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Women’s and Men’s Basketball: Des Moines Doubleheader

The Hawkeyes take the show on the road for a double-header

Iowa v Iowa State
Hawk men and women to play at Wells Fargo Arena
Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

Caitlin Clark is growing the game of basketball in the state of Iowa. Actually, she’s growing the game worldwide, but the state of Iowa is Caitlin Clark-crazed. Do you need any proof? Clark and the women’s game is the second game of the doubleheader. Fran McCaffery’s men’s team plays in the early game.

Hawk Women

Iowa (10-1/1-0) is coming off an 87-65 win at Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes were paced by Caitlin Clark (28 pts, 9 reb, 5 assists) and Hannah Stuelke (21 pts, 3 reb, 3 assists). The Hawkeyes are getting terrific defense from Gabbie Marshall. Sydney Affolter

Affolter competes!
(Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

is becoming one of my favorite players. She is much like Kate Martin in that both players stuff the stat sheet. Affolter is flat-out tough. She hustles, she dives, she rebounds. She makes winning plays. Taylor McCabe played almost 12 minutes. She was 2 for 2 from beyond the arc. Look for her to continue to earn minutes. McCabe is shooting a stellar 54% (13-24) from three-point territory. Iowa needs more threats from distance to free up space for Clark and our posts. Molly Davis has also had an excellent start to the year. Despite her stature, Davis can play. She hits shots, takes care of the ball (38 assists-15 turnovers), and rebounds. Posts Sharon Goodman and Addison O’Grady are making strides each game. There is no substitute for playing, and with Monika Czinano in Iowa’s starting lineup the past three years, there weren’t a lot of minutes to be had.

Cleveland State Vikings

Saturday, December 16 @ 6 pm - Wells Fargo Arena (Des Moines, Iowa) BTN/Hawkeye Radio Network

Cleveland State is sporting a fantastic record. They sit at 9-1 on the young season. The Vikings are averaging 79.7 points and 39.1 rebounds per game. The Vikings are shooting 34.9% from 3FG. The Vikings are an impressive team on paper. Senior guard Destiny Leo leads the team with 20.7 ppg. Colbi Maples, a junior guard, averages 16.4 ppg. Mickayla Perdue, another senior guard, averages 12.1 ppg. Iowa’s guards will be tasked with getting their hands in these shooters’ faces. All three like to shoot the ball from outside. Also, long shots create long rebounds. Iowa must box out and then attack the ball. Iowa can turn these long misses into fastbreak points. Iowa has a few nonconference games remaining and then Lisa Bluder’s team will get back into the B1G schedule for the long haul.

Hawk Men

So that was the fun stuff. On the men’s side... Not fun. The Hawks are coming off a few blowouts in a row. The Hawkeyes were smoked by Iowa State and Michigan. Losing at Iowa State is not uncommon. It’s a great atmosphere and the Cyclones are physical and play defense. Losing to a not-great Michigan team at Carver isn’t a great start to Iowa’s B1G season. Many of Fran’s guys seem disinterested in playing on the defensive end. When they are willing, we don’t put much ball pressure on the perimeter. Our guys are out-muscled in the paint, and we give up around 364 points a game from one foot from the basket. It’s hard to watch. And Fran has been “sideways” a bit this year as well. He has an active streak of technical fouls called for his tantrums. I have been a big Tony Perkins fan since he stepped on campus. He has some dawg in him. Unfortunately, T-Perk isn’t dialed in like he needs to be. He has lapses in effort and focus. The same could be said for Patrick McCaffery. These two are probably some of our best basketball players, but if they don’t play that way, their minutes should decrease. On the positive side, freshman Owen Freeman

Iowa v Iowa State
Freeman is going to be a star
Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

looks to be Iowa’s next star. He is a skilled player with a terrific motor. Ben Krikke (17.9 pts, 5 reb) has been a tremendous transfer portal addition. I’d like to see Fran give more clock to Dasonte Bowen, Josh Dix, and Brock Harding. We have to reward defense and hustle. If not, this fan is going to find other ways to spend cold winter nights.

Florida A & M

Saturday, December 16 @ 3:37 pm - Wells Fargo Arena (Des Moines, Iowa) BTN/Hawkeye Radio Network

The Hawkeyes play the first game in Des Moines against the Rattlers (2-5). This should be an easy game for the Hawkeyes to get back on track. Florida A & M averages 69.7 ppg and allows 81.71 ppg. They shoot 32% from 3FG and are allowing almost 40% from three. The Rattlers are also outrebounded by five boards a game. Florida A & M won’t be intimidated by the Hawks; they have already faced Creighton, Nebraska, Florida, and Oregon this year. That is an incredibly difficult schedule.

The Rattlers have five players averaging 10 points or more per game. Three out of four of Florida A & M’s top scorers are guards. Love Bettis (15.3), K’Jei Parker (10.1), and Hantz Louis-Jeune (9.9) man the guard spots. Keith Lamar, a 6’5” senior forward, averages 14.3 ppg.

If the Hawkeyes can defend they should come home with a win. If not, it’s going to be a long, long winter.

As always, it’s great to be a Hawkeye!