Lickliter Pleased with Iowa win over Bryant

The Iowa Hawkeyes beat Bryant University 61-36 on Friday night in Carver Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes made 43 percent of their three point shots and were led in scoring by freshman Matt Gatens with 19 points. Todd Lickliter talked about the win after the game, and you can read his entire press conference right here...

Todd Lickliter Opening Statement

"I will say that I think Bryant has a very bright future as they make this transition. Their coach is a great coach. They will be very difficult to play against. They do things that as they move forward will really present problems defensively. They change up, run a lot of zone; I just have a lot of respect for the way he runs his programs. Tonight, it was a good thing to see similar actions. Boston College, very physical team. More physical than Bryant, but similar actions. It was good for us, because we don't get to practice much. We have a lot of travel. We need to get off our feet, but we need repetition and we need to improve.

I felt our guys were focused defensively, and other than the first five minutes of the second half, where we struggled. We struggled to score in the first half, but that didn't affect our defense and that is encouraging. It's good to train yourself to defend and we had that opportunity. We now need to relax and rest. We will not work out tomorrow, we will rest. We have traveled a great deal, we have played really physical teams and I think its best for our guys to get off their feet, come back Sunday and go to work for a very, very good opponent in UNI.

Talk about the decision to shake up the starting lineup, what was the reason for that?

Todd Lickliter: I just did it for all of you, because you like that stuff so much. Hey, let's have some fun, that's what I thought. You know, if you looked at the last game, the group that started were effective. I just thought it's the right thing to do, to go with that group that has been effective and see how that works. Just like no one on this team has ever questioned who starts, who doesn't, people play. That was the point of it. The last game, that group was very effective together. They are defending well together.

It looked like you got Tucker back on track with his shooting.

Lickliter: I would like to take credit for that, but I think he just got comfortable. He is a terrific shooter. As you saw tonight, he can make some tough ones, too. I think with him, if you can imagine playing three physical teams, traveling and being under the weather, that will affect your shooting. Hopefully he is feeling better, I thought he was effective tonight, he played quite a few minutes and was productive.

What did you think of your shot selection in the first half?

Lickliter: I can't remember it that well. I will have to look at the tape. I do remember the first two or three three's were right down and in. Then we were at the rim two or three times, so I don't think it was shot selection. I think we have confidence in shooting the ball, and we should. As I said on the radio, we went 8 for 12 in the second half (from three). You can't ask for much more than that. If we are going to shoot 60%, you might see us shooting 40 or 50 of them.

Are you ready to play in state schools?

Lickliter: Well, we are going to, right? When you say are we ready, we are not going to look at all three, we are looking at UNI. I know there will be challenges. That is a good thing. We want to get better, plus I know it's exciting for the state. I saw the excitement last year, and that is a fun thing, too. We are going to do everything we can to get ready, that is for sure.

Do you know anything about their personnel?

Lickliter: As of now, I know them a little bit, but I wouldn't want to comment just yet. I was preparing for Bryant, but I am aware of the in state schools. I happened to watch UNI-Iowa State, and I watched Drake-Butler. But I have not really studied it to the point that I will need to.

What is your feeling about playing these in state games in a row?

Lickliter: I think it's very demanding, especially for a team of our youth. It's something, as I look at it, I don't know what the options are. That is what you do. If you are talking about how we played in Vegas and went to Boston College and then this game, if that is what you mean, that is a lot of games in a short amount of time. I like practice, players probably like the games. I think we miss out on some of that practice, especially with a team that is this young.

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