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IOWA Basketball NCAA Tourney Gamewatch vs. Gonzaga – Sunday at 4:10 PM at Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica

The Hawkeyes put up one of their best performances in a long time in blasting 10th seed Davidson in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Aaron White did what seniors are supposed to do: dominate when it matters most. And he didn’t disappoint with a 26 point and 6 rebound performance literally stepping on the throat of Davidson down the stretch. Fran McCaffery’s squad played stellar defense in holding Davidson to just 33% shooting from the floor and most importantly 21% from 3pt land. Now that the proverbial monkey is off of the Hawkeyes’ back with this win in the NCAA Tournament, they will look to slay Goliath and take down home favorite Gonzaga for a berth into the Sweet 16. The Zags will be a strong favorite to advance but if the Hawkeyes perform the way they did against Davidson, I like their chances!

Please join us at the Santa Monica Barney’s Beanery for a Sunday round of 32 matchup against the Bulldogs of Gonzaga. The tip is at 4:10 PM and enjoy 40% off food and beverages to any Iowa fan who wears something with Iowa on it (offer valid during the game only).

We look forward to seeing you Sunday! Go Hawks!!

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IOWA Basketball NCAA Tourney Gamewatch – Friday at 4:20 PM at Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica

What a difference a year has made for the Hawkeyes, literally sweating out Selection Sunday last year, to this year being no doubt with Iowa securing a number 7 seed. The Davidson vs Goliath matchup has been set against the Atlantic 10’s Davidson Wildcats.

After a 6 game win streak, the Hawkeyes hit an unexpected road block in the BIG 10 tournament. A first round elimination is not the momentum any team wants heading into the NCAA tournament, and it should be a wakeup call that every game could be their last. One player who knows this more than anyone is Aaron White. White was one of the few Hawks ready to play, and his ability to get to the free throw line has to be the X Factor against Davidson. Iowa will have the height advantage, leaving Adam Woodbury and Gabriel Olaseni with the potential to have huge nights. If they fail to produce, the Hawks will be in dog fight. Jarrod Uthoff has been another bright spot in the lineup, and is a matchup nightmare for the Wildcats.

Davidson is a run and gun squad, one of NCAA’s best at scoring points. Regaining key components to the lineup is just what they needed. The Wildcats are a great shooting team, shooting 56% on the year. If the Iowa offense struggles, they are primed to go on a run. The Hawks will be tested in trying to slow Atlantic 10 player of the year Tyler Kalinoski. Forget duel threat, Kalinoski is a triple threat and will play with an extra chip on his shoulder; to keep his NCAA career alive.

This Hawkeye senior class has taken just about every step forward for this program, but they have yet to win on the biggest stage. There will be red in the eyes of Iowa, White will give an All American performance; but he can’t do it alone. Iowa will either win as a team or Davidson will waltz into the dance as Cinderella once again.

Please join us at the Santa Monica Barney’s Beanery for a Friday, 4:20 PM tip and enjoy 40% off food and beverages to any Iowa fan who wears something with Iowa on it (offer valid during the game only).

We look forward to seeing you Friday! Go Hawks!!

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IOWA Basketball Gamewatch vs. Nebraska – 12PM Sunday Feb. 22nd at Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica

A defining moment perhaps for Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery lies ahead, with just six games remaining on the Big 10 slate; as he tries to overcome the perception that his Hawkeyes can’t win down the stretch.  McCaffery has revived Carver-Hawkeye Arena after ascending up the Big Ten ladder and reaching the NCAA tournament last year; but they also found themselves squeaking in after a late season collapse.  Expectations are to be firmly in the NCAA tourney this year, and a late collapse will not be good for the 5th year coach.  A dominating performance Thursday night against Rutgers rights the ship for now, and a win at Nebraska will greatly increase Iowa’s chances for the Dance.

We’ve been saying it for weeks, but it’s now official; Jarrod Uthoff is the new leader on the floor for the Hawkeyes.  This is no knock on Aaron White, he is one of Iowa’s all-time greats; and the Hawks are at a great disadvantage when he is not on the floor.  Uthoff has an intangible quality about him that makes him a leader for his squad.  Uthoff’s not the most vocal leader, rather silent and deadly.  Inconsistency has followed guard Anthony Clemmons during his tenure, but he has been a lightning rod for the Iowa offense; not because of his scoring; but his ability to find others in position to score.  His seven assist against Rutgers displayed a keen eye for splitting the defense.  Center Adam Woodbury has shaken a little rust off as well, getting himself inside for a few dunks. He’ll need to play with some fire down the stretch and stay motivated to score down low.  Week after week, Peter Jok continues to prove himself; justifying his starting role.  He shoots the 3-ball with such confidence and can create his own shot as well.

