Wine Online: Alford's Squad Promising

Dec. 14, 2004

This is “finals week” at the University of Iowa, which means there will be no sports competition, which means the men’s basketball team has an eight-day break between games. That’s good news for Steve Alford’s club, which just ended a rugged stretch of nine games in 22 days. “We’re going to give the kids a couple days time off,” Alford said after his team wiggled past two in-state opponents last week. “They need to take a break and get some rest. This has been a tough grind.”

The coach is right about that, and his team met the tough challenge by winning eight of the nine games. Three of the contests were played in Hawaii against opponents ranked in the Top 15. The Hawkeyes have reason to be fatigued.

The early-season success by Iowa has not gone unnoticed. Unranked when the season opened, it is now included among the Top 25 in both national polls.

There is a lot to like about this Iowa team, a collection of good shooters who produce balanced scoring. At least four Hawkeyes have hit double figures in eight games. The only time that didn’t happen was against Centenary, when reserves played a lot of minutes and scored 39 of the Iowa’s 88 points.

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