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Thursday, November 3, 2011

2011-12 BIG Basketball Preview: Iowa

Melsahn Basabe was an absolute force last year. Hawkeye fans
should thank their lucky stars he followed McCafferey to Iowa City.
Coach: Frank McCaffery – 11-20 (.355)
Lost:  F Jarryd Cole, PG Cully Payne (transfer)
Returning: G Matt Gatens (Sr), F Melsahn Basabe (So), G Bryce Cartwright (Sr), G Eric May (So), F Zach McCabe (So), F Andrew Brommer (Sr), F Devon Archie (Sr), G Roy Devyn Marble (So)
New faces:  SG Josh Oglesby(122),  C Gabe Olaseni, PF Aaron White

Preview: Last year the Hawkeyes showed drastic improvements in McCafferey’s first season. Unfortunately they still finished 4-14 in the Big Ten and their second best player graduated.  There’s plenty to like about the future though.  Bryce Cartwright is an exciting player who led the conference in assists per game and Eric May showed flashes of being a reliable complimentary player.  What’s got to get you excited if you’re a Hawkeye fan is the how this year’s recruiting class is shaping up.  No, it’s not a top 10 class but it is leaps and bounds better than the ones brought in by Todd Lickliter. Aaron White and sharpshooter Josh Oglesby may start from the get-go while Gabe Olaseni offers a nice developmental player who should make an impact as an upper classman.  Furthermore, Melsahn Basabe was the first or second best freshman in the conference last season and was at times unstoppable (vs. OSU last year he put up 22-13 and 6 blocks while guarding Jared Sullinger). He’s a future All Big Ten player in the making.  This program is definitely moving in the right direction but it’s still at least two years away from making an NCAA Tournament appearance.  That’s really too bad for Matt Gatens who is a heck of a player but is underrated due to having been on some awful teams. Gatens suffered from Lickliter’s offensive style and was constantly misused due to having no other impact player on the floor with him for two years.  Here’s to hoping for a breakout season from the hometown senior.
Shot in the dark at the starting 5:
PG Bryce Cartwright
G Matt Gatens
G Josh Oglesby
F Aaron White
F Melsahn Basabe
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