Nebraska is coming off a tough loss on the road at #15 Maryland.  A tough loss to take, but losing in the last seconds to a ranked team drives confidence, not doubt.  It was the Husker bench that provided the spark, outscoring the Terps bench 36-6.  Dubbed “Nebraskaball” after an overachieving 13-14 season, the Huskers are the kind of team that believes they can beat anybody on any given night; regardless of talent.  Junior Terran Petteway ranks third in the Big 10 scoring leaders and has been named to the Julius Erving Small Forward of the year watch list.  Nebraska prides themselves on playing tight defense, holding its last 14 opponents under 70 points.  Iowa likes to get up and down the floor, so if Nebraska can slow things down and set the tempo; the Hawks will be forced to make the most out of each possession.

Nebraska will be hosting over 50 players Sunday for legends night, and will be extra motivated to make it a special one.  Iowa has to maintain defensive pressure the entire game and find ways to get easy baskets.  If they can find Woodbury and White for a few inside shots, they’ll free up the outside jumpers for Uthoff and Jok.  It’s back to basics for this group, box out and rebound; second chance points will kill you.  The Hawks have to close out the season on a high note, because as the Hawks know; the dance just isn’t as fun when you’re the last to be invited.

Make sure to arrive early to get a good seat for this matchup! Gametime is at 12:00PM sharp. This week’s gamewatch will be at the Santa Monica location only. 40% off of food and drink during the game will still be honored.

Santa Monica: 1351 3rd St. Promenade, Santa Monica, CA

(Gamewatch host Justin Drake, Isaiah Scales, and Jake Krengel)

We look forward to seeing everyone. GO HAWKS!!!

LA Iowa Board of Directors

 

 

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Coming February 22nd: IOWA Basketball Gamewatch vs. Nebraska – Noon at Barneys Beanery

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Iowa Basketball Gamewatch vs. Wisconsin – 9AM Saturday January 31 at Bruhaus in Santa Monica (Co-Gamewatch with Wisconsin)

Co-Gamewatch with Wisconsin Alumni at Bruhaus in Santa Monica

After finally cracking the top 25, Iowa is now on the outside looking in again. It was a tough week for Fran McCaffery’s Hawkeyes as the Kohl center proved too much; and Wisconsin had their way. That was followed by a heartbreaking loss to Purdue, while making a strong second half push; after losing All Big 10 senior Aaron White to injury.

Hawkeye nation stood in silence watching White cling to his shoulder, fearing the worst news to come. Coach McCaffery says the injury is more of a stinger and he is day to day, with a chance to play this Saturday against #5 Wisconsin. When you take a thrashing, all you want to do is get another chance at your opponent; and Iowa’s chance is already here. Wisconsin is simply loaded with talent, and this is with losing star senior Traevon Jackson. The Badgers have their sights set not only on a Big 10 title, but also a deep run in the NCAA tournament. No other team in the nation scores like the Badgers and Frank Kaminsky is a big reason why. In their first meeting, Kaminsky was challenged often and heavily by both Senior Adam Woodbury and Gabriel Olaseni standing toe to toe with the big man, and more often than not; his shot could not be contained. Forward Sam Dekker can run the floor well and his offensive production wreaks havoc on anyone focused on shutting down Kaminsky.

Any injury to a team’s star is deflating, but for Iowa; there has to be some motivation seeing guys step in and take over. It’s hard to count the amount of times Iowa fans have had to shake their heads after a Mike Gesell attempted layup, but no one can fault his effort against Purdue. Someone had to step up for the Hawks, and it was clear Gesell thought why not him. Fearless, he drove the lane time after time dropping in the bucket over a swatting defender. Anthony Clemmons hit a clutch 3-Pointer and suddenly fans were reminded that this team is made of more than just one player. Taking down the Badgers is one giant mountain to climb, especially without White, but maybe they proved more to themselves in that lose; than any previous win. Coach McCaffery recruited them because they could play, and at times it feels like they’ve forgotten that. They didn’t have their usual leader and that effect was noticeable, but it was also noticeable that they had a different belief in the second half. Just as much as the players will need to stay confident, Coach McCaffery will need to utilize his players at the right time for maximum performance. McCaffery believes in his bench, believes in his players; but he needs to recognize who is on and who is not. And that will change from game to game, so awareness of that is extremely important. The right balance at the right time is what will separate the notch in the win vs the loss column.

The Badgers are riding high right now, and their dominance a week ago will only reinforce to themselves what they can do in Iowa City. Talent ultimately separates the teams, but sometimes you just simply need your opponent to miss. You don’t always have to play perfect, just better than your opponent on that night. Wisconsin has the talent, but Iowa has “white magic”. And Fran “White Magic” McCaffery needs to pull one out of his hat!

This week’s gamewatch will be at the Bruhaus in Santa Monica location only. Bruhaus is located at 11831 Wilshire Blvd.

We look forward to seeing everyone. GO HAWKS!!!

LA Iowa Board of Directors

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