After an expectedly sluggish first half, Iowa clamped down defensively, knocked down a plethora of open looks, and ran away from NAIA opponent Northwood 92-51 in a Sunday afternoon exhibition game at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Iowa committed 11 first half turnovers and gave up 4/7 shooting from the perimeter in the first half, and held a minuscule 39-32 lead at the break. A 29-7 start to the second half put the game out of reach, though.
Peter Jok led the Hawkeyes with 16 points and 8 rebounds off the bench. Jarrod Uthoff had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists, including one of the few good plays of the first half:
Aaron White had 12 points and 7 boards, and sat out much of the second half. Gabe Olaseni and Josh Oglesby each had 9 points, with Olaseni punctuating the blowout with a late alley-oop from JUCO transfer point guard Trey Dickerson.
Iowa's offense showed some real spark with Dickerson at the point and Oglesby and Jok on the wings, spreading Northwood's zone defense and leaving openings for Olaseni and freshman Dominique Uhl.
After holding just a one-rebound advantage on the Seahawks at halftime, Iowa outrebounded Northwood by 14 in the second half. When asked after the game about the reason for the second-half improvement, Fran McCaffery attributed Iowa's rebounding to improved defense generating missed shots, something that wasn't exactly Iowa's calling card in 2013-14.
It's hard to take anything from a scrimmage against a clearly overmatched opponent, even when that opponent has a former Final Four champion coaching it (it's good to see Rollie Massimino still getting it done regardless). But Iowa looks like it could still have some of the same strengths and weaknesses that a ten-man rotation can cause. There's no doubt that, at the very least, Dickerson and Uhl are going to play some significant minutes this season, and the options (particularly in the frontcourt) gives McCaffery plenty of matchup options. With that said, there isn't an obvious go-to scorer to replace Roy Devyn Marble, and a five-man rotation in the frontcourt could just divide up the minutes that should go to three players.
It should have been a blowout, and it was. The rust has been shaken off. The real thing starts in a couple of weeks.