Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery bristled at questions about Adam Woodbury's eye pokes during the Hawkeyes win over Maryland on Sunday.
The eye-poking incident was the second in the past month involving Woodbury. In a Jan. 20 loss to Wisconsin, Woodbury appeared to poke Badgers players Frank Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes in the eye, and also hit forward Duje Dukan in the head later in the game. Woodbury denied that the pokes were intentional, but critical comments from ESPN broadcaster Dan Dakich drew the ire of McCaffery.
In Sunday's 71-55 win over Maryland in Iowa City, Woodbury appeared to hit Terrapins guard Melo Trimble in the face late in the first half.
Woodbury was called for a flagrant foul on the play. Trimble later said that Woodbury apologized to him in the post-game handshake and said the eye-poke was an accident.
"I think it was just an accident," said Trimble, who played a team-high 30 minutes and scored 20 points. "He was trying to make a play on the ball and accidentally hit me in the eye."
After the game, McCaffery appeared unhappy with questions about the incident.
Q. What did you hear from the officials regarding Adam touching the eye or whatever it was?
FRAN McCAFFERY: They said he poked him in the eye.
Q. Is it a flagrant now if you poke a guy in the eye? I’m just curious. I thought maybe that explained that.
FRAN McCAFFERY: You know, don’t misconstrue it. That’s an excellent crew. But on that one, I don’t know.
Q. That’s three times he’s got somebody in the eye. How does this keep happening?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Next question. Ask an intelligent question.
Q. Why is that not an intelligent question?
FRAN McCAFFERY: Because I said so.
In a response to an earlier question about Woodbury's aggressiveness, McCaffery said, "I thought he was great today. You know, I thought on the glass, defensively, offensively. He was really good against the press. Some other guys got a little tentative, and he didn’t."
Woodbury also told reporters that striking Trimble was accidental.
"It's part of the game, man," Woodbury said. "Sappy (Anthony Clemmons) got hit in the mouth, nobody said anything. Whitey (Aaron White) got hit in the face, nobody said anything. I get hit in the mouth and hit in the face all the time. It's just part of the game.
Woodbury, a junior, 7-foot-1 center, matched his career-high with 16 points in Iowa's win. He entered the game averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
Iowa (15-8) is tied for fifth in the Big Ten at 6-4. The Hawkeyes will next play Minnesota on Thursday in Iowa City.
- Mike Fiammetta