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Hawkeyes 25th in ESPN’s ‘Way-Too-Early’ hoops rankings

[ 0 ] April 10, 2014 |

The Iowa State and Iowa men’s basketball teams made the cut in ESPN.com’s “Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2014-15.”

The Hawkeyes come in at No. 25 in the ESPN rankings. Fran McCaffery’s team was defeated in the NCAA Tournament’s round-of-68 by Tennessee. ESPN’s take on the Hawkeyes:

Iowa's Mike Gesell gets around Iowa State's Georges Niang for a field goal on Dec. 13, 2013, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register)

Iowa’s Mike Gesell gets around Iowa State’s Georges Niang for a field goal on Dec. 13, 2013, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register)

“Are people sleeping on Iowa? Don’t get us wrong: The Hawkeyes’ last month was an unmitigated disaster. They slipped from a single-digit seed to a 9-9 record in the Big Ten and a First Four date with Tennessee in Dayton, Ohio. But hold on a minute: Their only departures are Roy Devyn Marble and Melsahn Basabe — good players, sure, but hardly irreplaceable. Meanwhile, they bring back Mike Gesell, Aaron White, Adam Woodbury, Gabriel Olaseni (who grabbed 16.8 percent of available offensive rebounds this season, sixth-best in the country), Josh Oglesby, Peter Jok and the one player no one seems to be mentioning in their Iowa discussions, forward Jarrod Uthoff. Uthoff was a dynamic player off the bench, not unlike Olaseni. It’s easy to picture coach Fran McCaffery going big with those two in a lineup and having a lot of balance and skill at his disposal. Could that version of the Hawkeyes exceed this past season’s? Would it be more cohesive?”

The Cyclones, coming off a trip to the Sweet 16, are ranked 16th in the pre-preseason rankings. Here is what ESPN wrote about Fred Hoiberg’s team:

“Hoiberg hasn’t merely had successful seasons in his brilliant four-year run as coach at Iowa State. He’s also built the Cyclones into a program that can sustain annual losses and still expect to be really good. So it is in 2014-15, when the Cyclones will lose DeAndre Kane and Melvin Ejim — both seniors, and two of the best players in the country — but will still have Georges Niang and Dustin Hogue in even bigger roles, Monte Morris and Naz Long emerging from the wings, 3-point threat freshman Clay Custer, and frontcourt transfers Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay.”

Read the entire ESPN.com rankings


Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

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