After-thoughts on Iowa’s 87-75 victory over South Dakota:
--If Fran McCaffery can ever get this Isaiah Moss to come out on a regular basis, the Hawkeyes may not miss Peter Jok much at all next season. With Jok and Nicholas Baer saddled with foul trouble and South Dakota really ganging up on Jordan Bohannon and Iowa’s big men with double teams, the Hawkeyes needed a lift from someone. Moss came to the rescue. He knocked down four 3-point field goals in the first half to keep Iowa even or ahead. Moss conceded he finds it hard not to be “passive,’’ but Wednesday showed he is making progress in that area.
--McCaffery scoffs at questions about freshmen hitting a “wall’’ at some point and tiring out late in their first season of college basketball, and Bohannon is giving him all the evidence he needs. Bohannon followed last week’s 24-point, 10-assist effort against Indiana in the Big Ten tournament with 19 points and 11 assists against a team determined not to give him any breathing room. He didn’t even get off a 3-point field goal until the second half but finished 3 for 4 from behind the arc.
--Tyler Cook, another freshman, was struggling to get any rebounds at all in the middle of the Big Ten season but he grabbed eight more Wednesday and now has 43 in the past five games. He scored eight points on offensive rebounds against South Dakota and was 8 for 8 from the field.
--Ahmad Wagner’s numbers weren’t quite as gaudy — six points, seven rebounds — but this may have been one of his best games as a Hawkeye. He had several hustle plays in the second-half stretch in which Iowa finally gained control of the game. He scored four points in a 9-0 scoring run, then a minute later tracked down two offensive rebounds in a sequence that ended with Bohannon slipping the ball to Cook for a dunk.
--It was one of the few times this season that Iowa was outscored in bench points, 11 to 8. The reserves actually played fewer minutes because Moss and Wagner played better than usual. Baer got in for only 13 minutes, his lowest total since a rout of Delaware State in December.
--South Dakota was a very aggressive, tenacious team that was much better defensively than some of us expected. It felt like the Coyotes dominated the first half even though they trailed 42-38 at halftime.
--Trey Dickerson, who transferred from Iowa to South Dakota in 2015, is clearly improved as a player and obviously was fired up for the game. He drained a 3-pointer for the Coyotes’ first points and gave some sort of goggles gesture to the Iowa bench as he ran back downcourt. He scored 10 points in the first half and did a great job harassing Bohannon, but tried a little too hard to create things at the start of the second half, earning a seat on the bench. When he came back in, he crashed into Cordell Pemsl in the lane and suffered a concussion.