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January 12, 2017

Fran McCaffery

Iowa City, Iowa

Purdue - 78, Iowa - 83

Q. How big is this? How big is it for them to answer with that, and not only that, come out with the W?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, the thing I always say is when you go through what we went through down there, you have to learn from it. You can't dwell on it. We got pounded on the glass. Our defense wasn't very good. Our execution offensively wasn't very good. Well, the reason it wasn't very good is because of who we were playing and how they were playing us.

Sometimes you just have to learn what playing on the road in the Big Ten is like, especially a team of that caliber. And then you go back to work, and you grow, and you figure it out. You know, to come back and out rebound them, to get 40 points in the paint for us, you can't turn the ball over 19 times and beat Purdue. You know, ten is about where you have to be.

Jordan, 9 and 1, Pete eight assists. We have to distribute the offense. We can't just ride Pete. Sure, Pete had 29, but we mix it up with our post scorers and obviously with Jordan Bohannon, and Ryan Kriener was waiting for a chance, and he's earned that chance and I couldn't be prouder of him.

Q. You outscored them by 20 in the paint. Is that more offense, defense or both?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Probably more of an emphasis on driving the ball, turning the corner, throwing it in, utilizing Cordell and Tyler, and Ahmad Wagner, Ryan Kriener, and get it in there, and play from there. Don't just play from the perimeter all the time and rely on jump shooting.

Q. You showed real toughness tonight. You're down 9 at the half, but things were flowing for you pretty well offensively. It just got away a little bit with the three pointers. Not necessarily that anything changed, but what happened in the second half to kind of continue to play the way you were?
FRAN McCAFFERY: We changed defense a little more in the second half. That was very helpful. But I thought sometimes you think you're where you're supposed to be. Like we were closing out hard. We were closing out short. You have to close out into the space of their three-point shooters or they're going to pull-up. And they've got multiple three-point shooters, and we did a better job.

Obviously we played man, we played zone, various zones, pressed a little bit. We couldn't get into the press in the first half because we didn't make a free throw the whole first half. So we never got into it. So a little bit of that, and that disrupted their rhythm a little bit, and that's what you have to do.

I mean, they execute their plays as well as anybody I've ever coached against, and I've been coaching against Matt since 2010 when I was at Siena, and he's got really good stuff to go in for drivers, for shooters, and you can't go over everything. He just counters everything, you just have to follow your rules and compete, and that's what we did.

Q. Almost looked like a veteran second half for your guys the way they played?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Well, they certainly played like a veteran group in the second half. Because the thing you have to do when you look at Purdue, is be respectful of the fact that they had a number of opportunities to pack it in, and they didn't do that. They kept coming back and taking the lead. They had to give up the lead, but then they took it back, and they took it back again. They kept making shots and they kept making baskets, and we go the stops at the very end.

But that's what good teams do. They make you play this way to win. And that's what makes it a good feeling for me because I just want those guys to experience what that's like. That's what you work for, that's what you prepare for to be in a game like that and band together and do what's necessary to win.

Q. Jok didn't have the greatest game over there last time. Obviously he played so much better this time. Anything you saw that indicated this was coming?
FRAN McCAFFERY: I thought he was really special tonight, and we've seen him be special, but a lot of times it's with his jumpshot. He had eight assists and six rebounds tonight. We've seen him with his jumpshot and rebounding, but the way he's making plays and the way he's screening for people. He just gets everything fits, and he's making it easier for everybody else, which is what you want your senior captain to do.

Q. Did Moss kind of get dinged up a little bit?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, he got hit behind. So the doctors were looking at him, and that's why he wasn't even out on the bench at the start of the second half. He said he's ready to go. I put him in and I thought maybe he was. I just didn't feel comfortable with that, so I just took him out.

Q. How big was Baer's defensive rebounding down the stretch?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Just incredible. First half too. He had a couple plays in the first half when they were really on a roll a little bit to block. I mean, he seems to be everywhere, so if you're in zone, he seems to cover like three guys, and that is good for everybody else.

Q. Kriener and Williams come off the bench, make big plays at different times?
FRAN McCAFFERY: So happy for Christian, because he had made those same plays and then it rolled out on him and hit the back of the rim and would come out. So he makes two big Hoops, and Kriener, I mean, terrific post move, jumper. I mean, one of the things I love about him, he's never afraid to shoot the ball. If he's open, he shoots it. If he's covered, he passes it. He doesn't fight the game. The game comes easy to him. He makes the plays that are in front of him. And that's not easy for a freshman sometimes.

Q. Did Dom hurt his thumb?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, he whacked his thumb on that dunk attempt. I don't think it's broken though. I haven't been told it's broken.

Q. Cordell hurt his back. How is he doing?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Yeah, I think that happened in the first half. But, you know, he played at the end. He'll be fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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