Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa men's basketball bedeviled by DePaul in 93-78 rout

Blue Demons kept stealing the ball and scoring in transition

IOWA CITY — For those who suspected Iowa might not have the quickest men’s basketball team in America this season, their suspicion was confirmed Monday night.

DePaul, a team without an NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004, ran past, around and over the Hawkeyes Monday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, claiming a 93-78 victory in a Gavitt Tipoff Games contest.

Score one for the Big East. Score one for the Blue Demons. Score one for showing up and playing aggressive ball.

DePaul broke to a 13-0 lead and led by double-digits the rest of the way. It was 53-30 at halftime. The second half was a formality.

“They came out right from the jump, got in our space, and hit us in the mouth early,” said Hawkeye guard CJ Fredrick.

The Blue Demons (4-0) had nine of their 12 steals in the first half when they converted Iowa turnovers into 20 points. They went where the ball was. Iowa, not so much.

DePaul junior forward Paul Reed had 25 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Iowa sophomore wing Joe Wieskamp had four points in 27 minutes. He missed 6 of 7 field goal tries, two of which were among the Blue Demons’ eight blocked shots.

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“(Wieskamp) was sideways with his game,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “What we need him to do is be one of our guys. You have to be one of the guys that in that situation is confident in his own skin to go make plays and take good shots, get on the glass, get a steal, get our break going.”

“I made a lot of mistakes,” Wieskamp said.

“The past two teams, the exhibition game and the first game, were not necessarily top-level teams. We took care of those, but once it was a good, aggressive team, we got uptight and we didn’t play our ball.”

What defined this game? DePaul sinking 3-pointers on its first two possessions and five in the first five minutes while the Hawkeyes were chucking rocks? Iowa getting a first-half airball on a 3-pointer from freshman Patrick McCaffery that was caught by teammate Luka Garza, who promptly was called for traveling?

Iowa point guard Connor McCaffery taking two hits on the same play, and coming away with both a black eye and a long vertical cut on his forehead?

Or was it the streams of fans from the announced crowd of 9,961 climbing the steps of Carver’s aisles, somberly heading homeward during the timeout with 7:44 still to play?

Nah. It was all those DePaul steals and blocks, all that matador defense from the Hawkeyes.

Don’t shortchange the Blue Demons, by the way. They played superbly on the road. They shot 61.4 percent from the field, and sure looked better than advertised in Big East preseason polls.

But 15 points better on the road against a Big Ten team that is supposed to be at least some degree of competitive? Apparently so.

At least Iowa freshmen Fredrick and Joe Toussaint had 13 points each in the second half. Fredrick had a team-high 16 points. Toussaint showed DePaul-like quickness.

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Iowa’s next game is here Friday at 7 p.m. against Oral Roberts. Is the Hawkeyes’ coach concerned?

“I think you’re always concerned when you don’t play well,” McCaffery said. “I’m not concerned that this team has problems that are not fixable. It’s a good team, good group of young men, and we’ll be better.”

Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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