2007 Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball Preview
The Iowa Hawkeyes (17- 14 overall, 9- 7 Big Ten) tied for fourth in the conference and spent the post-season watching the big tournament and the NCAA point spreads. Although not flashy, coach Todd Lickliter (131- 61 overall in six years) enters his first year as the Hawkeye coach with a solid record and a good reputation. He starts the season having lost swingmen Adam Haluska (20.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.4 SPG) and Tyler Smith (14.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.5 SPG). They were Iowa’s top scorers and both were fine defensive players.
This is a team that needs to do just about everything better to gey into the conference tournaments. The Hawkeyes were fifth in scoring (68.4 PPG), turnovers (13.5 TPG) and assists (14.5 APG). Their scoring defense has to improve a lot, as they ranked ninth in the Big Ten, allowing an average of 65.6 PPG. Rebounding margin was minus-1, which placed them ninth in that area too. On the upside, this was the best foul shooting team in the conference, hitting frees at the rate of .744.
Senior Kurt Looby (3.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 53. FG%) comes back as the club’s best shot blocker and rebounder. Senior center Seth Gorney (5.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 57.5 FG%) has been inconsistent, but when he’s on he can hit shot after shot. Freshman Jarryd Cole brings an accurate shot and some well-honed defensive skills, including some killer shot blocking which makes our college basketball picks and the game fun to watch.
Guard Tony Freeman (7.5 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 3.7 APG, 40.2 FG%) has played point but his natural position is as a shooter. He may move over as long as freshman Jeff Peterson can handle the job at point. Peterson is the ultimate assist man. Senior Justin Johnson (5.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 38.6 FG%) will have more opportunities to shoot. Freshman guard Jake Kelly offers accurate shooting and passing skills.
Lickliter has to look to the future. Iowa’s two best players from last season are gone. But there’s talent with which to work. A few more wins for this team over last season will be a major accomplishment. Look for Lickliter to roll up his sleeves, work hard and get results.