The Northern Iowa Panthers rolled into Ames and beat the Iowa State men’s basketball 63-60 on Wednesday night. Cyclone head coach Greg McDermott met with members of the media after the game. Here’s the Q&A portion of the presser.
How big of a role was Scott going to play on that final play?
GM: He and Lucca are our two best shooters so it is unfortunate that we didn’t catch it on the time out. The rule is the rule. He has to come out. I tried to buy as much time as I could. They defended it well. They switched everything. The best we had was Craig there. We had opportunities down deep, late in the game. We ran a play to Craig who got a layup on the other side, it popped out. They made their free throws. We missed one of ours. That’s what games like these come down to. You have to execute those plays when you have opportunities to. To Northern Iowa’s credit, Ali hit a big shot at a critical time that really was the difference in the game.
How is Jamie (Vanderbeeken)?
GM: I think that he banged knees but he couldn’t come back. Obviously, that hurt our game plan as well. He is the guy who can stretch the defense and shoot the basketball and keep that double team away from Craig. We had a hard time getting him the basketball in the second half without Jamie out there, for that reason.
Does Craig need the ball more in your eyes?
GM: Coach Jacobson wasn’t born last night. He knows how important Craig is to our team and they committed two, sometimes three players to Craig. When we got it out of there and we got the ball moving, we got a pretty good opportunity. I thought that we missed him some. And then there were times where Craig could work a little harder to get it. We are asking so much of Craig. It is tough to ask him to do more than he is doing. He is working hard and he is trying to get the basketball down there. We were a little flat on offense, much like we were on Saturday night and unfortunately, much like we were in practice the last few days.
What happened with Dendy’s shot towards the end of the game?
GM: That’s my fault. I have got to get a timeout before Diante can ever let go of that pass. Again, it’s learning how to win and understanding time and score. Your point guards need to understand it. Your front line guys need to understand it. I probably trust them a little too much right now.
Dendy or Diante?
GM: Both. Diante threw it to him. We had a lead there. But that’s on me. I’ve got to take a timeout. I’ve got to take control of it. Until we get better at understanding what it takes to win games, I am going to have to take a little bit more control I guess.
Can you talk about going on the road now? It doesn’t get any easier from here.
GM: We knew this was going to be a tough week with two teams that were picked to win their league. I’m disappointed that we lost at home. Our fans were fantastic. They tried to jump-start us several times. We just couldn’t sustain it when we had opportunities to do so. It might be good for us to get away a little and spend some time and really reflect on what has transpired here over the last four days. We have got to do some things different than what we have been doing. We have to be more consistent in the way that we do things. That falls on our coaching staff to make that happen.
L.A. Pomlee’s status?
GM: He is just suspended for a violation of team rules. Indefinite as of right now.