Iowa City, Ia. – Sharing is caring, and that suits Aaron White and his Iowa basketball teammates just fine.
“We have really unselfish guys on this team, who don’t care about scoring,” the Hawkeyes’ sophomore forward said. “With this team we really share the ball well, and we don’t care who gets the spotlight. It’s a fun team to be around and play on.”
Iowa, 9-2, will display that depth again Wednesday when it returns to the floor for an 8 p.m. game against South Carolina State.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery has had nine different players score in double figures through 11 games this season. Six different players have been the leading scorer or leading rebounder in a game.
“The beauty of that is that it makes us harder to prepare for,” McCaffery said. “They can’t lock in on one guy, like they did with Matt Gatens last year.”
As many as 11 different players have gotten double-figure minutes in a game this season. At least nine players have gotten double-figure minutes in eight games this season. That happened just nine times the entire 2011-12 season.
No one is averaging more than Devyn Marble’s 32.4 minutes a game. Eight more players are averaging between 16.2 and 27.3 minutes. Only seven players averaged at least 16.2 minutes last season.
“We have more weapons, and we have different ways we can go whether it be with motion and sets or defensively,” McCaffery said. “That’s what makes practices more interesting. And it makes it interesting, as we move forward, to see how everything is going to ultimately develop.”
Iowa’s last two games show how hard it is to predict which Hawkeye will stuff the box score on any given night.
In an 80-71 victory over Iowa State Dec. 7, freshman point guard Anthony Clemmons had 14 points, eight assists and one turnover. He failed to score, had no assists and two turnovers in an 80-73 victory over Northern Iowa on Saturday. Rookie center Adam Woodbury had nine points and five rebounds against Iowa State, but finished with a single point and three rebounds and played just nine minutes against Northern Iowa.
Devyn Marble had six points against the Cyclones, 30 against Northern Iowa. White had 18 points against Iowa State, just seven against the Panthers. Eric May played only eight minutes against Iowa State. He played 24 minutes, 17 the second half, against Northern Iowa and had seven assists to no turnovers.
“I think that’s the key to our team, when you look at it,” McCaffery said. “Who is going to do what on any given night? We have 10 or 11 different guys you can play in different situations, depending on the opponent and style of play, and effectively take advantage of it.”
Iowa’s depth will grow next season. May is the lone senior. Iowa adds Jarrod Uthoff, a forward transfer from Wisconsin; Kyle Meyer, a redshirt forward; and guard Peter Jok, from West Des Moines Valley.
“It’s going to get even more competitive, no question,” McCaffery said.
WHO: South Carolina State (4-7) at Iowa (9-2).
WHERE: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City.
TIPOFF: 8 p.m.
TICKETS: $14 adults, $5 youth (18-under) and UI students.
TELEVISION: Big Ten Network.
RADIO: WHO-AM (1040) and Hawkeye Radio Network.
STAT LEADERS: For South Carolina State – Khalif Toombs 13.5 ppg; Matthew Hezekiah 8.4 rpg; Toombs 5.2 apg; for Iowa – Devyn Marble 15.1 ppg; Aaron White 6.7 rpg; Marble/Mike Gesell 3.2 apg.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS: South Carolina State is coming off a 102-51 loss at Missouri Monday. “They’re not terrible,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “Missouri made them look terrible.”
ABOUT THE HAWKEYES: Iowa has won 12 of its last 13 home games, including seven this season. The lone loss in that stretch came to Northwestern on March 3, 70-66.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: A victory will give Iowa its best start since the 2004-05 season.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball