"This is a mental-toughness week," Iowa coach Steve Alford said. in Daily Iowan, as the 14-4/2-3 Iowa Hawkeyes prepared to take on the NU Wildcats tonight at Welsh-Ryan. Its also a game where the Hawk coach wants his team to be agressive on defense. If the Cats can dictate the flow of the game, Alford knows that NU can win.
In addition, they want to continue to get their energy back - something that was missing when losing to Michigan and Ohio State to start the Big 10 season 0-2.
"I don't know if guys got tired or what happened - whether they just rested on being ranked and playing well," PG Jeff Horner said. "People put their guard down and thought we could just go in and win gamesRegardless of the reason, they consider the next two games [NU and Indiana] must win games. Add two losses to the Wildcats last year, something that contributed to the Hawk's dismal finish, and you can see why win in the game tonight is so important to Iowa.
Iowa has essentially a 3 pronged attack: Junior Guards Pierre Pierce [6-4], and Jeff Horner [6-3] combine with Junior Forward Greg Brunner [6-7]
According to Bill Carmody;
"... Pierce is a slasher who can score on the drive, Horner is a great shooter, and Brunner is a great inside player. In addition, some other guys are starting to step up in recent games."Greg Brunner 13.2 ppg 8.2 rpg - [right] Had a double-double against Purdue [14 points and 11 rebounds] - compares to Vedran Vukusic on the Wildcats.
Jeff Horner 13.8 ppg 4.6 rpg [left] - Played a big game against Purdue - added 3 assists and 3 steals to his stats. He plays the Point and usually is in control.
- "Big heart, good technique, [Gene Keady in Hawk Central ]"He's determined; he's driven, has a sense of urgency to win.
- He's a big strong kid who's got great legs. He always came in like a jumping jack and he's added 25 pounds. He's a tough kid, he goes after it every single night. - Bill Carmody
Pierre Pierce 17.6 ppg 5.4 rpg [right] - The Leading scorer, #2 in rebounds and chalked up 8 assists in his last game.
and don't forget "the other guys:"
- Erek Hansen [6.7 ppg 3.1 rpg in the middle - He's blocked 63 shots - 3 1/2 per game. Had 6 points against the Boilers
- Adam Haluska [13.1 ppg 3.5 rpg] had 5 rebounds to go with 9 points last game.
- Doug Thomas [4.9 ppg 4.5 rpg - right] The Junior College transfer had 14 points and 9 boards off the bench against Purdue
- Since losing to Ohio State, the team has played good basketball again.
- 4 veteran starters who are used to winning.
- 4 starters average double figures.
- Each Hawk brings a different skill - check the category list below.
- Have outscored opponents by over 9 points a game.
- The Hawks are supposedly shorthanded - but they do have 4 guys who can come in off the bench most games
- Oh, those turnovers - almost 15 per game - Pierce is the team leader with 71.
- Nothing significant
|The Big Gun||#3 Pierre Pierce
||17.6 Points per game
|Deadeye Dick||#23 Doug Thomas
||Off the bench shooting 58.6%
|The Bomber||#1 Jeff Horner
||45 of 96 from the arc
|Off the Boards||#44 Greg Brunner
||Averages 8.4 rebounds
|Charity Stripe||#1 Adam Haluska
||80% Freethrow shooter
|Super Sub||#23 Doug Thomas
||4.9 ppg/15.4 minutes
|Pickpocket||#3 Pierre Pierce
||44 Steals/2.4 per game
|Helping Hands||#2 Jeff Horner
||#34 Erek Hansen||63 blocked shots
|Forward||#44 Greg Brunner [Jr 6-7]
|Center||#34 Erek Hansen [Jr 6-11]
|Guard||#3 Pierre Pierce [Jr 6-4]
#2 Jeff Horner [Jr 6-3]
#1 Adam Haluska [So 6-5]
The starters score almost 84% of Iowa's points - you catch up against Iowa when the subs are in, but 4 of the starters play over 30 minutes - these guys don't get in much.
|Forward||#23 Doug Thomas [Jr 6-8]
#5 Alex Thompson [Fr 6-9]
|Guard||#35 Mike Henderson [So 6-2]
#25 Carleton Reed [Fr 6-4]
Challenges for the Wildcats:
- Just Play Defense. The rest of the Wildcat game seems to be on track right now.
- Don't let Brunner and Hansen dominate the boards.
- Hope that Iowa is looking ahead to Indiana this weekend.
TV: ESPN+ Local - Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris
Radio: WGN [and XM Satellite Radio 187] with Dave [Mr. Wildcat] Eanet and Bob Hildebrand
Gametracker: NU Sports
Chat in the Free Chat room
[but Coach Roy may be late]
Beat 'em All!
|Talk about it on the Purple Boards