played perfect defense. We didn't. But I thought what they did really tested you as far as on-the-ball defense and then how much help to give. A couple of times we over helped and they really took advantage of it. They would bring you in and then find their shooter out there. I would say most of the time that our help was fairly appropriate. It was fairly early so we were able to contain and be in position.

I would say that there were a couple of adjustments that LaVall Jordan (made) at half. He really felt like we could clear Aaron Fuller. We made an adjustment and Aaron delivered a couple of times really nice. So, it's nice to have a guy on staff that is in tune, and he's not the only one. They're all there. But that was a very good adjustment by LaVall. And the players were able to pick it up. It's basically a new set that you put in at a halftime. And our guys were in tune and picked it up. \

One of the things that I was very pleased with was that I thought we found one another. We've been doing that. But I thought that we found one another really well. We allowed it to happen. We weren't anxious and trying to create, for the most part.

We've obviously got a lot to work on. But I've said this. I enjoy this group. I'm enjoying them and I think they're eager to do it. We got a ways to go, but I like the group and I like the way they're going about it.

Gatens came out strong. Was that momentum, adrenaline?

When you say came out strong, we went three plays where I‘m not even sure he touched it. They came out strong. We were down 7-0 or whatever.

That‘s the kind of guy…he loves a challenge. And he‘s got the ability to meet it. He‘s not going to go seek things. We‘ve said that before. We enjoy the competitive spirit of this team. He‘s one of those guys.

He has the ability to go create. When he‘s shooting the three more consistently, and he shot it great tonight, I think he can become even more consistent. Again, not more than 100 percent like he was tonight (laughter). But when you watch him on a consistent basis, he‘s a very capable shooter.

But it does not surprise me. He enjoys a challenge.

He led you in scoring and assists in his first game. What does that say about him?

I think that says that he‘s probably a very good basketball player.

With Jarryd, he only played about 10 minutes. Is that a matter of trying to ease him into things as much as you can?

Jarryd basically missed seven or eight, nine months. So, I think it‘s a situation where he‘s still trying to get acclimated. Plus, it is a long season. The physicians aren't telling me this. I think he‘s as good as new. But he‘s not played much. He didn‘t play any over the summer. He just started up.

We just think it‘s a better situation for him to really fill in for Cyrus and to get his feet under him and to ease into the minutes. And he did a good job when he played.

Jake didn‘t seem to show the effects of his broken finger. When did you know he was going to play?

I wish we would have broken it a while back with the way that he played. I told him that the other day. I really like the way your playing. If would have known, we could have…

We actually didn‘t know he was going to play until (Thursday). He started shooting and said it wasn‘t bothering him. He really played well. He really played with poise. He gives you something defensively with his length and then his understanding how to defend. He also would tell you that he was the recipient of some really nice plays. Jeff made one on the break where he found him and he spotted up. It was a really good play.

So much for Jake was that he was really calm and I guess the cliché is that he let it come to him.

Last season you guys had a lot of turnovers. Were you happy to see the assist-to-turnover at 2-to-1?

Yes. I am happy with that. Yeah.

Were you happy with Tucker‘s shot selection?

I was upset with that one he passed up when he went in and actually tried to create something. I wish he would have shot that. And if he would have been 2 for 12 from 3, that would have been fine with me.

I'll never back away from him. Guys are going to have tough nights, but if you watched him, he defended. He handled the ball well. He did all the other things that you would ask him to do. You wouldn't have known by the look on his face what he was shooting.

I like the way he plays. I completely trust him. Our players would go to him right now for the game-winner if we had to. I had a player years ago, Brandon Miller, he was 2 for 9 or something and hit's the game-winner.

He's very capable. If you look at his form, it doesn't get any purer than that. So, hey, I'm very comfortable with him shooting. And he shot good shots. But sometimes, guys that are good shooters get it with the shot clock going down. He probably had a couple of deep ones that that were tough in him. But he can make them.

Twenty one bench points tonight. How important will that be?

Tonight it was real important because we won by 20. We‘re not too concerned with where the points come from. I do think we have guys that are capable. I don't think that there is anyone on this team that is concerned with that at all.

I thought that Devan Bawinkle, he was 1 for 3, he could easily be 3 for 3. He is a terrific shooter. Jermain Davis had a really good look in the corner. Those guys can shoot it.

That‘s part of this. We want to have guys that help us space the floor.


-2009 recruit Brennan Cougill watched the game from behind the Hawkeye bench. He made the trip from Sioux City for the second time this week, having been in town for the exhibition against Wayne St. on Sunday.

-The starting lineup was the same as the exhibition - Tate, Tucker, Gatens, Fuller, Peterson.

-Jake Kelly, who listed himself as questionable on Wednesday, came off the bench as Iowa's sixth man on Friday, replacing Jeff Peterson in the line-up. Kelly brokea finger on his shooting hand a few weeks ago.

-Brommer was the second player off of the bench, coming in for Fuller.

-Iowa went with a nine-man rotation for much of the first half - Tate, Gatens, Tucker, Fuller, Peterson, Kelly, Brommer, Cole, Davis. Bawinkle came in at about the 4-minute mark.

-Iowa had a lineup of Brommer, Fuller, Bawinkle, Tucker and Gatens late in the first half.

-After hitting 5 of 10 three-point attempts in Sunday's exhibition game against Wayne State, Tucker connected on just 1 of his first 7 on Friday and finished 2 for 11.

-Iowa was out rebounded 15-12 in the first half.

-Davis received some of the biggest applause of the evening from the Hawkeye bench when he took a charge in the second half. He then threw one down off of a steal a few seconds later.

-According to Iowa Sports Information, Gatens 15 points were the second most by an Iowa freshman in his debut. He matched the total of Jeff Horner, but fell short of the 18 scored by Ricky Davis.

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