Iowa gave Bethany Doolittle 16 shots, more than double the next most attempts for the Hawkeyes. If Iowa is going to succeed this year they’re going to have to get the ball inside early and often, something they did very well against the undersized Concordia Bears. Doolittle shot the ball 16 times without getting fouled, which downgrades it from an A, if she can get to the line as well as get good looks, Iowa should have a much easier time shooting outside as well.
Melissa Dixon was 4-of-5 from three-point range, including two within the first minute of the game to give Iowa a 6-0 lead. Dixon is going to be relied on heavily as well, she obviously isn’t going to shoot 80 percent from three all year, but taking five good shots is something she should aim for.
Early Iowa struggled in rotating to the weak side consistently. This left Concordia only down by two when Iowa headed to the first media timeout. Struggling early against lesser competition is a recipe for disaster, especially against some of the teams Iowa will play in the non-conference. Concordia finished with 1 point per possession, an average number.
After Nicole Smith went out with an injury, there was a clear struggle with defensive rebounding. Box outs weren’t that great and Concordia ended the day with 15 offensive rebounds, far too many.
The zone was the bright spot for the day, in non-center lineups the zone was used consistently and brought pressure and good rotations. Concordia struggled heavily with the zone defense. The zone will have to become a staple if Smith is out for an extended period of time.
Lisa Bluder only has 11 players on her roster this year and with Smith going down, she crafted some great lineups that forced Concordia to play small ball alongside of them, something that Iowa will have a great time doing this year.
Bluder kept her four’s in a good rotation and comfortable enough. Kali Peschel and Claire Till were subbed at great times and Bluder did a good job keeping players out of foul trouble.
There was definitely some rust in their opener, but overall the Hawkeyes played well and showed some real promise. If Till can be consistent in the non-center lineups, the Hawkeyes can force some real mis-matches. We’ll get to see more of it in a real game situation on Friday against UC-Riverside.