In their lone exhibition game before opening the season against UNC Wilmington on Friday night the Iowa Hawkeyes coasted past Augustana (Ill.) by the final score of 87-65. Zach McCabe and Aaron White led the way offensively for Fran McCaffery’s team with 16 points apiece and sophomore center Adam Woodbury posted a double-double, accounting for ten points and 11 rebounds.
But the Hawkeyes didn’t have all hands on deck, as sophomore point guard Anthony Clemmons sat after injuring his ankle in practice on Friday. Clemmons, who averaged 4.3 points and 2.8 assists per game last season, sat as a precautionary measure with McCaffery stating after the game that he would have played if there were a need for him to go according to John Bohnenkamp of the Burlington (Iowa) Hawk Eye.
McCaffery expects him to play in Friday’s opener against UNC-Wilmington.
“He’ll be good,” McCaffery said. “He was still a little bit swollen, a little bit sore today. If he had to, he could have gone. It wasn’t worth pushing it.”
Iowa doesn’t lack for options when it comes to who initiates their offense, with sophomore Mike Gesell (five assists on Sunday) and senior Devyn Marble (15.0 ppg, 3.0 apg in 2012-13) both having experience at the position. If all their key players remain healthy, the Hawkeyes have the pieces needed to make a run at an NCAA tournament berth after winning 25 games and reaching the title game of the Postseason NIT last season.
Iowa’s toughest non-conference games won’t come until the latter portion of November, as they host Penn on November 22 (Fran McCaffery’s alma mater) and then play in the Battle 4 Atlantis the following week. Iowa opens that event with Xavier, followed by either Tennessee or UTEP with both Kansas and Villanova on the other side of the bracket.
Iowa also has non-conference games against Notre Dame (December 3) and Iowa State (December 13) before opening Big Ten play on New Year’s Eve against Nebraska.