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January 30, 2018

Fran McCaffery

Iowa City, Iowa

Minnesota - 80, Iowa - 94

Q. Six guys in double figures, that's got to make you happy?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, and 22 assists on 33 baskets I thought Cordell, in light of the fact that TC and Luka were both in foul trouble, was spectacular. Baer was good, but he kept getting tired. I thought Jack Nunge -- we keep talking about him and how he keeps getting better, and keeps grinding -- he was terrific tonight. It was great to see Isaiah Moss be aggressive, we're a different team when he plays that way.

Q. You played a near-perfect second half, what did you think of the activity in the zone?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I thought our activity in the zone was good. We gave up some offensive rebounds which is obviously not what you want. But Murphy's pretty good in going to get it. He's as good a rebounder as there is in the country. They go off the dribble. Quick team. But I thought we ran, we executed some set plays, we executed our motion, we moved it, and I thought our shot selection was pretty good. We got hung up at the end of the shot clock a few times, but when we did miss it a couple and they made it and cut it to four, we went back and got a few. That's what you've got to do. If you're missing shots in the stretch and they're going to make a run, you have to go back and get it and extend the lead, that's what we did.

Q. Is there something about Jordan's makeup? It seems like the threes he hits are always big threes.
FRAN McCAFFERY: He's always done that. For him, he has supreme confidence in his ability to make that shot. So sort of the situation is sort of irrelevant to him, and that's what you want. He knows I have the confidence in him to just -- he can pull whenever he wants. Like in the first half we're up 5-1, and he pulls on the break, 1-on-4, I don't have a problem with that.

Q. How important was it before Tyler had good success early against Murphy, and then I thought Cordell really kept that pressure on him.
FRAN McCAFFERY: He did. They're different players. So if you're Murphy, you're trying too, okay, I'm guarding Cook. He's going to do this, this, and this. And Cordell does other things. But they're both equally gifted at swarming the ball. He also had three fouls, so that's why we were going at him.

Q. Are you more comfortable with Dailey at point and Jordan playing the off guard? Seems like you're doing that more.
FRAN McCAFFERY: I'm comfortable, yes. But what I tried to do tonight was get Daly some minutes at the two-guard position so he can go score the ball a little bit more. When I put him at the point, he was too interested in being solid. I said, "You stopped who you are. You can drive, you can shoot, you've got a great three-point stroke, you can make plays for other people. That's what you need to do."

Same thing happened with Brady when I put Brady at the point earlier in the year. He stopped doing what Brady does, and that's why I moved him back to the two. So I'm trying to get him some minutes at the two so he gets more comfortable as a scorer and gets more involved and then I can play him at the one.

Q. With Moss and Dailey, when they're playing at a high level, your offense looks so much different because it's just spacing different motions and of course they're making shots?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, when Isaiah's cooking, he's making threes. He has a pull-up game, he can get to the rim. I thought when he curled the one time and pitched it to the rim, TC dumped it. I thought that's kind of how we want to play and kind of how we want to use him. So I thought for him in particular, he gets his second foul, little bit of frustration, sat for a long time. The way he came back in the second half and played so well, I thought that was really important for him and also for our team.

Q. What did you tell him?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I said what are you doing? And he said, oh, you know. He didn't really have much of an answer. I said, all right, well, it's behind you. Let's get ready for the second half. I was thinking about putting him back in a little bit, and I've been doing that a little bit more, putting guys in with two in the first half than I typically do, but I left him there.

Q. What about getting to 400 as a coach?
FRAN McCAFFERY: All it does for me is remind me of the great players I've coached, the great athletic directors I've had. I've been pretty fortunate to work for some very special people. I've had some really good players. You don't get 400 wins being a great coach. You get 400 wins when you have great player who's are committed to one another, committed to being great, put the time in in the off-season and have the kind of character that you want.

So I've been blessed, because literally whether I've been at Lehigh, UNCG, Siena or Iowa, I've loved going to work every day because I've had great people. I've never had issues and knuckleheads that just make it difficult. Nothing but distractions. We grind and we get better. If we lose, we go back to work. If we win, we go back to work, and that's kind of how we've always done it.

I always find it interesting to say Fran McCaffrey has 400 wins. I don't have any wins. Iowa has a bunch of wins. Siena has a bunch of wins. Our team won a lot of games. I think the important thing is our players received credit for that.

Q. You talked a lot about being connected. Sure looked connected out there today. Was there any one thing that made you guys that way?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, we definitely were and have connected on offense. We scored 94 and we shared it. We were better defensively, but I think we need to be even better than we were tonight. We got a little bit out of the press. We got a little bit out of the zone. Our man was really good early.

Sometimes you get a little foul trouble. You want to go zone and get out of the man. Our ball screen defense was a little bit better. But there are still some areas that need improvement so that we can be better connected. But you're right, we were better than we've been.

Q. What have you seen out of Jordan the last four or five games to go to even a higher level than he was playing earlier?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, early in the season, he was a little banged up, and I wasn't riding him as much as I'm riding him now. He played 40 on Saturday. He played 38 tonight. I think most of the time guys prefer that. That's not easy. So I've been really careful with him in practice how we use him. So I just think he's playing at a high level, he's healthy, and he's feeling good about himself. He knows I believe in him and I keep playing him. So I'm not surprised.

Q. You made 12 3-pointers today, what happened tonight to spark it?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Isaiah's a really good 3-point shooter. He made a couple, that's important. Jack's a really good 3-point shooter. He made a couple, that's what we envisioned with this team. Nicholas Baer is a good 3-point shooter, he's not made as many. But he made a couple. So that's good. You're right. It can't just be J-Bo and then pound it inside, because then we become easier to guard. So we're mixing our threes and our post-ups because we've got multiple guys that can post up, and Luka can also make the perimeter shot. So I think we've got enough weapons.

Q. What can you see for seven games and beyond that?
FRAN McCAFFERY: All I'm thinking about, all I really see, okay, we were better tonight than we were on Saturday. That's obvious, all right. So that means we had some maturity. Get back on the plane and go to work on Sunday, go to work on Monday. I thought we had some maturity. Now we have to play a team who beat us already, who is playing well, is really talented, and really tough to play in their place. Let's see if we can do that on the road. That would be a big step for us to play better than we've been playing before on the road against a really good team. Then dissect that game, and then move forward from there.

So you're trying to get better collectively, but you're trying to get individuals better. So if you look at our individual performances tonight, a lot of guys stepped up and were good and were better than they've been. That's where we need to go for these next seven games.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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