IOWA CITY, Iowa — Zach McCabe was forced to play inside last season because of Iowa’s lack of size and depth.
Zach McCabe was forced to play inside last season because of Iowa’s lack of size and depth.
But a deeper Hawkeyes basketball team has allowed the 6-foot-7 junior forward to spent time outside the paint on offense, and he took advantage in a season-opening 86-55 victory Friday night against Texas-Pan American.
McCabe made all four 3-pointers he attempted and finished with 14 points and eight rebounds in just 21 minutes before an announced Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd of 14,859.
“With each one that went in, my confidence kept going up and up,” McCabe said. “And I kept firing away.”
McCabe was dialed in Friday night, and he didn’t take long to show it. He made a 3-pointer on Iowa’s first possession, and then corralled the game’s first rebound at the other end of the floor.
“I was re
ady to go,” McCabe said. “I was excited to play.”
McCabe was the only Hawkeyes player to make a 3-pointer in the first half. He didn’t miss in three attempts. His teammates didn’t make one in six attempts. McCabe made it four straight on Iowa’s first possession of the second half, matching his career high.
“He’s always been a terrific shooter, with good range,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “He’s not afraid. He can shoot it and scores when you need him to.”
Iowa pressed its way to a 17-2 lead as the Broncs turned it over on six of their first 10 possessions. McCaffery went with his 10-man rotation as promised. Eleven players scored. No one played more than 24 minutes and 10 players logged at least 14 minutes.
“The concern is always chemistry at the right time,” McCaffery said.
Sophomore forward Aaron White led the Hawkeyes with 16 points. He got a scare when he got clothes-lined in the jaw and crumbled to the floor in the first half. He returned later in the first half.
“We had cupcakes in the locker room,” White said. “I didn’t have to chew.”
The cupcakes were for freshman point guard Mike Gesell, who celebrated his birthday Friday.
Iowa’s starting guard lineup of Gesell and Devyn Marble combined for 18 points, eight assists and just one turnover.
Freshman center Adam Woodbury added 10 points in his college debut and sixth man Melsahn Basabe had a team-high 10 rebounds to go with nine points.
“He played like a starter,” McCaffery said.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball