Hawkeyes hit reset button, feel ready for Indy

2014-03-11T19:44:00Z 2014-03-12T06:44:36Z Hawkeyes hit reset button, feel ready for IndyDon Doxsie The Quad-City Times

IOWA CITY — The Iowa basketball team hit the reset button Monday.

After several weeks of going from one game to the next, holding short practices focused largely on preparing for the next opponent, Fran McCaffery got his team back to basics.

He put them through a workout that was longer and harder than anything they’d seen lately. It was entirely introspective and largely diagnostic. No upcoming opponent was mentioned. It was all about getting the Hawkeyes back to where they were about a month ago when they were being mentioned as a potential Final Four participant.

Did it work? We probably won’t really know until Thursday night when they take the court against Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

“We had a lot of energy, a lot of life," sophomore guard Mike Gesell said. “We had a really good practice, which was good to see."

“I think yesterday was really big for us," sophomore center Adam Woodbury said. “I think we got it back."

Gesell said he feels as though it was the first step toward reversing the team’s recent misfortunes on the court.

“Guys are staying really positive and we know what we’re capable of doing," he said. “We know how good of a team we are. Not too long ago we were ranked 10th in the nation and we didn’t get there by accident. We still have a lot of confidence in ourselves that we’re a very good ballclub."

The Hawkeyes (20-11, 9-9 Big Ten) haven’t looked too great lately. They finished the Big Ten season with a stretch of six games in 15 days and they ended up losing five of those games. They didn’t lose any of them by more than 10 points but the trek included a pair of home defeats and their first three losses of the season to unranked teams.

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said at a news conference Tuesday that it’s really difficult to pinpoint what went wrong for his team in the final weeks of the season. Some of it may have been fatigue. Some of it was sloppy execution of the halfcourt offense.

Defense definitely was an issue. After being ranked among the national leaders in field-goal percentage defense much of the season, their last six opponents combined to shoot 52 percent from the field.

“There's not one thing," McCaffery said. “It's collective. And I think the encouraging thing for us is this particular team has played excellent defense this year. And that's what our goal is, to go back and play that kind of defense again."

While McCaffery said he views the Big Ten Tournament as a part of the same season, his players said this feels like a fresh start.

“This is a brand new season now," Gesell said. “Whatever we did during the season doesn’t matter now."

McCaffery said he did sense some new excitement in the players after Monday’s workout.

“Any time you have an opportunity to play in an event of this caliber, I think that's going to make everybody pretty excited," he said. “As it relates to what happened the previous game, the previous five games, the previous 15 games, I don't think that matters."

Senior co-captain Zach McCabe said that while the reasons for the late-season collapse are fairly complex, he thinks the solution is relatively simple.

“We need to get back to having fun," he said. “I think we’ve been putting too much pressure on ourselves."

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Football schedule

2015 Hawkeyes (0-0)

Date Opponent Time/result
9/5/2015 Illinois State 11 a.m.
9/12/2015 at Iowa State 3:30 p.m.
9/19/2015 Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
9/26/2015 North Texas TBA
10/3/2015 at Wisconsin TBA
10/10/2015 Illinois 11 a.m.
10/17/2015 at Northwestern 11 a.m.
10/31/2015 Maryland TBA
11/7/2015 at Indiana TBA
11/14/2015 Minnesota 7 p.m.
11/21/2015 Purdue TBA
11/27/2015 at Nebraska TBA

Past schedules

2014 Hawkeyes (7-6)

Date Opponent Time/result
8/30/2014 Northern Iowa W 31-23
9/6/2014 Ball State W 17-13
9/13/2014 Iowa State L 20-17
9/20/2014 at Pittsburgh W 24-20
9/27/2014 at Purdue W 24-10
10/11/2014 Indiana W 45-29
10/18/2014 at Maryland L 38-31
11/1/2014 Northwestern W 48-7
11/8/2014 at Minnesota L 51-14
11/15/2014 at Illinois W 30-14
11/22/2014 Wisconsin  L 26-24
11/28/2014 Nebraska L 37-34
1/2/2015 Tennessee L 45-28



Basketball schedule

2014-15 Hawkeyes (22-12, 12-6)

11/02/14 Northwood (Exh.) W 92-51
11/14/14 Hampton W 90-56
11/17/14 ND State W 87-56
11/20/14 Texas # L 71-57
11/21/14 Syracuse # L 66-63
11/24/14 Pepperdine W 72-61
11/26/14 N. Illinois W 70-49
11/29/14 Longwood W 77-44
12/03/14 at N. Carolina W 60-55
12/06/14 Md. Baltimore Co. W 77-47
12/09/14 Alcorn State W 67-44
12/12/14 Iowa State L 90-75
12/20/14 N. Iowa* L 56-44
12/22/14 N. Florida W 80-70
12/30/14 at Ohio State W 71-65
01/05/15 Nebraska W 70-59
01/08/15 Michigan St. L 75-61
01/13/15 at Minnesota W 77-75
01/17/15 Ohio State W 76-67
01/20/15 at Wisconsin L 82-50
01/24/15 at Purdue L 67-63
01/31/15 Wisconsin L 74-63
02/05/15 at Michigan W 72-54
02/08/15 Maryland W 71-55
02/12/15 Minnesota L 64-59
02/15/15 at Northwestern L 66-61
02/19/15 Rutgers W 81-47
02/22/15 at Nebraska W 74-46
02/25/15 Illinois W 68-60
02/28/15 at Penn State W 81-77
03/03/15 at Indiana W 77-63
03/07/15 Northwestern W 69-52
03/12/15 Penn State (BTT) L 67-58
03/20/15 Davidson (NCAA) W 83-52
03/22/15 Gonzaga (NCAA) L 87-68
#-New York *-Des Moines  

Trophy case: Empty

Hawkeyes bowl history

1957 Rose   Oregon State W 35-19
1959 Rose   California W 38-12
1982 Rose   Washington L 28-0
1982 Peach   Tennessee W 28-22
1983 Gator   Florida L 14-6
1984 Freedom   Texas W 55-17
1986 Rose   UCLA L 45-28
1986 Holiday   SDSU W 39-38
1987 Holiday   Wyoming W 20-19
1988 Peach   NC State L 28-23
1991 Rose   Washington L 46-34
1991 Holiday   BYU T 13-13
1993 Alamo   California L 37-3
1995 Sun   Washington W 38-18
1996 Alamo   Texas Tech W 27-0
1997 Sun   Arizona State L 17-7
2001 Alamo   Texas Tech W 19-16
2003 Orange   USC L 38-17
2004 Outback   Florida W 37-17
2005 Capital One LSU W 30-25
2006 Outback   Florida L 31-24
2006 Alamo   Texas L 26-24
2009 Outback   South Carolina W 31-10
2010 Orange   Georgia Tech W 24-14
2010 Insight   Missouri W 27-24
2011 Insight   Oklahoma L 31-14
2014 Outback   LSU L 21-14
2015 TaxSlayer   Tennessee L 45-28