IOWA CITY — “Think it’s gonna be a long one?” a first-year Iowa men’s basketball player asked a veteran Hawkeye teammate in a Carver-Hawkeye Arena elevator Wednesday as they headed to their locker room to get ready for practice.
The answer from the vet was affirmative.
But maybe Wednesday’s session wasn’t a marathon. Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery tried that last Saturday with a short period of time to get ready for the following Monday night’s game against DePaul, and it didn’t work.
“We had a long day on Saturday,” McCaffery said Wednesday. “That’s my fault. That’s not their fault. We tried to get a lot in. Probably did too much. So we agree that we probably should have done it a little differently.”
DePaul ran the Hawkeyes out of their gym Monday, 93-78. The Blue Demons led by as many as 25 points in both halves.
“You never want to lose the way we did,” Hawkeye guard CJ Fredrick said. “Then you look back at the film and it was like ‘Wow, what were we doing?’ We made some really uncharacteristic mistakes on the defensive end. The ball wasn’t moving early on in the first half.”
A fix, he said, is “just us being the aggressor early on. How about we get in their space? Let’s attack. Let’s hit you in the mouth early instead of them just kind of dictating the tempo.”
DePaul sank 3-pointers on its first two possessions for a 6-0 lead. Soon, it was 13-0. The Hawkeyes never got the horse back in the barn.
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“We,” McCaffery said, “violated cardinal rules when you get behind. We tried to get it all back at once. I think we quick-shot the ball. We had guys that I think were trying to make plays because they felt like we needed somebody to make a play.
“I took a timeout at 10-0; maybe should have taken it at 6-0, maybe at 8-0. I took my second timeout relatively early; maybe I should have taken it earlier and addressed those things.”
Iowa (1-1) plays Oral Roberts (1-2) at Carver Friday at 7 p.m.
“Very good team,” McCaffery said. “They’re a veteran club. They’ve got some grad transfers and some older guys. They play at a good pace. They run good stuff. They’ve got multiple guys that can score.
“It’ll be a real tough game for us.”
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