The Big Ten's annual media day was held this year on October 15th and all the Big Ten coaches and selected players were able to give their thoughts on the upcoming season and their respective teams. It's a very exciting event and signals the official start to the college basketball season.
BTPowerhouse will be posting the various transcripts of each coach's statements to the press. Including below is the transcript from Iowa's Fran McCaffery.
Fran McCaffery On Big Ten Media Day
COACH McCAFFERY: I think this is one of the most unique teams I've had in in all my years in coaching in the sense that we have four starters back. Can almost count Clemmons as a fifth starter. And after that, everybody's young, with the exception of Dom Uhl. He's the only one who played; everybody else is a guy who sat out last year, freshman or in transfer didn't play last year. so It will be a real challenge to get those young guys ready because I think, you know, in this league, five guys isn't enough; you need at least 10.
I think they'll be ready. It's an exciting time to try to get them ready. We've got talent. We've got character. looking forward to it.
Q. Coach, what do you need to see out of your center, Adam Woodbury, in order for this team to be competitive with the tough front courts in the Big Ten?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, I think that's a great question because his role will change. We basically had he and Gabe splitting time. Both had completely different styles. I think Adam is in the best shape of his life. He's worked incredibly hard this summer. Physically, he's in a really good place. And his minutes per game are going to go up from probably in the 20-22 range to 34, maybe.
So with that, we'll be an adjustment for him. He's always been a physical guy. It wasn't as much of an issue when you're playing 20 minutes. It is when you're playing 34, 35 minutes. You know, you've got to just move your feet, stay out of foul trouble, and rebound, and be a leader on the floor, which he's always been.
Q. Coach, is there a clearly defined leader on the team right now? And what are you focused on in the next two weeks?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think when you have four seniors, all of whom have played as much as these four guys have, it's kind of a collective effort. Last year was Aaron White's team, no question about that, even with Gabe and Josh.
This year, it's a little bit different because Mike's the point guard. Woody's a little more verbal. Jarrod has really, I think, taken his game to the next level. But he's not a big verbal guys. Clemmons is, and he's rock solid and has tremendous respect of everything in the locker room. So I think all of them will contribute in that area.
Over the next couple weeks, we're putting a lot of stuff in every day. And the interesting thing is going to remain to be seen, how these young guys start picking things up because they'll be the guys that kind of step to the forefront.
Q. Coach, it's looking like, with the combination of newcomers and returning, that you're going to have kind of similar in terms of that, and the team two years ago. And with that, combined with the fact the shot clock changes, do you feel like you might press a little bit more and maybe try to get up and down a bit little more?
COACH McCAFFERY: I think that would be a logical assumption. We probably will try to press a little bit more, but we press a fair amount anyway.
In terms of playing fast and shooting it early to the clock, we're trying to do that anyway. Typically, if we don't, it's because somebody is trying to stop us from doing that. So I don't see the shot clock issue affecting our team that much.
Where it may affect it is, do other teams press more? Do other teams try to make everybody use half the shot clock so you only have 15 seconds or 12 seconds to go side to side and move the ball, and does it force teams to run more set plays, for example, because you only have 12 seconds left, better run a quick hit, things like that. So it remains to be seen how it will be collectively changed. But in terms of our approach, we're not going to change anything.
Q. Young team, pass-through, returning starters, do you see having an immediate impact of this freshman class you have coming in?
COACH McCAFFERY: To answer that question, it probably changes day-to-day. You know, at the end of a couple days ago, I would have said, you know, Andrew Fleming, Ahmad Wagner, and then the next day I would have said Dale Jones, Isaiah Moss. You know, the two guys that everybody forgets are Nicholas Baer and Brady Ellingson. Brady was injured last year. Nicholas is a walk-on that nobody pays attention to, but he's really good. So there's days when he's been a dominant player and there's days when he's not been. And I think that's the issue that I'm going through right now. There's not been the consistency from those guys. And we have to be careful because I don't know that you can expect it. You know, they've only had five or six practices. There's a lot of information thrown at them.
But my experience over the years has been, over time -- and we don't have a lot of time -- but over the next two, three weeks, it will separate and you'll find out which of the three or four guys I think will really establish themselves. But I think I will say Dom Uhl has been what I had hoped he would be as a sophomore who played some last year. He's elevated his game and he'll be right in the mix.
Read all of BTPowerhouse's preview coverage for the 2015-16 Big Ten season here.