Last week Iowa pulled off its biggest win in the Fran McCaffery era toppling #12 North Carolina on the road at Chapel Hill. Another chance to notch another “signature win” hangs in the balance when the Cyclones of Iowa State roll into Carver Hawkeye Arena.
The I-80 rivalry is about bragging rights, but it’s also about putting a stamp on the NCAA tournament. The Cyclones are 14th in the nation, with a 6-1 record; their only loss is to the BIG 10 newcomer Maryland. Nearly a month into play and the Cyclones visit to Iowa City will be their first road game of the year. ISU coach Fred Hoiberg has done an excellent job recruiting and it shows on the court. Iowa State likes to play an up-tempo style of basketball, looking to take advantage of opponent’s lack of hustle. Georges Niang is a name you might be familiar with, and you should; because the guy can score. A testament to Hoiberg’s recruiting is sophomore Monte Morris. His quickness can catch a guard sleeping at any moment.
The Hawkeyes have a lot to prove, as much of the world doesn’t believe Iowa is for real…just yet. Iowa faced a big hurdle replacing Devyn Marble’s points and Jarrod Uthoff could be the man to do it. Aaron White will be the focus on opponent’s minds, but if Uthoff can continue to hit the 20 foot jumpers; he can become a leader. Iowa’s big men will need to take it up a notch and stay aggressive. Adam Woodbury has a lot of talent, and now he finally believes in his own talent. The underdog is us all makes it easy for us to root for Gabriel Olaseni, and while dealing with the loss of his father; he continues to put out 100% effort every night.
Keys to a Hawkeye victory will be how well they adjust to Iowa State’s tempo. Faster tempos can lead to fouls, and the Hawks need Woody on the floor. When your opponent is pushing the ball, it makes you push your tempo inadvertently as well. Hawks have to play their game, look for good shots and keep turnovers low. We went dancing last year, but the dance was cut short. A win against the Cyclones sets up another return and the belief that they belong.
The gamewatch will be at the Barney’s Beanery Santa Monica location only. Please join us and enjoy 40% off food and beverages to any Iowa fan who wears something with Iowa on it (offer valid during the game only).
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