The Iowa Hawkeyes wrapped up their European trip with a win on Tuesday, giving them a 5-1 record and their only loss coming yesterday in OT to a French team with a roster full of professionals. Not too bad a start for the Hawks, who likely learned a bit about themselves and the coaching staff will have a lot to tweak before the real season begins in November.
These trips are so valuable…we talk about how valuable bowl practices are for a football program’s development. I would say a trip like this for this Iowa program at this stage of program development is every bit as important as a bowl prep season and more akin to a spring football season with 15 practices. In fact, I’d say this sort of a trip is even more significant than that.
While it would have been great for the Hawkeyes to have had Mike Gesell available (he missed the action due to healing a broken bone in his hand), the team was still able to play a lot of players and combinations.
Peter Jok likely gained a lot of confidence and the coaching staff was able to get their first look at him against competition other than teammates. He led Iowa in scoring in three of the six games, and in five of the six games he was 11-31 from three point range (not sure what he shot in game 2 as there was no box score for that) and averaged 13.5 points in six games.
Melsahn Basabe had a nice trip, doing work on the glass and filling up the rim. It’s hard to find a player that didn’t shine at some point and that’s the kind of team I think the Hawks will put on the court this season…one where if Marble and White are taken away by the opposition, other players are capable to step up and fill the void.
It’s been a long, long time since people were looking THIS forward to a basketball season…at least a decade. Here is the write up from Iowa Sports Information.
FOS, France – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team finished its European trip strong with a convincing 92-78 victory over Fos-Quest Tuesday evening. The win improved the Hawkeyes’ record to 5-1 on its travels overseas.
Freshman Peter Jok, who scored Iowa’s first seven points of the contest, finished with a game-high 17 points to lead the Hawkeyes. Junior Aaron White tallied 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field, including a 3-pointer, and 1-of-1 from the free throw line. Senior Melsahn Basabe posted a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 boards. Senior Roy Devyn Marble contributed 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Iowa led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but Fos-Quest took a 45-43 advantage into halftime.
The Hawkeyes came out firing in the second half, scoring the first nine points the first two minutes of the half to go in front 52-45. Fos-Quest got to within 69-66 with nine minutes left in the game, before the Hawkeyes closed the game on a 23-13 run. White scored 12 of his 16 points in the final 20 minutes, while Adam Woodbury netted all eight of his points in the second half.
“We felt like we needed to step it up defensively at the start of the second half, and we did,” said head coach Fran McCaffery. “Our defense spurred our offense again tonight. I think if you look at the entire trip collectively, I don’t think we played defense in two of the 24 quarters.”
Iowa was aggressive on the glass yet again tonight, owning a +15 rebounding advantage (46-31) over Fos-Quest.
The Hawkeyes executed their offensive sets tonight, making 54 percent (35-of-64) of its field goal attempts, including 65 percent (17-of-26) in the first half. Iowa also made 7-of-18 (39 percent) from 3-point territory, with Jok making four of Iowa’s seven triples.
The team will travel to Nice tomorrow for one last day of sightseeing before departing for the United States Thursday morning.
“This trip has been beneficial in so many ways,” McCaffery said. “The competition was good; we had to fight and compete, and came together as a group.”