It was quiet, wasn't it? The students are all home for Christmas, it's hard for other fans to get psyched up for an opponent like North Florida (if the Ospreys hadn't just beaten Purdue, we wouldn't blame you for having never heard of them), there was no huge run to set the place on fire, Iowa couldn't relax until late... it was just a quiet game. Fast, at least, but quiet.
Credit UNF for keeping this one close, especially with its production behind the arc. The Ospreys hit 12 of 26 three-pointers, which is a little bit troubling, but it's enough of an aberration from the season trends that it's probably not time to freak out yet. Well, not about the perimeter defense anyway. UNF could get guys open on the perimeter thanks to Iowa's trapping zone work, and sure enough that zone forced 20 turnovers. If UNF had been able to take better care of the ball, perhaps we're singing a markedly different tune tonight, but Iowa's zone did what it was supposed to do and here we are.
It was pretty nice to see Josh Oglesby go 3-4 from behind the arc, and we'll take 2-4 from Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok (making his first start, which we are absolutely fine with) from long range. It's probably not groundbreaking commentary to tell you all that these guys should have more games where they hit lots of threes and fewer games where they don't, but after the last few games Iowa was in dire need of seeing these guys reassert their capabilities.
Aaron White was your man of the match, obviously. 23 points on 15 shots, 8-8 from the line, nine rebounds, five steals and no fouls or turnovers? Dig it. When White's the best player on the floor, he makes it known, and he's extremely effective. There are times when he's not, obviously—that's high competition for you—and his ability to maximize his production in those situations still leaves something to be desired, but he was solid tonight. He did take three threes, though. I don't care if they're open, stop that.
Adam Woodbury went 1-9 in the UNI debacle, and he was a relative non-factor tonight: three points, three turnovers, two assists. We'll take the eight rebounds, at least. And if you're only going to score three points, thanks for only taking two shots from the field.
Uthoff is close to being a monster. He can create his shot, and he tried to often against UNF, to varying results; he was 2-4 from downtown and 1-7 from inside the arc. Iowa needs him to shoot and create for himself, so we're not really upset about that poor shooting; at some point the "I can get this shot off" and the "I should get this shot off" will more closely match. And hey, 12 rebounds and five assists (both team highs on the night) is really, really good.
So, 9-4 in the non-conference, no bad losses. We would have liked one more quality win, obviously, but this isn't disastrous. The issues against quality competition still need to be addressed, but after seeing rinky-dinkers upset over half the Big Ten at least once this season, we're happy with Iowa beating who it should every single time.