Oct. 2, 2014
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — When it comes to playing time and utilizing a deep bench, the University of Iowa men’s basketball team will employ a similar strategy to 2013-14.
A year ago, when the Hawkeyes won 20 of 33 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006, 11 players averaged at least 11.3 minutes of playing time in 21 or more games.
“I don’t expect it to be a short bench like eight,” McCaffery said Thursday at Media Day inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “It will be closer to 11. We have 11 players capable of doing that again.”
Leading the way will be senior forward Aaron White, who averaged 28.1 minutes in 33 games. Other players returning from the 2013-14 rotation are junior guard Mike Gesell (23.8 minutes in 33 games), senior guard Josh Oglesby (19.5 minutes in 21 games), junior forward Jarrod Uthoff (18.2 minutes in 33 games), junior center Adam Woodbury (16.9 minutes in 33 games), senior center Gabriel Olaseni (16.7 minutes in 33 games), and junior guard Anthony Clemmons (11.3 minutes in 32 games).
“Sometimes you ask, is it too cumbersome, is it fair to everybody?” McCaffery said. “At the same time, you have guys who deserve playing time.”
McCaffery begins his fifth season as head coach of the Hawkeyes. The season before he arrived, Iowa finished 10-21, 4-14 in the Big Ten. Under McCaffery, the Hawkeyes have won 11, 18, 25, and 20 games.
“You’ve never arrived. I feel good about where we are, but you don’t ever develop any level of complacency like we’ve arrived. You’re constantly trying to improve what you already have and improve what’s here.”
UI head basketball coach
“You’ve never arrived,” McCaffery said. “I feel good about where we are, but you don’t ever develop any level of complacency like we’ve arrived. You’re constantly trying to improve what you already have and improve what’s here.”
McCaffery likes the way Dickerson, a junior college All-American, provides a different look to the Hawkeye backcourt.
“He’s different than everything else we have,” McCaffery said. “He’s a creator, great in pick-and-roll, and can score.”
The loss of Basabe and McCabe opens playing time for Uhl.
Offseason foot surgery could keep Ellingson from the court right away.
“Brady Ellingson is going to be a factor,” McCaffery said. “He’s not 100 percent. We’ll see how that goes.”
The Hawkeyes return three starters — White, Gesell, and Woodbury — from a team that went 9-9 in the Big Ten Conference. Seven other lettermen return: Clemmons, Oglesby, Olaseni, Uthoff, senior guard Kyle Denning, sophomore guard Peter Jok, and senior forward Okey Ukah. Freshman Nicholas Baer completes the lineup.
“I’m satisfied with what we have and where we are,” McCaffery said.
Iowa opens its exhibition season Nov. 2 against Northwood University from West Palm Beach, Florida. The Seahawks’ head coach is Rollie Massimino, grandfather of Tommy Massimino, Jr., who is in his first season as administrative assistant/assistant video coordinator for the Hawkeyes.