Oct. 31, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — There were no complaints about playing time after Sunday’s closed men’s basketball scrimmage between the University of Iowa and Creighton. UI head coach Fran McCaffery used a simple rule: Come out when you’re tired, return when you’re rested.
Hawkeye fans can expect a similar strategy when Iowa hosts Division II Quincy University in an exhibition game Sunday, Nov. 4, beginning at 1:05 p.m. (CT).
McCaffery met with reporters Wednesday in the Media Room inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. He said the quintet that hits the floor first against Quincy could be the starting unit for a while, barring any performance or chemistry issues.
With 68 percent of its scoring returning from 2011-12 — plus five incoming rookies — one of the challenges for McCaffery could be keeping everyone on the UI bench content with their court time.
“There is going to be a guy or two occasionally that thought he was going to play 28 minutes, 32 minutes, and he plays 16 or 14,” McCaffery said. “Are they going to be satisfied? Are they going to accept that role? Is that going to be a problem? That’s a personal thing. The flipside of that is, if they only play eight, are they going to be ready for the next game? Forgetting whether or not they were upset about it, am I giving them enough minutes to develop them?”
“We are very young and we lost two key people. Whenever you have two senior guards, that’s usually a recipe for a team that has a chance to be really good. We’re going to probably have two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior playing in the backcourt most of the year. You don’t know how it’s going to end up. I think those kids are smart and tough enough to be really good, but we have to wait and see.”
UI head basketball coach
McCaffery emphasized that playing time distribution was not an issue during a scrimmage against Creighton, where he said the Hawkeyes turned in a “substantially better performance than the last time we played them.” That was an 82-59 victory for the Bluejays last November in Des Moines.
“Nobody was complaining because they were coming out when they were tired, and they went back in when they were rested,” McCaffery said. He went on to rave about UI individual performances that were “tremendous” and “phenomenal.”
“When it was over, I think it was one of those things where both programs could look and say that was a worthwhile experience for both of us,” he said.
The deep roster gives McCaffery an option to redshirt players, but he said that decision would not be made until after Sunday’s exhibition when all first-year players are eligible to participate and still redshirt. McCaffery does not intend to redshirt anyone other than freshmen.
Although McCaffery expects to tinker with personnel combinations against Quincy, the ultimate objective is a Hawkeye victory.
“You put the uniforms on, put people in the building, we’re keeping score. The focus has to be on, `What do we have to do to win?'” McCaffery said.
Iowa finished 18-17 last season and advanced to the second round of the NIT. The Hawkeyes lost leading scorer Matt Gatens (15.2 points per game) and point guard Bryce Cartwright (6.0 points, 4.8 assists per game).
“We are very young and we lost two key people,” McCaffery said. “Whenever you have two senior guards, that’s usually a recipe for a team that has a chance to be really good. We’re going to probably have two freshmen, a sophomore and a junior playing in the backcourt most of the year. You don’t know how it’s going to end up. I think those kids are smart and tough enough to be really good, but we have to wait and see.”
The Iowa-Quincy exhibition will be streamed online at BTN.com; it will be broadcast by the Hawkeye Radio Network (WMT-AM 600, Cedar Rapids; WHO-AM 1040, Des Moines; KXIC-AM 800, Iowa City).
Iowa is 18-1 in exhibition games since the 1999-2000 season. The lone setback was a three-point loss to the Harlem Globetrotters in 2002.