Nov. 22, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team is using its first loss as a teaching point in an effort to learn and move forward.
The Hawkeyes were dealt their first loss of the season Sunday in Des Moines, falling to Creighton, 82-59, on a neutral floor at the Wells Fargo Arena.
“You have to focus on what happened,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery on a media teleconference Tuesday. “When you have a day like that you sort of break every aspect of it down.
“We lost to a really, really good team. In some areas we got exposed, and those areas we need to work on, but we have time. We have young guys that will learn and get better.”
One of those areas that McCaffery alluded to was the team’s maturity.
“We showed a lack of maturity in one stretch when it was 12-10, and we were quick shooting the ball and at the same time not getting stops,” he said. “You can’t do that — you’re in another building playing a top team.
“You’re trying to get it all back at once. We have to be more mature than that.”
The sophomore class consisting of Melsahn Basabe, Roy Devyn Marble and Zach McCabe struggled against Creighton, finishing with four points on 1-of-11 shooting and six rebounds. The trio entered the contest averaging 28.3 points and 13 rebounds per game.
“We need those three guys to play better than that,” said McCaffery. “Melsahn didn’t play well; he got into a little foul trouble. He’s got to break that trend. Devyn and Zach both played with the type of energy they need to play with, but they didn’t get a lot of success going to the basket.
“Those three guys are critical to our team. All three bounced back with great practices yesterday. They need to play well Wednesday and carry that on.”
The Hawkeyes host a Campbell team that enters the game with a perfect 4-0 record, which includes a win over Conference USA’s East Carolina. The Camels also defeated North Carolina A&T (94-66) and won at Chicago State (75-69) — two teams that Iowa defeated by 16 and 43 points, respectively.
“It’s going to be a great test for us because they’re athletic, but they don’t play nuts,” said McCaffery. “They share the ball and defend. They do some different things defensively, and they can score.
“It’s important to face a quality opponent right now. This is clearly a quality opponent.”
Freshman Josh Oglesby continues to shine in a reserve role for the Hawkeyes. The Cedar Rapids native led the team with 14 points against Creighton, which was his second straight game as Iowa’s top scorer. He is the first reserve to lead the team in consecutive games since Ricky Davis in 1998.
McCaffery isn’t surprised by Oglesby’s recent surge.
“I’m seeing everything I saw in the three weeks before that,” said McCaffery. “He got out of the gates slow and missed a few shots early. He’s doing what he’s always done; I kind of expect it from him. He might miss some shots, but he doesn’t play like a freshman.”
Wednesday’s game is set to tip-off at 7:05 p.m. on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game is available online at video.BTN.com.