After-thoughts from Iowa 92-58 victory over Alabama State:
--Alabama State was a better team than the Chicago State club the Hawkeyes faced on Friday. The Hornets were bigger, more athletic and actually had a player or two who could make a perimeter shot. The Hawkeyes won by a comparable margin by playing much better defense than they had two days earlier.
--Luka Garza is the Iowa freshman who is piling up the most noticeable numbers, leading the team in both scoring (13.5) and rebounding (9.0) through the first two games but some of us are equally impressed with the team’s other 6-foot-11 newbie. Jack Nunge has 16 points and nine rebounds in the first two games, is a better perimeter shooter and foul shooter than Garza, and is a very disruptive force on defense. He has three blocked shots and seven steals and forced a few other turnovers Sunday by harassing opposing players into mistakes.
--Much was made of the fact that Ahmad Wagner made the first 3-point field goal of his career Sunday (in his 68th game), but what would really help the Hawkeyes is if Wagner could make a few free throws. He was 0 for 2 at the line Sunday and is 2 for 6 in the first two games. He has the ability to drive the ball to the basket and draw fouls, but that doesn’t do much good if he can’t make the free throws.
--Free throw shooting has been about the only red flag of any kind for the Hawkeyes in the first two games. After making only 60 percent (21 of 35) against Chicago State, they made 51.5 percent (17 of 33) against Alabama State. All of the guys who are missing foul shots are frontcourt players: Garza is 11 for 19, Tyler Cook 6 for 11, Cordell Pemsl 4 for 11, Wagner 2 for 6 and Dom Uhl 1 for 4.
--Going into the season, it appeared as though Uhl and sophomore Maishe Dailey were going to be the odd men out in the battle for playing time. But Dailey is starting to make those decisions a little more difficult for Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. With Connor McCaffery and Nicholas Baer sidelined by injuries, the 6-6- Dailey has scored in double figures in each of the first two games and he mixed in three assists and two steals Sunday. It helps that he got to play 20 minutes and attempted more shots (10) than any other Iowa player, but it’s the most comfortable he has looked during his college career.