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Iowa basketball starts its season off 2-0


The Iowa men’s basketball team improved its official record to 2-0 after a convincing 92-58 win over Alabama State Sunday afternoon in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes were down 5-3 at early on ... and that was sort of it. Freshman big man Luka Garza asserted his dominance in the middle on both ends of the court early, and Ahmad Wagner scored 5 straight points for Iowa to make the lead 8-5 a few minutes into the game. Iowa would be in the driver’s seat for the remainder of the contest.

Connor McCaffery was once again held out of the game due to an ankle injury, making Jordan Bohannon the premier 1 for the game. Maishe Dailey, Brady Ellingson and even Isaiah Moss seemed to be running the offense at times, but it’s clear that this Iowa offense revolves around JoBo.

Iowa asserted its dominance — three different players had 7 points at half — to make the score 47-22 at the end of the first frame.

The second half was more of the same. Iowa was able to open up passing lanes at will and find scorers everywhere. Five different Hawkeyes had double-digit scoring nights: Cordell Pemsl led the way with 15, while Isaiah Moss had 12. Luka Garza and Maishe Dailey notched 11 apiece, while Tyler Cook had 10. Brady Ellingson also notched 9, all of which came from range.

And let’s talk about Maishe Dailey quick here: it’s very likely this could be due to the competition, but he showed some things. He went 2-6 from range and notched 3 assists, but he showed hustle on both ends of the court has long arms that reminded me a little of Christian Williams. He shot a decent 4-10 from the field, but he really seemed to provide a spark. I know Alabama State is Alabama State, but he could be a guy to keep an eye on.

The person I was far and away most impressed with is Luka Garza. He had a double-double, ending the night with 13 rebounds to go with his 11 points. He went 7-11 from the line, so he has the ability to capitalize when he gets fouled. He found himself open often, and should have scored four more points after two perfect passes from Jordan Bohannon found him alone in the lane; he just couldn’t finish.

And how about this for company to be in!

I look forward to Garza progressing as the season chugs along.

And here are your lineups from tonight, courtesy BoilerHawk. Fran likes to tinker!

Other notes:

  • Like I alluded to above, this offense runs through Jordan Bohannon. Brady Ellingson is the de-facto backup PG while Connor McCaffery sits (Ellingson probably would be anyway) but if Bohannon gets hurt, yeesh we’re in trouble.
  • I was surprised by how many people handled the ball and ran plays for Fran today. In addition to the names above, Jake Nunge and Dailey had their chance to handle the ball and run the show, albeit briefly.
  • Free throws still aren’t great! Getting to the line 33 times is good. Only making 17 of those baskets is not. Seriously, what’s the deal with Fran and free-throws, guys?
  • Only 9 turnovers compared to ASU’s 17. Pretty good!
  • Iowa had 49 bench points compared to ASU’s 4. We knew this Iowa team was deep, and that’s going to pay dividends.
  • Iowa’s defense wasn’t perfect, allowing Alabama State’s Tobi Ewuosho notch a double-double. Only one other ASU player had double-digit scoring, however. We saw defense was kind of a problem against Chicago State. Not so much here.
  • And that’s that. If you ponied up for FloHoops, or were at the game, what else did you see from this Iowa team?

Iowa has a bit of break as it doesn’t play again next Thursday against Grambling State. Go Hawks.