ASAP Sports Logo


February 6, 2018

Fran McCaffery

Iowa City, Iowa

Michigan State - 96, Iowa - 93

Q. Overall you look at Jordan's performance with the illness he had to fight through, pretty gallant.
FRAN McCAFFERY: I don't know if there's anyone in this room that was surprised. Were you?

I mean, I really felt like he was better on Sunday, then he threw up all day yesterday, all day, and he didn't come around. Showed up at shootaround. Ate a little bit, didn't eat much.

I was trying to get him some rest. He's one tough dude. Not surprised he played the way he played.

Q. What were you looking to get on the last two possessions, Jordan had the shot blocked...
FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, we ran a set for him. There's other options. I think he was trying to create some space to get a shot up. Obviously it didn't work out. Then he was trying to draw a foul.

We ran a set OB for Isaiah. If you remember, he kind of ran into the ball, kind of a goofy play. That was unfortunate. By the time we got organized, it was like five, four. I thought he was just going to pull up, because by the time he sort of gathered himself, there wasn't even time to call timeout.

It was just an unfortunate play for him and for us.

Q. How hard was this for the guys, to come that close, work that hard?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Really hard because I think they really fought. I mean, I'm really proud of the fight. I thought the effort consistently was there. I felt, for the most part, the effort is usually there, but it's execution. We only turned it over eight times against a really good defensive team. 26 assists. We got into the double bonus early in the second half. In the first half I thought we didn't drive it enough. We moved it, we ran, but we didn't mix it.

I thought TC was really good. We tried to change some defenses a little bit because they're a hard team to guard. I mean, they run good stuff. They get you spread out. They put five scorers out there. They made some big shots.

Q. Tyler was able to get those guys in foul trouble, too.
FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, he's got the ability to do that. He's quick, he's powerful. He was running. I thought his activity level was really good. He's a handful in those situations.

Q. Not to take anything away from your team, but were you surprised how poorly Michigan State played defensively?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I'm not really looking at that. We're trying to score. We ran good stuff. We moved the ball. We were open. We ran when we got stops and scored.

To me, they played the way they always play.

Q. What about Maishe Dailey being able to hit some of those shots?
FRAN McCAFFERY: He was really good in both halves. He hit a couple big threes in the second half. That's what you remember. But he hit one in the first half.

I thought he handled the ball, he was able to give Jordan some rest there a little bit. I thought his activity level in defense on the glass was really good. I think he's gaining confidence.

Q. When is Moss at his best? Seems like we saw some of that in the second half.
FRAN McCAFFERY: When he's aggressive. If he's aggressive, moving without it, curl cuts, back cuts, in transition, looking for his shot. That's when he's at his best. That's what he was doing today.

Q. You put Moss back in the game with two fouls, you normally don't do that. How did you come to that decision?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I think because it happened so quickly. He got two, I took him out. I did put him back in, which as you know I always do. But I felt like he was ready. Made a nice play to start the half. I said, I'm just going to leave him. You just go.

He made eight more points. I think that was important for him.

Q. When you have a young team, seemed like they fed off the crowd tonight. Did you notice that?
FRAN McCAFFERY: The crowd was fabulous. You never know when it's snowing or snow is expected, the game is on ESPN, it's the late game, what is the crowd going to look like.

But our fans were amazing. They were phenomenal tonight. One stretch where I kind of rode that one unit for a while. We were going pretty quick, so that's hard, to get stops, run-outs. You got to move. They're on you. They're physical. They fouled a lot, but they're physical. That wears you down over time.

But I thought Cordell was great. Really proud of him tonight.

Q. One of your incoming recruits today set the class 4A record for points. What does that say about him?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I've watched Joe since he was in fifth grade. I've just watched him grow up. Really an amazing, amazing player. A lot of times when you think about guys, all-time state scoring record, that's a lot of points. He's hunting baskets. He's a volume shooter.

He is one of the most efficient guys you'll ever see. I never saw a guy get 30 on 12 shots. He does it all summer. He does it in the spring. Shoots a high percentage. I mean, the other night he made eight threes in the game I went to. He went for 54. Never hits the rim. It was a swish. Then he drives it, moves it. Really, really an incredibly efficient player.

I'm thrilled for him. He's a terrific young man, great family. Worked really hard. Has been a great sort of representative for that town. I went to the game the other night. There was a huge crowd in Muscatine. He's beloved. He always gives credit to his teammates. Impressive.

Q. You lost three games, two and one, but three good games. What does it take to break through and start doing that away from home?
FRAN McCAFFERY: You know what, it's really not that complicated. I thought our ball movement, our defense, our transition, our rebounding. We didn't turn it over. All those things combined, we're better tonight. Weren't good enough. Gave up 96. But that's a really good offensive unit, like I said. I thought we shared it. That's kind of the way we're capable of playing, I think.

Q. Is this a positive for the team?
FRAN McCAFFERY: It's definitely a positive. It's a step being an example of what we're capable of doing. We put ourselves in a position to win.

I'm down on myself that we didn't call the right plays down the stretch. We had a couple opportunities that we thought were going to work. We had success up until that point. Missed a couple shots. They capitalized. Got to give them credit. They made baskets.

The three that bounced around a little bit, that's always a tough one, when you have one of those, especially when it's not by one of the big scorers. That kid is a good player, he raised up and shot it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
  1. Recent Interviews
  2. FastScripts Archive
  3. Upcoming Events
  4. About ASAP Sports
  5. Contact us