Archive for November, 2010
Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery suspects his team learned a few things in tonight's 76-73 loss at Wake Forest. "I think our guys probably learned a lot about what it is like to play on the road and that will only help us as we move on,'' McCaffery said. "We also saw why it is important to execute for the entire game.'' McCaffery liked the fact that his team was able to execute sets called during crunch time. Many allowed Iowa to rally from a 10-point deficit midway through the second half. "Our press, it needs to be better and although we had a small line-up on the floor compared to what we were up against, we out-rebounded this team,'' McCaffery said. The Hawkeyes' 38-28 advantage on the boards including a 17-2 margin on the offensive glass. Iowa struggled to capitalize on that advantage as much as it could have, though, outscoring the Demon Deacons just 8-2 in second-chance points. Freshmen Melsahn Basabe and Devyn Marble both contributed solid minutes to Iowa's attack. Basabe hit 6-of-9 shots, finished with 13 points and 8 boards and continued to play to his strengths. That has been a common thread of his games to date, providing a base for him to build on. Marble went 5-for-10, had 11 points and 5 rebounds and a pair of steals. He showed needed poise at the point after Bryce Cartwright picked up two quick fouls and saw time at both a shooting guard and small forward position during the course of the game. His versatility will be valuable as Iowa works deeper into its schedule. The Hawkeyes return home for six of their next seven and won't leave the state again until a Jan. 9 game at Purdue. Idaho State is next up, visiting Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Coached by former Southeastern Community College coach Joe O'Brien, Idaho State improved to 2-3 with a win Monday over Montana Tech. The team's losses have come to Colorado, Arizona and the South Dakota State team that has improved to 6-0 since winning at Iowa on Nov. 14.
When it takes the court Tuesday night at Wake Forest, the Iowa basketball team will be looking for a few answers in its first true road game of the season. Coach Fran McCaffery said during a teleconference this morning that the Hawkeyes will be looking to see how Bryce Cartwright handles his starting assignment at the point in place of injured Cully Payne, how Matt Gatens continues to respond as he works his way back from a hand injury and if Iowa has made progress on the glass since struggles a week ago against Long Beach State. McCaffery said his expectations of Cartwright remain unchanged. "He has played most of his minutes as a point guard, setting his teammates up. He does score the ball out of that position and we look for that to continue and we expect him to defend the position as well. We expect him to on the floor for 32, 34 minutes. That will be the biggest difference.'' McCaffery said he has appreciated the work he has seen from Gatens since his return from a torn tendon in his left hand. "He is getting some special attention because of the type of player he is, and that probably won't change,'' McCaffery said. "I don't think he's 100 percent yet, but he's been getting stronger in practices on a daily basis.'' Iowa currently ranks second in the Big Ten with its average of 40.7 rebounds per game and is fifth in the league in rebound margin. McCaffery was not pleased with his team's work on the offensive glass a week ago against Long Beach State and Iowa played SIU Edwardsville evenly on the offensive glass a week ago, leaving the Wake Forest challenge as a gauge of sorts to any progress the Hawkeyes may have made. "The match-ups from Monday to Friday last week were different. The Wake Forest game will be a better gauge as to whether we can come out and give an improved effort,'' McCaffery said. "Wake has some big high fliers and it will be an interesting test for us.'' McCaffery welcomes the "Big Ten-like'' atmosphere Iowa will see tomorrow night at Winston-Salem and is looking forward to coaching in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge for the first time himself. "I've enjoyed watching it on television in the past and there's no question it creates interest and certainly something fun for the fans,'' McCaffery said. "I've not coached in this type of situation before, although I have in conferences where the idea has been discussed. I think it's a good thing, a good concept.''
