Iowa Men’s Basketball
I was in attendance for Iowa’s game on Friday, November 17th at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes beat Arkansas State 88-74. A few observations from that contest. Ben Krikke is quickly becoming one of my favorite players. I love old-school hoops, and Krikke’s midrange game is pretty special. Krikke had 25 points and 9 rebounds.
My second observation is that Dasonte Bowen has improved his game a great deal from last year. Bowen had 17 points, and he is incredibly quick (especially his first step). No one is Ronnie Lester, but at times Dasonte moves as quickly and as fluidly as Ronnie. Bowen also can play some terrific on-ball defense. Speaking of, Josh Dix can defend as well. The Hawks made a run when these two guards were on the court at the same time. Finally, Owen Freeman is going to be a good one. Really, really good. He picks up some fouls when he’s out of position, but he will learn this skill, and with that, he will get more clock. I like Iowa’s 3⁄4 court 1-2-2 press, if for no other reason than it doesn’t allow as much time for opponents to run their half-court offense. I have thought for years that Fran McCaffery’s offense is a detriment to our defense in that when you can score the ball at our level, one defensive possession doesn’t always seem as important. Except that it is. Fran is absolutely one of the best offensive coaches in the game. I am not enamored with our effort and focus on the defensive end. That is a work in progress. It will be a fun, interesting year with some bumps along the way, but I’m looking forward to watching how this team progresses.
Iowa’s men’s team travels to San Diego, California to participate in the Rady Children’s Invitational. The Hawkeyes will face Oklahoma on Thursday, November 23rd at 2 pm. The game will be televised on FS1 and can be heard on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Iowa will play either Seton Hall or USC on Friday, November 24 at 5 pm. The game will be on Fox Sports/Hawkeye Radio Network. These will be excellent opponents and a great early test for Fran’s squad.
Iowa Women’s Basketball
Iowa’s November 16 game against Kansas State was one of the worst basketball games I’ve seen from a Lisa Bluder-coached squad. The Hawks lost by seven at home. Kansas State is a good basketball team with two players on the Wooden Award Watchlist. Most viewers thought Caitlin Clark seemed off. If Twitter is a source (and when has Twitter ever been wrong?), Clark may have been battling the flu. Either way, it was not a good basketball game. When Clark is off, the Hawks need to do a better job of getting the ball into the post. Getting the ball down low can create free throws as well as inside-out, wide-open, three-point shots. Kate Martin and Gabbie Marshall did not play many minutes for some reason. It was a game that can be a learning experience, but then it must be flushed. The Hawkeyes did just that on Sunday, November 19th against Drake.
The Hawkeyes were firing on all cylinders against the Bulldogs. Iowa won 113-90 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. If this seems like a pushover game, Drake took Iowa to overtime a year ago. The Hawks won that game 92-86. Also, Drake beat Iowa State 85-73 earlier this season.
Molly Davis, coming off an excellent game against Kansas State, was in the starting lineup. Davis had ten points and three assists to go with just one turnover. Kate Martin had a career-high 25 points. I would like to see Martin continue to be aggressive on the offensive end. She is such a team player, but I feel she should look for points a little more than she does.
Sharon Goodman had 15 points off the bench. Caitlin Clark was back to her usual, out-of-this-world self. Clark had 35 points and six rebounds, ten assists, and seven steals. The Hawkeyes were 13-24 from three-point land (54.2%) and 10-11 from the free-throw line (90.9%).
The Hawkeye women’s next opponent is Purdue-Fort Wayne. The game will be Friday, November 24th at 6:30 pm. The game can be heard on the Hawkeye Radio Network.
As always, It’s great to be a Hawkeye!