IOWA CITY – Fran McCaffery expects to use the Iowa basketball team’s upcoming trip to England and France to experiment a bit.
With a depth-filled roster, the Hawkeye coach wants to look at multiple lineup combinations but the broken hand that will keep point guard Mike Gesell off the court during Iowa’s six exhibition games will impact those combinations.
“It changes things when Mike isn’t there,’’ guard Devyn Marble said.
Marble and Anthony Clemmons will both likely see time at the point as Gesell recovers.
It’s a familiar role for both.
Gesell missed four games late in his freshman season because of a foot injury, a situation which shifted ball handling responsibilities to both Marble and Clemmons as Iowa worked its way through the final games of its 9-9 Big Ten season.
“We’ve dealt with it before, so from that standpoint it won’t be that different for us,’’ Clemmons said. “You feel sad for Mike because he’s worked hard this summer and now he’s out again. That’s a tough deal, especially with the trip coming up.’’
Marble expects the situation will lead to him seeing additional time at the point as well, something which played out last season when Gesell was out or seeing limited minutes after his return.
“I’m OK with that. Whatever helps the team,’’ Marble said. “That’s the good thing about this team. We’re here for each other and are willing to move wherever we need to go to help make it work.’’
Clemmons, who averaged 4.3 points and 16.3 minutes last season as a true freshman, sees the additional court time as an opportunity for growth.
“One of us has to step up and take control because Mike is out,’’ Clemmons said. “It gives me a chance to come in and help lead our team. Mike and I worked all summer to push each other, make each other uncomfortable on the court and help each other get better. This will be a chance to test that.’’
Marble said the past experience Iowa has had with Gesell out of action eases any transition concerns.
“We’ve done it before. It won’t be anything new for us,’’ Marble said. “You hate to see anybody get hurt, especially a teammate, but we’ve been there before and it’s an adjustment we’ve made before. We’ll get through it and we know he’ll be back before the season starts.’’
Gesell is expected to be sidelined from four-to-six weeks, which would put him back on the court around the time fall semester classes begin on Aug. 26 and about one month before the earlier start to practices allowed for the first time this year by the NCAA.