NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
Grand Theft:Boyd started the game with a pair of steals that led to a lay-up and a 3-pointer for himself as he scored the team's first five points. Overall, the senior guard scored 11 of the Hawkeyes' first 18 points and added two assists in the run.
Empty Seats:The students started their Thanksgiving holiday Saturday, and it showed at Carver. There were probably between 8,000-9,000 people, and there were only 18 students in the Hawks Nest. There were between 100-150 people in the student section.
Sightings:Iowa football players Nate Kaeding and Calvin Davis were in the house. Kaeding did a radio interview at halftime and the TV crew talked to him in the second half. Recruit Carlton Reed of Waterloo East also took in the game.
First In:Sean Sonderleiter was the sixth man on Sunday, replacing Greg Brunner. Nick DeWitz was the next bench man in when he gave Jared Reiner a rest. Sonderleiter and DeWitz were in the game when Iowa put together a 14-5 run to grab a 15-point lead midway through the first half.
Combinations:Iowa experimented with a number of interesting lineup combinations. DeWitz, Sonderleiter, Reiner, Mike Henderson and Pierre Pierce played together for a while. The Hawkeyes also used a backcourt of Boyd, Jeff Horner and Henderson with Reiner and Brunner up front.
Clipboard Toss:It took until the 3:26 mark of the first half before Head Coach Steve Alford tossed his first clipboard of the season. It was a pretty conservative throw for the excitable coach. There was no danger that it would land in the pile of broken clipboards.
Thanks Giving:Iowa displayed a very good awareness and chemistry on the floor Sunday. There were a bundle of excellent passes leading to easy baskets because a guy made the extra pass. There were very few forced shots.
Coach was saying what an unselfish team this is.
Oh yeah. And that's what makes it fun. Last year, we had a lot of fun with an unselfish team. That's carried on to this year. We were juniors last year and we had one senior Chauncey, who was unselfish. When you do that, great things happen. Our freshmen are doing a great job.
Are you ready for Tuesday?
Yeah. I hope so. We've just got to get our rest. We're having a lot of fun with this. With Coach Davis coming back in, it's going to be an emotional night. We've got to be ready for anything.
Do you guys need to get out to guard the 3-pointers a little bit more?
Yeah. But they were kind of guard oriented. And they've got some great guards that can shoot. We got our hands up. We contested some shots. They're a good team. They're going to win some ballgames. Any team that makes the NCAA Tournament the previous year is going to be a good team.
What is the biggest concern defensively?
We've still got to talk. We've got to talk and communicate more. When you're guarding, it's so much better when you hear somebody behind you knowing that you've got help. When we communicate, we're a good team. We started to do that late in the second half. That's when we got a good run in.
Pierre, you seemed pretty comfortable out there. How did it feel?
There was a lot of excitement and an adrenaline rush going on inside of me before the game started. But once I got out there, I tried to let the game come to me and get my teammates involved.
What feelings were you having before the game?
It was just getting that first game out of the way. It was a little bit of nerves. There were butterflies. Now, I got this first game out of the way. We've got a long season ahead of us. I need to continue to get better on defense.
Did it seem like you were scoring 26 points?
I just tried to let the game come to me. I didn't try to force too much. What happens at the end, just happens.
Could you have expected a start this good?
I wasn't expecting it. But I put a lot of work in last year. Hopefully, now it's starting to pay off.
You guys scored a lot of points. Is that a credit to your offense or was their defense a little off?
We've got a lot of weapons this year. We've got a lot of depth, a lot of guys that can score and do some things offensively. Our biggest concern right now is what we can do defensively and stopping somebody.
Is there anything particular on defense that needs work?
We just need to get tougher and not let guys drive passed us for easy looks, second shots and uncontested threes. Once we take away that, we'll be a good team.
Did Brody kind of get you guys going tonight?
Definitely. Brody came out and set the tone early. On penetration, I know he's spotting up at that 3-point line. He's going to knock it down at a high percentage. Him and Jeff, I try to find them on penetration.
You're 3-point shot looked good.
Yeah. I'm trying to do a little inside and outside to keep the defense honest.