Hawkeyes Come Up Short, Fall to Indiana
The Iowa Hawkeyes had their chances against #5 Indiana but could not convert late as they fell 69-65.
It was there for the taking. That’s different than saying Iowa handed the game to Indiana, because it didn’t. This win was there for the taking and the Hawkeyes game up short on too many possessions in the last four minutes and fell 69-65 to #5 Indiana in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Iowa trailed 46-36 with just over 15:50 to play and then scored on three straight possessions, two of those being at the bucket looks by freshmen guards Anthony Clemmons and Mike Gesell to make it 46-42. Iowa would get it to 48-46 with 13:16 to play and then it was 56-48 Indiana with just over 10 minutes to play.
It was 59-56 with just over five minutes to play when the Hawkeyes really came up empty. They had back to back empty possessions down three, a turnover and a missed three. Indiana went up five and then Iowa missed another shot. The Hoosiers then went up seven before Iowa battled back to down three at 63-60 with 2:05 remaining. Down 65-62 with just under :30 seconds remaining after an Indiana turnover, Iowa missed a three pointer.
It was a ‘close but no cigar’ kind of day for Iowa, who didn’t play a great game offensively. That had a lot to do with Indiana’s defense. The Hoosiers, the nation’s best offensive team, had a bad day on offense due to Iowa’s defense. Yeah, Big Ten basketball just started.
Iowa was 21 of 63 from the floor to Indiana’s 26-65. Iowa was just -2 on the offensive glass in this game and got most of the 50/50 balls, but the Hoosiers got two of them late, when Iowa could have tied the game if they had come up with the ball. Iowa was 3-17 from three, making them 3-34 from long range over their last two games. We have known all year that this team was challenged from beyond the arc and the chickens are coming home to roost. Indiana might be the best team in the nation and even they played a lot of 2-3 zone against the poor shooting Hawkeyes.
Speaking of poor shooting and missed opportunities; Iowa’s leading scorer Devyn Marble was just 1 of 14 from the floor, a total that has to be the worst of his career. Had you told me before the game that he would shoot that poorly I would have said Iowa would lose the game by double digits. He made up for it by going 12-13 from the line and had a team high nine rebounds.
Aaron White scored 14 for Iowa and Mike Gesell had 13. Adam Woodbury scored just four points but had eight rebounds and did a very good job on Indiana All American center Cody Zeller. I was most impressed with Woodbury and Geselll in this game. Yes, Woodbury’s offense was hurried and weak at times (dunk it, big fella!). But he definitely had an impact on the defensive end when in the game. Gesell played beyond his years with much of his decision making and showed a fearlessness when attacking the tall trees in the paint.
For the most part in this game, Iowa’s half court offense was tough to watch. There was far too much standing around and some of Marble’s shooting woes had to do with the fact that his teammates were content to get him the ball and see if he could score in a breakdown fashion off the dribble. It didn’t help Marble that he was being guarded by Victor Oladipo, the most athletic guard in the Big Ten.
Yet the Hawkeyes showed a great deal of heart on the defensive end and for three-quarters of the game were making all of the effort plays. Did they run out of gas at the end? I don’t think I would say that; they were beaten by one of the best teams in the nation who is as complete as any team I have seen this year.
Iowa can play with anyone in the league, at home; Iowa outscored Indiana 40-36 in the second half and had just six turnovers. While I think Indiana is better than Michigan, I fear a real tough outing for Iowa on Sunday when the Hawkeyes play them in Ann Arbor.
That said, I don’t know many people who picked Iowa to beat Indiana and/or Michigan. I didn’t back in the summer, or in late fall and I felt Indiana would beat Iowa by six to ten points.
The Hawkeye players are going to feel sick when they watch the tape and witness those opportunities that were there for the taking, but they just couldn’t execute.
It was a great opportunity for a win against a great and ranked team but it wasn’t in the cards on this day. Three-point shooting will wind up costing Iowa another game or two this year where it could have won were it just 30 percent from range. That’s the makeup of this team, we knew it in June so it shouldn’t be surprising. Yet it’s still painful when you see the Hawks come up just short against the team most pundits would pick right now to win the national championship.
Q. In the final minute you guys got the turnover off the inbound, did you think about calling a time‑out?
COACH McCAFFERY: We just felt like scrambling and I felt Dev was in a position to make a play.
Q. What did you think of the shots at the end, they were open looks.
COACH McCAFFERY: You know, he made a great read on the first play. We didn’t give him a great pass and he missed the first one. The next two I thought were great looks. He’s got to shoot those while he’s in there. I would tell him to shoot them again, every time.
Q. Got to the line to make the free throws, just one of those days?
COACH McCAFFERY: You know, we started off slow offensively obviously. I mean, they were up into us pretty good. We were not doing a great job screening and we were shooting under duress, and he’s the guy that then goes and tries to get ‑‑ tries to make plays for our team. He’s always done that. He’s very good at that.
And they were getting after him pretty good, with different guys on him and they were face‑guarding him. You know, so at least he was able to get to the free throw line a few times and get us going.
Q. Did Basabe tweak his ankle?
COACH McCAFFERY: The other one. He was playing well I thought. And I thought in this game, he would have been very effective. He’s always played well against Indiana and played really well last year and he was ready to go. So that was disappointing.
