Bio: Senior, 6'7" 235 (Sioux City, Iowa)
What we saw last season. With the arrival of Adam Woodbury and improvement from Gabe Olaseni, Zach McCabe's minutes diminished last season. In his early Iowa career he played the power forward and last year occasionally played the small forward. With the addition of the true centers, McCabe split time with Melsahn Basabe in the post. He's a grinder that will sacrifice his body for loose balls and tough rebounds. He's Iowa's top hustle guy but sometimes finds himself on the bench because he's prone to fouling.
What we need to see this season. McCabe worked hard in the off-season to change his body. He's dropped 15 pounds and worked on his outside shot to make himself more versatile for Fran McCaffery. He now can play the four and also move out to small forward creating match-up problems for opponents.
As a senior, Iowa needs his leadership on the floor. He needs to avoid the foul problems that's plagued his career but not lean back on the aggressive play style that often provides the team a spark. With improved outside shooting he'll give Iowa yet another inside/outside option to go with Jarrod Uthoff and Aaron White.
Best-case scenario. McCabe avoids fouls and sees his minutes increase from the 15 he averaged last season to 19-20 he's played in Iowa's first two games. He can be Iowa's leading scorer on one night and the leading rebounder the next. A great season for McCabe, as a role player on this team, would be 19 minutes, nine points and five rebounds a night.
Most likely scenario. McCabe's foul problems continue with the new NCAA rules and his minutes are limited on occasion. Jarrod Uthoff eventually takes some of McCabe's minutes and he averages closer to the 15 he played last season. He'll provide a spark with a big three pointer or save of a ball heading out-of-bounds and be remembered fondly by Iowa fans for his tenacity on the floor and gritty play.
One request. There will likely be opportunities following Iowa for McCabe to earn a little money playing pro basketball in a foreign country. He was a two-sport star at Sioux City, Iowa, prior to taking a scholarship for basketball at Iowa. Please, before heading to Japan or Iceland, give football a whirl. McCabe was an average quarterback in high school but he could be one hell of a tight end prospect if he puts a little weight on and learns to block. He has the nose for it and giving basketball players a tryout in the NFL is all the rage. Find an agent Zach, see what happens.