Iowa basketball is off to red-hot start as both the men’s and women’s teams own spotless 2-0 records to commence the season.
Now neither team has exactly played competition that expects to see any sort of action in the postseason, but these are important lessons for both squads that field relatively young rosters.
The biggest takeaway for the men—who defeated Kennesaw State 91-74 in the opener, and dismantled Savannah State 116-84 on Sunday night—is that barring any sort of injury in the first couple of weeks, Iowa will not be redshirting any of its scholarship players. I believe this is only the second time under Fran this has happened (remember when Gabe Olaseni played only 36 minutes his freshman year?) and I think it speaks to how much confidence he has on his roster.
Or maybe it shows how little confidence he has in his young players, and he’s trying to see as much as he can in these games before real competition rolls around. There’s a lot you can read in to this situation, but either way #ImWithFran.
Highlights for these men’s and women’s games are tough to come by (THANKS BTN+) but here’s some awkward silent highlights and Fran talking a little bit.
Iowa Cruises to Victory over Savannah State https://t.co/CyPMhsb8TY— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) November 14, 2016
My biggest takeaway from watching what I could from these games is that Cordell Pemsl can BALL. The freshman from Dubuque notched 18 points in 18 minutes against Savannah State, and put on some moves inside the lane.
Through the first two games Peter Jok leads the team in minutes and points, which is no surprise. Nicholas Baer hasn’t been playing as much as I would have expected, but I think that’s because of a combination of fouls and Fran just trying to get other guys in the rotation.
Jordan Bohannon, Brady Ellingson Ahmad Wagner and Isaiah Moss all looked impressive off the bench in addition to Pemsl. As the season wears on I’m not sure who’s going to see more minutes out of that crew but as of now my guess is Pemsl and Ellingson see a larger share.
Finally, the only knock I can have two games in to the season is the play of Dom Uhl. He was expected to be the second or third-best player on this squad behind Jok and maybe Baer, and his performance has been lackluster early on. He played just 13 minutes against Savannah State and notched 3 points and 4 rebounds. He had 8 points and 5 rebounds in 18 minutes of action against Kennesaw State. I’m not ready to panic or speculate on anything yet, but he already has 4 turnovers on the year and his shooting percentage is less than spectacular.
Anyway, we’ll know more after Iowa plays Seton Hall on Thursday, which is mercifully on BTN.
Lisa Bluder truly is one of the greatest coaches in Iowa history. Her teams are always ready to play, and are usually good for a big upset and a win or two in the tourney each year.
Ally Disterhoft was the only upperclassmen to start for Iowa in its first two games—a 96-76 win over Oral Roberts and an 84-51 drubbing over Hampton, respectively. Disterhoft scored 26 in the opener and another 16 against Hampton. She’s really good, and a possible all-B1G candidate at the point guard slot.
Here’s a much less awkward highlights video:
The Hawkeyes Handle Hampton 84-51 to improve to 2-0 on the season. Iowa had 4 players score in double figures! https://t.co/bjg7qHl8ku— Iowa Women's BBall (@IowaWBB) November 13, 2016
Sophomore forward Megan Gustafson is making a name for herself on the court as well. She had 25 points and 12 rebounds in 26 minutes against Oral Roberts, and another 14 points and 11 boards against Hampton. Oh, and did we mention she’s the Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week?
On Wednesday the team travels to Grand Forks to take on UND, which is a team that I imagine at least has a pulse.
And that was talking hoops. Go Hawks.