Q. In the zone the second half, their offense ‑‑
COACH McCAFFERY: It did, and it slowed the game down a little bit. It enabled us to run out of the zone. That was good.
I thought our movement and our execution of zone defense was pretty good. We started to get a little bit tired. The longer you stay in it, the more any team, and in particular a team of this calibre, is going to figure out where to get open and how to get open.
You know, would like to have seen us foul on that last rebound. Obviously want to get the rebound first, but you’ve got to put them on the free throw line there.
Q. What did Adam Woodbury show you?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought defensively he was tremendous, especially early. He moved his feet. He held his ground. He wasn’t chomping. He wasn’t flying at shot fakes. And I thought battled him physically in a big way. It enabled us to kind of get our break going a couple times.
We didn’t convert early like I had hoped, but we had some opportunities.
Q. Was there anything that you think execution‑wise ‑‑
COACH McCAFFERY: The only thing I would point to is we cut it to one, we got the ball back I think three times. You know, I don’t remember what happened all three times, but I know Anthony through it to Josh, got stolen, and Josh through it over Aaron’s head.
That’s always a fine line with us because we want to run, we want to get attack. We want to get the ball and look ahead, and so that’s how we school them, so they make a turnover and start yelling at him and say, what are you doing; what are you thinking.
I would like for Anthony, since it was cross‑court to have brought it a little bit closer to Josh. Especially in light of the fact that we had just turned it over; we didn’t need that third turnover ‑‑ like playing with one hand. But it’s something that I think he’s obviously a terrific player, he’s a bright kid, he’s a great kid and he’ll learn from that and be a better player next time.
Ultimately when you’re in a game of this calibre where it’s a one or two possession game, it’s those kinds of things that ultimately add up. You can survive a bad shooting day, if you rebound well and execute and don’t turn it over.
Q. Do you think as far as your preparation, coming into this game, would you say they are 100%? And in retrospect, looking back, do you think could you have done better?
COACH McCAFFERY: I would have liked to have run ‑‑ we didn’t execute our offense in the first half. We ran pretty well. We didn’t convert. Converted in the second half on our transition and in the first half we didn’t convert like we needed to.
But I thought offensively, it was a struggle, early on. And that’s ‑‑ you know, that’s a credit to Indiana. They played hard; they fought; they got up into us, and they were the reason we shot 24 percent.
Yeah, maybe we had something to do with it, but I think a lot of times, that situation, everybody likes to say, well, we should have done this, we didn’t do that. Sometimes you just have to say, well, you know what, really good team, got after us pretty good, held us to a low number.
To our credit we were much more effective in the second half in terms of our execution. They were going zone in the middle of the possession for a good portion of the second half and then they went with the tandem zone a little bit in the second half. We executed extremely well against that. I thought our zone execution was tremendous. We had great looks at it. Just have to shoot it better.
Q. The fact that a younger team ‑‑
COACH McCAFFERY: You know, I’m not into that. What I am, I’m going to be honest with them. I was impressed with our fight. We have got great character on our team. We fought hard. We hung in, but we have to understand is the anatomy of the game. This game is different than any other game we played before and a game we’ll play from now.
So what you’ve got to be able to do is, know and understand: What are the things we have to do to win this game and what are the things we can’t do, because if we do those, we are going to lose this game. And they did a little better job than us at that, in that aspect of the game. A little bit more experience, and a little tougher for them; they are on the road.
So you know, we are pleased with our play. We are pleased with the effort of some individuals. Thought Mike Gesell was tremendous, proud of him. That said, we are going to go to work on some of the things that he needs to do better and he knows that.
Q. What do you see looking at the stat line for Marble?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, I look at that, I see he got to the free throw line and he got nine rebounds for us. I thought defensively he was tremendous. He didn’t turn it over. I love him. He fights for me every night out, and you know, he didn’t want to shoot 1‑for‑14. We tried to set him up a few times and down the stretch, I thought he was really fighting for us to keep getting it back to one possession, getting to the free throw line.
Q. First game, national TV, how was the atmosphere?
COACH McCAFFERY: I thought they handled it extremely well. All of our freshmen ‑‑ yeah, they made some mistakes. But what they all showed was ability to play through those mistakes. I think that’s critical for young players.
A lot of times when you’re young and you turn it over in that situation, it just kind of snowballs on you, and all three of them to a man I thought were able to come back and really impact the game positively as the game progressed.
Q. Seemed to be more assertive in the second half, what did you see out of him?
COACH McCAFFERY: Well, the second half we played more zone and he got behind the zone a couple times. He got five offensive rebounds, most of those in the second half. But I think it was a little bit more of that. It’s not like they could really come down and say, we are going to him, we are in a zone. They went to him early and you know, he’s a special player. He realized that he needed to go get it off the glass and he needed to be a factor in the game. He wasn’t a factor in the game the first half. He wasn’t. He knows that. And to his credit, he made sure his team won the game. Got to give it to him.
Q. What did Indiana do so well down in the post? Of your post players, Aaron was the only one that seemed to be effective scoring the ball today.
COACH McCAFFERY: Nothing different than they did anywhere else. The X was on the O. They were pressuring us at every position, taking away our space, and they are big and strong.