Friday, October 17, 2014

Big Ten Basketball Preview: #8 Iowa Hawkeyes

I'm going to be honest with you here - I barely remember anything about Iowa.  I know they should have made the NCAA Tournament two years ago over the Gophers after closing hot but didn't, and I know they probably shouldn't have made it last season after collapsing down the stretch which they then proved by losing to Tennessee in a game which I can't even remember if it was close or not.  I also remember Roy Marble - both of them - and they're both gone now and even though they're used to the old guy being gone his kid having graduated is going to pose a major problem since he was pretty much the guy who could create his own shot there.  Maybe I do remember more stuff.  Like how annoying that entire team (sans Marble) was.

Now the job of scorer goes to annoying ginger Aaron White, the Hawkeyes second leading scorer (12.8ppg) and leading rebounder (6.7rpg) last season.  White was incredibly efficient last season (15th best true shooting % in the country) in large part because he was able to be more selective with Marble using up so many possessions and drawing tons of defensive attention.  Zach McCabe also used a ton of possessions (took 22% of Iowa's shots when he was on the floor) and he's gone too so there'll be plenty of extra shots this season for White to take more of and fail spectacularly.

Two other guys who might grab some of those extra shots are starting guards Mike Gesell and Josh Oglesby.  They're super mediocre, but Gesell does a nice job of running the offense and Oglesby can heat up from the outside which the Gophers unfortunately saw twice since Oglesby shot 9-16 from three in the two games Iowa played against them.  The fit the profile for Iowa guards by being extremely annoying, as does reserve guard Peter Jok who really, really likes to shoot and other reserve guard Anthony Clemmens who really hates to.

Even though White is probably the key to seeing if the Hawkeyes make the NCAA Tournament or not, the key to how good they can be and how far they can go is junior center Adam Woodbury.  He's a legit 7-1 and it was a major upset a couple of years ago when the hometown kid signed on with the Hawkeyes despite offers from North Carolina and Ohio State when he ranked as the #39 player in the country.  After a so-so freshman year, however, Woodbury stagnated and maybe even regressed in year two, and put up averages of just 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds per game last year.  With both McCabe and Melsahn Basabe (7.2ppg, 5.7rpg) gone it's time for Woodbury to get his shit together.  6-8 junior Jarrod Uthoff was pretty decent last year and he should help out, but it kind of needs to be Woodbury's year.

Iowa has several fairly decent pieces back, but a ton of questions as well.  Most likely 8th is a bit low and they'll be in the hunt for an NCAA bid, but they're Iowa so they can all just go to hell.



Anonymous said...

What a shock of a review from a loser gopher. Here's a review for your writing. Good luck to the Gophers in the NIT this year and good luck to the burger flipper who one day might be able to move out of his mom's basement.

WWWWWW said...

Classic Iowa response with the mom's basement line. How many championships did Iowa win last year?

Anonymous said...

Here's my review with teams with the most annoying/punchable faces.
4.Everyone else

Anonymous said...

Best summary line in a preview ever... Iowa can indeed go to hell.

WWWWWW said...

Can't argue with the last two comments