IOWA CITY, Iowa — Following Iowa’s 89-57 win over Delaware State on Thursday night, Hawkeyes men’s basketball coach Fran McCaffery met with the media to discuss the final nonconference game of the season, provide an injury update on Peter Jok, and gave a hint into what he plans to do when Tyler Cook returns for Big Ten play.
UPDATING JOK’S HIP INJURY AND HOW MCCAFERY APPROACHED IT IN-GAME: “Yes. It’s pretty sore. We thought start him in the second half, see if he can get it loosened up. He got a quick 7 and then said, OK, that’s it.”
ON THE PLAY OF MAISHE DAILEY: “Well, quite frankly, what I’ve always liked. He’s got a versatility about him that’s impressive, because he can laterally get his feet apart and move his feet and contain a really smaller, quicker guy. But then he’s 6-7 and long and so he can stick his nose in there on the glass and get rebounds with bigger guys and he can make 3s. Eventually, as he gets stronger, he’s going to be even more explosive. What I want to see him do now is just kind of just take it and go off the dribble. Trust his ability to do that.”
ON GETTING THE RESERVES SO MANY MINUTES (CHRISTIAN WILLIAMS LED ALL HAWKEYES WITH 24 MINUTES): “Really good. Because (Ryan) Kriener, we threw him in the other night because we had to, and he’s been practicing really well, so I was, obviously, not afraid to do that of the. And he played good. We finished the half the other night on a 10-2 run and he had the 2. So the thing about him, you put him in, he’ll score, he’ll rebound, he fights the post. The thing that he has to do is settle down, because he’s just way too tough on himself. He just has to let it come to him. He’s got a great pair of hands. So he gets his hands in traffic, he corrals the ball.”
ON THE PLAN FOR THE NEXT FEW DAYS: “Yeah. I’ve always been big on trying to give them time at Christmas. Not schedule a Christmas tournament; there’s not very many of them anymore, anyway. But not do that. Get them away, because we have really been going hard, from the tournament, to games coming quickly, then final exams. We’re with each other every day, there’s a lot of pressure on the in-state games on these kids. And finals end and you got two more. So it’s a constant grind.
So, they get away, they get with their families. I wish it was an extra day, but we play on the 28th this year, so we’ll have to bring them back on Christmas night.”
ON OPENING BIG TEN PLAY WITH PURDUE: “The hardest thing sometimes is to keep your big guys out of foul trouble. Because they just keep throwing it in there. Those two (Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas) can play together, they can play one behind the other. And they’re both going to go get it on the defensive glass and on the offensive glass.
But with them, they have so many other good players. You can’t say, OK, we’re going to really lock in and stop Haas, stop Swanigan. They got a lot of other weapons. So it’s going to be a really, I think, interesting challenge for our young team to see what we can do down there.”
WILL YOU GET TYLER BACK FOR PURDUE?: “Yeah.”
ON IF HE’LL START: “We’ll see how he does when he comes back. Thought a lot about it. Obviously, my first inclination is to just slide him back into the starting lineup. This group has really played well. Ahmad (Wagner) and Cordell (Pemsl) have played well together. So, I’ll think it through, I’ll talk it over with him. It’s almost irrelevant, to be truthful, whether he starts, because he’s going to play starters’ minutes.”
ON HIS EXPECTATION FOR COOK UPON HIS RETURN: “He’s in great shape. The hardest thing is just going to be, I think for him, settling down and just playing with confidence and at his own pace. He’s going to be anxious to do maybe too much. And I want to make sure that he understands that like we don’t expect too much. We expect him to be Tyler Cook and run the floor and post hard and move his feet on defense and provide what he’s capable of providing. But not feel like he’s got to carry us. I think earlier in this season, Pete and he were the only two that were really scoring consistently, so I think he felt a lot of that pressure. And he shouldn’t feel that pressure now, because we got other guys doing some many pretty good things offensively.”