Archive for December, 2010
Thursday, December 30th, 2010
Buy Aldactone Without Prescription, Bruce Weber made a point at the end of his postgame comments following his Illinois basketball team's 87-77 win over Iowa on Wednesday to praise the progress he has seen the Hawkeyes make during the opening weeks of the season.
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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010
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Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
If there was one area that concerned Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery about his team's performance in Tuesday's 77-58 victory over Louisiana Tech, it was the Hawkeyes' inability to generate much offense off their press.
That has been a constant in games so far this season, but the quickness that Louisiana Tech brought to the table limited Iowa's opportunities.
"Interestingly, we didn't get anything out of our press. We thought we could,'' McCaffery said during his postgame comments.
"Sometimes when you watch a team on film and then you get them up close, and they were quick. They were blowing right through our traps and things like that so we couldn't get anything out of it.''
McCaffery said generally the Hawkeyes didn't get much out of their zone defense.
"We thought this was a team that we could zone,'' he said. "They put five perimeter players on the floor against the zone and drove right through it. It was our man-to-man defense that helped us the most and that's a good thing.''
The Hawkeyes are in the midst of a holiday break, returning to campus Christmas night to begin preparations for next Wednesday's Big Ten opener against Illinois.
The Fighting Illini will arrive at Iowa having lost their last two games at neutral sites.
Following Wednesday's loss to Missouri in St. Louis, the final words of coach Bruce Weber on his postgame radio interview were, "The Iowa game, now that's huge for us.''
Illinois has lost consecutive games to Illinois-Chicago and Missouri to fall to 10-3 on the year.
A quick programming note, we'll preview the upcoming Big Ten basketball season in Christmas Day editions of the Quad-City Times.
We'll break things down team by team, and introduce not only top players but top newcomers who are making an impact already this season.
Big Ten play begins Monday when Penn State visits Indiana, the first of seven games that will be played before we ring in the new year.
And on a personal note, happy holidays. Have a great Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Since becoming Iowa's primary point guard after Cully Payne underwent surgery for a sports hernia earlier this month, Bryce Cartwright has made the most of his minutes.
His line in tonight's victory over Louisiana Tech included a season-high 19 points - one short of his career best set in 2008 while playing for Fresno State in a game against Cal Poly.
He also collected seven assists, had six rebounds and turned the ball over just two times in 37 minutes of action.
"He was awesome tonight,'' Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "I mean, I thought he controlled the game.''
Cartwright was 7-for-19 from the field and while McCaffery thought the junior took a couple of quick shots, he was generally satisfied with the quality of shots that Cartwright was taking.
"He's not bashful (about shooting it) and he is a guy who can his own points,'' McCaffery said.
Cartwright said he felt more in control against the athletic Bulldogs, saying that he felt like he "surveyed the court a lot better'' than in previous outings.
Cartwright was playing for the first time at Iowa with his father, Anthony, in the stands.
"I was just happy for him to be here,'' Cartwright said. "It meant the world to me.''
Cartwright performed well against a solid opponent.
Louisiana Tech left Carver-Hawkeye with a 9-5 record and McCaffery called the inside-out combination of Olu Ashaolu and DeAndre Brown "as talented a combo as we have seen all season long.''
The 6-foot-7 Ashaolu backed up the WAC player of the week honors he earned earlier Tuesday. He was a warrior on the boards and until fouls became an issue in the second half, he dominated Iowa's big men.
Brown is a senior and played like one, controlling the Bulldogs' floor game. Iowa did manage to hold him to 11 points, 5.5 below his season average.
Things did get a little testy late when Louisiana Tech's Lonnie Smith knocked Matt Gatens to the ground and was whistled for an intentional foul.
Iowa freshman Zach McCabe gave Smith a bit of a shove after the call, picking up a technical and getting an earful from McCaffery in the process.
"I wasn't happy with it, and he knows it,'' McCaffery said. "I respect the fact he was sticking up for a teammate, but you've got to be smarter than that. He just lost his composure for a second.''
McCaffery hopes that McCabe learned through the situation.
"He didn't hurt anybody and learned a valuable lesson in a game we won so I don't think you'll see him doing that again,'' McCaffery said.
Sunday, December 19th, 2010
Whenever Zach McCabe did anything during the Iowa basketball team's 59-52 win at Drake on Saturday night, a cheer rang through the Knapp Center.
