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Monday, November 14, 2005
Gameday: Maryland - Eastern Shore
Here we go - the first official game of Iowa's 2005-06 basketball season tips off tonight at 7:35. They start with two home games as part of the Guardian's Classic, and will likely face Kentucky in Kansas City one week from today.

First, they'll have to get through Maryland-Eastern Shore and the winner of Colgate vs Utah Valley State, which precedes the Iowa game and starts around 5:00 tonight. It will be easy for the Hawkeyes to look past M-ES, as they were the worst team in D-I basketball last year, according to Ken Pomeroy's Pythagorean winning percentage, which compares a team's points scored and allowed to estimate how many games it should win. M-ES's offensive efficiency ranked 329th of 330 teams, and their defense was more porous than any team in the country, which explains why most of their 26 losses weren't even close.

Last year's stats are almost irrelevant, though, as the Fighting Hawks come to Iowa City with 10 new faces on their roster, eight of which are freshmen. 6-9 Tim Parham returns after entering and withdrawing from last year's NBA draft. He's a solid rebounder (16.4 reb% overall, 18.2% in conference), but his 47 FG% and 55 FT% certainly don't look NBA-worthy.

Parham will welcome the addition of Qavotstaraj Waddell, a 6-11 redshirt freshman center. Reports seem to indicate that he's the athletic-but-unrefined type. According to the Blue Ribbon Yearbook, M-ES coach Larry Lessett is already getting calls from NBA teams about his new big man.

The three other players who started in the team's exhibition game were 6-2 freshman Ed Tyson, 6-1 freshman Jesse Brooks, and 6-5 junior college transfer Antonio McMillion. M-ES was sorely lacking in outside shooters last year, but Brooks hit 5 threes in the exhibition.

- Shawn Yonkers of the Salisbury, MD based Daily Times wades through the deep pool of new talent at UMES. Coach Lessett seems confident that his team's scoring will be improved (though it would be difficult to be worse than last year).
- Susan Harman has a preview of the game.
- Andrew Logue and Steve Batterson weigh in on Iowa's declining ticket sales. Logue focuses on the doubling of student season tickets, while Batterson paints a fuller picture.

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