IOWA CITY - Energy wasn't an issue when Cully Payne left an individual meeting Monday afternoon with his new coach, Fran McCaffery.

"I'm ready to go right now. Let's play," Payne said. "I've got 3 hours in the weight room now and I'm excited about it. I think we found a good fit."

McCaffery met with his new team as a group Sunday night shortly after arriving in Iowa City from Siena, where he said goodbyes to his former team only hours earlier.

"I think we all left that meeting feeling comfortable," Iowa guard Eric May said.

Payne said McCaffery told the Hawkeyes that he was there for them, ready and willing to help them in any way he could.

"He said that we're his guys, and I think we all liked a lot of what we heard," Payne said.

"Up-tempo offense, switching defenses, guys like that. It's fun to get up and down the court, and when you see that his team this year scored 75 points a game, you know it's not just words."

Payne believes that all current Hawkeyes are buying into what they are hearing from McCaffery, who will begin his 15th season as a head coach next fall.

McCaffery is somewhat familiar with Iowa's talent but said he will gain a better understanding of where the Hawkeyes program is at as he gets to know his players.

"The first thing I will do is evaluate their strengths, and we will build around those," McCaffery said. "We started with eight scholarship players my first year at Siena."

In his meetings with the Hawkeyes, McCaffery sensed a hunger.

"This group wants to win, and they are ready to get back to work," he said. "They want to improve, and that is where it will start."

May is ready for that to happen.

He is among Hawkeyes who have spoken to former coach Todd Lickliter since he was fired March 15.

"It's been tough," May said. "We loved Coach Lickliter, and the staff. They brought us here, and you feel for those guys. It's been a rough couple of weeks. On our end, I think we're all glad to move on."

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