TIP-OFF IS SET FOR 8:00 PM CENTRAL TIME. ESPN will carry the NIT finale between Iowa and Baylor tonight. Bob Wischusen, Bill Raftery, and Bob Knight will have the call. Iowa has faced Baylor only once and was victorious 67-43 in 1983. Both teams had strong seasons and were NCAA Tournament bubble teams in the season's final stretch.
FRAN MCCAFFERY TALKED ABOUT TONIGHT'S GAME. Fran says Baylor's superstar point guard Pierre Jackson is "as good as any guard" on film he's season this season. Fran also discussed Devyn Marble's play and what he brings to the team. Marble is averaging 24.3 points and almost five assists per game during Iowa's NIT run. Jackson is averaging 20.2 points and 11.2 assists.
MARBLE'S PLAY HAS BEEN A KEY TO IOWA'S SUCCESS. Still, it's not a one-man show. Eric May, like former players Matt Gatens and Jarryd Cole, is closing out his Hawkeye career with a bang. Iowa is also getting increased minutes from freshman Adam Woodbury. Both have come up big on defensively for the Hawks.
HAWKEYE FOOTBALL ALLOWED THE MEDIA AT PRACTICE YESTERDAY. Before the open practice took place new coaches Jim Reid and Bobby Kennedy spoke with the media (here's the transcript and video). Kennedy says the wide receiver group has a lot to learn but are eager to do so. He added that he will play the best players and that the guys on campus know their are five new faces on the way. That's certainly incentive to work hard this spring. Jim Reid will work with the middle linebackers, LeVar Woods the outside linebackers. There could be a switch there as Reid mentioned that Woods also has special team responsibilities.
HERE'S A QUICK GLIMPSE OF THE HAWKEYES AT WORK. You'll see in this video, from Marc Morehouse, C.J. Beathard is working with the first team offense. Iowa ran Damon Bullock from the I-formation with Weisman at fullback. They also went to the one-back formation and Weisman ran the outside read. There was also some five wide in Morehouse's videos. Bullock appears to be in the trips slot instead of split out wide, as we saw at times with the running back last season.
Open practice 1 -- Thud with the offense (via Marc Morehouse)
MOREHOUSE HAS MORE VIDEO. You can see more of the offense, some of the second team defense and interviews with Jordan Cotton, Nico Law, James Morris and Brett Van Sloten right here. Jake Rudock also spoke to the media about the ongoing battle for the starting quarterback position. Rudock was asked about not playing last year and about learning Greg Davis' offense. The playbook, apparently, has been "slightly tweaked."
M'HOUSE DIDN'T HAVE THE FIRST TEAM DLINE. But the latest Iowa practice pics have a shot of this season's contributors. What's missing? Defensive ends. Drew Ott is listed as first-string on the spring depth chart. Dominic Alvis too. Alvis is perhaps better suited for a defensive tackle position. Iowa will need to find a pass rush from the edge for defensive success in 2013.
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