Coach Alford's Weekly Big Ten Teleconference Notes

Iowa head coach Steve Alford held his weekly Big Ten Teleconference on Monday morning as he answered questions from reporters all over the Big Ten region.

Coach Alford open his teleconference by making the following statement, "We've gotten off to a pretty good start, and we've had a week to get rested, we've battled some illness during the week, so it was good having a weekend off," Alford stated. "Now we know we've got a very big week playing at Wisconsin and then home versus Ohio State."

How are the Hawkeyes getting it done with only seven players?

"I will give our players an awful lot of credit through all the things that happened during the off season. I thought in September and October this was the best group since we've been here preparing themselves for the season," Alford said. "They got themselves in very good physical and mental shape in the off season."

When did you know you had good chemistry with this team?

"This group has done a good job of try to learn from a win or a loss, they get better from it, and they are very eager to find out who we're playing next and prepare for them," Alford replied. "I don't think it matter whether you are playing seven guys or using a ten man rotation, you've got to have good chemistry, this is a long season, and I think the thing we've been able to do is we've had a better definition of roles this year than what we had in years past," Alford said. "This year's team, at least to date, have accepted their roles and are working very hard for their teammates in their roles."

What does it say about the Big Ten that Michigan, Purdue and Iowa are currently leading the Big Ten?

"I don't know about the other teams that you mentioned, I can only speak from our stand point. I think all it says is that you are three to four games into the Big Ten season," Alford commented. "It's a good start, but you're not even a third finish with this thing, and I know how hard we've played through the first three games to have a chance to win in the end, and our margin of error is very slim."

Everyone always talks about incoming freshmen and the impact they can have, what can you say about the play of the freshmen in Big Ten up to this point in the season?

"We've got as good as any freshmen in our league as probably any league in the country. The key is what they are doing in February and March. They usually only play 20 games in a high school season, and we've already played 14 and it's only a little over the half way point in the season," Alford stated. "They are not used to playing against these types of bodies before, they're playing against 22, 23 year olds who are the best in the country versus last year playing against 15 and 16 year olds. It will be interesting to see how they play in the latter months of the season."


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