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IOWA HAWKEYES PLAYER PREVIEWS: ADAM WOODBURY

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Iowa's only true center will need to carry a much heavier load in his senior season.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Woodbury

Bio: Senior, 7'1", 250 lbs. (Sioux City, IA)
Last season: 20.5 minutes per game, 6.6 points per game, 5.2 rebounds per game, 48.9 FG%, .4 blocks/game

What we saw last season:

In a year where many fans hoped Woodbury might expand his game, we got pretty much the same player we saw his first two years. His minutes increased by about four a game, most likely due to better foul discipline, but his scoring, shooting percentage and block numbers remained stubbornly low for a man of his size. His shooting outside of layup range remained atrocious and his free throw numbers dipped below 60%. On the positive side, Woodbury continued to provide a strong defensive presence in the post and rebounded well on both ends of the court. Iowa's players and coaches continue to rave about the work Woodbury does that doesn't show up in the box score, and they have a point: the dude is a brick wall in the post, and his simple presence discouraged a lot of teams from even trying to get their interior game going.

There was also the matter of the eye gouging. Although the incidents in question were somewhat overblown, Woodbury has a rep now as a dirty player, the kind of player who won't hesitate to hold a dude's arm down on the tip or give an opponent a jab when the ref's not looking. In a year where he will be the only legitimate center on the team, that rep could come back to haunt him in the form of extra attention from the refs.

For better or worse, we know what Woodbury is as a player now: a gravity-impaired, Monsieur Pied-lourde with short arms and an ugly J who also happens to be a granite obelisk in the post and a surprisingly agile help defender. He's not the player his high school ranking made him out to be, but he still provides a rare physical presence in the middle for an Iowa team that is otherwise composed of skinny wings.

What we need to see this season:

Woodbury on the court. Woodbury has never been called on to play true starter's minutes, largely because of the presence of Gabe Olaseni. That will change this year. At the center position, there's Woodbury and then ... there's Woodbury. He is it. If Iowa can get something like 28 minutes a game from him, they will be thrilled. That will require a new level of foul discipline from Woodbury as well as improved physical stamina. Woodbury's minutes will be a fascinating litmus test for what kind of team this year's Hawkeye squad will be; if he can play close to 30 minutes, then we may be looking at a team that plays more or less like last year's, just with Dom Uhl plugged in for Aaron White. If he can't, then Fran McCaffery and his staff will need to get creative and learn to play a style of center-less basketball for long stretches of the game.

Best case scenario:

The Big Wood-man finally puts together a workable offensive game, limits his fouls, and averages something like 10 points and 8 rebounds a game. His shooting range extends to 10 feet and his passing out of double teams improves to the point that he is no longer a turnover liability.

Most likely scenario:

Woodbury increases his minutes to 24 a game, but fouls and endurance keep him from pushing beyond that. He maintains his historical averages for points and rebounds, but doesn't often go beyond them. He continues to take a couple of 12 foot jumpers a game that make fans wince, but his defense and rebounding make up for it. He manages to avoid gouging any eyes for the entire year, before flipping out and going on a gouging frenzy against Indiana.