The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) took it to the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (0-1) in a 89-58 win. The starters raced to a 22-12 lead and never really looked back with all five finishing in double figures, including a double-double from Filip Rebrača. Let’s get into it.
Tony Perkins looks like a bona fide #1
The starter at point guard impacted the game in every way, leading the game wit 16 points on 7/9 shooting and 2/2 from deep. He added five assists to just a single turnover with a steal for a breakaway dunk rounded out his box score. I thought his defense was particularly important as he was the tip of Iowa’s defensive spear for much of his time on the court to help force 16 Wildcat turnovers.
It’s a guard’s game and too often, Iowa has lacked guards who can get into lane and get baskets for himself or others and, while it’s early, Perkins looks like he’s tapping into that high ceiling he’s got.
Kris Murray played with “maturity”
While Murray had 14 points, he finished with four turnovers. Fran McCaffery in his postgame interview with ESPNU remarked about the maturity Kris played with by not letting those TOs get to him. He impacted the game with rebounding, moving the ball, and overall letting the game come to him. We’ll have to wait for it to happen for the first time this season but he’ll have games where he catches fire.
The rebounding might belie Iowa’s size
Bethune-Cookman was bigger in the post than the Hawks but Iowa outrebounded them 44-33, including an offensive rebounding rate of 33.3% to B-C’s 22.7%. Fran McCaffery remarked about the size differential but they’ve got willing rebounders at guard with Payton Sandfort, Ahron Ulis, and Tony Perkins.
Additionally, I thought the defense looked good overall, with active hands and more ball pressure than the past few years. The defense-to-offense can jumpstart Iowa’s offense (23 points off turnovers) during stretches in ways they might not of in past seasons.
Iowa’s bench scoring is a little lacking
I say this mainly because last year, Iowa could go long stretches with Perkins & Murray and fill it up en route to really high scoring affairs. That didn’t happen tonight as they went long stretches without scoring but they didn’t let it impact other parts of their game. They had just five turnovers and got after it defensively, including three(!!!) steals from Josh Ogundele. I thought he looked better than in the exhibition as he looked more energized and had, arguably the highlight of the night with a fastbreak Euro Step.
Josh Ogundele with the flash pic.twitter.com/TTXn7eza2c— I Love Iowa Basketball (@ILoveIowaBball) November 8, 2022
If the freshmen can dial it in, they’ll be the guys who can fill it up during those stretches. Otherwise, it might be Connor McCaffery as the #1 bench scorer (he made 2/3 threes).
It was ultimately fun to see the Hawkeyes take the hardwood and even better to see them coast to the victory. The season will ramp up shortly, as they get another tune-up against North Carolina A&T (Friday at 7p) before heading to Seton Hall.