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Iowa Wins Exhibition Opener

November 8, 2009

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The Iowa Men’s Basketball team began it’s 2009-2010 season on Sunday with a 76-53 win against Marian in an Exhibition contest.

Anthony Tucker returned to the floor for the Hawkeyes for the first time since being suspended due to academics midway through the 2008-2009 season and he led Iowa with 21 points, including 5 of 11 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Hawkeyes hoisted 31 three-point attempts on Sunday, making 14 bombs. Devan Balwinkel hit four trey’s and added 12 points; he was 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and those were the only shots he attempted, continuing his theme from one year ago. Matt Gatens was 3 of 5 from three-point range and he scored 14 points despite being in foul trouble in the second half. Freshman Eric May rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Hawks with 10 points in his first action as a Hawkeyes to go along with seven rebounds.

Aaron Fuller showed off his new physique, having hit the weight room since the end of last season; he had a team best 15 rebounds to go along with seven points. Jarryd Cole chipped in three points and had eight caroms and freshman Brennan Cougill scored six points and grabbed five boards.

Freshman point guard Cully Payne attempted just one shot on the day and played a team high 29 minutes; it was a three-point shot. He had three assists to no turnovers.

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Iowa had 16 assists on 28 of 60 shooting from the floor along with 13 turnovers. They dominated the glass 44-30 but made just 6 of 13 attempts from the free throw line, as they were content to shoot the ball from beyond the arc.

That’s likely going to be a theme for this team all season long; if they can knock down the long range shots, they will be in contention. If they can’t, the sledding is going to be all the more difficult.

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BEYOND THE BOX SCORE: The three-point accuracy. Hitting 45.2% from downtown is a very good percentage, and Iowa is going to have to be at least a 40% team this year if it wants to be in most of the games on its schedule. That being said, opponents are going to know this and will be able to overplay in man to man defense on the perimeter, daring Iowa to make them pay off the dribble and with backdoor cuts. Iowa is lacking in the number of players that can create their own shot on the drive.

May was impressive in his debut; a very active player who is not afraid to mix it up in the paint at 6-5…Fuller has as good career ahead of him, especially with the added strength…hopefully Cole does not get too frustrated early on this season as his teammates are lofting shots from beyond the arc. He is a selfless player, so I don’t envision that being a problem…

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QUESTION TO PONDER: Andrew Brommer played just two minutes in an exhibition blowout?

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