2012-2013 Overall Rank: #77
Conference Rank: #8 Big Ten
Iowa Team Page
Iowa snuck into the NIT during Coach Fran McCaffery’s second year at the helm. After finishing 11-20 during the 2010-2011 campaign, taking that step to the NIT was a big accomplishment for the program. It may be asking a bit too much for the Hawkeyes to take the next step and reach the NCAA Tournament in year three, but the program is moving in the right direction. The Big Ten is too tough for this group to make a title run, but the story could be much different a year from now if the young Hawkeyes show signs in 2012-2013.
2011-12 Record: 18-17, 8-10
2011-12 Postseason: NIT
Coach: Fran McCaffery
Coach Record: 29-37 at Iowa, 280-214 overall
Matt Gatens was more than Iowa’s top scorer and best shooter. He was the leader on the floor and one of the holdover players from the old regime that thrived in Coach McCaffery’s up-tempo style. Gatens wrapped up his senior season averaging 15.2 points and connecting on 41.0 percent of his attempts from long range. By his senior season Gatens was much more than a shooter when it came to his offense production; he could get to the basket and finish. Bryce Cartwright had a disappointing senior season compared to his 2010-2011 campaign when he led the Big Ten is assists. He was only a part-time starter in 2011-2012, but still managed to dish out 4.8 assists per game. The loss of roleplayers Andrew Brommer and Devon Archie will deplete the depth in the frontcourt.
The Hawkeyes bring in a solid group of freshmen who should be able to make an immediate impact and, more importantly, provide a solid base moving forward. Point guard Mike Gesell is the star of the class for now. The 6-1 point guard is the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Nebraska and can fill up the stat sheet. He is a great fit for the Hawkeyes style of play and should at least be the primary backup point guard from day one. Fellow incoming freshman Anthony Clemmons may have something to say about that. Shooting guard Patrick Ingram will add some depth on the perimeter. The frontcourt adds power forward Kyle Meyer and center Adam Woodbury. Woodbury is the tallest player on the roster at 7-1 and does a superb job of getting up and down the floor. He is not known for his defensive presence, so he may spend most of his freshman campaign beefing up and working on his overall game, but he is a fine scorer in the paint and already has some of the best hands in the Big Ten even though he has yet to play a game. He is also a very tough player and that will be a good thing for this team as long as he can keep it under control.
Who to Watch:
Depending on which of the newcomers step up, Iowa could run with Roy Devyn Marble at the point like they did at times last season. Marble is the team’s top returning scorer with 11.5 points per game and added 3.6 assists per game. At 6-6, Marble is tough to deal with when he has the ball in his hands. However, the Hawkeyes may be better off with him off the ball where he can use his shooting ability, size and athleticism to help replace the scoring left behind by Gatens. Eric May has seen his numbers slip since he averaged 9.0 points and 4.6 rebounds back in 2009-2010 as a freshman. Last season he averaged just 4.3 points per game. Even if the offense is not clicking for May, he is still a good defender. Josh Oglesby will be asked to pick up his scoring load if May fails to get back to his old ways. Oglesby is pretty much just a shooter off of the bench at this point in his collegiate career, but he fills that role quite well. At 6-5, Oglesby has the potential to emerge as a more dynamic scorer now that he could be asked to do more than just shoot.
The young Iowa frontcourt played very well last season and they are a big reason why Iowa is gaining expectations. Aaron White had a superb freshman campaign, tallying 11.1 points and a team high 5.7 rebounds. And he still might not crack the starting rotation unless Coach McCaffery opts to play a bigger lineup, but that could leave Iowa a little light on frontcourt depth while the newcomers work their way into the rotation. Starting or not, White should be in for another big season. Juniors Melsah Basabe and Zach McCabe will be just as hard to keep off of the floor. Basabe saw his numbers dip a bit during his sophomore season, but that was more due to the new found talent around him than anything else. Basabe is a tough 6-7 forward who can hit the glass and do plenty of scoring in the paint. He is also the best shot blocker Iowa has. McCabe started 30 games in 2011-2012 and averaged 7.8 points and 4.6 rebounds. Unlike Basabe, McCabe can step outside and knock down some long balls and that versatility can help open up the offense. The Hawkeyes have enough talent to be very competitive in the Big Ten, but they may have to rely heavily on freshmen like Gessell. Utilizing a point guard that can shoot like Gessell would be a huge benefit for the offense, but he is still a freshman and it remains to be seen if he can run the offense effectively. If he does, the Hawkeyes could be a surprise team in the Big Ten and knocking on the bubble’s door well into February.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Mike Gessell, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Eric May, Senior, Guard, 4.3 points per game
Roy Devyn Marble, Junior, Guard, 11.5 points per game
Zach McCabe, Junior, Forward, 7.8 points per game
Melsahn Basabe, Junior, Forward, 8.2 points per game
Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#48 Adam Woodbury
#86 Mike Gesell