It came from the heart.
Around two dozen family members showed up at Drake wearing black t-shirts with McCabe's number 15 and huge letter "Z'' on the back.
They had plenty to cheer about.
McCabe finished with nine points off the bench for the Hawkeyes, a total helped by a 5-of-7 touch at the foul line. He also got his hands on three rebounds and took a tap from Jarryd Cole, who finished with 11 boards, to help Iowa retain possession following a missed 3-point shot by Matt Gatens with just under 2 minutes remaining. The Hawkeyes eventually got to the foul line and Devyn Marble came through with a pair to extend the Iowa lead to 55-47 with 1:26 remaining.
The loudest cheer McCabe received came when he exited the Iowa locker room following the game.
It was then when the Hawkeye freshman explained the commotion.
"My family always gets together for an early Christmas and they decided to move it down to Des Moines this year and come to the game together,'' McCabe said. "It was great having them here and having them root us on.''
Thursday, December 16th, 2010
Fran McCaffery isn't among basketball coaches who disrupt the norm during finals week.
The first-year Hawkeye coach was conducting practice as usual this afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and he said his team has had a good week of workouts following last Friday's loss to Iowa State.
"I think we've gotten a lot done this week,'' McCaffery said during a pre-practice courtside chat with beat reporters.
"In finals week, you have to be somewhat flexible and we've had one or two guys miss or be late because of final exams, but I feel like we've gotten a lot of work done on the court.''
Some coaches will give players two or three extra days off to concentrate on their academics and others schedule individual work throughout much of the week.
McCaffery prefers to maintain a routine.
"Basketball can be a way for guys to break the stress that accompanies finals week, so we try to keep things as normal as possible,'' he said.
Practice times have varied a bit based on when Iowa has the most players available for a team workout on a given day.
Finals week at Iowa ends Friday night and the Hawkeyes will travel in two groups to Des Moines for Saturday's game with Drake because of the exam schedule.
The Iowa women's basketball team is also on the road Saturday and the finals week schedule has altered their travel plans for Saturday's 5 p.m. game at South Dakota State.
Because of late exams for a couple of players, the charter flight that coach Lisa Bluder's team is taking won't depart until after 9 p.m.
The Hawkeyes will fly home following Saturday's game and workout briefly Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye before leaving for their own road game at Drake, which is scheduled for Monday.
Monday, December 13th, 2010
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said on this morning's Big Ten teleconference that injured sophomore Cully Payne is making progress as he works his way back from surgery to repair a sports hernia.
McCaffery said it is too early to know when or even if Payne will return to action this season for the Hawkeyes.
"It's too early to tell, but he's feeling a lot better,'' McCaffery said. "I was a litlte concerned because he had the hernia and the torn oblique. He was in a lot of pain for the first seven, eight days. Subsequent to that, he's feeling good.''
Payne was walking with much more ease at Friday's game against Iowa State than he had been, a sign of the progress he is making.
Payne is now attending practices on a daily basis and interacting with teammates.
McCaffery said the timeframe for Payne's return has not changed from the initial four-to-eight weeks he was given.
"From four to eight weeks, that's a big difference,'' McCaffery said. "We'll see how it goes.''
McCaffery said no determination will be made as to whether Payne would be better suited to use a redshirt year this season until doctors have cleared his return to practice.
"We'll look at it then and make a determination at that time,'' McCaffery said.
Payne has not played since a Nov. 22 game against Long Beach State and underwent surgery on Nov. 30.
Saturday, December 11th, 2010
What transpires on the basketball court this season for Iowa, good and bad, provides the Hawkeyes' new coaching staff with an opportunity to teach.
Iowa lost another game it had a chance to win on Friday when Iowa State earned its 75-72 victory over the Hawkeyes with a strong second-half performance.
Iowa had its chances late, down 70-68 with 1:08 to play after trimming eight points off the Cyclone lead.
Coach Fran McCaffery would like to see his team learn patience when game conditions call for it.
"We were playing like there was 1 minute 30 left when there was 9 minutes and 20 seconds left in the game,'' McCaffery said. "That's a lifetime. It was only a four-possession game. No need to rush. You got to go two by two by two. But we have to go back and get a stop. There was no need to panic.''
Even as Iowa inched closer, McCaffery would have liked to have seen better decisions on the court.
