Oct. 16, 2009
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch (2009-10 Season)
- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Official Sports Report, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free. To receive the UI’s OSR or to learn more, click HERE.
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Iowa men’s basketball team hits the hardwood for its first official team practice tonight in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This year’s roster is comprised of 12 players who have been working together, developing chemistry and preparing for the 2009-10 campaign. Two players who have been given the responsibility of leading this team on and off the court as co-captains are senior Devan Bawinkel and junior Jarryd Cole.
This will be Cole’s second season as a co-captain while it will be Bawinkel’s first. Head Coach Todd Lickliter is excited about the duo’s leadership qualities.
“They have the respect of their teammates and appreciate the opportunity to be a Hawkeye,” said Lickliter. “They `wear the uniform’ with pride, not just on game day, but in all circumstances. They understand the key to improvement is investing every day.”
Bawinkel played in all 32 games a year ago, starting nine, averaging 4.8 points and sinking the second-most triples on the team (51). The native of Winnebago, Ill., is primarily a 3-point threat, as 51 of his 52 field goals came from beyond the arc. Bawinkel admitted he was surprised when Coach called him into his office to tell him that he was going to be a captain.
“I have to set an example for the younger guys, make sure they know what needs to be done, on-and-off the court, and make sure they get familiar with the system,” said Bawinkel.
Bawinkel has embraced the added role and enjoys being a team leader. While he is more of a quiet leader, Jarryd is the vocal captain.
After suffering a season-ending knee injury his freshman campaign, Cole started all 32 contests last year, with nine starts, and shot a blistering 67.6% from the floor. The native of Kansas City, Mo., also ranked fourth in team rebounding (95) last year. Like Bawinkel, Cole wants to lead by example. He is prepared to do whatever it takes to lead this team to the next level.
“If Coach is looking for me to provide toughness, I am definitely going to provide it,” said Cole. “My role here is to do whatever the team needs. The season is really long and it is very important the guys realize they have to keep grinding.”
Cole, who is excited to enter the season completely healthy, went on to say that each player knows what their role is on the team and that brighter things are on the horizon.
“With adversity you can’t back down, you have to keep on going,” said Cole. “We are currently on the upside and I believe this season is going to be successful.”
Sophomore Matt Gatens is looking forward to getting started tonight and likes the team’s unity.
“It’s definitely a real tight group,” said Gatens. “We all get along and hang out on-and-off the court. It’s a lot of fun to be around. You definitely know it’ll pay off on the court.”
Fans will be able to get a first glance at this year’s Hawkeyes when the team hosts an open scrimmage Saturday, Oct. 31 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The scrimmage — open free to the public — will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Indiana-Iowa football game. A 30-minute autograph session will begin shortly after the scrimmage is completed.