#4 Iowa

#4 Iowa
Big Ten Preseason

The Hawkeyes have a wealth of good players and multiple options at each position. The roster makeup is interesting collection with legacy senior Marble, Siena-recruit Basabe,  numerous Iowans, AAU teammates, etc.

Woodbury & Gesell
White and Marble are the most well-known names with good reason, but this pair of former travel program teammates is going to be talked about plenty this season. AJ Hammons gets all the national love when it comes to Big Ten sophomore centers, but Adam Woodbury (and Alex Olah) will earn more respect this season. The 7’1” big man will continue to be strong on the boards, but we also expect his 92-ish ORtg to improve thanks to the strong potential for fewer turnovers, more trips to the line and an increase in FG%.

Gesell, a strong floor leader who is one full foot shorter than Woodbury, is projected to improve in the same areas as his teammate.

Oglesby & Uthoff
These two played together for the Iowa Barnstormers years ago and we expect the reunion to be sweet. Oglesby 42/156 for 26.9% 3FG shooting last season was brutal.  No way around that. Nonetheless, we still believe in him as a deep threat. A shooter who posted a 38.4% eFG% last season means there is lots of achievable upside.

It’s been so long since we’ve seen Uthoff play that it’s hard to feel strongly about what he’ll do this year, but we believe he can be an impact player immediately.

Other notes

  • Certainly senior Devyn Marble and Aaron White will be key to this team’s success.
  • Upperclassmen like Zach McCabe (strong rebounder; solid build at 6’7”, 235; can stretch defenses), Melsahn Basabe (versatile player; rebounding; shot blocking) and Gabe Olaseni (6’10” shot blocker with upside potential) all can contribute.
  • Another freshman point guard from last year, Anthony Clemmons, should be able to tame his 30% turnover rate in year two at this level.

Efficiency
Iowa’s eFG% should improve nicely for many reasons. Even at a very high level there are obvious improvements projected. For example, the Hawkeyes shot just 28.4% 3FG in conference games.

At the same time, their defense over-performed a bit in 2012-13 and they’ll allow a higher eFG% this year.

With a modestly improved offense partly offset by a decline in defensive performance, we think Iowa is good enough to jump up to #4 in the Big Ten as teams 3 through 5 will not be as strong this season as they were a year ago.

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