- By Scott Dochterman Land of 10
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Hawkeyes open their 2017-18 men’s basketball season against Chicago State at 8:05 p.m. CT Friday, Nov. 10 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa finished last season 19-15 and completed in the NIT, where it beat South Dakota and lost to TCU. Chicago State was 6-26 last season.
The Hawkeyes are led by returning starters Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, Isaiah Moss and Ahmad Wagner.
9:49 p.m. (2H, 6:49) — Iowa center Luka Garza has 16 points and is within 3 of tying Aaron White for the most by an Iowa freshman making his debut. But Garza hasn’t played much in the second half so White’s record might remain secure.
9:41 p.m. (2H, 10:55) — Iowa’s 3-point and FT totals and percentages are nearly identical, which is swell and not awesome at all. Iowa has hit 11 of 19 3-pointers (57.9 percent) and 14 of 24 free throws (58.3 percent).
9:18 p.m. (2H, 15:41) — Iowa scored on its first seven possessions of the second half to take a 68-37 lead. In a highlight-reel play, Iowa guard Isaiah Moss ran a fast break and tossed a lob pass to forward Tyler Cook for a slam. Iowa currently is on a 9-0 run and leads 75-37.
9:07 p.m. (Halftime) — Power forward Xavier Foster, a 4-star recruit from Oskaloosa, Iowa, is taking in the game. Foster stands 6-foot-10 and is a 2020 recruit.
8:55 p.m. (Halftime) — Iowa leads 52-27. The Hawkeyes are shooting 61.3 percent, while Chicago State is shooting 29.7 percent. It’s pretty obvious, too. Jordan Bohannon has 12 points for Iowa — all on 3-pointers. Freshman center Luka Garza is 4-for-4 from the field for 10 points Garza also has 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.
8:48 p.m. (1H, 3:01) — No surprise, but Iowa is dominating Chicago State in all phases. It’s a decent crowd here considering the opponent.
8:25 p.m. (1H, 11:45) — Guard Maishe Dailey and forward Ryan Kriener enter the game for Iowa. Brady Ellingson is running the point. Guard Connor McCaffery is sitting out with a sore ankle.
8:18 p.m. (1H, 12:50) — Iowa’s transition defense is struggling early on in allowing 10 fast-break points. Tyler Cook just destroyed Chicago State’s interior defense with a filthy left-handed dunk. Iowa up 23-14.
8:14 p.m. (1H, 14:45) — Iowa’s first reserves are freshman Jack Nunge at the 3, Brady Ellingson at the 2 and Cordell Pemsl at the 4. Tyler Cook moved to the 5.
8:10 p.m. (1H, 15:45) — At the first media timeout, Iowa leads 14-8. Isaiah Moss, who sat out the last exhibition with a sprained ankle, connected on a 3-pointer and a jumper. Iowa’s transition defense is a little suspect early on, however.
8:03 p.m. — Iowa starters: Jordan Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, Ahmad Wagner, Tyler Cook and Luka Garza.
Iowa and Chicago State play at 8:05 p.m. CT on Friday, Nov. 10.
Big Ten Network Plus (BTN Plus) on BTN2Go will provide live streaming of the game. Zach Mackey is the play-by-play announcer and Mac McCausland is the analyst. Click here for more information.
In Iowa, 600 AM (WMT-Cedar Rapids), 1040 AM (WHO-Des Moines) and 800 AM (KXIC-Iowa City) are the flagship radio stations. Jim Albracht is the play-by-play broadcaster with Bob Hansen as the color analyst. Click here for other Iowa radio affiliates.
Click here for ticket information from TicketCity.com. Tickets can also be purchased from the athletic ticket office located at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The intrigue here isn’t from the game itself. Iowa is likely to win, and win easily against Chicago State.
What’s worth watching is what the Hawkeyes do. The most obvious question is who will start on a team a rotation that could go 13 players deep. Coach Fran McCaffery said on Thursday forward Ahmad Wagner will start and that Isaiah Moss (ankle) will suit up. The most likely lineup is guard Jordan Bohannon, forward Tyler Cook and forward Luka Garza with Wagner and Moss.
Forward Nicholas Baer, the reigning Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, is out with a broken pinky finger suffered in practice. He will miss three to four weeks. He is a jack-of-all-trades-type, capable of pitching in as a scorer, rebounder or defender. With him out, Iowa will get an extended look at newcomers Jack Nunge and Garza in the post. Each is known for their scoring ability and provide some height inside Iowa lacked last season.
The team’s two best players, Bohannon (10.9 points, 5.1 assists) and Cook (12.3 points, 5.3 rebounds), are looking to build on Big Ten All-Freshman selections last season. The rest of the rotation is in the air.
These types of gimme games, where Iowa is expected stroll to a victory, may not appear to hold much value, but they do for the players this season. Performances in November will help dictate who plays and how much as the team heads into conference play.
The entire roster returns virtually intact, but the Hawkeyes must replacing the scoring from All-Big Ten shooting guard Peter Jok. He averaged a team-high 19.9 points.
Defense is another focal point entering the season. The Hawkeyes ranked 123rd nationally in adjusted defense, according to KenPom.com and must improve that figure to make the NCAA Tournament this season.
The Chicago State game won’t give an answer on where this team sits defensively. It will be several games before definitive statements can be made, but an engaged Iowa on the defensive end would be a good sign in the opener. — Bobby La Gesse
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