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Sunday, November 14, 2004
Iowa 85, Laval 77
Iowa got another exhibition win today, but this one didn't come too easily. Laval kept within striking distance for most of the game. Carlton Reed hit a three at the buzzer to give Iowa a 44-33 halftime lead. Laval whittled the deficit to three in the second half, and were only down by six points at one point in the last minute of the game.

Coach Alford was not pleased with Iowa's defensive effort, and in a postgame interview he said they have a lot of work to do to prepare for next week's season opener. He said that the Hawks were too focused on the individual player they were guarding and did not offer enough help on defense, which Laval exploited with lots of screens and sharp cutting. Laval ended the game shooting 49%, including 9-20 from the perimeter.

Game Notes

Box Score

Didn't Northern Illinois beat these guys by 39? How can Hansen be so bad when they don't have anybody over 6'7"? Are you worried about this at all or is it just a meaningless exhibition?
Good questions Ben, and I don't think I have any definite answers. The defense is a little concerning. Some might argue that Laval played an "international" brand of basketball by emphasizing good screens, cuts, and 3-pt shooting, but it's hard for Iowa to justify allowing an opponent to shoot 61% for a half.

I'd like to say it's just an exhibition and things will sort themselves out, but that game against Louisville is just a week away. Something I was thinking about for that game - do any teams in that tournament have a schedule like Iowa does? Iowa plays a late game on Friday (8pm), then hops on a plane on Saturday and flies all the way to Hawaii, then has to be ready to play games on three straight days starting on Monday? That could be a little taxing. At least Iowa has 8 decent guys to play and can go 9-deep if they need to.

Hansen....hmmm, I might have to take a pass on that one. I bought into the early hype that he was much improved, and he looked like it in the first couple exhibitions, so it's too early to tell if the Laval game was just an aberration or a good indication of his actual talent.
In response to my own question, North Carolina, Texas and Stanford all play games this Friday. Louisville plays a Saturday game in Hawaii.
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