Dec. 2, 2010
PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn't allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When Fran McCaffery looks at the schedule for the University of Iowa men's basketball team, he doesn't see three straight home games or six of the next seven games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. And when you talk about ISU, that means Idaho State, not Iowa State.
"Right now I'm looking at one game, Saturday," McCaffery told a gathering of media Thursday in the Press Room in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "Then we'll game-plan for Northern Iowa and everything after that. But I don't look seven games down the road, because any number of things can happen between now and Saturday."
Iowa (3-4) is eying its third consecutive win at home Dec. 4 when it hosts Idaho State (2-3) with a 12:32 p.m. start. The teams share a common opponent in South Dakota State. Iowa lost at home, 79-69, in the season-opener Nov. 14 and Idaho State lost, 79-47, nine days later in Brookings, S.D. The Hawkeyes have won two in a row at home since the setback to the Jackrabbits, including a 111-50 decision against SIU Edwardsville on Nov. 26.
"So it's a one game season, then you go to the next game," McCaffery said. "Some games will be up and down, and some games will be half-court. Some games you'll be battling, and (your point total) will be in the 50's. Sometimes you'll be in the 90's. I prefer to be in the 90's. It doesn't always work that way."
Regardless of the game or number of points, it can be expected that McCaffery will continue to use the Hawkeye reserves in key situations. During a 76-73 loss at Wake Forest on Tuesday, freshman Roy Devyn Marble logged 31 minutes off the bench and freshman Zach McCabe played 26. Six reserves saw action.
"We had worked Devyn Marble to get him ready, and I think what he's proven so far is that he's a gamer," McCaffery said. "He's got some talent. He can score. He's not afraid. He sticks his nose in there on the glass and rebounds the ball. He is going to be aggressive offensively, and he's not a mistake maker, so that's critical. With regard to some of the other situations, (Jordan) Stoermer, (Branden) Stubbs, (Devon) Archie, those guys, they've all produced. Obviously, we go to Stubbs in the first half because Marble was tired, so we wanted to get to the media timeout and go from there. And Stubby was pretty good. Then Archie's been good. He wasn't as good in the last game as he has been, but I like him. He's had a little problem with his leg. I think that hampered him a little bit, so hopefully he's getting better. But that gives us sort of a three headed monster in the post. But even then I went t0 (Melsahn) Basabe and McCabe in that stretch, and that's just going to happen."
McCaffery updated the injury status of junior guard Matt Gatens and sophomore point guard Cully Payne. Gatens, he said, is doing fine from a conditioning aspect, but he is not 100 percent following surgery on his non-shooting hand. Gaten is not completely comfortable yet, as his rebounding (3.0 per game) and steal (0.8) totals indicate.
"Eventually you'll see him be more productive in a lot of areas. His minutes have been solid," McCaffery said. "He's second on the team in minutes played per game (25.0). I've got a lot of confidence in him and have no doubt that he's going to continue to get better."
In the case of Payne's sports hernia surgery, McCaffery said it is still too early to tell when he will return.
"When they got in there, it showed he clearly needed it," McCaffery said. "So any time you have a situation like that, sometimes it takes a little bit longer. In his case, unfortunately, he's got some work to do."
Iowa defeated Idaho State, 58-43, on Nov. 9, 2007, in Iowa City. The Bengals are members of the Big Sky Conference, a league Iowa has an all-time record of 6-0 against.
The Hawkeyes host Northern Iowa on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 7:06 p.m., and Iowa State on Friday, Dec. 10, at 7:35 p.m.