Nov. 7, 2004
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More than 6,500 fans of the Iowa basketball program got a first glimpse of the new team Saturday at the 13th Annual Black and Gold Blowout presented by Mediacom.
The Gold team, led by junior guard Pierre Pierce who scored a game-high 33 points, defeated the Black team 69-62.
Head Coach Steve Alford said the practice – the first full 40-minute scrimmage the team had had – served its purpose.
“I thought we got a good deal just seeing what our condition is and what we need to work on,” Alford said. “We get a look at where our guys are conditioning-wise with what we’re trying to do. Now we can work awfully hard going into Wednesday when we play someone else, because I think these guys are really anxious to play somebody else.”
It took less than a minute for the Black team to get started with a big dunk by newcomer Doug Thomas off a feed by junior point guard Jeff Horner. Thomas had 10 points in the first half and 14 for the game.
However, the story of the first half was the battle for Waterloo dominance between Black’s Carlton Reed, a true freshman, and Gold’s Mike Henderson, a sophomore.
Reed nailed three 3-pointers, a layup and a jumper to pace the Black squad and get them to within eight by halftime. He had a team-high 13 points at the break and 19 for the game.
“I think Carlton has really been playing will,” Alford said. “To compete and score 19 points in the scrimmage while you’ve got to guard Pierre Pierce the entire time, that’s a learning experience for him. And while he’s learning, he’s doing an awful lot of good things.”
Henderson scored nine points in the early part of the first half, including a dunk at 13:21, to give the Gold team a lead they wouldn’t give up. He was perfect through the first half with 11 points, but the sophomore fell off in the second half – much like both teams.
“I thought Mike was really good, especially in the first half,” Alford said. “I thought he did some good things until late when he was tired.
“I think if you look at the second half, our shooting percentage numbers are a lot worse than what they were in the first,” Alford added.
Alford said the two Waterloo natives each bring something different to the new team.
“They’re a little bit different in that Carlton is a little more of a slashing guard and Mike has a point guard mentality,” the coach said. “Mike’s just one of the guys who play a lot better when the lights are on and the fans are in the stands. I think Mike has really made a lot of good strides today, and I thought he really battled Jeff. If you can battle Jeff, you’ve done some good things because Jeff’s pretty good.”
Indeed, Horner went just 3-of-10 from the field for 15 points – six off of free throws. The junior Mason City, IA.-native was 6-of-6 from the line.
“We get a look at where our guys are conditioning-wise with what we’re trying to do. Now we can work awfully hard going into Wednesday when we play someone else, because I think these guys are really anxious to play somebody else.”
Head Coach Steve Alford
But conditioning, speed and shooting percentages will be the keys for the new Hawkeye team that will put together the faster transition game it first implemented after traveling to Australia last summer, according to Alford.
“We’ve tinkered with that a little bit and made some adjustments to that,” Alford said. “We were running that. We’ve gone into this year now with our depth really trying to push that up and play a little more of an up-tempo style. I really thought we did a good job of that in the first half.
“In the second half, with no subs, I think you could really see that drop off. That’s why I’m anxious to see Wednesday’s game to see how we can respond to that when we have fresh bodies out there.”
The scrimmage was the first public outing for the Hawkeyes before they take on Upper Iowa in an exhibition game at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Iowa will play another exhibition game with Laval University on Nov. 14 before starting regular season play with Western Illinois at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19.
Barry Pump, hawkeyesports.com