IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa basketball suffered its first defeat of the season, 91-83, to Seton Hall on Thursday night. Here’s what Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after the game:
Q. What did you feel like you learned about your team tonight?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: I think any time you take the floor, you’re going to learn something. Obviously, Seton Hall is a really good, potent offensive team that runs good stuff and they have a really good coach.
I would like to have seen us play better defense, collectively. For the duration, but certainly in the second half, you can’t give them 66 percent. You’re not winning. We changed defenses, we went to the press, we went to the zone, and we just didn’t perform to the level that’s necessary. And the truth of the matter is we had a pretty experienced team out there. Everyone wants to talk about youth. That was a pretty experienced team out there that did not defend. We have to get better.
Q. Seton Hall’s freshman guard, Myles Powell, were you surprised by what he was able to do?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: He’s been playing really well. I didn’t expect him to get 26, but he’s been getting double figures. He can really shoot the ball, obviously. We knew he was a shooter. We know he could go off the dribble. He’s special.
Q. Offensively, what did you think of Tyler Cook, especially?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, I liked a lot of the things he did. And as he figures it out, he’ll get even better at it. He ran the floor, he really did a good job fronting the post, he had a handful tonight — (Angel) Delgado is a handful. He fronted the post like we asked him to do, ran the floor like we asked him to do, and we went to him.
He got to the free-throw line and, unfortunately, he missed seven free throws, but he got there 12 times. So, very pleased with, obviously, a lot of things regarding his performance.
Q. Has he generally been a good foul shooter in practice?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: Yeah. He’s got a nice stroke. I feel like they’re going in.
Q. Do you feel like the 19 of 32 is an anomaly, that this is a good free-throw shooting team, generally speaking?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, we’re better than that. We’ll have to wait and see. I think we got a lot of guys that we have to kind of see how they perform. But, yeah, I think we’re better than that.
Q. Turnovers had to be frustrating, I know 17 is too many.
FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, the turnovers, they seemed to come in bunches.
One time in the first half and one time in the second half, they kind of came in bunches. And that changes the complexion of the game. You’re up two, you’re down six, those kind of things.
Our decision making a couple times, I thought that our point guards had six, you can’t be 16, 17 and beat a team the caliber of Seton Hall. So, credit them. But their closeouts, the guy looks open on a cut. And they close it down quickly. And I think that’s what happened to Jordan in particular. The length and the quickness and the power of this team is unlike what he’s seen. So, he’ll get that figured out.
Q. Did Peter (Jok) hurt his elbow early in the second half?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: Yeah, yeah, sort of lost the feeling in it. So, and then he got it back.
Q. You mentioned this isn’t about youth. Is there a communication issue defensively or is there just that much more work to be done?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: A lot of work to be done, yeah. It’s five guys working together, so there’s some, at times, effort issues and sometimes recognition issues. There’s a lot going on there. Team shoots 66 percent, there’s a lot going on there.
Q. Was it mainly the dribble penetration that hurt you guys?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: At times, yeah. It wasn’t the only thing. But this is a team that is particularly good at that. You’re right, they have a number of different guys that can go off the dribble, and they played small a lot. They really didn’t get what they normally get in the post, from Delgado, but they did get 11 rebounds. He’s pretty much a double-double machine. But they didn’t get a lot of post-ups, it’s all drive and kick 3s, turn the corner. We just have to challenge better at the rim.
Q. Talked a lot about how this team skips a bit offensively, sort of top-heavy scoring. Is there something missing from your other guys offensively that you wanted to see?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: A lot of those guys didn’t get as many minutes either, in fairness to them. Cordell (Pemsl) looked like he was on his way to having a pretty decent night, I only played him six minutes. I thought (Ahmad) Wagner would have given us a little more tonight, he gave us great effort and down the stretch I thought he was pretty solid. And Jordan (Bohannon) only got two shots up. So, as we move forward, I loaded up our top guys minutes-wise and I hadn’t been doing that. I felt like that’s what we had to do tonight.
Q. You kind of went to a seven-man rotation basically in the second half. Pemsl only played one minute. Is that what you want to see going forward or would you rather be deeper?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: No, I would rather see it a little bit deeper. That’s something that we always — you know, you’re in the heat of the game, you see, you make some of those decisions sometimes and then you go back and evaluate. Maybe we should have given so and so a shot, so and so. And Dale Jones hurt his wrist in the first half, so he couldn’t go back in any way. But you look at a guy like Isaiah (Moss) and Cordell, Brady (Ellingson). Brady was solid when I put him in. He probably should have got more of a shot in the second half. So I’ll re-evaluate that. Thank you.