Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
With nine of their ten rotation players returning from last season, it is clear to see why the Iowa Hawkeyes are a sexy sleeper pick to make a jump in the Big Ten.
Last Season: T-6th, 9-9 in Big Ten, 25-13 overall
Predicted Big Ten Finish: 6th
Projected Depth Chart
C: Adam Woodbury (So)/Gabriel Olaseni (Jr)
PF: Melsahn Basabe (Sr)/Zach McCabe (Sr)/Kyle Meyer (Fr)
SF: Aaron White (Jr)/Jared Uthoff (So)
SG: Roy Devyn Marble (Sr)/Josh Oglesby (Jr)/Peter Jok (Fr)
PG: Mike Gesell (So)/Anthony Clemmons (So)
Gone: SG-Eric May (Sr), G-Patrick Ingram (transfer-IUPUI)
A year ago, depth was a major asset for Fran McCaffery as ten guys played at least ten minutes per game and that should continue this season. That is especially the case in the frontcourt where all seven scholarship players stand 6’7 or taller.
Aaron White is the big name of that group. The versatile combo forward struggled shooting the rock last season but is a capable all-around scorer and sneaky athlete. He will start at small forward but could also see some minutes at the four if McCaffery wants to use a smaller line-up. The same can be said for Wisconsin transfer Jared Uthoff who becomes eligible after sitting out last season. Uthoff redshirted during his freshman season with the Badgers so hasn’t played a game in more than two years but is another versatile forward who gives Iowa tons of frontcourt flexibility.
7’1 sophomore Adam Woodbury will anchor the middle. A top 50 recruit coming out of high school, he didn’t make a huge impact during his freshman campaign but should be much improved with a year of experience under his belt. Melsahn Basabe figures to start at power forward. After a terrific freshman year in which he was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, Basabe’s minutes and productivity have decreased the past two season due to an influx of talent and depth being added to the roster. Still, his aggressiveness on the glass is why Iowa was one of the better rebounding teams in the country last year.
Zach McCabe will once again be used as an energy role player who can stretch defenses with his three-point shooting while Gabriel Olaseni adds a defensive presence behind Woodbury in the middle. Redshirt freshman Shane Meyer figures to be the odd man out of the rotation.
Do-it-all guard Roy Devyn Marble might be one of the more under-appreciated players in the country. He led the Hawkeyes in scoring and assists last season and his ability to run the point, play off the ball, and guard multiple positions makes him extremely valuable. Josh Oglesby will see minutes at the two as well and is looking to bounce back from a sophomore season in which he really struggled shooting the three ball. Freshman Peter Jok gives McCaffery another option on the wing in case he needs to go deeper onto his bench.
Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons will once again share minutes at the one. Gesell suffered a broken bone in his left hand during the summer but is 100% and returns as the starter. He is more dependable running the offense with his decision-making while Clemmons brings some athleticism and creativity to the position that Gesell did not display last year. With Marble being able to initiate the offense as well, Iowa is in great shape with their point guard position.
I think it would expecting too much for Iowa to make a major move and start competing with the big boys in the Big Ten. Still, they are a notch below the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana in the league’s pecking order and should make their first tourney trip since 2006.
Player to Watch: Roy Devyn Marble
With his father being the Iowa Hawkeyes all-time leading scorer, Marble had plenty of eyes on him when he arrived at the program. While he isn’t near the scorer that his dad was, the younger Marble has certainly not disappointed. With Iowa likely becoming more of a factor on the national stage, the versatile combo guard should start getting more love around the country and could end up being the Hawkeyes’ first NBA Draft pick since Adam Haluska was selected in 2007.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/28 vs. Xavier (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/29 vs. Tennessee/UTEP (Battle 4 Atlantis)
11/30 vs. Kansas/Wake Forest/Villanova/USC (Battle 4 Atlantis)
12/3 vs. Notre Dame (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
12/13 at Iowa State
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#33 Boise State
#36 St. Louis
#37 La Salle
#38 San Diego State
#40 Arizona State
#44 Iowa State
#52 Boston College
#53 Ole Miss
#56 Saint Mary’s
#60 Florida Gulf Coast
#64 Florida State
#66 N.C. State
#67 Kansas State
#70 Miami FL
#72 Texas A&M
#73 Long Beach State
#76 Indiana State
#77 Georgia Tech
#84 Washington State
#86 Oregon State
#87 Louisiana Tech
#89 Wake Forest
#90 Central Florida
#95 Seton Hall
#97 George Mason
#99 Penn State
#101 West Virginia
#102 South Florida
#103 Mississippi State
#105 South Carolina
#106 Texas Tech
#108 Virginia Tech
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks