In a night where every newcomer was able to fill the scoresheet, the Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) ran away with a 87-60 win over the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars after a strong second half.
Luka Garza, 20 points and 12 rebounds, led the Hawks in both categories with Joe Wieskamp tallying 16 points. Both guys looked good demonstrating their offseason additions. Jess Settles noted that Garza added “the James Worthy spin, Kevin McHale step-through, and Dirk Nowitzki fadeaway in the offseason” and we saw him deploy a couple of those and plenty more en route to his 7/10 shooting and 6/10 from the line.
Wieskamp looked more aggressive in taking his many off the dribble in addition to his faithful three-pointer (3/7). It was to his detriment when, midway through the second half, he took a nasty spill on his arm after a jump ball while going for the strong finish. He got off on his own power and nothing else was mentioned throughout the broadcast.
The defense certainly had its moments as Iowa forced 18 turnovers including a shot-clock violation on Pat McCaffery’s first possession of his career when he led the point of Fran’s press. After yielding 6 offensive rebounds in the first half, Iowa was able to hold the Cougars to just 2 after the break for a 22.9% ORB rate. SIU-E scored just .822 points per possession, according to StatBroadcast.
The Hawkeyes struggled to get it going in the first half and shot 44% from the field and 33% from deep. They were paced by Garza & Wieskamp who had 14 and 10 points respectively. Garza was particularly assertive in the paint and got to the line four times, going 6/8 from the line in the half. Iowa outpaced SIU-E by 10 points at half.
After the break, Iowa’s starting lineup of Connor McCaffery-C.J. Fredrick-Wieskamp-Nunge-Garza from 12 to 21 points to put the game largely out of reach. The reserve unit of Joe Toussaint-Jordan Bohannon-Bakari Evelyn-Pat-Ryan Kriener stretched the lead to 28 before garbage time set in.
- If Joe Toussaint and Connor McCaffery are going to make shots from the outside (combined 3/5), it’ll provide a new dimension to this Hawkeye offense. Toussaint continues to add “wow” moments in only his second time on the court, this time with a steal out of Iowa’s zone he closed with a nifty reverse layup to avoid the defender.
- C.J. Fredrick plays like the classic Duke kid who everyone hates. Though he had just 4 points, he added 4 assists and made largely every correct play when given the opportunity (save the silly turnover with his foot on the sideline). Seriously watch him box out.
- The ball movement was really impressive. Iowa was able to get open shots in a variety of areas. They’ll fall in time as they finished with just . (3a: Should we make J-B3ARD a thing? I like @AnthonyNelson25’s idea)
- The free throw line remains the Hawkeyes’ best friend. They outscored SIU-Edwardsville by 24 points at the charity stripe.
- I thought Pat settled a little bit with his three point shot. I’m not sure it should be his game right now, largely because he continues to show requisite athleticism, largely at the 4. Cordell Pemsl’s inclusion is gonna be interesting to monitor.
Next up: vs. DePaul Blue Demons (3-0); Monday, November 11th at 7:00p CST on Fox Sports 1