Hawk men on break
By Don Lund
The Hawkeye men’s basketball team had a nine-day layoff before opening the Big Ten season at home against Nebraska, Tuesday, Dec. 31.
In the Hawkeyes’ last game, which was at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 22, they rolled over Arkansas Pine-Bluff, 86-61, and raised their record to 11-2.
It was great to see Josh Oglesby back. The 6-6 sharp shooter from Cedar Rapids hit his first four shots, all 3-pointers and scored 13 points. He played 20 minutes, had two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
That gives Iowa an 11-man rotation and in some games that might be a little much, but when the Big Ten season is in full swing, Josh and Iowa’s depth could be the difference in playing for a Big Ten title or just getting into the NCAA tournament.
I think it will come into play big time in the Big Ten tournament.
If the Hawks can be in the top six, they will play three games in three days.
If not, they will play four games in four days if they want the championship.
The Hawkeyes did the four-day run in 2000-2001 season, led by Luke Recker, who averaged 18 points a game for the year.
Reggie Evans, Glen Worley, Dean Oliver and Duez Henderson also started.
Iowa’s bench included freshman Brody Boyd, Jared Reiners plus junior Ryan Hogan.
The Hawks knocked off Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State before facing Indiana in the championship.
The Hawkeyes won 63-61 on Luke Recker’s last-second shot and Reggie Evans was named the MVP.
The team finished 23-12, 7-9 in the Big Ten.
They beat Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 69-56.
Iowa was knocked out of the NCAA tournament by Kentucky, 92-79.
The next season, 2001-2002, Iowa played in four more games in the Big Ten Tourney losing to Ohio State, 81-64, in the finals.
Iowa went 10 deep that year with Luke and Reggie starting. Sean Sonderleiter, Chauncey Leslie and Pierre Pierce rounded out the starting five.
The bench included Brody, Jared, Duez, Ryan Hogan and Glen Worley.
This year’s team has more talent then the 2001-2002 squad, which finished 19-16, 5-11 in the Big Ten.
Iowa went to the NIT that season and were beat 63-61 by Louisiana State in the first round at Carver.
I went to that game and it was depressing to watch.
This year, the team has a lot of weapons.
When you have three players scoring in double-figures (four if you include Josh who has played in only one game) including Jarrod Uthoff, who comes off the bench, that’s some solid firepower.
The Hawks also have six other players scoring more than five points per game so if you try to take Devyn Marble or Aaron White (Iowa’s two leading scorers) out, someone else steps up.