116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CHICAGO - Iowa men's basketball coach Fran McCaffery boasts an odd mix of veterans and inexperience. The Hawkeyes return four starters (plus Anthony Clemmons who started 12 games last year), and bring in five freshmen and junior-college forward Dale Jones.
Most of Iowa's starting lineup is set with Mike Gesell at point, Peter Jok at a guard slot, Adam Woodbury at center and Jarrod Uthoff at forward. It's undetermined whether sophomore forward Dominique Uhl or senior guard Anthony Clemmons will be the fifth starter.
As for which newcomers will contribute immediately, McCaffery said Thursday, 'It probably changes day to day.”
'A couple of days ago I probably would have said Andrew Fleming and Ahmad Wagner,” McCaffery said. 'The next day I would have said Dale Jones and Isaiah Moss. The two guys that everybody forgets are (red-shirt freshmen) Nicholas Baer and Brady Ellingson. Brady was injured last year, and Nicholas is a walk-on. There's been days when (Baer) was a dominant player, and there's days when he's not. I think that's the issue that we're going through right now. There's not been a consistency from those guys.
'You've got to be careful because I don't know if you can expect it. We're throwing a lot of information at them. But in my experience over the years.”
McCaffery said he'll get a better evaluation of his team in the next three weeks.
BLUDER LIKES HER TEAM
Iowa's women's basketball squad lost three program greats from a team that qualified for the Sweet Sixteen last year. But overlook the Hawkeyes at your own risk, coach Lisa Bluder said Thursday.
'After losing three seniors that played significantly - I mean, left the Big Ten Conference as the leading scoring trio of all time - we're a different look,” Bluder said at Big Ten media days. 'And a lot of people are kind of counting us out because of that. And I would have to disagree with that because we returned quite a bit, actually.”
Iowa lost All-American point guard Sam Logic (13.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 8.1 apg), 3-point shooter Melissa Dixon (14.8 ppg) and center Bethany Doolittle (14.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg). The Hawkeyes hope to replace that production with preseason all-Big Ten selection Ally Disterhoft (14.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg), senior forward Kali Peschel (5.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg), guard Whitney Jennings (9.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.7 apg) among others.
Maryland Coach Brenda Frese, a Cedar Rapids Washington graduate, will take her Terrapins to Iowa City on Jan. 10 in a showdown between the Big Ten's top two teams last year. It's the first time Maryland - a second-year Big Ten member - will play in Iowa City.
Frese's return to Eastern Iowa has become a talking point among her large family.
'Oh, have we discussed it?” she said. 'I mean, even before the schedule came out two years ago, that's all they've been talking about. So, yeah, you know, the summer was spent at my family's home with renovations and to make sure that it's up to par to be able to bring the team over for a team dinner.
'So, yeah, it's going to be a tremendous game. You know, if you saw my big extended family of five other siblings and my parents and all of my cousins that live in Iowa - I don't know. We might have more fans in Iowa with the number of people that we'll be bringing.”
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