One Man's Opinion: This Hawk Squad Good, Getting Better

Dec. 10, 2008

Editor’s Note: A 42-point second half against an intrastate rival will catch most people’s attention and it clearly caught the attention of Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist Mike Hlas, who likes what he’s seeing of the 2008-09 Iowa Hawkeyes.

IOWA CITY – Last season, that wasn’t basketball at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

That was a skimpy serving of leftovers courtesy of the previous coaching regime, short-handed mush.

This season, Todd Lickliter has something resembling a ballclub. This wasn’t at all a rout, but Iowa’s 65-46 victory over Northern Iowa here last night was decisive all the same. It was predicated on defense and smarts. But it sure helps to have more talent than a winter ago.

The Hawkeyes’ three starting guards – Matt Gatens, Jake Kelly and Jeff Peterson – teamed for 51 points 11 assists and just two of their team’s measly five turnovers.

That’s good stuff from a freshman and two sophomores, and it’s not like the opposition was a slouch.

“They’re different in the sense they’ve got more guys who can handle it and more guys who understand and can pass it,” said UNI Coach Ben Jacobson. “And they’ve got other guys wh omake 3-point shots.

“I think their unselfishness is really key to all that. it’s one thing to have a group of guys who can handleit and know who to play, but when all of them are unselfish, then you’ve got something you can really build on.”

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