Iowa lost its opening Big Ten Tournament game to Indiana, 95-73, on Thursday night. Following the game, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery discussed his team’s defense against the Hoosiers, the play of Jordan Bohannon, and more.
On Indiana hitting 12 3-pointers
“I think it was a little bit of both (good Hoosiers shooting and bad Hawkeyes defense). … They had a 12-2 run in the first half, a 10-2 run in the first half. They really kept their composure. In the second half, we did not. We started quick-shooting the ball. Some of those 3s were in transition. Some of those 3s, we weren’t in their space. Some of those 3s, they got a lead. They were comfortable shooting. It’s a lot easier to shoot when you’re up 13, 15, than if it’s a one-possession game.
“I thought they were playing really relaxed. A lot of different people were making 3s. You’ve got to give them credit. They were moving the ball. They played in and out. They shared it. They shot (60 percent from 3 and from the field overall). The first thing you got to do is give Indiana credit. They executed. They moved the ball. They took good shots. But obviously from our perspective, our defense was not nearly what it needed to be to compete with a team that has that many weapons.
On the play of Nicholas Baer and Peter Jok
“Nicholas had a very uncharacteristic game for him (3 points, 0 rebounds, 1 assist in 21 minutes off the bench). I don’t remember him having a game like this in two years. He’s always really locked in. If he’s not making 3s, he’s usually very effective. He was a little bit sideways tonight for some reason.
“Pete (9 points on 4-of-11 shooting, 1 assist, 4 turnovers), you know they’re going to guard him a certain way. He had a couple looks that normally would go in. They didn’t go in. We were going to him. It’s just unfortunate. He’s had such a great year, such a great game on Senior Day. It’s just unfortunate.
On Jordan Bohannon (24 points on 6-of-11 shooting on 3-pointers)
“He’s already done a little bit of that at the University of Iowa. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t continue. I think he’s just going to get better with experience. That’s what’s been most impressive. A lot of times when you have freshmen that play well, one of two things happen; they either continue to get better through experience, or teams figure them out and they’re not as good.
“Well, your teams have tried various things with him, and he’s still effective. He’s smart. He’s tough. He’s a tremendous shooter, but he’s also a great passer. He has great feel for how to play. His defense is improving. He’s just going to keep getting better as he gets stronger.”
On Iowa’s defense
“You see this typically on the road. Team makes a run, and you start quick-shooting the ball. They get some transition baskets. They get some and-1s. This wasn’t a road game, but it sort of had that feel. We let it get away from us because of our poor shot selection. We were not connected defensively the way you need to be to play Indiana.
(Indiana coach) Tom (Crean) runs a lot of good stuff. They go side to side. They have driving action. They have post-up action. They have screening action.
“It requires you to really be locked in and understand personnel. Other things happen. (Curtis) Jones comes in and hits 2 3s. That’s a big bonus for them. (Deron) Davis was terrific, 7 for 7 (field-goal shooting). He does what he does, hangs around the rim. He’s a power pack there. We’re trying to push some different buttons, get an offensive unit out there. They go bigger, that creates problems. When it’s all said and done, what you have to do is just give credit to your opponent.”
On shortening the rotation in the second half
“We gave (Ryan) Kriener a shot. Cordell (Pemsl) obviously was good (14 points, 11 rebounds). Christian (Williams) wasn’t feeling great with his back. He had a funny look on his face. He was not right. He wasn’t right when I put him in in the first half. I didn’t go back to him. He’s out.
“I didn’t go back to Brady (Ellingson) because Isaiah (Moss) was playing so well. I wanted to give him some more minutes. Everybody else played who normally plays. I always feel bad I didn’t give Dom (Uhl) more minutes. Again, when you get behind, you’re trying to get more offense on the floor.”