Yeah that was bad. Iowa’s young players looked rattled, rushed, and uncomfortable against an experienced Virginia squad, which prides itself on smothering defense. Virginia lived up to its reputation tonight as it defeated the Hawkeyes 74-41.
Fran McCaffery probably learned a few things about his team tonight. First, Iowa does not handle ball pressure well at all. 18 turnovers indicates that the team is panicking and rushing passes and drives that are not there. A premium must be placed on maintaining possession against a team of Virginia’s defensive caliber. Second, Iowa’s players are awful...and I mean awful at rotating on defense. Virginia’s first half offense was more like a layup contest. Precision passing by Virginia’s guards made Iowa’s defense look nonexistent. In all, Virginia had 18 assists on 29 made field goals, including 13 assists on 16 made FG’s in the first half. Wow.
Once again, this is a learning experience that Iowa had to go through sooner or later. They now know what championship-level defense is like and just how far away from it they are. Them being exposed badly by Virginia is not terribly surprising. What is frustrating however, is that the game was over before it began. Iowa rolled over pretty quickly in the first half and refused to calm down. I’m not sure any amount of Fran McCaffery ass-chewing would have done any good.
Oh well. A loss by 33 counts the same as a loss by 1, so take it and move on. Iowa should (hopefully) have a much better shot of grabbing a W against either Providence or Memphis tomorrow at 3 pm. Still not sure about TV, but we will let you know.