Iowa coach Fran McCaffery spoke with Iowa radio play-by-play broadcaster Gary Dolphin and color analyst Bobby Hansen a few minutes after the Hawkeyes’ 93-90 double-overtime loss at Nebraska on Thursday. Here’s what McCaffery said:
GARY DOLPHIN: What an entertaining game, a heartbreaker to lose, but your young guys and Peter Jok fought so hard.
FRAN MCCAFFERY: I think that’s the message, Dolph. You can focus on some of the mistakes that happened late in the game or in the overtime periods that seemingly lost the game for us. You have to be careful doing that. What you have to do is remember the last two games we played were overtime games. We won one, we lost one. You win one (against Michigan) and everybody thinks everything is wonderful and it’s great that we won and we closed the game out and it’s positive but it was not perfect. We had some mistakes in that game and we’ve got to learn from that. Then you turn around and come here (Nebraska) and it’s the same thing. You lose a game and you’re disappointed and you need to make the teaching points of those mistakes that we’re talking about that didn’t work at the end of the game but also remember some of the positive things that happened in the game and try to keep doing those and cut out the mistakes that we made.
Our defense was again not very good down the stretch. It was good at times down the stretch of regulation. It was not good in the overtime periods. We out-rebounded them. We had 17 offensive rebounds. Nicholas Baer gets 6 blocks. There’s so many good things that happened. I thought Tyler Cook really did some great things. It’s a shame he only played 26 minutes. He’s got to really work on moving his feet and his keeping his hands where the referees can see them because he’s got such quick feet, he’ll be able to do that and really be effective as a post player or as a guy who can guard dribble penetration and try to take them off a ball screen.
BOBBY HANSEN: Even to get this game into overtime it took an incredible hustle play by Nicholas Baer to foul Evan Taylor from behind and Taylor missed both free throws.
MCCAFFERY: How about that? What an incredible play that was. Whatever he does doesn’t surprise you anymore. The kid is just amazing.
DOLPHIN: You had the ball up 83-79 with a minute to go. There were just times where the ball wouldn’t go down.
MCCAFFERY: They wouldn’t go down. We’re in the double bonus, we’re trying to get fouled. We ran a play, there’s a lot of contact. I think the officials in that situation are trying to make sure that the players win the game and not put anybody on the free-throw line. We tried a little too hard to try to draw the foul instead of making a bucket.
DOLPHIN: Isaiah Moss in the first half, Peter Jok in the second half. Isaiah looked like Peter in that first half, didn’t he?
MCCAFFERY: We needed it because we were really sputtering offensively. Defensively we were OK but not great. We’re down, that thing was getting ready to get in double digits if Isaiah doesn’t come off the bench and really pick us up. I’m really proud of him.
HANSEN: You’ve got to be proud of Isaiah because you started him out on Tai Webster and he really didn’t let Webster get going and into all of his offense in the first half.
MCCAFFERY: He was really good defensively in the first half — he was not good in the second half and I don’t understand why. What we’ll do is we’ll sit down with him, watch the film with him because he was terrific defensively. He was and down the stretch he just didn’t have that same fire, maybe understanding or bounce, whatever you want to call it. He wasn’t getting a lot of help with the show on ball screens, we need to be a little bit higher on the show. We were trying to flatten out and keep those guys out of the paint and we were not doing that.
DOLPHIN: Fran, on the last possession there, to end the game, did you want Jordan (Bohannon) shooting or Brady (Ellingson) or did it matter?
MCCAFFERY: Jordan has the green light to pull if he wanted to. We had a play call for shooters coming off screens. But Jordan has the ability to make that decision if he wants to.
DOLPHIN: Rutgers is coming in Sunday. What’s part of your message to your team after a tough loss?
MCCAFFERY: It’s what I say all the time. You don’t want to get too high or you don’t want to get too low. You win an overtime game and you think everything is wonderful. What you have to do is legitimately evaluate the good, the bad and how can we improve collectively and how can we improve individually.