#48 Iowa Men's Basketball 2015-2016 Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes

2015-2016 Overall Rank: #48
Conference Rank: #8 Big Ten

Iowa Team Page#48 Iowa Men's Basketball 2015-2016 PreviewBuy Iowa Basketball Tickets

Iowa won their last six regular season games to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. That late run also led to a tie for third place in the Big Ten with a 12-6 conference mark. Add an NCAA Tournament win over Davidson to the resume and that is a very successful season. And with four starters back, it seems like another NCAA Tournament team is on tap for 2015-2016. However, depth is a huge concern for this team and Coach Fran McCaffery will have to try and mix his returning players with what basically amounts to ten newcomers. Even for a coach that has a successful history of finding the right pieces to the puzzle, it will be no easy task to put it all together for the Hawkeyes this season.

2014-15 Record: 22-12, 12-6
2014-15 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Fran McCaffery
Coach Record: 96-75 at Iowa, 347-252 overall

Who’s Out:
Aaron White is the one starter lost, but he was the heart and soul of this team. The 6-9 forward averaged a team high 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He always provided stability to the frontcourt on both ends of the floor and now that is gone. The frontcourt also lost center Gabriel Olaseni. He was not a starter, yet still ranked third on the team with 8.1 points per game. At 6-10 and 225 pounds, he was a force in the paint on the defensive end too. Josh Oglesby never turned into the major scoring threat many thought he would, but he was still an experienced guard who could knock down shots. Trey Dickerson, a junior college transfer, never found his groove with Iowa and has opted to transfer to South Dakota.

Who’s In:
In total Coach McCaffery welcomes two redshirt freshmen, five true freshmen and three junior college transfers to the roster. The problem is that you look at all of the freshmen and do not see anybody who is obviously ready to play meaningful minutes in the Big Ten. It may be prove to be a very good class in time, but for now the most promising players are likely just going to be shooters off of the bench. Brandon Hutton, Andrew Fleming, Isaiah Moss and Christian Williams will join redshirt freshman Brady Ellingson in the battle for playing time on the perimeter. Fleming is the one who has the nicest looking shot. The frontcourt adds Nicholas Baer and Ahmad Wagner. The trio of junior college transfers includes walk-on twins Michael and Steven Soukup and forward Dale Jones. Jones, a 6-7, 217 pound junior, was at Tyler Junior College in Texas for three years, one of which he spent injured. Last season he averaged 16.9 points per game and knocked down 45 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. He is not the same type of player as White, but he can certainly help replace some of the production.

Who to Watch:
Jarrod Uthoff and Adam Woodbury will return to their starting spots in the frontcourt. Uthoff is a proven scoring threat and he averaged 12.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last year, but that was with White taking off a lot of the pressure. Now a senior, Uthoff should be ready to emerge as the team’s top scorer in the frontcourt. However, Uthoff is also the team’s best outside shooter and as long as his shots are falling consistently and he is blocking a shot here and there on the other end of the floor, Iowa’s frontcourt will be in good shape. Woodbury is the more traditional big man. At 7-1 and 249 pounds, he is certainly a big man. He is not a great scorer by any means, but he eats up a lot of space. Without much depth at the five spot, Woodbury will need to play smart and stay out of foul trouble. Sophomore Dom Uhl, who averaged ten minutes per game as a freshman will join Jones and provide the depth in the frontcourt. It is also feasible that Jones could replace White at the small forward spot, but his depth is needed behind Uthoff and that would also always give Iowa a power forward who can shoot the ball effectively.

Final Projection:
Mike Gessell returns to the point guard spot after averaging 7.4 points and 4.0 assists in 2014-2015. He is a steady senior leader who deserves a lot of credit for Iowa keeping their turnovers down last year. With a little more consistency on his outside shot, he will get a lot more of the credit that he deserves. Depending on where the depth among the newcomers comes from, Anthony Clemmons and Peter Jok could both step into starting roles on the wing after splitting starting duties last season. Jok, at 6-6, has more size and was more involved last year, but Clemmons adds a secondary ball handler who can shoot pretty well when he is looking for his shot.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Mike Gessell, Senior, Guard, 7.4 points per game
Anthony Clemmons, Senior, Guard, 4.8 points per game
Peter Jok, Junior, Guard, 7.0 points per game
Jarrod Uthoff, Senior, Forward, 12.4 points per game
Adam Woodbury, Senior, Center, 6.6 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 69.8 (106th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.3 (64, 2)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (193, 9)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.6 (38, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (236, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.3 (209, 11)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.4 (24, 5)
Rebound Margin: 4.1 (53, 4)
Assists Per Game: 14.2 (62, 6)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.1 (48, 4)


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