IOWA CITY, Iowa - On Saturday, Iowa football measures itself against Big Ten West Division leader Wisconsin. The Hawkeye hoops team finds out where it stands two days earlier.
Iowa heads to Madison Square Garden for a Thursday meeting with No. 10 Texas in the 2K Classic. It's a huge step up in competition above Hampton and North Dakota State University, to say the least.
The Hawkeyes stomped NDSU, 87-56, here Monday night in front of an announced crowd of 12,333 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The blowout came three days after a 90-56 thumping of Hampton at home.
The most encouraging aspect of Iowa getting out to a 2-0 start this season is that it took care of business. Its opponents never stood a chance.
That's all the Hawkeyes could have accomplished. Five players reached double figures in scoring Monday with two others each netting eight.
Anthony Clemmons continued his impressive turnaround from a lost 2013-14 campaign. The junior from Lansing, Michigan has added a potent offensive game to go with his lockdown defense. Monday, he hit 3 of 4 shots from the floor, all three-point attempts, in scoring 11 points to go with a game-high three steals.
NDSU focused on taking Hawkeye captain Aaron White out of the contest, particularly in the half-court. Iowa countered by feeding center Adam Woodbury. The junior netted his first career double-double by halftime and finished with 10 points (5 of 6 from the field) and 11 rebounds.
Woodbury looks much more comfortable and confident on offense. Where he used to rush it in looking to score, he is taking his time and trusting his post moves.
Gabe Olaseni complemented Woodbury with a double-double (14 and 11) of his own Monday. He connected on 4 of 6 shots from the floor and showed off an improved face-up game.
Woodbury and Olaseni built confidence in their first two games. They're going to need it banging up against an imposing Texas front line.
Jarrod Uthoff looked comfortable for a third game in a row (including the exhibition). The junior hit 2 of 5 three-point attempts and scored 12 Monday. He's been a match-up nightmare so far this season with his ability to hit from long range, drive to the basket and post up.
White displayed a lot of leadership Monday with the defense pushing him to pass. Instead of forcing things, he kept the ball moving and found open teammates. He led the Hawkeyes with five assists and still connected on 3 of 5 field goal attempts in scoring 10.
Mike Gesell has played within himself through two games as well. The junior netted eight points on 3 of 6 shooting and contributed three assists. He's doing a better job of keeping the ball moving instead of over-dribbling, an issue he's had in the last two years.
Josh Oglesby, like White and Gesell, made sure the ball traveled crisply around the perimeter Monday. He dished out four assists to go with eight points on 2 of 5 shooting from behind the arc.
Trey Dickerson appeared much more comfortable in his second Division I game. The sophomore JUCO transfer contributed six points on 3 of 7 shooting but more importantly he didn't turn the ball over. He added a steal and an assist and still needs to work on finding teammates where they like to get the ball to score.
Peter Jok still hasn't hit his stride. The sophomore committed four fouls and four turnovers Monday. It looks like he's pressing on both ends of the floor. Maybe he's trying to hard to get the starting spot from Clemmons. Hard to say. But he has not played well and the Hawkeyes need him to perform better.
Dominique Uhl also is wound a bit too tight right now. He turned the ball over two times in 16 minutes on Monday and was held scoreless. He did pull down three rebounds but he's looked like a freshman through two games.
Iowa shot the ball well against NDSU. It connected on 30 of 56 shots (53.6 percent) from the floor and did a good job of making the extra pass. The Hawkeyes totaled 20 assists and also shot 9 of 20 (45.0) on treys.
The elephant in the room Monday was 18 turnovers. That won't do against Texas.