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I'm one of the mods on the Baylor 247 board. I was hoping Baylor drew Maryland because I think your team is a lot better. One of my favorite Iowa memories is the five guys that dressed head to toe in Iowa gear to come down from Dallas to watch a Baylor vs Iowa State football game in Waco when RG3 was at Baylor and sat in the Iowa State section just to cheer for Baylor and piss off Cyclone fans. Classic! So here are my questions about the game tomorrow night?
1. I see your BIG advantage is on the wings. Baylor has struggled all year covering skilled 2/3's. May and Marble could have big games. Baylor plays three guards a lot- all under 6-2 (Heslip, Franklin, Jackson and Walton) and two bigs (Austin, Jefferson, Gathers). Teams that had taller wing players (Clyburn- ISU, McGruder- KSU, Haws- BYU, McLemore- KU, Nash- OSU) usually had big games against Baylor because they are being defended by a shorter defender. Baylor usually does a decent job defending the 3 point line but they are vulnerable to slashers who like to operate in the mid range. Do you see that as a strength for your team?
2. When Pierre Jackson for Baylor plays with passion and focus, he's one of the best in the country. When he doesn't, Baylor isn't very good. Since the Kansas game, Jackson has been playing well. The comparison I see with him after watching him all year is Trey Burke at Michigan. He's just so fast that he is really hard to keep from getting where he wants to go on a court. But he also tends to settle too much for jumpers instead of using his quickness to get in the lane. How did you all play against Burke? Not just this year, but last year?
3. How do you think the front lines match up? One thing that sticks out to me is how much Aaron White gets to the foul line. Looks like he scores nearly half his points at the line. That is interesting because Cory Jefferson has had trouble this year staying out of foul trouble. Isaiah Austin gets more attention because of his high NBA draft status, but Jefferson is the better college player- who has played great over the last 6 games. Whoever gets the better of the Jefferson/White match-up may determine who wins this game. Agree or disagree?
4. I heard last night that Gessell has been hobbled by a foot injury. It is a quick turnaround to play again tomorrow night and I see his minutes have been limited in the NIT action. What do you expect from him tomorrow night?
5. Dan Dakich says you guys are the front-runners to win the B1G next year. You agree? I could see a similarity to Miami a year ago. They were an NIT team that returned their nucleus and then had a great year this year (winning regular season and ACC tourney). Do you have concerns with the point guard by committee approach or do you think a guy like Gessell when he is healthy becomes the main guy?
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Ashley Hodge 12 months ago
1. I partially agree with the wings being a strength. Marble is the best player on the team, that much is clear. The rest of the wings haven't had as productive careers as Hawks as we'd have liked. May, as you mentioned is having a decent senior season, but don't expect him to light up the scoreboard, he's more of a fundamental guy rather than a scorer. The other player outside of Marble to watch for is White, who can play the 3 or the 4. If he finds a rhythm he can be hard to stop. He hasn't had the type of games we're used to as fans during the NIT so he may be due.
2. I think Jackson and Burke is a fair comparison, granted they do things a tad different. I think Burke is probably the best in the country at getting others involved but also scoring when they aren't. On the other hand, I see Jackson as a guy who can get things going from anywhere on the court. He can light you up from anywhere and sometimes it seems he really doesn't need teammates to be successful. Iowa played Burke better last year when the game was at CHA (in Iowa City). Iowa had that game in their hands for the entire contest and it really wasn't ever in question. This year was different. I think its fair to say Iowa came out ready to play against Michigan, but if you watched the UM vs. Florida game, Michigan turned it up to that level of intensity and Iowa couldn't match it. Burke didn't really score at will, but he did play very good both offensively and defensively against Iowa and had a good amount of assists. I would think Jackson would get similar or more points than Burke did, but have less assists, just my gut feeling. For the record, Burke had 19pts and 12assists.
3. Iowa has a deep front court. Especially now that Woodbury and Olaseni are starting to come around and get their feet under them. McCabe can hit the outside shot, or bang down low with someone with less mass. I think Basabe is a good matchup for your guys as well as he can hit the 20 footer, but also has some moves inside. He isn't needed quite as much offensively as White has been though. Front court matchup will be interesting to say the least. Iowa needs to do a good job at closing out on Austin.
4. Gesell hasn't been practicing all post season, he's been hurting since the loss at Nebraska. He has played well in the time that he can go though, so I would expect to see about the same amount of minutes he saw Tuesday night. McCaffery has mentioned that it will be an offseason of recovery for him and that he will get as much as he is ready to go without further injuring himself.
