The exhibition basketball season got underway tonight for Iowa as they hosted Simpson College, who I think was named after Mr. Orenthal James himself. Him or Ashlee. The game was being held as a benefit for the Children's Miracle Network, which we suppose is a worthy cause.
So worthy, in fact, that Simpson apparently saw fit to donate their basketball acumen to charity before tipoff. The Storm missed all but one of their 18 attempts from behind the arc, and they shot just 10-54 from the field. Hell, they didn't even hit 40% their free throws. The second half was even more brutal, as Simpson went almost 10 minutes without scoring a single point. Iowa used the cold spell to go on a 16-0 run that put the game out of reach. Let's reiterate: Iowa needed D-III Simpson to not score for 10 minutes in order to pull away in the second half.
As Iowa goes, obviously, the boys still have plenty of work ahead. They committed 20 turnovers and let Simpson gather 17 offensive rebounds. A defensive rebound percentage of 68% is about middle-of-the-pack for the Big Ten... but it's Simpson! What's going to happen when the opponent's fielding scholarship athletes and not a spot starter from Newton?
My prognosis for this season: Long. There are going to be some tough stretches this year. Iowa should be favored in exactly none of the first seven games, and there's probably at least four non-conference losses looming. Oh, but the good news is that the Big Ten Network will be televising the lion's share of Iowa's games this season, so the odds of you actually subjecting yourself to a cold winter of losses are pretty fucking slim.