With Cully Payne sidelined for the immediate future, the Iowa basketball team is preparing to play on without its most experienced point guard. Payne was the only freshman to start at the point last season in the Big Ten and his 122 assists were the third-most ever for a Hawkeye freshman. He averaged 8.7 points to go with it, a number that was sliced in half during the opening games of the current season. As the world found out Friday, Payne was attempting to play through some pain. Coach Fran McCaffery and Payne have been asked following games earlier this season if Payne was injured, but both insisted that it was nothing more than the usual assortment of bumps and bruises which accompanies playing at the Division I level. In reality, Payne had been attempting to play through a sports hernia, telling McCaffery that he was pain free during games. Recently, nighttime pain was impacting Payne's sleep. That led to a doctor's visit, a second opinion and the decision for Payne to undergo surgery next Tuesday while the rest of the Hawkeyes are preparing to play Wake Forest in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. McCaffery is saying that the Hawkeyes are preparing to play without Payne for up to eight weeks, but he can't be certain. "I think it's always a function of what they find when they get in there,'' McCaffery said following Friday's 111-50 win over Southern Illinois Edwardsville. "It could be shorter, it could longer. It's really a function of exactly what do they find when they go in there.'' With Friday's game out of control quickly, McCaffery opted to sit Jarryd Cole for all but seven minutes. He said Cole's preseason foot injury seems to be healing, but he opted to "protect'' the foot a bit against an overmatched opponent. "I didn't see a need to have to go back to him,'' McCaffery said. "I thought he played well in the first half. Very pleased with him.'' Most of Iowa's starters enjoyed a short night against the upstart D-I program. Bryce Cartwright saw the third-most minutes of any Hawkeye but only five of his 21 minutes came after halftime and his day ended after he was undercut while going in for a breakaway basket less than five minutes into the second half. Matt Gatens played 24 minutes, including 16 in the first half, to lead all players. Eric May played 18 of his 22 minutes in the first and Melsahn Basabe saw 13 of his 21 before the break as McCaffery had plenty of time to give to his reserves. All but one of the 13 players who saw the court Friday contributed to Iowa's season-high point total.
After a disappointing start to the season, Fran McCaffery dug a little deeper Tuesday, going to his bench earlier and more frequently in hopes of keeping fresh bodies on the court. The Hawkeyes were a bit sloppy at times, but starting point guard Cully Payne finished with seven assists and one turnover. Of equal importance, 13 Hawkeyes saw playing time and 10 were on the floor to help Iowa build a 29-18 lead at the half. In Sunday's opener, the Hawkeyes played eight players. "I felt in our first game, we had a little fatigue without Matt (Gatens). I wanted to make sure that we got (Jordan) Stoermer and (Devon) Archie in early to make sure that we had a fresh team,'' McCaffery said. "I think you saw that impact our play defensively in the second half. We were a fresher team.'' Iowa's upcoming schedule also impacted the rotation. The Hawkeyes play three games over four days beginning Friday at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. Up first, a match-up against Xavier.
Iowa has announced the signing of its second basketball recruit during the early signing period, 6-foot-8 Aaron White of Strongsville, Ohio. Coach Fran McCaffery describes White as a "versatile front court player who is tremendously skilled.'' "He can really shoot and pass the ball, and put it on the floor. He's also long and very athletic. Aaron can finish in traffic, has tremendous court demeanor, doesn't rattle, he's very concentrated and really thinks the game.'' White averaged 19.9 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 blocks last season and was named the MVP of a national holiday tourney in Orlando. White joins 6-5 guard Josh Ogelsby of Cedar Rapids Washington in Iowa's 2011 recruiting class. McCaffery has two additional scholarships available, but has said those will likely be offered for the spring signing period. The Hawkeyes' primary need in the spring is for a big man.
Iowa's basketball team did not waste any time moving beyond today's season-opening loss to South Dakota State. Coach Fran McCaffery planned a review of tape from the game Sunday evening with his team, a session that will also turn the Hawkeyes' attention to a quick turnaround and a Tuesday game against Louisiana-Monroe. "I'd rather have more practice time,'' McCaffery said following Sunday's game. "We need as much time as possible to get our players used to what we're doing, how we're doing it and who is doing it, dealing with the combinations we may find ourselves with.'' McCaffery was not thrilled with Iowa's point guard play Sunday. After combining for 15 assists and two turnovers in an exhibition win over D-II Illinois-Springfield, Cully Payne and Bryce Cartwright finished with 10 assists and seven turnovers in Sunday's loss. Payne traveled twice in the early minutes of the game and Cartwright followed with a travel shortly after entering the game. "I think those were jitters,'' McCaffery said. "Those calls did get us going sideways, though.'' McCaffery was not overjoyed with a behind-the-back pass that Payne attempted to deliver to Melsahn Basabe in the second half. In a two-point game at the time, Basabe couldn't come up with the ball and the turnover not only denied Iowa a scoring opportunity, it led to points at the other end of the floor. Payne finished with two points, scoring on a drive to the basket in the second half. "Cully just didn't penetrate tonight,'' McCaffery said. "He did one time, took it all the way through and laid it in. I want him to do more of that. I think he got a little tentative when he had the traveling calls earlier and started playing more conservatively.'' McCaffery is looking for a more consistent effort from Cartwright. "Bryce has to play at a more intense pace,'' McCaffery said. "He plays hard, coasts, kind of goes back and forth. He's talented and can really impact the game more I think. I've talked to him about that. "I think what you'll see is both of those guys play better as we move forward.'' While McCaffery would prefer more practice time, the Hawkeyes welcome the quick turnaround and a chance to compete again on Tuesday. "I think we're all anxious for another chance. The fan support today was good and they deserve better than what we gave them,'' center Jarryd Cole said. "I think it's a good thing we play again in 48 hours.''
