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Thursday, November 03, 2005
 
Iowa 97, Brock 36
Wow, that was easy. I guess when Jeff Horner has a left-handed dunk and Erek Hansen has a defensive rebound within the first two minutes of the game, the outcome should not be in doubt.

It was fun for the fans, too. Especially if you like those fight scenes in movies where the victor is on his knees straddling a guy on his back and continues to punch him in the face after he's clearly passed out. (Not that I'm pointing any fingers - I still count Fight Club among my favorite movies.) Coach Alford put the starters back on the floor to start the second half, and I remember thinking later that it was sadistic of him to leave them in for so long because they were so thoroughly demolishing Brock. Then I looked at the clock, and it wasn't even time for the first TV timeout. Ug-ly.

The final margin should have almost been expected, though, considering Brock was playing its fifth game in seven days, including one at home (near Toronto) just yesterday. Since they could only go six deep, they never had a chance, and their guys were clearly gassed by the second half. Things got really brutal after intermission, when Brock could manage just four (4) field goals and ten total points.

Brock's main offensive gameplan was to isolate the point guard and center on the same wing/block, then pass the ball into the big guy (also known as Kevin Stienstra). If he couldn't get a shot off himself, he'd kick out to someone for a deep three. Erek Hansen started out on Stienstra, and pretty much dominated him defensively. Hansen did allow a lay-up where he got beat off a dribble-drive, but from what I recall, he didn't allow any easy shots after that, and even blocked a couple of Stienstra's shots. Greg Brunner guarded him when Hansen went out, and the Gorn Dog (aka Seth Gorney) helped out after that. The trio forced Stienstra into a 7-19 shooting night and eight turnovers, making his 17 points and 11 rebounds look very empty. Well done, bigs.

As for the rest of the defense, one descriptor kept popping to mind: active. Yes, calling them active is probably equivalent to standing me next to Michael Moore and calling me sexy, but just know that the guards didn't let Brock have anything easy. Horner and Mike Henderson didn't let any lazy passes float by, and Henderson especially made sure his man had a hell of a time dribbling in the halfcourt offense. Iowa's 30 forced turnovers were the reason they could score 97 points while shooting only 44%. Ballhawks, well done.

Offensively, things weren't quite as dominant. For starters, Iowa hit only 4-19 on their threes. I hope we can chalk this up to rustiness, because Iowa will need at least a couple deep threats this year if they're going to possess the offense of a quality tournament team. (Addendum - the 4-19 was weighed down by a lot of garbage time misses. Horner and Haluska combined to shoot 3-10, so I'm nitpicking over nothing, as usual.) Inside the arc, Iowa was OK, but not great. Haluska couldn't get the midrange shot to fall, though it didn't look far off. Henderson got himself a couple nice looks in the middle of the lane that didn't hit. Alex Thompson got off plenty of his own shots, and finished a not-too-terrible 3-8.

The short list of guys who hit most of their shots includes the ones who got out in transition. Horner got some easy baskets off of steals, and Doug Thomas added two or three monster facials to his reputation. He added some easy putbacks and a jumper to finish 7-8 from the field. Thuner Doug, well done.

Iowa also dominated the glass, as expected. They actually had more offensive rebounds than Brock did defensive, meaning Iowa grabbed over half of its own misses (yes, that's ridiculous). Brock could only track down 10 of its 43 missed shots.

All in all, a fun night, though I wouldn't be me if I didn't throw in at least one complaint. Why make students pick up their (season) tickets at the North entrance, but only allow them to enter through the South entrance? Since tickets weren't available until sometime this week, there weren't a lot of people who could make it in to pick them up before tonight. I think you could alert the two ticket checkers at the (isolated) North entrance and tell them to prepare for a handful more than the 15 people they actually had to let in. Whatever.
Comments:
Ryan vs. Michael Moore? I think even Duke vs. Brock would be closer than that one. I could think of a certain pop star that might be a closer matchup but no one would be able to tell you two apart.

Our boy Danny Granger unleased the SWAT team on one of Dwyane Wade's shots tonight. He didn't do too much but you can tell he's an athlete.

Nice to see that Thunder Doug still has the magic.
 
Eerie, the first song I heard this morning was from that certain pop singer.

Danny Granger, ROY? Heh. He did have 5 boards in 10 minutes on opening night.
 
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