Highlights from Iowa basketball’s Saturday press conference

Hawkeye head coach Fran McCaffery and three of his players discussed their upcoming matchup with Tennessee on Saturday.

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Highlights from Iowa basketball’s Saturday press conference

Iowa forward Luka Garza answers questions during the Iowa media availability at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Iowa forward Luka Garza answers questions during the Iowa media availability at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Katina Zentz

Iowa forward Luka Garza answers questions during the Iowa media availability at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz

Iowa forward Luka Garza answers questions during the Iowa media availability at Nationwide Arena on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

Pete Ruden, Sports Editor

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Iowa’s Fran McCaffery, Jordan Bohannon, Luka Garza, and Joe Wieskamp took to the podium on Friday to discuss the Hawkeyes’ matchup with Tennessee on March 24 at 11:10 a.m.

Bohannon on what makes Tennessee unique

“They definitely have a lot of NBA players potentially on their team. That’s definitely unique within its own right. And playing an SEC team, I don’t think we’ve played an SEC team yet since we’ve been here. So we’ve just got to — they know it’s a tough conference to play in just as well as the Big Ten. They’ve been battling all year around as well as we have. We know it’s going to be a physical game. They play a physical kind of basketball like we do.”

Garza on facing a physical Volunteer squad

“I think I’m a player who just kind of sees what the defense is giving me. When they’re really aggressive on my post-ups, I tend to go a little bit more outside, try to open it up. I’m going to do my best to try to create some space on the floor for other guys to drive and different stuff like that. So I’m just going to take what the defense gives me, and I think that’s what our whole offense does, everybody, they just take what the defense gives us.”

Bohannon on Tennessee’s 3-point defense, which has given up 15 3s in each of its last two games

“Yeah, obviously I love shooting 3s. Every time I step on the floor, I’m trying to shoot as much as I can. So, I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully I can get a lot of 3s off. And Joe is looking forward to it as well, and Luka is, too. That’s the beauty of our team.”

McCaffery on dual-sport athletes

“A lot of high school coaches just won’t allow it anymore. And when we came to Iowa we met with the folks at Iowa City West High School to make sure the coaches were willing to work together because we felt that this was something that [Connor McCaffery] would want to do. And it’s a place where they welcome that. And we appreciated that. And I honestly think it helps you tremendously to continuously be competing from one sport to the other. There’s nothing like having to get in that batter’s box and have to hit something coming 95 miles an hour. And I think by the same token, Connor’s got to hit a big 3 yesterday and make an inbounds play to Luka Garza at the exact time for him to hit a 3; you’re competing under pressure. I think it develops you in so many different ways. So I encourage it. I like two-sport athletes because you know what you’re getting is a competitor.”

Wieskamp on playing Tennessee with a Sweet 16 berth on the line

“They’re obviously a very strong team, were ranked No. 1 in the country at one point. This is what you sign up for when you sign up to play Division I basketball. This is the type of team you want to play. We’re excited for the test.”

McCaffery on getting into a shootout with an efficient Tennessee offense

“We’re typically very comfortable getting into a shootout. Obviously, as any game goes on, adjustments are required. If you feel like you’re losing a shootout at some point, I think you might have to slow it down. I think you have to be smart enough to recognize, all right, let’s work the ball a little bit more. Let’s maybe try to shoot a few less 3s and go inside a little bit more. Let’s put it on the deck and see if we can get to the free-throw line a little bit more.”

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