Drake's Tape Doesn't Lie
Dec. 5, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery says the film doesn't lie, so the Hawkeyes need to be ready for a battle Saturday against Drake in the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic.
"When the players watch film, they can tell who the good teams are," McCaffery said Thursday during a media teleconference. "It will be clearly obvious how good this team is, how talented they are and how good (Drake head coach ) Ray (Giacoletti) has them playing."
The Bulldogs are off to a 6-1 start to the 2013-14 season, which includes winning three games in three days to claim the Fresno State Classic. Drake downed the host Bulldogs (84-74), Northern Arizona (76-56) and Cal State Bakersfield (65-57). The team's lone loss on the year came at Saint Mary's, 67-63, on Nov. 16.
Drake has six players averaging six or more points, including two in double figures. Richard Carter is pacing the team with a 20.6 scoring average, shooting 49 percent from the floor, 39.3 percent from 3-point range and 86 percent from the free throw stripe. Gary Ricks averages 12.7 points.
"Carter has a good feel for how to play at both ends," said McCaffery. "He makes crafty plays, has savvy, is fearless and has the ability to score outside and get to the rim. He'll make plays for other people too, so he's a tough cover for anybody.
"It's easy to lock in on a guy that gets 38 in his first game and averages 20 points. He has been phenomenal, but there are a lot of other pieces that are doing what they're supposed to be doing. That's why they are 6-1."
Junior Aaron White displayed the aggressiveness McCaffery is looking for in Iowa's 98-93 victory over Notre Dame on Tuesday night. The forward finished with a team-highs in points (20), rebounds (seven) and assists (seven) to become the first Hawkeye to finish with 20-7-7 since Jake Kelly in 2008-09. He also became the 41st Hawkeye to reach the 1,000-career point threshold in the contest.
"I want him to be aggressive," said McCaffery. "He has the green light to shoot the ball, drive the ball to break a play off and go on his own and take it off the rim and go. I trust him to do whatever he wants because he has never been a big mistake guy. It was great to see him play that way."
McCaffery knows the Hawkeyes will be tested inside Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Such is the case with intra-state rivalries.
"Those two teams (Northern Iowa and Drake) are good teams, have been good teams, and have given us problems," said McCaffery. "When we have won, it has taken everything we've had. You know regardless of who you play, it's going to be a fiercely competitive game, and that's important this time of year.
"It will be a great atmosphere with four good teams."
Saturday's Hy-Vee Big Four Classic game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. (CT) following the conclusion of the Iowa State-Northern Iowa matchup that will tip at 5 p.m. Iowa's game will be televised on Mediacom/BTN2GO with Larry Morgan and Mac McCausland calling the action.