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SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Below is a transcript from Iowa State’s postgame press conference after a 93-75 victory over N.C. Central in Friday’s NCAA Tournament opener. Check out Cyclone Fanatic later for more coverage of the win and Georges Niang’s broken foot.
COACH HOIBERG: Well, it sounds like it’s out there, but just to start off with this, and I know it will be the first question. But Georges has a non‑displaced Jones fracture in his foot. He’ll be out, obviously, the rest of this tournament. We’ll miss him.
But at the same time, I believe in these guys. I believe in the five guys we’ll put on the floor. I’ll believe in the bench guys that will come in and play significant minutes. We got a heck of a task in front of us here competing against an extremely athletic team that does an incredible job on the glass. Watching their little dunk show after practice the other day was pretty impressive, especially compared to ours. We’ve they’ve got three guys that can dunk, and they’ve got all 15 of them. It was a pretty impressive show. You three are the guys. We’ll put a game plan together tonight and get ready to play this game.
But I believe in these guys. I know we’ll come out and compete on Sunday. Is it going to be good enough? Who knows? But we’ll definitely be ready to give our best effort against North Carolina on Sunday.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for student‑athletes?
Q. DeAndre, can you just address Georges being out for the rest of the tournament and what that’s going to mean to you guys?
DeANDRE KANE: You know, that’s a big loss for us. You know, Georges is one of our main guys out there. He’s our leader. When things ain’t going right out there we always know we can count on Georges to make a play for us. Like Coach said, we’ve got a lot of guys that have been itching to get on the court and we have guys that want to play. I feel like we’ll have a team meeting and guys will be ready to play.
Q. Melvin, did you guys just feel like you were able to overwhelm them eventually with the balance you guys have across the lineup?
MELVIN EJIM: Yeah, I think we were able to exploit them. We were able to get up and down and really follow our game plan. We knocked down shots which helped us be able to run a little bit in transition.
I think they’re a great team. They have their type of basketball, their style, and they’re able to slow it down and mark it up for a while. In the beginning we were able to keep on attacking and keep on, you know, being aggressive until we had an opportunity to take the lead and run with it.
Q. DeAndre, what was the difference in the second half? Coach Moton said you guys were probably the best offensive team in the country. But what changed for you guys in the second half?
DeANDRE KANE: Oh, just us getting stops and rebounding the ball and getting out in transition. Those guys are a good team, especially when you let them sit back in that zone. So for us we wanted to get rebounds, get stops and go in transition and open the lead up that way. I think we did that and opened up 12 or 13 points. Georges hit two huge threes, dustin and Melvin hit huge threes. So for us, that’s what we want to do. Get the ball off the glass and run in transition.
Q. Fred, do you have any idea when Georges got hurt? Did you see it happen?
COACH HOIBERG: Yeah, it was a play he got switched off on Ingram on a flair screen. We broke him down. It was actually the play Dustin drew the charge. I’m not sure who stepped on his foot, if it was Ingram or Dustin, but that’s the play that it happened.
Q. Coach, just talk about the range of emotions here. You get a great win over a good team, and here you are dealing with this. What’s been going through your mind and your team’s mind here?
COACH HOIBERG: There is a lot going through my mind right now. I feel we’re playing as well as anybody in the nation right now. After what we did in the Big 12 tournament to beat three excellent teams that are all playing in this field. With Kansas State, Kansas and Baylor. Then we knocked off a very, very good team. Count me as a big fan of LeVelle. He does an unbelievable job with these kids, with what he runs, with controlling tempo and pace. We were very worried about this game.
You know, just to go out and do what we did in the second half. The way we shared the ball. That thing was flying around. Had 21 assists on our 35 field goals, only nine turnovers, and I thought our spacing was excellent.
But, again, you’ve got to look ahead. You can’t sit here and cry about it. Hopefully we’ve got a lot of basketball left to play, and we’re going to have to play some different lineups. We’ll have to play big. We’ll have to play small, but we’ll determine all of that here in the next couple days.