By Pete Ruden and Sean Bock
Iowa basketball tipped off its first exhibition game of the season last week, defeating William Jewell, 105-81, in Carver-Hawkeye. Assistant Sports Editor Pete Ruden and sports reporter Sean Bock give their five takeaways from the game.
Defensive struggles remain
The first half against the Cardinals showed some problems that could be concerning.
Iowa gave up 46 points to the Division-2 school in the first half but turned it around in the second to run away with the game.
Despite allowing 10 3-pointers, the Hawkeyes made a statement using McCaffery’s full-court press.
The defense was a concern last year, especially at the beginning of the season, but if Iowa can clean up its game on that end of the floor, the team is capable of doing big things.
Isaiah Moss injury
Disaster almost struck the Hawkeyes in the first 30 seconds of their scrimmage.
After scoring the first points of the 2017-18 season, shooting guard Isaiah Moss limped off the court and into the locker room.
He later returned to the bench and play shortly after but did not see action in the second half. He also had a walking boot on following the victory.
However, head coach Fran McCaffery said the injury was not major.
“It’s not bad,” he said. “It stiffened up on him at halftime, and we decided not to push it. There’s no sense in it. He’s been playing really well; I’m really pleased with him. [I want] to keep him healthy.”
It’s no secret that Iowa has a lot of weapons on its squad this year.
Although the Hawkeyes lost Peter Jok to graduation and Christian Williams to a transfer, they gained three exceptional freshmen in Luka Garza, Jack Nunge, and Connor McCaffery.
All three played significant minutes against William Jewell, as 15 players made their way onto the floor.
Moss, Garza, Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, and Nicholas Baer made up the starting lineup, giving a glimpse of what could possibly be coming in the near future.
Fifty of Iowa’s 105 points came from the bench, showing that there are sure to be playmakers on the floor at all times.
Nunge and Garza
Freshman Garza got the start on on Oct. 27 and delivered scored 17 points and 9 rebounds in his début.
The Hawkeyes made it a priority to get the ball inside to Garza, and he delivered, finishing around the rim and expanding his range to 15 feet.
The pleasant surprise of the night was classmate Nunge. The 6-11 freshman had 16 points and 9 rebounds and performed well on both ends of the floor.
Nunge is more of a threat from the perimeter than Garza, but there were numerous instances in which Garza displayed his great vision in the post and hit teammates on cuts or for open jumpers.
These two are going to be special ball players for the Black and Gold.