#143 Iowa Men's Basketball Preview

Iowa Hawkeyes

Overall Rank: #143
Conference Rank: #11 Big Ten

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2010-11: 11-20, 4-14
2010-11 postseason: none
Coach: Fran McCaffery (11-20 at Iowa, 262-197 overall)

Wing Matt Gatens had to carry Iowa while the young team transitioned into the Coach Fran McCaffery era last year. Gatens did what he could, leading the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game. The problem was Gatens got little help from his fellow wings from beyond the arc. Junior Eric May was poised for a breakout season under Coach McCaffery’s up-tempo offense, but he slid into a sophomore slump and averaged just 7.8 points per game after having a stellar freshman season. Roy Devyn Marble will again provide some depth on the wing behind the more experienced players. He had a promising freshman campaign, tallying 5.7 points and 2.4 rebounds. He is not much of a shooter like Gatens and May usually are, but Devyn Marble is a better rebounder and that is something this team will need on the wing in certain situations.

Who’s Out:
Iowa only loses one impact player, but losing Jarryd Cole is big. Back in 2009-2010, Cole was pretty much the only interior option Iowa had and he turned into a great team player last season. At 6-7 and 250 pounds, Cole was the big bodied player in the paint who could push people around a little bit. He was a decent scorer and a fine rebounder and finding another player who can grab 6.3 rebounds per game will not be easy, even though there are plenty of options.

Who’s In:
Big men Gabe Olaseni and Aaron White will try and work their way into the regular rotation if the other frontcourt players fail to help replace Cole. However, both are probably a year or two away from making a big impact. White is an interesting prospect who can play at either the three or four spot despite his 6-8 frame. He will need time to gain strength, but if Iowa is in dire need of a rebounder on the wing, he could see some time at the three spot. Junior college transfer Anthony Hubbard and Josh Oglesby will battle for time behind May and Gatens on the wing. If one them can emerge as a consistent shooter off of the bench, that will be enough for now with the talent sitting in front of them.

Who to Watch:
Replacing Cole will be the difference between another year at the bottom of the conference standings and a surprisingly decent season. Melsahn Basabe is entrenched in a starting role after having a superb freshman campaign in which he averaged 11.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Finding somebody to stand next to him in the frontcourt is the big issue. Zach McCabe may be the most talented of the bunch and he can stretch out the opposing defense with his outside shooting ability, but with Gatens and May on the wing, this team needs a big guy who can hit the glass. Andrew Brommer has the size to be a solid rebounder and can eat up plenty of space in the paint, but the senior has not proven that he can be more than a role-player. The other option is Devon Archie. He had a relatively disappointing season after spending a couple of years at Vincennes Community College in Indiana and  another season sidelined with an injury, but he does have the athleticism to make an impact.

Final Projection:
The biggest surprise for Iowa last year was the play of Bryce Cartwright. Coach McCaffery threw the newcomer into the fire and he ran the point amazingly well. Cartwright proved to be a fine scorer who could keep the opposing defense honest with his outside shot as well. He only shot 27.5 percent from long range, but on most days the opposition had to at least think about defending him beyond the arc. When that happened, Cartwright would use his speed and strength to attack the basket and finish or find an open teammate. After tallying 10.9 points and 5.9 assists per game as a freshman, the expectations for Cartwright are through the roof.

Projected Postseason Tournament: none

Projected Starting Five:
Bryce Cartwright, Senior, Guard, 10.9 points per game
Matt Gatens, Senior, Guard, 12.6 points per game
Eric May, Senior, Guard, 7.8 points per game
Zach McCabe, Sophomore, Forward, 5.8 points per game
Melsahn Basabe, Sophomore, Forward, 11.0 points per game

Madness 2012 Recruit Rankings

#146 Josh Oglesby

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