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Iowa Preview

by Chris Mackinder | November 29th, 2007

2006-2007 Record: 17-14 (9-7 Big 10, T-4th)
Postseason Games:

3/9/2007 Purdue Big Ten Tournament L 74-55

Returning Statistical Leaders:
7.5 ppg – Tony Freeman
4.6 rpg – Kurt Looby
3.7 apg – Tony Freeman

Starting Lineup: Key Stat:
C Seth Gorney 7’0 Sr. 57.5 FG% last year was career worst
PF Kurt Looby 6’10 Sr. Low experience; double-double threat
SF Justin Johnson 6’6 Sr. 14.3 ppg through 7 games this year
SG Dan Bohall 6’4 So. Good: 3.1 apg; Bad: 2.1 turnovers per game
PG Tony Freeman 6’1 Sr. No. 2 scorer in St. Joseph High behind Isiah Thomas

Key Player Losses: Adam Haluska (20.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Tyler Smith (14.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.6 apg). Haluska was a true unsung here. Those 20.5 ppg will be hard to overcome. Smith was homesick and transferred to Tennessee (he also might have seen the opportunity to be on a Final Four team instead of a cellar dweller). Both losses mean the Hawkeyes will start four seniors, but only Freeman has an equal value of experience.

Impact Newcomer: Jeff Peterson. He gives Iowa a true point guard as Freeman is more of a 2-guard. With Freeman being out for the season’s first month or two, Peterson will not only gain vital experience, but could prove himself as the next great Hawkeye guard.

Tough Question: Can a starting lineup with four seniors be this bad? The Hawkeyes lost their heart and soul and their fiery coach. Four seniors normally would be a bonus for an incoming coach, but only Freeman has significant experience. Looby has some playing time and his height makes him a key cog. But with minimal depth, this team will struggle for wins.

Too Much PT: Cyrus Tate. Unfortunately for Tate, he’s a player sandwiched between two coaching reigns. Todd Lickliter will want to get his guys (freshmen and sophomores) big minutes and use the experience of the senior class. That leaves Tate as the odd man out. And with him not really factoring into the future, playing time should be minimized.

Get Him on the Floor: Jarryd Cole. He’s getting big minutes and capitalizing by shooting the lights out–just what Iowa needs.

Point Guard Impact: Freeman means as much to this team as Alando Tucker did to Wisconsin last season. He can score, pass, and will track down loose balls. He’s a do-it-all player that can’t be duplicated.

Final Word: This will be a long season for new Iowa coach Todd Lickliter. The talent on the Hawkeyes roster he inherits is, believe it or not, far less than the talent than he had on some of his Butler squads. In a deep Big Ten, these Hawkeyes will have trouble staying in most conference games, let alone winning them. Iowa’s goal should be to outlast Northwestern for 10th place in the conference.

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