Here’s what IU basketball coach Mike Woodson said to the media following an 86-70 loss to Nebraska in Lincoln on Wednesday evening.
See also: Three keys, highlights, final stats.
What are the big things that you see that you need to do to fix the defense and the offense?
Woodson – Not turn the ball over, that would help. We had 19 turnovers and 27 (points off turnovers). I thought that was the difference in the game. You go out on the road, you gotta play differently than you do at home. You gotta defend, you gotta rebounds, and you can’t turn it over. And I thought tonight, that was the biggest problem. When I look at the stat sheet and the perimeter play, they outplayed our starting two guards, they were awful tonight. And their two guards were really good, one, two and three.
You’ve had 36 turnovers in the last two games. Have you seen this in practice? How do you fix it?
Woodson – Practice has been pretty good. We preach a lot about not turning it over because that’s huge when you’re winning and losing basketball games. Over the last two years we’ve been pretty good in that area, the last two games we’ve exploded the other way in terms of turning the ball over, and that’s just something we somehow gotta fix that, because you can’t beat anybody, especially on the road turning it over 19 times.
What was Nebraska doing to make things difficult to get the ball into the post?
Woodson – A lot of times we were trying to create things that weren’t there. They put two on the ball, and that’s been pretty good for us when teams put two on the ball, we’re able to pull it and get rid of the ball and that pass leads to something good. But tonight we tried to fight the two on the ball and we were throwing it away. We just had some unforced turnovers that were just unacceptable, but we gotta go back and fix that because you’re not gonna beat anybody in the Big Ten doing that.
What went into the decision to let Xavier Johnson play tonight?
Woodson – He’s our senior, he’s our starting point guard. He only played 14 minutes tonight. He’s had a few practices under his belt and we thought he was ready to go, so we played him some and started him tonight.
With a bunch of new players, is it taking longer defensively to get cohesion on the defensive end?
Woodson – You could say that. We’ve had some moments where we’ve been down in games and we’ve made some big-time runs it’s because of our defense. This team is not as good as we were defensively the last two years, and a lot of it is because we do have new faces, but we’ve gotta overcome that. I’ve got to get them over the hump when it comes to defending and rebounding and not turning the ball over, that’s my job to do that, and we failed in that area tonight.
How concerning is it not knowing which team is going to show up?
Woodson – We’ve been competitive off and on. I just gotta get us competitive for 40 minutes. I thought the Michigan game on the road we were solid from the beginning to the end and was able to come out of that building with a win, and that’s how you’re going to have to play on the road in the Big Ten. At home you’ve gotta defend at home when you’ve got games at home. When we’ve got our fan base we seem to play a little bit better, but it’s different on the road, and you’ve gotta do all the things right on the road to win basketball games and we didn’t do that tonight.
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