By Don Lund
The Hawkeye men are 9-1.
They opened with a big 98-93 win over Notre Dame last week at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
A really good back-and-forth game with the Hawks holding on.
Great shooting from the floor (57 percent), from 3-point range (54 percent) and from the free throw line, where the Hawkeyes were 25-28.
How about Iowa’s bench and the crowd?
The Fighting Irish had a seven-man rotation and Iowa went 10 deep.
In the first half, the Hawks had nine players score… none of them in double-figures.
For the game, Iowa’s bench outscored Notre Dame 39-7. Can you believe that for the season the Hawkeyes are averaging over 40 points per game from the bench?
The sellout crowd was jacked and as loud as a Big Ten game.
Devyn Marble scored 13 straight points when the Fighting Irish made a run in the second half.
Zach McCabe and Jarrod Uthoff came off the bench and combined for 27 points.
Both Zach and Jarrod are shooting over 53 percent from 3-point range.
Jarrod is shooting over 90 percent from the free throw line for the season.
I like the one-two punch of Adam Woodbury and Gabe Olaseni. Combined, they are averaging over 10 points, nine boards and three blocks per game.
Aaron White, although he looked like he had been in a street fight with black eyes from the Bahamas, is still the man for the Hawks.
Aaron scored 20 points in 36 minutes to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists. He is the 41st Hawkeye to score 1,000 points.
The second game was in Des Moines against Drake in the Big Four Classic. It was too much Iowa size, depth and talent as the Hawks pulled away for a 83-66 win.
The Bulldogs hung tough in the first half, hitting 8-16 from 3-point range and only trailed, 49-40.
“I thought we were working pretty hard in the first half,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “To their credit they were executing, they got some clean looks at threes and made them. They were kind of playing their game. We didn’t panic, though.”
The difference was Iowa scored 30 points in the paint (Drake had 8) and the Hawks had 19 second chance points, Drake 3 in the first half.
Once again Iowa’s bench came through with 39 points.
What’s fun to watch is when the Hawkeyes make a run, who is on the court at the time.
Melsahn Basabe had one of his better games with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Mel runs the court so well and has developed a nice 15-foot jumper which opens up the inside for him.
It was good to see freshman Peter Jok some good minutes, score 14 and grab seven rebounds.
One of my favorite plays, that tells me the chemistry of this team, came in the second half.
Peter had an open look on the left side of the basket about 12 feet out.
Instead of taking the 12-foot jump shot, he found Aaron White for an ally-oop stuff.
Nobody played over 29 minutes and all of the top 10 players scored. Iowa also won the rebound battle, 47-28.
“I thought our defense was better in the second half,” said coach McCaffery. “Defending ball screens and contesting around the rim.”
Iowa travels to undefeated Iowa State this Friday.
It will be a tough test and Hilton will be rocking.