Thursday, November 3, 2011

Big 10 Preview: #10 Iowa Hawkeyes

I'm probably higher on Iowa than most because I see some talent here, but it's hard to see how they can rise any higher than 10th, unless you have no faith in Indiana (but I do).  Fran McCaffery had some scratching their heads when he left the mid-major mini-dynasty he created at Siena to take the Iowa job at a time when they were almost completely barren of talent or hope or intelligence, but he's made some good strides already and has things starting to look up.

The two things I love about Iowa this year are PF Melsahn Basabe and PG Bryce Cartwright.  Basabe is a wrecking crew inside and his athleticism and effort levels remind me of a younger version of Trevor Mbakwe.  And like Mbakwe he's a bit unpolished and you're not likely to see him take a shot outside of about 8 feet, but he was terrifyingly good at times last season  (6 double-doubles with 4 of those including 20+ points).  As far as young players to rebuild your program around, you could do a lot worse.

Cartwright is a bit of a paradox because even though he's a very quick point guard who can set his teammates up with the best of them (5.9 assists per game last year, 3rd in the conference), he's also got quite a bit of chucker in him as he led the team in shot attempts despite hitting at just a 39% clip (and 27% from 3-point land).  So yes, he completely dominates the ball when he's on the court.  Now, if he could dominate more in an Ed Cota kind of way rather than a Kerwin Fleming kind of way that would go along ways towards making Iowa more dangerous.

Outside of those two Iowa has the usual collection of semi-athletic white dudes.  Matt Gatens will be back for his 8th year to do what Matt Gatens does - grab a few boards, make a smart play or two, and hit a couple of shots while scoring somewhere between 8 and 14 points per game, never more or less.  Zach McCabe and Eric May will have their moments, and Andrew Brommer will have every opportunity to show off the world's worst free throw ability because there's a dearth of big men in the Iowa stable this season.  Your best bet for a breakthrough here is sophomore Roy Marble, but I'm not sure if I'm saying that because he got a lot of run from McCaffery at the end of last year or because I was a big fan of his dad.

This year is basically irrelevant anyway if you're an Iowa fan, and you should care more about the future and also shoot yourself in the face for being an Iowa fan.  McCaffery has done some nice things already recruiting-wise, starting with this season's acquisition of Josh Oglesby, a Rivals Top 150 player he stole not only from the Gophers, but from just about every midwest team including Illinois and Butler.  He's also got a nice class already secured for next season with C Adam Woodbury (Rivals #47 overall), PG Mike Gesell (#96), and three other 3-star players already on board.

Hopefully none of them work out.  I really hate Iowa.

DWG Over/Under Conference Wins:  5.5


snacks said...

My all-time favorite stadium chant is "Who hates Iowa?, We hate Iowa!" because they didn't even waste their time trying to be clever about it. And also because I hate Iowa and like saying it.

ThatGuy said...

That picture is time-stamped 9-29-2007. Why? Because that's the last time a picture was taken of a hot chick in Iowa.