It is never easy to replace 16 points 7 rebounds per game. It is even harder to replace a player like that when he did so much more than what just showed up in the box score. That is the challenge for Fran McCaffery and Iowa this year with the graduation of Aaron White.
The two players who are going to have to step up the most to replace are seniors Jarrod Uthoff and Adam Woodbury. The two of them, who have been through all the battles in the Big Ten, have the experience and talent to raise their games to even another level, and that is what McCaffery expecting.
For Woodbury, that means staying out of foul trouble and remaining on the court.
“You have to move your feet and keep your hands out,” said McCaffery. “That will keep you out of foul trouble and Adam knows that.”
He continued, “He’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. He is bigger and stronger, but he is also lean and thick. He is moving better, and to play the way we want to play you have to be like that. A lot of fouls come when you are late and reach and chop down on a guy, and he knows that and is trying to avoid that.”
With Uthoff, who averaged slightly over 12 points and 6 rebounds per game, it is now on him to step up and be the No. 1 option. One thing that helps is his showing over the summer at camps, and McCaffery feels it has given his star senior an added boost.
“I think it was a confidence builder for him,” explained McCaffery. “To get invited and to play well was big for him.”
While McCaffery knows that Woodbury and Uthoff will have to take on much of the burdon with replacing White, he recognizes that it will also be a total team effort.
“Somebody is going to play Aaron’s spot, but it has to be a collective effort to replace him,” noted McCaffery. “It wasn’t just the 14 points per game. It was the steals, the rebounds, he handled the ball against pressure. All of us have replace him collectively. We can’t do it with just one guy.”
With starters returning and a lot of experienced pieces there is no doubt Iowa has the options to replace their all league forward. Now the question becomes who exactly picks up the slack and how quickly will it get done.