Matt Gatens will miss a start for the first time in his 65 games in an Iowa basketball uniform today. Gatens is in street clothes with his injured left hand in a soft cast as the Hawkeyes warm up for their season opener against South Dakota State. Gatens underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left hand on Oct. 28, the result of an injury suffered in practice two days earlier. Gatens had the initial cast taken off last week, attempted to practice on Friday but isn't on the court today.
Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery found a lot to like with the 15-assist, 2-turnover performance of Cully Payne and Bryce Cartwright at the point in Sunday's exhibition win. But, a pair of former Hawkeyes who previously played the position are welcoming fresh starts as well. Anthony Tucker, who left the Iowa program last season, finally got a chance to play at Minnesota. Tucker, who missed his initial collegiate opportunities to play against his hometown team, scored 24 points for Winona State in an exhibition game at Minnesota on Monday night. Tucker's team-leading effort helped Winona State rally from a 18-point deficit to throw a 78-72 score at the Gophers. Former Hawkeye Jeff Peterson is expected to make his starting debut for Arkansas tomorrow night. He's been bothered by a hamstring injury, but is expected to be available to play for the Razorbacks in an exhibition against Victory.
Instead of turning back the clocks one hour at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, the Iowa basketball program turned back time about two decades. The Hawkeyes picked up the pace on both ends of the floor as promised - one of the loudest cheers of the day followed a Bryce Cartwright basket that pushed Iowa over the 100-point mark for the first time since Dec. 20, 2006. But that wasn't the only reason the Hawkeyes went back to the future Sunday. The sons of a pair of former Iowa players saw their first action in Hawkeye uniforms in the 111-66 exhibition win over Illinois-Springfield. Devyn Marble, the son of Hawkeye career scoring leader Roy Marble, was one of six Hawkeyes to reach double figures in the win. He knocked down 4-of-9 shots for eight rebounds to go with 11 points in 15 minutes of playing time. Darius Stokes, the son of former Hawkeye Greg Stokes, was on the floor for nine minutes and finished with five points and a pair of rebounds. Fathers of both were beaming after the game and Devyn Marble said he enjoyed it as much as his father. "It was great to be out there,'' he said. "I've been dreaming of this day for a long time. There were some nerves, but it felt good. It's a good start.'' The glimpse that fans had of 6-foot-7 Stokes might have been the last they will see of the freshman from Linn-Mar this season. Coach Fran McCaffery said it is likely that Stokes will redshirt this season and called him a "pleasant surprise.'' "We kind of looked at him as a guy that was going to help us in practice, and he's been all of that, but he's a tremendous athlete,'' McCaffery said. "He's got a great feel for how to play and he knows how to play the motion game. He's an energy guy so he can be a terrific offensive rebounder. Offensively, he knows he's limited on the perimeter, but he can score going to the basket with his athletic ability.'' McCaffery believes Stokes could help this Iowa team, but said the additional year of development could pay major dividends later in Stokes' career.
The pace picks up Sunday for the Iowa basketball program when the Hawkeyes host Illinois-Springfield in an exhibition, but don't expect to see the Hawkeyes launching the ball shortly after stepping over the halfcourt line. The uptempo attack Iowa will play under coach Fran McCaffery includes a degree of basketball intelligence as well. "We're not going to be the Harlem Globetrotters out there, just throwing the ball around all over the place,'' sophomore Eric May said. Mostly, McCaffery wants to see his team compete and play the right way in its lone exhibition before its Nov. 14 season opener against South Dakota State. "Number one, we want to really compete. We want to defend. We want to get on the glass, take care of the effort aspects of the game,'' McCaffery said. "We don't want to play so fast that we're turning the ball over and driving into packs of people and making poor decisions. I think that will be a true test.'' McCaffery expects his team to be anxious. He expects fans to be anxious. He'll probably even be a little anxious. "Everyone is going to want to come out flying,'' McCaffery said. "The crowd wants to see it. I've been talking about it. But you know, you can run yourself right into a butt kicking if you don't know how to play fast.''