IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery was in no mood for excuses on Friday.
He quickly dismissed any suggestion that the Under Armour brand basketball that was used in Thursday’s 74-68 loss at Maryland had anything to do with his team shooting so poorly.
Iowa only made 5-of-24 3-point shots after making at least 10 treys in each of the previous four games.
"We practiced with an Under Armour ball for three days before we went down there," McCaffery said Friday morning on a teleconference. "So there is absolutely no excuse for any shots that we missed. That was a function of Maryland’s defense."
Some of the Iowa players, including junior guard Peter Jok, said in the post-game interview session on Thursday that the ball felt different, heavier than usual. But Jok didn’t use the ball as an excuse for losing in his quotes to the Des Moines Register.
"Yeah, for sure. It feels different," Jok told the Register. "It’s heavy like a street ball, like an outside ball.. No excuses. It does feel weird."
Des Moines Register reporter Chad Leistikow said Friday on Twitter that he asked the players the question about the ball being different.
McCaffery doesn’t understand why the subject was even brought up or why his players are being criticized for making excuses, although, he didn’t mention any specific criticism.
Leistikow did not criticize the Iowa players for making excuses in his article.
“I don’t know why anybody would ask about the ball. That’s idiotic," McCaffery said. "You can’t ask the players about the ball and then criticize their answer, which is what happened. Nobody made any excuses. It’s a different ball. But it’s the world we live in."
McCaffery said Friday that different brands are used by teams throughout college basketball. Iowa currently uses the Nike brand basketball for its home games.
McCaffery would like that to change.’
“I would personally like to see a uniform ball, but every school has got different contracts with different companies for different reasons," McCaffery said. "So that’s not going to change."
Thursday’s loss ended a nine-game winning streaks for the Hawkeyes, who will look to rebound against Northwestern on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is tied with Indiana for first place in the Big Ten with a 7-1 record.