2006 Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball Preview
2006 Iowa Hawkeyes Basketball Predictions
Last season, the Hawkeyes went 25-9 overall, finished 11-5 in the Big Ten and won the Conference Tournament. After being designated the third seed in the NCAA Tournament, Iowa lost to 14th seed Northwestern State in the first round. Thus ended a season that saw this team over achieve, until they got the tournament berth. Now Iowa must adjust to key loses, including power forward Greg Brunner (14.2 PPG and 9.2 RPG) and point guard Jeff Horner (13.6 PPG, 5.6 APG).
The Hawkeyes will look to senior Mike Henderson (7.6 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.0 APG, 48.7 FG%, 69.9 FT%) and sophomore Tony Freeman (3.4 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 1.6 APG, 33.9 FG%, 62.5 FT%) to play point. Although Freeman offers athleticism, he shoots first rather than setting plays, while Henderson provides solid leadership and tough perimeter defense. Swingman Adam Haluska (13.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 41.7 FG%, 84.8 FT%), a senior, has a good shooting touch.
There have been three key loses in the frontcourt. Along with Brunner, center Erek Hansen (6.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.6 BPG) and forward Doug Thomas (4.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG) are gone. That means major retooling. Junior college forward Cyrus Tate, a solid inside banger, may be the answer to Brunner. Tyler Smith, a freshman, will fill the small forward position, while Haluska may swing inside. Redshirt junior Kurt Looby looks to play center.
Head coach Steve Alford (135- 92 in 7 years) had his Hawkeyes running on all cylinders. What occurred was that both Iowa’s defense and offense hummed along. Determined efficiency defined the offense and unrelenting pressure described the “D.” But in seven years Alford has not been able to get his team to perform well in the big tournament.
Don’t expect these Hawkeyes to repeat last season’s performance. The major factor last year in the team’s success was its ability to play team ball. Despite major loses, if the Hawkeyes can work as a unit, they’ll still possess the potential to appear in the March classic. If they can’t, expect to see the Hawkeyes in the NIT.
If you want more info on the 2006 Iowa Hawkeyes College basketball team check out the NCAA's official basketball team page of the program or check out some rival previews from Maddux Sports of schools like the Penn State Nittany Lions and Minnesota Golden Gophers.