After-thoughts from Iowa’s 84-76 loss to Maryland:
--Sophomore Ahmad Wagner almost certainly played the best game of his college career as he spearheaded the Hawkeyes’ second-half comeback. His 12 points only matched a career high but the other times he did it was against Kennesaw State and Delaware State. This was a considerably better opponent. Wagner even made 6 of 8 free throw attempts after coming into the game shooting 47.8 percent at the foul line.
--Star senior Peter Jok admitted he wasn’t close to being healthy but said he felt he had to keep playing to help out his team. It was almost reminiscent of quarterback C.J. Beathard in the Outback Bowl in that there were times when you wondered if it might be better to have a younger, healthier body on the floor with the game on the line. Jok couldn’t move or jump the way he normally does and it seemed to affect his shooting, too.
--Iowa coach Fran McCaffery clearly lost trust in backup point guard Christian Williams after the sophomore committed two turnovers in his first two minutes on the court. Starter Jordan Bohannon played 38 minutes in the game and was the only starter in the game when Iowa made its big second-half comeback.
--Nicholas Baer had almost as much to do with the comeback as Wagner did. In fact, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon mentioned him as the primary catalyst. Baer finished with seven points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Both blocks came at key moments in the final 7 ½ minutes.
--Iowa continues to have problems with small, quick guards. It was obvious in previous games against such opponents as Seton Hall, Omaha and Nebraska, and it was apparent again Thursday. Melo Trimble, Anthony Cowan and Jaylen Brantley combined to score 45 points and they played a major role in setting up Maryland’s big men for easy close-in shots.
--Junior forward Dom Uhl must be starting to feel like Wally Pipp, the New York Yankees first baseman who stepped aside to let Lou Gehrig play and never got his job back. Uhl has missed the last two games with a thumb injury that didn’t appear to be all that serious and those minutes have been picked up by Wagner and Ryan Kriener, each of whom has taken advantage to have a career game. After scoring 14 points against Northwestern on Sunday, Kriener made solid contributions Thursday with four points and six rebounds.
--McCaffery appeared to be enraged at the officials at the end of the game but it really was just one call (or no-call) that set him off. Maryland had been warned a few minutes earlier for a possible delay of game infraction when one of its players grabbed the ball after it went through the hoop, keeping the Hawkeyes from inbounding the ball quickly. It happened again in the final minute and the officials looked the other way rather than call a technical foul.