Three turnovers around the 6-minute mark allowed Iowa State to extend its lead to 10 points and another one in the final minute gave ISU a chance to add to a 73-69 lead.
McCaffery said he talked to Devyn Marble about clock management moments after the game, referring to his decision to attempt a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left in a four-point game. Marble was fouled and hit just one of his three free throws.
"We're down 4. We don't need a three there, don't need to jam it to Matt (Gatens). Take the ball to the basket, 14 seconds, you go and lay it in. There's 10. We're down 2, we call a timeout. Now we can steal it, we can foul them, still come down and if they don't make both, we can come down and win it. But, the idea that you feel you need 3 when you're down 4, that's not the case. Understanding that is something we're working on, but we brought him here as a shooting guard, as a small forward and he's playing point guard. He's in at the end, he's got the ball.''
And now, Marble has an opportunity to learn and grow through a tough lesson.
At the end of the day, McCaffery liked what he saw from his Marble and freshman Melsahn Basabe.
"All of our freshmen made some mistakes, but Devyn's got 7 points and 4 rebounds. Melsahn has 12, 14 and 7 (blocks). Pretty good day for those guys.''
Thursday, December 9th, 2010
The intensity will like remain the same, but Iowa expects the pace of Friday's game against Iowa State to be a little quicker than what transpired in the Hawkeyes' win over Northern Iowa on Tuesday.
Coach Fran McCaffery said during a pre-practice courtside chat with reporters this afternoon that the Hawkeyes can expect an entirely different type of game from the Cyclones in Friday's 7:30 p.m. game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"They'll push it and get the ball to the right guys at the right time,'' McCaffery said. "They're a very good team. They seem to play with a purpose. They're strong. They love to push the ball and they run great stuff.''
Iowa will challenge Iowa State with a blend of defenses.
The Hawkeyes seemed to create some confusion for UNI by mixing 2-3 and 3-2 zone looks with 1-2-2 three-quarter court traps and man-to-man as they grinded out a 51-39 victory over the Panthers.
Iowa (5-4) will be the first team to press the Cyclones extensively this season.
Senior Diante Garrett, the only player on the Iowa State roster who has played at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, welcomes that test.
"We work against it in practice a bit, but we haven't seen it to the level we're going to see it from Iowa,'' Garrett said. "It will be good and I think we're built to play against that type of defense.''
Coach Fred Hoiberg expects the Cyclones (7-2) to benefit from both that experience and from playing in front of a hostile crowd.
"It will be good for our young guys to experience the type of atmosphere that we'll experience every night in the Big 12,'' Hoiberg said.
McCaffery said the experience should benefit Iowa as well, but he downplayed the rivalry aspects of the game.
"I understand that the fans get into these games, but for coaches, and for players, the it's important to see it as the next game on the schedule and to go out and maintain and even keel,'' McCaffery said.
"It's another chance to play, to improve and to move forward and that is the approach that we're taking.''
Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
Fran McCaffery doesn't believe his Iowa basketball team settled for playing at Northern Iowa's preferred pace in tonight's win over the Panthers.
Instead, the Hawkeye coach believes Iowa played smart basketball as it pulled away to a 51-39 victory over UNI.
"Everyone talks about our style versus their style,'' McCaffery said. "What ends up happening is that everybody thinks they are letting the air out of the basketball. They're not. They're executing their offense and they are deliberate, but the way they play defense requires us to be deliberate.''
He said to do anything but would only play into the Panthers' hands.
"If we come down and quick shoot the ball, this would be a 15-point loss,'' McCaffery said. "You have to break them down. You have to screen, cut, drive, shot fake, move the ball, spread the floor, space them. If you don't, they're going to lock in on you and you're going to have a really bad day.''
McCaffery said Iowa fans can expect a similiar approach anytime the teams meet.
"The games against them are pretty much going to be like this,'' McCaffery said. "No matter how much you want to run, you could play like Loyola Marymount did in the '90s, they're going to keep it here and you have to be able to play this way. We needed to be able to run some set plays when we needed to. We got some buckets. We tell the kids that every game is going to be different.''
McCaffery refused to label Tuesday's win as a benchmark victory for the program he is developing.
"What we have to do right now is get our team to play better than we played in the last game and get our players to play better than they played in the last game.''