March 13, 2012
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — After a five-year absence, the University of Iowa men’s basketball team returns to postseason action tonight when the Hawkeyes host Dayton in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Tickets for tonight’s game, which starts at 6:30 p.m. (CT), are still available and priced $15 for adults and $5 for students.
Players and coaches learned their postseason fate shortly after 8 p.m. (CT) on Sunday when the first region of the NIT bracket was announced on ESPNU. Once Iowa knew it would play in the NIT, the Hawkeye coaching staff swiftly gathered information and video on its first-round opponent.
“Once we found out who we were playing, we went through what tapes we have on Dayton in our video archives,” said UI video coordinator Al Seibert. “In addition to accessing the tapes we already had on Dayton, we access another subscription service that allows us to download other games. On top of that, we rely on people we know around the country to obtain scouting reports from teams that played Dayton during their nonconference schedule.”
Seibert went on to say that once they have all the film on Dayton, he and the staff codes the offenses, defenses and out-of-bounds plays.
“Then coach Kirk Speraw, who has the team scout, and myself, visit with coach McCaffery to get their different sets of plays and put them onto an edit tape so it’s easier for the players to watch.”
After leaving the arena around 1:30 a.m., the coaching staff returned early Monday morning to continue working on the scout.
“Normally we introduce an opponent two days before the game, but we have a short turnaround,” said Seibert. “It will be one day. It’s a little different for us, but it’s a little different for them, and they’re traveling as well.”
Bryce Cartwright admitted having only one day to prep for an opponent is a tough task, but the team will be ready.
“When you have only one day to prepare, you stick to the things you know; it’s almost more about you than your opponent,” said the senior point guard. “If we do the things that we’re good at, and execute on offense and play good defense, I believe we’ll be fine.”
Freshman Aaron White had a smile on his face Monday afternoon before practice.
“I’m excited to be in the NIT and having another chance to play,” said the Ohio native. “We have a one-day scout, so we’ll get introduced to them today (Monday). This is a huge step for the program. I can’t wait for the game.”
White was not only excited for the underclassmen, but also the senior class, and the Hawkeye fans.
“We have a lot of young guys who will be getting an opportunity to play postseason basketball,” said White. “Getting that experience is huge going forward. I’m also excited for our senior class. I expect we’ll have a good crowd Tuesday; the fans are excited and the team is excited.”
McCaffery believes this is another positive step for the program.
“You have to build, grow, and develop your young kids,” said McCaffery. “They have to learn how to win and how to play in close games. To be able to play in the NIT, with the young team we have, bodes well for the future.”
Roy Devyn Marble, who is second on the team in scoring (11.0 points) and assists (3.6 assists), didn’t want this season to end and, is embracing this opportunity.
“We’re playing good basketball right now,” he said. “It’s nice to get rewarded, continue playing, and keep the momentum going.”
McCaffery has praised Hawkeye fans for their support this year and urges the Black and Gold faithful to be loud and proud again.
“Hawkeye fans have made Carver-Hawkeye Arena a very difficult place to play, and that’s what we want,” said McCaffery. “I encourage fans from all over the state to come out and support us as we take on very good Dayton Flyer basketball team.”