MillerTime Extra: Hawks Lethargic Against Bulldogs

18 point wins are nothing to sneeze at in college basketball in this day and age of parity. Iowa beat the Drake Bulldogs 74-56 on Tuesday night in Iowa City, spoiling the return of Dr. Tom Davis to Carver Hawkeye Arena. But this was a game that was ugly at the start, sloppy in the middle and lethargic at the end for the Hawkeyes.

From the outset, it appeared that the Hawkeyes did not come out focused in this game for what ever reason. Maybe they saw a rather inferior opponent on the game film this week.

Nearly all of the Hawkeyes that saw action in the first half had a hand in the sloppy play:

Jared Reiner reverted back to the way he played as a freshman: timid, going through his offensive motions too quickly, letting the action come to him.

Pierre Pierce had five first half turnovers, although he held Drake's Lonnie Randolph to just four points.

Jeff Horner and the Iowa guards did not handle the ball well and some passes were made half-heartedly.

Nick DeWitz had 10 points in the first half, including two three-point shots.

But on the whole, it was just a sloppy game.

One play near the end of the game that typified the night was when Iowa had a three on none fast break and Mike Henderson flipped the ball to Pierce at the free-throw line on the offensive end. Pierce lost the ball as he went up for the dunk.

Iowa may had at least four missed dunks on the night.

Pierce led Iowa with 17 points, followed by Jared Reiner and Greg Brunner with 13 and DeWitz with 10. For the second straight game, Iowa's first half scoring leader failed to notch a single point in the second half. Brody Boyd had 14 points at the break on Sunday.

Iowa had 23 assists in this game, which is a good number. But they had 23 turnovers.

Pierce led Iowa with nine rebounds, but he almost had a triple double of the dubious kin, as he had nine turnovers. Pierce also added four steals and made all five of his free throw attempts. Plus, Randolph committed seven turnovers of his own, many of those forced by Pierce defense.

Jeff Horner established a new career high with assists as he had nine on the night to go along with seven points, four rebounds, three steals and just two turnovers.

The only players that looked totally in synch on the night were Greg Brunner and Mike Henderson.

Brunner, per usual, was all over the floor with his hustle and was very active down low. Brunner had 13 points and seven boards and three blocks. He certainly had the most floor burns.

Mike Henderson scored seven points and had three assists in just 14 minutes. All three of his baskets came as he attacked the hoop, something he does well.

It's not often that an 18-point win is a great coaching opportunity, but this is certainly a game that Steve Alford can not be happy about.

If Iowa's future opponents saw this tape, they saw a team that looked very uncomfortable against a zone defense and full court pressure. And we are not talking about the best press that Tom Davis has ever put on the floor, either. Rick Pitino's Louisville squad will bring the pressure on Saturday.

Iowa is clearly a team that will do well against man to man defense. But their zone sets need a lot of tinkering.

I hope that we can just write this performance off due to something in the air, because most of the Hawkeyes seemed disinterested at times.


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