116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - Adam Woodbury stood outside Iowa's locker room at Mackey Arena and offered a declaration about teammate Aaron White's status for this week's game against Wisconsin.
'If I know Whitey, I think he'll back on Saturday,” Woodbury said after a 67-63 loss at Purdue. 'I don't think he's missing that game for anything unless he can't move his arm. I think we'll count on him being back.”
White, who is Iowa's leading scorer (15.1 ppg) and rebounder (6.6 rpg), played only seven minutes after colliding with Purdue's Kendall Stephens barely four minutes into the game. White held up his right arm, went to the bench and returned for three minutes of action before leaving for good. White was diagnosed with a stinger that day and his status for Saturday's game against Wisconsin is undetermined.
'He's still sore,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said Monday morning. 'I think what's going to happen is he's been seen by our doctors, and he's been getting treatment. He won't do anything. He'll be re-evaluated Wednesday morning, and we'll see where he is then. Right now it's day-to-day and continuous treatment.”
McCaffery said White's neck and shoulder area showed nothing broken or out of place, just inflamed.
The injury leaves Iowa (13-7, 4-3 Big Ten) in a difficult spot preparing for the No. 5 Badgers (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten). But it also opens some possibilities previously not explored until last Saturday. With the Hawkeyes trailing Purdue 60-53 and 5 minutes, 10 seconds left in the game, McCaffery shifted to a four-guard lineup. Mike Gesell continued to run the point and Anthony Clemmons, Peter Jok and Josh Oglesby worked in the backcourt and along the wings. Iowa's only post was Woodbury.
That lineup helped Iowa get back in the game. The Hawkeyes spaced the floor with the four-guard lineup, and Gesell continuously beat his defender to the hole. Gesell scored on five consecutive possessions, including three on drives to the basket, and Iowa's 10-2 run gave the Hawkeyes the lead.
While that lineup worked against Purdue, it would have issues against Wisconsin. The Badgers are taller along the wings, which would create mismatches on the other end of the floor. McCaffery said Monday he might play center Gabe Olaseni at power forward alongside Woodbury to prevent a drop in rebounding. Olaseni had 11 offensive rebounds, which was more than Purdue's entire lineup.
But increasing scoring from the perimeter is more important than any lineup change, should White either miss or be limited for Saturday's game. Only Gesell had double-digit points (18) against Purdue. Shooting guards Peter Jok and Josh Oglesby were a combined three of 14 from the floor. Forward Jarrod Uthoff, who ranks second in Iowa scoring behind White, struggled shooting the ball and hit only two of 14 shots.
'I think I would have to challenge everybody, in particular, to step up,” McCaffery said. 'Obviously, he's (Uthoff) a prime candidate because he's a scoring forward. We need him to score. I thought Mike recognized it and was spectacular Saturday. Jarrod was trying; he didn't have a great game. He was trying. But Josh and Pete, we need those guys. Gabe was unbelievable Saturday, so was Woody, when he was on the floor; he was in foul trouble the first half.
'Everybody's got to step up. It can't be one guy.”
White has played in 125 games with 104 consecutive starts. Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan has great respect for White but touted Iowa's depth in the same breath.
'(White's) a huge part of that team for every reason that you could possibly put on a plus-list,” Ryan said. 'Hopefully he'll get back to full strength; it's his last year. I know Fran's got a deep bench so I think his situation is, maybe compared to some other teams, with the depth that they had maybe not as dire straits.”
2. Marble needs a day
. Iowa's basketball program has retired eight numbers and one jersey over its history, and you could argue several other players merit discussion for at least a jersey retirement.
One former player who needs inclusion on that list is the school's all-time leading scorer, Roy Marble. Nobody has approached his four-year total of 2,116 points, which outpaces second place by 337 points. Marble also has the record for career field goals (787) and field-goal attempts (1,459). Aaron White recently surpassed his records for career free-throw attempts and free throws.
Marble, 48, also has cancer with limited time remaining. He's been a face and a presence around Iowa basketball especially the four previous years when his son, Devyn, played for the Hawkeyes. Devyn Marble ranks fifth in Iowa scoring with 1,694 points and now starts for the Orlando Magic.
I spoke with Roy Marble last fall about his battle with cancer and brought up the notion that his No. 23 Iowa jersey should be retired next to his former teammate's, B.J. Armstrong. Marble was appreciative of the comment and humbled by the suggestion. But he also knows where he stands in the annals of Hawkeyes history.
'I'm truly comfortable with what I mean to Iowa basketball,” Marble said.
Marble has had his issues over time, which have been well documented by several publications, including this one. But it's time to give the man his due. He's arguably the greatest basketball player in Iowa history, and his statistics bear that out. He and his son are one of the top scoring combinations in NCAA history. Marble remains a great ambassador for Iowa basketball. It's time Iowa gave his career a final respect, and it needs to be soon.
3. Tourney watching.
Iowa fell out of the rankings this week and didn't receive any votes after suffering a pair of road losses at Wisconsin (82-50) and Purdue (67-63). Still, Iowa still remains a viable NCAA tournament team and is on track for its third consecutive 20-win season under McCaffery.
Here's a glance at how the NCAA tournament bracket would project right now:
1. Kentucky vs. 16. North Florida-St. Francis (NY) winner, Louisville, Ky.
8. Cincinnati vs. 9. Dayton, Louisville, Ky.
4. Louisville vs. 13. Northeastern, Jacksonville, Fla.
5. Georgetown vs. 12. Murray State, Jacksonville, Fla.
3. North Carolina vs. 14. Wofford, Jacksonville, Fla.
6. West Virginia vs. 11. Washinggton, Jacksonville, Fla.
2. Villanova vs. 15. Kent State, Pittsburgh
7. Michigan State vs. 10. LSU, Pittsburgh
1. Virginia vs. 16. Coastal Carolina-Albany winner, Charlotte, N.C.
8. Ohio State vs. 9. Providence, Charlotte, N.C.
4. Wichita State vs. 13. Texas Southern, Seattle
5. Baylor vs. 12. Stephen F. Austin, Seattle
3. Maryland vs. 14. Iona, Pittsburgh
6. Georgia vs. 11. North Carolina State, Pittsburgh
2. Kansas vs. 15. South Dakota State, Omaha
7. Arkansas vs. 10. Tulsa, Omaha
1. Duke vs. 16. Georgia Southern, Charlotte, N.C.
8. Butler vs. 9. Iowa, Charlotte, N.C.
4. Texas vs. 13. North Carolina Central, Louisville, Ky.
5. Virginia Commonwealth vs. 12. Western Kentucky, Louisville, Ky.
3. Utah vs. 14. Eastern Washington, Portland, Ore.
6. San Diego State vs. 11. Miami (Fla.), Portland, Ore.
2. Wisconsin vs. 15. Bucknell, Columbus, Ohio
7. SMU vs. 10. Oklahoma State, Columbus, Ohio
LOS ANGELES REGION
1. Gonzaga vs. 16. New Mexico State, Seattle
8. Stanford vs. 9. Syracuse, Seattle
4. Iowa State vs. 13. Yale, Omaha, Neb.
5. Northern Iowa vs. 12. Davidson-Seton Hall winner, Omaha, Neb.
3. Notre Dame vs. 14. Wisconsin-Green Bay, Columbus, Ohio
6. Indiana vs. 11. Colorado State-George Washington winner, Columbus, Ohio
2. Arizona vs. 15. UC-Davis, Portland, Ore.
7. Oklahoma vs. 10. Texas A&M, Portland, Ore.
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