5. Short answer - no. It all depends on who stays or goes pro. I'd say Iowa is a top 4/5 team next year in conference, MSU, OSU, Michigan, and Indiana are all up there as well. Minnesota had a similar run in the NIT last year and did well this year, but Iowa returns more than they did and adds some much needed shooting. I fully expect an NCAA team and a fairly good seed.
To the point guard question - Marble is the man at point right now. He played it most of last year when Cartwright went down with an injury and he did well at it. I am comfortable with him running it, and he plays better there than at the 2 for whatever reason. I wouldn't be shocked if he started at the 1 next year with Gesell at the 2. Clemmons is a viable back up as well. He's a freshman and can make mistakes but he always looks to run and has the ability to be a good player in a few years. Gesell can play either the 1 or 2 and Iowa can get away with it because they have height at all other positions on the court. Gesell will play more point guard in his career than off guard would be my guess. Which means Clemmons is likely a backup to him for the rest of their time at Iowa.
"I was brought in here to change the culture. I'm going to coach with passion" - Fran McCaffery.
Great assessment UI2015. I don't think anyone could have given a better rundown.
I might add that Woodbury (Freshmen) was very hesitant to make moves in the post position during the season. The NIT has proven to be the opposite. While Woodbury still has room for HEAPS of improvement, he has become MUCH more aggressive on offense and has had some nice post-season games. I've always said it'd be nice to just get maybe 8 to 10 points a game from Woodbury and he has done that this post season in the NIT.
Most notable is Woodbury's inside defense. He's been pretty reliable most of the season inside and is not afraid to play scrappy and dive on the floor for a loose ball or a rebound.
What Woodbury lacks is jumping ability. At 7'1" and playing Iowa basketball, it appears he's never had to really jump and his shot in college can easily be blocked by a small guard. But, he's become more aggressive as of lately and his offensive skills are improving.
Olesani is Woodbury's backup and at one point during the season I thought he maybe should start over Woodbury because he was making steels and went through spurts of being able to score some. But, Olesani's lack of minutes has limited his progression and it's obvious Fran is focused on developing Woodbury as the featured big man. In 2 years I think we will all see a dominant big man in Woodbury, if he continues to develop.
Iowa has a pretty deep bench and I believe goes 10 deep. They like to run. I've noticed that Iowa struggles at times against teams who slow down the tempo. Last night when Maryland made their run and got the score close, they had slowed down the pace of the game. Iowa gets VERY good production out of the bench and all are capable of starting on any given night.
If Iowa has a lead and Baylor can keep it within striking distance, they will have a chance to win. Iowa has had issues in having a lead in the closing minutes only to let it slip away and lose a close one. It's been a repetitive story this season. On the other hand, the post season has proven to help this Iowa team grow up. We've seen teams make runs in the closing 5 minutes and get within striking distance and Iowa has been able to put the nail in the coffin. Last night was a great example when Maryland fought back and got the game close (I was saying "here we go again"), but Iowa threw a knock out punch (May's 3-pointer). The same was true at Virginia.
The post season is probably good for both Baylor and Iowa. Both teams should make some noise in the NCAA tourney next season (I don't know who Baylor has returning).
This post was edited by u2Hawk 12 months ago
thanks- also want to offer to answer any questions about Baylor that you might have. I've watched every second of every game so I know the team's strengths and weaknesses well.
thanks- I don't think Baylor knows who they have returning also. Only two seniors on scholarship- Jackson and Walton both guards. Austin (freshman) probably goes pro although he should return. Not strong enough for the league yet. Jefferson is a wild card. He's a redshirt JR who is graduating. Probably depends on what the scouts tell him in the next week. Recruiting is usually never a problem with Scott Drew- he's relentless on the recruiting trail.
I've watched Baylor a few times and they've proven they can be great, or sometimes they do nothing. What causes this? Also, how is your bench and rotation, do the starters play a lot or do you rotate through players often? Finally, who are your outside shooting threats?
When Pierre Jackson plays engaged and focused, Baylor is very good. There have been many games this year where he has just coasted. He throws careless passes in those games; plays terrible defense and even though he ends up scoring points and getting assists, he just hasn't played a great floor game consistently. As he goes, Baylor goes no question about it.
In general there has been a lack of leadership on this Baylor team. The upper classmen are either emotionally immature or just not as engaged as leaders as they should be. The two best leaders are freshmen (Prince and Gathers) which is great for the future but not what you want in a program. Last year Baylor had a great leader in Quincy Acy and they won 30 games and went to the Elite 8. Two years prior, they had Tweety Carter and Ekpe Udoh who were terrific leaders and they were an Elite 8 team. The years they "underachieve" seemed to be tied to poor leadership in my view. Scott Drew is a player's coach and not the type to get in player's grills if they aren't doing what they should. He needs leaders in the locker room to achieve high results in my view.
