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Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Iowa 91, Drake 75
Iowa's offensive onslaught continued Tuesday night with a 91-75 win against the Drake Bulldogs. Iowa shot 54% from the field and 79% from the line in a game where they had 52 points by halftime. There were some good things to take away from the game, but some concerns remain to be answered.

Starting center Erek Hansen did not play at all, apparently due to a sore hip, and the resulting lack of interior depth hurt Iowa all night. Drake's Aliou Keita took advantage inside, especially in the first half. He shot 11-17 for 23 points. He also grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked 5 Iowa shots. Unfortunately for Drake fans, Keita's teammates only shot 35%.

Doug Thomas started in place of Hansen, but after a couple quick fouls he went to the bench, where he would spend most of the game. Thomas only played 9 minutes, making an already thin frontline even weaker. I have yet to hear/read why Thomas played so little. Freshman Alex Thompson saw 13 minutes and even scored the first 4 points of his young career, but Iowa mostly compensated for the lack of big bodies by playing with an undersized lineup. Adam Haluska played plenty of minutes at the 4 in lineups that generally included 3 or 4 guards.

Aside from the interior defense, Iowa's main weakness was handling Drake's fullcourt press. The Bulldogs racked up 13 steals en route to forcing 19 Iowa turnovers. It was frustrating watching Iowa's passes repeatedly get deflected or seeing players not moving to meet a pass. It was easy to write off the performance against North Carolina's press because they were probably a team superior to those Iowa will play in the Big Ten, but tonight shows that the Hawkeyes need to work on breaking the press.

Game Notes

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