No. 10 Texas A Tall Task for Hawkeyes

After cruising to a pair of home wins to tip off the season, Iowa heads to New York City Thursday for a match-up with No. 10 Texas. The Hawkeyes are looking forward to measuring themselves against one of the country's best teams in the 2K Classic.

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Fran McCaffery summed up Thursday's challenge with a few eye-opening words.

"They've got Miles Turner coming off the bench, so they've got a lot more weapons," the Iowa Coach said.

The Texas Longhorns possess enough depth they can reserve a five-star freshman. The 7-foot, 240-pounder is Scout.com's fifth-ranked player overall in the 2014 recruiting class.

The Hawkeyes (2-0, No. 25 Coaches Poll) face off against 10th-rated Texas at Madison Square Garden as part of the 2K Classic (6 p.m. CT, ESPN2). They're followed by No. 24 Syracuse against California. The winners and losers of those contests meet up on Friday.

Iowa has rolled over its first two opponents, Hampton and North Dakota State, by an average of 33.5 points. It came against much lesser competition than what it faces Thursday.

"We've got to go down there and play with poise, play with confidence and kind of prove how good of a team we are," Hawkeye Captain Aaron White said. "It's a great test. They're a Top 10 team in the country so it will show us a lot about where we are right now."

The teams have played one common opponent. The Longhorns (2-0) blew out North Dakota State, 85-50, last week in Austin. Iowa dominated the Bison, 87-57, on Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"They're both good, both deep, both talented," NDSU Coach David Richman said. "It's going to be a good game. I'm looking forward to seeing the result.

"Texas might have a little bit more size along the front line not only as far as height but strength and girth. But I think Iowa can throw multiple shooters out on the court. It's going to be an exciting game."

Sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor (6-1) leads the Longhorns in scoring at 15.0 points per game. Hawkeye junior Anthony Clemmons likely will draw that defensive assignment.

"I don't want to throw out a game plan," a laughing Clemmons said when asked if he'd guard Taylor.

Jonathan Holmes (6-8) paces Texas in rebounding (7.5) and also scores 12.0 a contest. The aforementioned Turner contributes 12.5 and 6.5 off of the bench. Cameron Ridley (6-9), Conner Lammert (6-9) and Prince Ibeh (6-10) all averaged at least 4.5 boards a game for the Longhorns.

"They look good. They're 10th in the country for a reason," Iowa Center Adam Woodbury said. "They're very athletic. They're very big and strong inside. They pose a lot of threats."

Woodbury and backup Gabe Olaseni (6-10) are presented with the task of slowing down Texas' massive front line. They're each coming off a double-double against NDSU.

"They have a lot of big guys. They have a lot of quick guards. They're definitely a different outfit than we've seen so far. But with the big guys we have, we're definitely looking forward to the challenge," Olaseni said.

The Hawkeyes usually benefit from enjoying more depth than their opponent. Texas reaches deep into bench with talent, too.

Ten Longhorns are averaging at least 12.5 minutes per game, eight are scoring at least 5.0 points, and six are grabbing at least 4.5 rebounds.

White leads Iowa in points (14.5) and assists (5.5) while also pulling down 7.5 boards a contest. Olaseni tops the team in rebounding (9.0) and blocks (3.0) and ranks second in scoring (13.0).

Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff comes into Thursday off two games where teams struggled to match up with him. At 6-9, he leads the team with six three-pointers to go with 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in 20.5 minutes.

"It's just another game. That's how we're going to approach it. Texas is a great team. We're going to prepare for them and try to win that tournament," the junior said.


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