It was an exhibition game, so some sloppiness should have been expected from the Iowa men’s basketball team.
We did see some of that but we also saw some encouraging signs in addition to the main storyline for this year which is going to be the emphasis on the new contact rules. More on that in a bit. First, some thoughts on some of the players we saw. We’ll call this The Rundown.
Adam Woodbury: He scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds in 18 minutes. Woodbury should have excelled agains a much smaller Augustana club and he did. He also showed controlled aggressiveness, which was good to see. He’d lower his head and try to swoop to the hoop one year ago, but he was awkward in doing so in some instances. I am not going to say he’s gotten rid of all of the akwardness because he is seven-feet tall, but he looked more poised. He also had three assists and has to be one of the best passing big men in the league. He has added some muscle definition to his upper body, too. He’s poised for an exponential growth year.
Aaron White: Just what you would expect from White; great effort and production. He scored 16 points in 23 minutes, including his signature 8 of 10 from the free throw line.
Zach McCabe: 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the senior in just 17 minutes. THAT is production. He also had three fouls in those 17 minutes. He was 11-12 from the free throw line.
Melsahn Basabe: 8 points in 12 minutes, active and looks good.
Devyn Marble: Only took five shots in the game, was focusing on running the show and knew he didn’t have to take over. The only time he did was at the end of the first half where he drove from the top of the key and got to the rim for the bucket at the buzzer.
Mike Gesell: 1 of 6 from the floor, five assists and four turnovers. He’ll get better and has the most rust of anyone on the team as he missed the European tour with the busted hand. Well, Uthoff has a lot of game rust too.
Jarrod Uthoff: Speaking of, 6 points in 21 minutes as he gets acclimated. I think this year you will see him go for 14 and 9 one night then just a bucket or two the next night, score 20 another game and so on. I expect inconsistency from him, given that he has never played in a college game before, or one that counts.
Peter Jok: 1-7 from the floor, 0-6 from three-point range. Glad it was an exhibition…a great thing to have one of these games. He can get those first time jitters out of the way and play ball.
Gabe Olaseni: He looked good..hit a half hook in the lane, also nailed a 15-foot jumper and slammed one home on the break while getting out ahead of everyone on another break. 8 points and 8 boards, but just 2-6 from the line.
Josh Oglesby: He did hit one trey, but missed four others.
Iowa was 2-18 from three-point range in this game and let’s home that is an aberration this year and not the norm.
Iowa was 39-50 from the free throw line…50 free throw attempts! That is a huge total and possibly near an arena record. With the new emphasis on limiting the muggings that have been taking place in college hoops, the games are supposed to be called much tighter. This one was as the teams combined to commit 52 fouls and attempted 70 free throws. Iowa had those 50 free throw attempts and 56 field goal attempts.
The game wasn’t pretty to watch and there was very little flow.
I think the sport needs to be cleaned up. There has been contact allowed in the paint and on ballhandlers that has no place in the sport and has thugged it up. It’s made the game tough to watch at times and I am all for taking efforts to bring it back to what it used to be.
That said, it’s going to get worse before it gets better, worse in the form of the disruptive nature of the air-tight way they called the game on Sunday. This was common place around the country and it’s just gonna be the way it is…that is until we get to the Big Ten regular season and Bo Ryan and Tom Izzo start whining and complaining about it.
It’s good Iowa is 11 deep this year because if the game is going to be called this tightly all season long, teams with quality depth will definitely have an advantage, in addition to those teams who can make their free throws.
I would wager more than a few conference titles will be won (or lost) at the free-throw line this year.
Iowa tips things off for real on Friday night.