The Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) used a 10-0 run to close out the first half and spur a strong second half for a 89-47 win over the UMKC Kangaroos (0-2).
After a relatively quiet first half from Keegan Murray which saw him sit the final 4ish minutes with 2 fouls, he scored 17 points in the second half and led the game with 25 points on 9/15 shooting. The Hawkeyes outscored the Roos 23-10 during the stretch.
Jordan Bohannon added 13 points, with 3/5 shooting from deep. He sits one made 3 below Jon Diebler as the career leader in made three pointers.
Here are some of takeaways.
Keegan has a bag full of tricks
After filling the stat sheet without ever serving as the focal point, the question was whether Keegan could shoulder the load as Iowa’s #1 option. Through two games, the answer to that question is increasingly in the affirmative.
Not only did Murray do what he normally does with his normal bag of tricks (1 block & 3 steals), but he continues to show his post-up game when matched up with smaller players. He was excellent as a ballhandler in the transition game and was an all-around force on both sides.
Filip Rebraca showed what he can do
It is not easy to go from a role where you’re a team’s leading scorer to a more tertiary option but Rebraca showed that not everything is about scoring. He had 9 points on 4/5 shooting but was most effective locking down the boards with 13 rebounds and showed solid defense in the lane. He is a savvy player - had just 1 foul - but regularly found himself in the thick of it by adding a block and a steal.
He was a huge reason Iowa shut down Josiah Allick for just 4 points on 1/4 shooting. Allick found himself in foul trouble early and often and couldn’t really make his mark like he did against Minnesota or in previous matchups with Rebraca.
While Rebraca isn’t the fulcrum that Luka Garza was for Iowa, he has so far fit really well in a more five-out type of offense while being competent managing ball screens as Iowa’s nominal five.
Ball security continues to be a strength
Though the Hawkeyes finished with 8, half of them came within the last 5:05 when garbage time had settled in. Considering UMKC forced opponents to turn the ball over 22.5% of the time last season, Iowa’s success in the department continues to be a huge building block for a young group outside of Iowa’s starting 5.
Joe Toussaint, thought of to be the most high risk in the area, did have a couple hiccups tonight. However, he balanced his two turnovers with six assists and pesky defense, including a forced travel just ahead of halftime. The chemistry he had with Patrick McCaffery for much of last season appears to be rubbing off with his fellow starters and while he can be a little dribble-happy, more often than not it’s led to success through two games.
Connor spurred solid bench play in the second half
Fran McCaffery mentioned in the postgame of Iowa’s win against Longwood Connor’s importance to the subs and his play down the stretch of tonight’s game showed why. After the bench scored just two points in the first half on 1/7 shooting, Connor displayed the hustle and savvy he’s shown much of his career and tallied 3 assists in the frame. It was exemplified by an offensive rebound he saved from going out of bounds and then found Payton Sandfort underneath for an easy layup.
Jess Settles also remarked on a “hockey assist” McCaffery had which led to another easy bucket.
Fellow BHGPer, Bartt Pierce has been high on this type of play from Connor, and he even used a foul to stop a transition basket before being subbed out. He’s finding his way with a totally different role this season.
Next up: Tuesday 11/16 at 8p CST, NC Central Eagles