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Kansas City, Mo. — After what was a thrilling quarterfinal in the Big 12 Tournament, Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg was visibly exhaused after his team’s 91-85 win over Kansas State. Along with other reporters, CycloneFanatic.com caught up with Iowa State’s head coach in the locker room. Read everything that Hoiberg had to say in this Q&A.
Q: What does it say about you guys that when DeAndre goes out for the final three minutes, you find a way to win?
FH:We had some guys step up and make some huge plays for us. DeAndre and Georges both picked up four. We talked back and forth at the time out if we were going to put DeAndre back in. We decided to go with the gamble. We thought that we needed DeAndre or Georges in there to finish out the game. That’s how it worked out. DeAndre made some really good plays I thought to keep us in it. Then Georges came in and like he has done so many times this year, made big plays down the stretch for us. It was a great win. A guy I thought was unbelievable was Dustin Hogue. He just went out there and made play after play. He is a guy who doesn’t get the credit that he deserves. He’s been making big rebounding and defensive plays for us all year but I thought he made some big offensive plays as well. Monte Morris had 10 assists and one turnover. As a freshman to come in here in his first Big 12 Tournament game, shows you the poise that he plays with.
Q: How big was the strip that Dustin had there at the end that potentially could have tied it for them?
FH:Yeah. That was big. I thought that our hands were very active all game. We didn’t do a great job of getting stops. We almost had to turn them over otherwise they were going to make the shot. For him to make that one and a couple of other guys stepped up there and got their hands on the ball. I thought Monte had very active hands. He caused some turnovers that got us some baskets. Everyone who went in there contributed today and it was a true team effort.
Q: How much gas do you guys have left in the tank after that?
FH: Well DeAndre got an extra four minutes of rest today so that was good. Georges got some good rest out there. Melvin and Dustin can play all day. Naz, Matt and Monte are guys I am confident in. Other guys are going to have to be ready. Daniel is going to have to be ready and he will maybe play a little bit more depending on who we play and if we need a big body out there. Sherron has to keep himself prepared to go out there. We are confident with who we through out but again, some guys played fewer minutes today than they normally do. We just have to get rest, get some fluids. It’s good that we play a later game tomorrow.
Q: Is there a part of you that can step back and appreciate the kind of game that was and the atmosphere?
FH:It was a great game. It’s awesome for the fans when you have two of the top three fan bases here right now in that early session. I feel like we played a very exciting game of basketball. It was a very fun game.
Q: How do you approach tomorrow night? Is there a preference? You played four overtimes against one team and close games against the other, the 1-seed.
FH:Whoever we play is going to be a very tough team that is going to give us a great game. We just have to have confidence. We just played Oklahoma State a week ago. Kansas is a team that we have played twice. We know everybody. They know us. Everybody has scouted the same at this time of the year. Whoever we play, I anticipate a great game tomorrow night.
Q: What was the difference in the final two minutes for you guys?
FH: I’ll say this: When Foster’s ball stuck in the back of the rim and had a little English backspin on it, I thought this might not be our day. Then again, we decided to give Georges the ball. He made plays. Not only did he make the nice post-up move on the counter action but the next time he drove and got an and-one play. Then we got those stops down the stretch that we desperately needed. Again, we made the plays the first time down the stretch we played. They made them the second time. Today, we were fortunate enough to do it to them in a very important game.
Q: What went through your head on Dustin’s step-away jumper?
FH:(laughter)I couldn’t believe how high he elevated, first of all. He makes those shots. He is a guy that is a little underrated on the offensive end. We have been working at getting that release a little higher. He is playing with confidence and that’s the big thing. If you are a confident offensive player, you can make plays like that.