Saturday, November 06, 2004
The annual Black and Gold Blowout was today. The Hawkeyes split into two teams to scrimmage in front of 6,532 eager fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It was the first chance for many of us to see new guys like Doug Thomas, Carlton Reed, Alex Thompson, and J.R. Angle. I showed up early to get a good seat and get my basketball fix. The teams broke down like this:
|Jeff Horner||Pierre Pierce|
|Greg Brunner||Erek Hansen|
|Carlton Reed||Mike Henderson|
|Doug Thomas||Alex Thompson|
|J.R. Angle||Justin Wieck|
|Jack Brownlee||Jack Brownlee|
Huh? Iowa has two guys named Jack Brownlee? Nope, he started out with the Gold squad but switched over at half time to give the five-man Black team some breathers. Anyway, Gold beat Black, 69-62. Here are some random things I saw while I was there.
- Adam Haluska didn't play, as expected. Alford said it was just precautionary and that Haluska would have played if it was a regular season game. Sounds good, no need to aggravate anything during an exhibition game. Is anyone else anxious to see what this guy can contribute to the team? We know he can score - he scored 2,209 points in high school, most all-time for an Iowa Class 3-A or 4-A player. He's also a great athlete - he won a handful of state titles in sprinting and the long jump during his high school track and field career. Granted, that was a few years ago, but the guy had a decent first year at Iowa State (9.2 ppg), and his size should create matchup problems when he's guarded by smaller players. Haluska was shooting threes during warmups; he was dropping in one after another from about three feet behind the top of the key, and man, it was pretty. I'm officially excited.
- Thomas is a rim wrecker. He should be fun to watch. He threw down some flashy dunks during warmups, and then scored the first points of the game on a strong two-handed dunk. He added a fast break jam later in the game. I didn't think he looked all that aggressive/tough during the game, but he seemed pretty nimble around the hoop with a nice reverse layup or two. I was surprised to find out that he ended up with 18 rebounds. . . .although I suppose the fact that the teams combined to shoot 38% helped him out there.
- Pierre Pierce was solid, finishing with a game-high 33 points. He was really the only guy on his team who could create his own shot, and took more than twice as many of them as anybody on his team. He owned the second half, too. He was great in transition, good at cutting through the lane, and knocked down a couple threes. He seemed to force shots early in the game, and only shot 2-9 from the perimeter, but i doubt too many people can complain about his performance (except the 3-7 at the FT line, which I'm guessing will irritate me throughout the year).
- Was anybody else impressed with Erek Hansen? The big guy had some nice numbers, including 13 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocks. I remember some hype about him improving his game at Pete Newell's Big Man Camp. Today's performance was a nice surprise, for me at least. He was swatting shots from Thomas and Greg Brunner, he showed some nifty post moves, he threw down a dunk (or two?) and he even knocked a couple short jumpers down. He should be able to hold down a starting job this year.
- Speaking of Brunner, that was a pretty rough outing. He went all 40 minutes but only grabbed three rebounds, and he only shot 4-15. I'm hoping he doesn't have too many more games this year with four 3-point attempts. Oh well, it's still early.
- Angle didn't impress me. He went 0 for the game and picked up seven rebounds. I kind of forgot he was even out there most of the time. Reed had a good game for a freshman (maybe that's an understatement). He did lead his team in scoring with 19 points, including 3 threes, but I thought his play looked a little sloppy. He had some ugly shots that only hit backboard. Also, he was guarding Pierce most of the time, and we saw how that turned out. It was a good first game though. Thompson was kind of like Angle in that he seemed to disappear for a while. He did manage to grab 9 rebounds, but looked tired when he was on the court.
- C'mon, TV timeouts during an untelevised game? I thought it was weak that they stopped play during the normal commercial break spots. I guess neither team had much of a bench, so they didn't want to wear the guys out, and a few of them looked like they needed a breather now and then.
- Best Timeout Contest of the game goes to the one where the little kids had to throw on the full-size Hawkeye shorts, jersey, and basketball shoes and then be the first to make a shot. How can you not smile with little kids running around, swimming in their jerseys, trying to hold up their shorts and not get tripped up by their giant shoes?
All in all, it was a fun morning/afternoon. I got to see my first basketball game in way too many months, and I got a first glimpse at some current and future Hawkeye stars. Next game is home on Wednesday against Upper Iowa University.