The shooters are Pierre Jackson (36% 3pt); Brady Heslip (39%) and Gary Franklin (37%). But 7-1 Isaiah Austin will let them fly also (34%).
Scott Drew is always one to play his starters a lot of minutes. He usually plays 7 or 8 guys.
Cory Jefferson: 6-9 220 (JR): 13 ppg; 8 reb; 2 blks
Isaiah Austin: 7-1 220 (FR): 13 ppg; 8 reb; 2 blks
AJ Walton: 6-1 190 (SR): 7 ppg; 3 reb; 4 asst; 2 st (Walton is the best defender)
Brady Heslip: 6-2 185 (JR): 9 ppg (shooting specialist)
Pierre Jackson: 5-10 180 (SR): 20 ppg; 4 reb; 7 asst; 2 steals
Ricardo Gathers: 6-8 260 (FR): 6 ppg; 6 reb
Gary Franklin: 6-1 180 (JR): 4 ppg
Deuce Bello: 6-4 185 (SO): 2 ppg; 2 reb
Taurean Prince: 6-7 210 (FR): 4 ppg; 2 reb
He usually plays his starters an average of 30 minutes and divides up the other 50 minutes among those 4 bench guys.
I think I love this woman. Carry on.
Wow! We have a huge size advantage in our starting lineup. 6-6 Marble, 6-5 May, 6-8 White, 6-7 Basabe, 7-1 Woodbury.
I'm a dude- sorry to disappoint
well good luck tomorrow anyway.
LOL. It's IOWA and not IA State on the thread title, which you probably knew...
He does have a lovely wife. No pics.
But... But... But... You mentioned her.....
Pics or gtfo, I don't make the rules I just enforce them
Gold medals aren't really made of gold. They're made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.
This.. Sorry, that's just the way it is.
that was bad- old habits from writing previews on them during the season. I edited the title.
I really don't have much to add except, IMHO, the improvement in Woodbury's defensive ability has been leaps and bounds. Early in the season, he was a foul machine - take the ball down low and POOF! Instant foul. Now he plays aggressively and will still have the occasional stupid foul, but it is the exception now, not the rule.
Life is hard. It's really hard if you're stupid.
Totally reminded me of Dumb and Dumber
Yeah, he must work out"
If you don't like my opinion, at least you can enjoy the view
Hodge is as good as it gets when breaking down BU basketball.
IMO, Jackson and Jefferson are playing their best ball of the season. Since Baylor's 30 pt win vs Kansas, Jackson has averaged 23.3 ppg, 9.6 assists and 2.3 turnovers...he's been unstoppable at the end of games. Over those same 6 games, Jefferson is averaging 19.6 ppg and shooting over 70% from the field.
I think this is a very interesting matchup. I think Baylor's got the ability to play at a higher level than Iowa because of their athleticism and star power, but I get the feeling that Iowa is more consistent and has the ability to grind out a win.
I noticed you guys haven't beaten a ranked opponent all season. What seems to give your team the biggest problems? How have you fared against more athletic teams?
Looking forward to it. And Hodge is right, 3/4's with the ability to stretch the floor and hit from outside have been Baylor's downfall this year. That will definitely be something to watch for tonight.
thanks for the words lawbu.
I heard that Tony Bennett (Virginia) was singing Iowa's praises. Said he felt like you all were the 2nd toughest match-up for the Cavs this year next to Duke.
Why haven't we beaten a ranked opponent? Well, this team was really young and did not close out games well during the regular season. They had Michigan down with 2 minutes to go(lost), IU within 2 possessions with 2 minutes to go(lost) Wisconsin down 9 in Madison with 4 minutes to go(lost), Minnesota down the entire game until the last 10 seconds(lost in OT) etc...This team was a Top 3 team in the B1G if you quit playings games after 35 minutes. Unfortunately for Iowa, you play 40 minutes.
That and the B1G was just incredibly difficult to win in this year. For a majority of the season, I didn't really have anyone that could make a shot in a big moment. Marble has become that guy though in the NIT. He's been fantastic.
But Griner's a great equalizer...
To go along with this basically all the ranked teams were all top 10 teams. IU, MU, OSU, MSU.
Wisconsin was around #20 when we lost to them in Madison, as well.
Almost everone loses to Wisconsin AT Wisconsin. Iowa has been one of a handful of teams to get a win there recently. Kind of like playing Indiana AT Indiana.
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