IOWA CITY — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery admitted the competition his team faced on its tour of Europe in August wasn’t the greatest.
But he said the four-game trip, which included stops in Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy, still was a highly beneficial experience.
“I think the biggest benefit was that we got our young guys together with our veterans and had an opportunity to practice 10 times in addition to the two hours a week that we're given by the NCAA,’’ he said.
“By the time we came back, I felt like we were a veteran club … We had a lot of players play really well individually, and quite frankly they should have. We were superior to the teams we played against, but we did what we should have done to teams that we were better than.’’
Motivation: Some of the early predictions by college basketball experts have Iowa picked to finish in the middle of the Big Ten standings, possibly lower, which hasn’t escaped the attention of the Hawkeyes.
Cordell Pemsl said that “absolutely’’ will provide some motivation for he and his teammates.
“We know where we belong and it kind of makes you want to show everyone where they’re wrong,’’ he said.
Bohannon on watch list: Sophomore Jordan Bohannon was named Monday to the 20-player watch list for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award.
The award is presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in honor of the former Boston Celtic and Holy Cross star. Bohannon, who set school records for assists and 3-point field goals by a freshman, is one of three Big Ten players on the list, joining Minnesota’s Nate Mason and Northwestern’s Bryant McIntosh.
20-game slate: The Big Ten recently approved plans to go to a 20-game conference schedule for next season but McCaffery said his team still will play in a tournament every year and he said the Hawkeyes will continue to play Iowa State.
But he said it definitely will change his program’s non-conference scheduling.
“To what degree, I don't know,’’ he said.