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November 20, 2018

Brad Underwood

Aaron Jordan

Alan Griffin

Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

Iowa State - 84, Illinois - 68

MEGAN GODFREY: Take questions for the players.

Q. Alan, do you want to break down what happened between first half and second half and how things fell apart?
ALAN GRIFFIN: First half, felt like we all executed. Second half they came out a little more aggressive, we let the game get away from us.

AARON JORDAN: We didn't do what we had to do, we didn't stick to our principles and how we know we can play, we got to transfer that going down the road.

Q. Aaron, what makes Talen Horton-Tucker difficult to deal with? He went off in the second half?
AARON JORDAN: I would say just play good as a whole. We didn't play so well, we didn't stick to our defensive principles, deny on the wing, it's a team effort guarding anybody it doesn't matter whose name is on front of the jersey, whose name is on the back of the jersey, it's a team effort.

Q. Alan, last couple nights you have gone off a little bit and had some nice moments. Just what have these last two games been like for you, what are you seeing and how have you been kind of feeling?
ALAN GRIFFIN: I felt good, my teammates got me going and I knew I had to stay ready to come bring some fire power off the bench and play my role.

MEGAN GODFREY: Coach, your thoughts?

BRAD UNDERWOOD: Well I felt great at half. I thought we were, we withstood foul trouble, I thought we came out extremely flat and lacked some energy, but we withstood it. I felt good. Giorgi was never a factor in the game. And then it was a trend in the second half. We come out of the locker room very poorly and I think we pounded every nail into the new floor here in the Maui Civic Center. We just quit moving the ball and then it became not about doing our system and what we do, it became everybody breaking everything off and then at the defensive end give Talen a ton of credit, give Iowa State a lot of credit. The guy I feared the most hurt us, probably as much as anybody, and that was Jacobson. Those two guys were exceptional tonight.

Q. How can you take what you've learned these first two games in Maui to improve the team for tomorrow for the season?
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Yeah, I just think that, you know, when you're playing four freshmen a lot and you're putting Adonis who hasn't been in our system, you're putting him into play, I think every experience is a new experience. I mean it's maybe not the character I want to see today and yet we have got to be able to learn from it and understand that, yeah, last night was an emotional high and then it was an emotional low and you have to find that median. Quick turn around, most of the time that doesn't happen, I mean we were back here in, I don't know what time we got to bed, midnight? So you're back in the gym in eight hours and with just a little film work. But they had, they didn't have that much difference either. But again, I thought we did, we did enough of the right things the first half to just not carry over the second half, we got to get that figured out.

Q. I think most people will sit there and go what if with Talen. Obviously you guys battled Iowa State at the end there and there's history with your staff and Iowa and them, what did you see from him tonight? Seemed like he had a chip on his shoulder.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Well he's really good. I mean let's give the young man credit. He's a guy that is going to have every opportunity to be Freshman of the Year in that league, he's a guy that 240 pounds, now he might be a mini version of Zion Williamson in terms of not six eight and 280, but six three or four and 240 and he's physical, he's great with the ball, he gives them an exceptional presence offensively because he can relieve pressure from a ball handling standpoint and he's physically strong enough to go battle on the glass and do those things. But he was terrific tonight, knew he would be, again, that's going to be an exciting team as they move forward.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the 7th place game tomorrow that's a heck of a 7th place game against Xavier?
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Yeah, Xavier was a 1 seed last year. A 1 seed. And they have got guys back from that team. I haven't seen a lot of them yet, but that's a team, and most importantly it's a program that has such a long history of success and there's pride, it will be a heck of a game and you've got to throw character and attitude and all of that stuff into a game to find out who is going to show up. We knew when you get in this field that there's going to be three really, really hard games and now we get a 1 seed in last year's NCAA tournament in the 7th place game. And as I've said all along, it's a great opportunity and we're going to rally and do everything we can to play our best.

Q. How is Alan taking advantage of his opportunity?
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Yeah, he's been great. Alan spends a lot of time in the gym. Alan work, he's dedicated, he's, for him it's still trying to figure out the defensive end, he wants to be aggressive, he's got a habit we have got to get him out of. Every time he reaches he gets beat off the dribble and getting him out of that. But he goes to the boards, he's offensively very gifted, he's going to be a young man that's going to have a great, great career. He's going to score a lot of points because he's an elite sure and we have got to continue to find opportunities for him.

Q. Kipper always seems like the X factor. Just where is his mind at right now and what are you trying to get out of him?
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Well we got to get him going, there's no doubt we got to get Kipper going. He's had two really hard matchups defensively, he's played in foul trouble. But two baskets in two nights is something that we can't have. I'm sure his confidence is shaken a little bit, he's not seeing the ball go in. We tried to get him going early and having him shoot technical fouls and things like that early. And there's a kid who was a 90 percent free throw shooter last year and he's shooting 50 percent. We need him. He's got versatility and -- I don't worry about him. I do think that he's going to have one of those nights, he's going to have a breakthrough night. And like we say, you got to flip the switch, you can't worry about it and yet our team needs him to be good.

Q. You mentioned Adonis adapting to the system. It seems like his role and Da'Monte as well, they're both getting a more concrete role for things that they do for the team.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Yeah and I think that will continue. Adonis is still playing himself into shape. The one thing we can't have when we put AD in the game is we can't wait on him all the time. You have to be able to go. And again you're talking a young man coming off an ACL, but his shear size and his ability to rebound the basketball and do some things and score are needed and we have got to get him where he's 20 plus minutes a game and playing at the pace we want to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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