MBB: Iowa Looks to Take it to The Beach
By Justin VanLaere
The Hawkeyes look to take 4th place at the 2010 Paradise Jam, as they play Long Beach State in the consolation bracket’s championship game.
The Beach (2-2, 0-0) vs Iowa Hawkeyes (2-2, 0-0)
POMEROY RATINGS: LBS – 109 , Iowa 98
RPI: LBS – 132, Iowa – 116
Tip Off: Monday, November 22, 2010; 2:30 PM CST
St. Thomas, USVI – Sports and Fitness Center (3,000)
TV: Online Link HERE • RADIO: AM-600, AM-800, AM-1040
PG – Cully Payne, 6’1”, 190 lb, SO
G – Matt Gatens, 6’5”, 215 lb, JR
F – Eric May, 6’5”, 225 lb, SO
F – Melsahn Basabe, 6’7”, 225 lb, FR
C – Jarryd Cole, 6’7”, 250 lb, SR
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LONG BEACH STATE
G – Casper Ware, 5’10””, 175 lb, JR
G – Larry Anderson, 6’5”, 200 lb, JR
G – Greg Platter, 6’1”, 178 lb, SR
F – T.J. Robinson, 6’8”, 210 lb, JR
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F – Eugene Phelps, 6’6”, 213 lb, JR
In the consolation championship, Iowa will take on the Long Beach State 49ers, a team that just got its first win over a Division 1 team this year, beating a winless St. Peter’s program. Hawkeye fans will see a familiar face on LBS’ bench in the form of former Golden Gopher head coach, Dan Monson. “The Beach”, as Long Beach State is referred to, is not a deep team (they play five most of the way), however their starting five is solid.
Two players to keep an eye out for on The Beach’s roster are Larry Anderson and T.J. Robinson. Anderson is a long guard that shoots the ball well, but can also get on the boards very well from his position. Robinson will be LBS’ force at the forward spot; he put a double-double last game.
This Iowa team continues to improve every single time they hit the hardwood. Last time out vs. Alabama, the Hawkeyes looked like a legitimate D1 team out there. Here are my observations on that game.
A lot of things impressed me in the Alabama game for Iowa. They rebounded well. They pressed and played defense well. They held onto the ball well. Bryce Cartwright had his best game as a Hawkeye and Zach McCabe did the little things that allowed Iowa to maintain their lead. You can tell Matt Gatens isn’t 100% yet and that his left hand is bugging him, yet he continues to gut it out. We haven’t see the Eric May that came out in Iowa’s exhibition game, but he’s shown us glimpses (the 7 consecutive points he scored in the 2nd half vs. Bama was brilliant).
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Iowa has steadily progressed during the early part of this non-conference schedule. The guys are buying into McCaffery’s vision and starting to execute it on the court. They look like they are having fun on the court, and they are fun to watch on the court.
The one glaring weakness on this Iowa team remains its post players. Cole has not been that effective on the block this season. He’s had some put backs and some boards and also done a nice job on the inside-out passes. However, he’s had some issues with missed bunnies and getting blocked by the opposing team’s posts. Devon Archie has shown some flashes. You won’t see him attempt many jump shots, as his offense game is limited, but he excels near the bucket, as well as cleaning up the boards. Archie needs to desperately work on his free throw shooting if he wants to be in at the end of close ballgames, though. Andrew Brommer has really struggled the early part of this season. Missed layups, missed 4 foot jumpers, frequent defensive fouls, and at times it looks like his brain is ahead his body. He looks frustrated out on the courts, as well. If he can limit his mistakes and start playing to his potential (and play like we’ve heard he does in practice), Iowa will be better off. Melshan Basabe, albeit super athletic and a high ceiling, has struggled a bit with turnovers (traveling in particular). He’s making some freshmen mistakes, but he’s also contributing for Iowa, especially on the defensive end and grabbing the boards. All four of Iowa’s posts really need to be able to either flush it at the basket or, at minimum, get the bunnies to go down. I don’t mean to harp on them this early in the season, but if Iowa wants to compete they will need to have some balance down low. The Hawkeye guards cannot be expected to do everything. The posts will need to be solid in this game if Iowa wants to come out on top.
KEYS TO GAME FOR IOWA:
– Get Out and Run. Long Beach State basically has no bench, so fatigue will be an issue. Iowa has proven it can play 11 players this year. Get up and down the court and get the 49ers winded. The Beach had a combined 16 minutes out of its bench among three players last game. In contrast, Iowa had 80 minutes out of their bench distributed amongst six different players.
– Press Early and Often. While the press doesn’t always result in a steal, it does, however, get the opposing ball-handlers frustrated and causes the opponent to start their offensive set in a bit of a scramble. I really enjoy watching Iowa in their ¾ court trapping press, then seeing them fall back into the 3-2 zone; it’s quite effective.
– Score Early. In three of Iowa’s four games, they haven’t scored more than 29 points. In fact, in all three of those games they have scored exactly 29 points in the first half in each of them. The Hawkeyes put themselves in a deep hole vs. Bama, but thanks to the Tide’s awful shooting, they were able to claw back. Iowa needs to finally get a big first half out its players.
PREDICTION: Even though The Beach starts all upperclassmen, I really like Iowa in this one. They haven’t given me any reason to think they won’t improve on their last outing. The guards are carrying this team and I feel like they will control this game. KenPom predicts this to be a 1 point game, I don’t think it’s that close. FINAL SCORE: Iowa 84, The Beach 71