IOWA CITY– The Hawkeyes stepped up with the absence of Anthony Tucker and won their second game in a row last week, knocking off South Carolina State 82-69.
It’s kind of like what Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz talks about, which is the “next man in” principle.
Anthony was Iowa’s second leading scorer so some of the other Hawkeyes needed to step up and make plays.
“I thought we got contributions from everybody,” said head coach Todd Lickliter. “I thought for stretches we played as well as we’ve played all year. I like this group. I said that. I thought they gave a good effort. I like them and I think we’ll be able to compete.”
As usual you start with Matt Gatens and Jarryd Cole and then add Eric May and Aaron Fuller, who came off the bench.
Matt had his usual game of 20 points, eight assists and two steals plus his defense and screens help set up his teammates.
Jarryd is so strong down low and has good footwork around the basket. Shooting 8-10 from the floor is about as good as it gets. It was a little scary with he went to the floor late in the game with an injured ankle, but he came back to the bench and could have played if needed.
Aaron Fuller dropped in 12 but was only 6-11 from the free throw line. Aaron also has a strong inside game so it’s important he shoots better at the charity stripe.
Eric also had some good numbers, playing 33 minutes and hitting 7-11 from the floor, scoring 18 to go with eight rebounds.
Eric has the strength to go inside and the range to shoot the three.
He will be a big factor if Iowa is going to win very many games this year.
John Lickliter got his first playing time, giving Cully a rest. He played five minutes, was 2-2 from the free throw line and handed out an assist with only one turnover.
Cully will need that time on the bench with or without Anthony Tucker back and I think John will be all right.