Such is life with rebuilding, where Todd Lickliter understands immaturity can sometimes outweigh talent.
"We are both in the early stages of trials and hard work," Lickliter said, referring to his Hawkeyes and the Hoosiers.
Iowa and Lickliter are much further along in their rebuilding efforts, although Iowa will have to grow up quickly with upcoming road games against Michigan and Purdue. The lapses that put the Hawkeyes in a deep hole against the Buckeyes, then allowed the Hoosiers to dig out of one three nights later, won't cut it against the upper echelon of teams in the conference.
For Iowa to be successful, it needs to keep Cyrus Tate out of foul trouble. Tate had one of his best games against Indiana, finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds, including a nifty 10 of 11 on free throws. Whenever Tate is saddled with foul trouble, the Hawkeyes will struggle. With him in the game, though, they have a chance.
"It is hard for him because we have asked him to play legal, but physical," Lickliter said. "That is the way the game is played in the post and he is strong. I am hoping he can figure out the best way to be assertive."
IN FOCUS: The Gophers are a balanced team full of role players who are unselfish and willing to share the load. Such depth could be difficult for the Hawkeyes to defend, but the game against Minnesota might be Iowa's best chance at victory over the next two weeks.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual starters — F Jermain Davis, F Cyrus Tate, G Matt Gatens, G Jeff Peterson, G Jake Kelly. Key subs — G Anthony Tucker, G Devan Bawinkel, F Aaron Fuller, F Jarryd Cole.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I do think we need a break. Since we have gotten back (from Christmas break), we haven't taken much time off and then it has been preparation for Ohio State and then Indiana. It is a great league. Someone asked me the other day what I thought of four out of the first five league games against ranked opponents. I knew they were ranked, but I really hadn't put it that way. What do I think about that? I think it is a great league." — Coach Todd Lickliter
Iowa 58, Western Illinois 43
Ohio State 68, Iowa 65
Iowa 65, Indiana 60
vs. Minnesota, Thursday, Jan. 8
at Michigan, Sunday, Jan. 11
at Purdue, Sunday, Jan. 18