As the days grow colder, leaves aren’t the only things the fall air is stirring up. Basketball fans’ anticipation for the upcoming season grows as Media Day for the Iowa basketball team took place on Thursday.
Coach Fran McCaffery has much confidence in the 2012-2013 team and stand behind their growth and new talent. The team welcomes five new freshmen to the team, all of whom are strong players who are expected to see a lot of playing time. McCaffery describes these newcomers as extremely hard working and well-rounded student athletes.
The challenge will be defining roles in which these freshman can step up and contribute, as well as the rookies accepting these defined roles. Freshman point guard Anthony Clemmons says that he feels no pressure or stress, and is confident in himself and the team to be successful throughout the season.
Point guard Mike Gesell is another freshman who could be special, in the eyes of McCaffery. Gesell has a great case of amnesia when it comes to mistakes made on the court. He has an “uncanny ability to move on to the next play…if he misses a shot.” This attribute alone can bring the team a long way. Gesell’s positivity and willingness to move forward post mess-up could become a trend amongst the team.
Both the players and coaches agree that a major component in this season will be consistency amongst the players. McCaffery stressed the importance of this. In previous seasons we saw players like Melsahn Basabe, Roy Devyn Marble and Zach McCabe show off their level of skill and have great games. However we have also seen quite the contrary. McCabe struggled with his turnovers, but McCaffery took a portion of the blame for playing McCabe at an unnatural position.
For Basabe, a plan to add some weight backfired and ultimately proved as an impediment for his game. This season he is back down to around 225 pounds and perhaps is in the best shape of his life.
Expectations for this year’s season are high for players, coaches, and fans alike. To the Hawkeye’s benefit, they have many players who are extremely versatile. This season fans can expect to see sophomore Aaron White experimenting at the 3 position, as well as freshman Adam Woodbury step into the center spot.
There is much anticipation to see Marble’s performance this season. As a junior he has come a long way. “Devyn keeps getting better,” claims McCaffery. He has put in a lot of work and learned quite a bit during his time on the team. Fans can expect to see Marble take over where Matt Gatens left off in the two spot. He plans on stepping up his game this season and if he is able to play defense more consistently and deliver as McCaffery’s “go to guy” for shooting, he can become one of the premier players in the Big Ten.
Though the team’s juniors have shown much growth on the team, senior Eric May is not to be forgotten about. He has put in his time on the team and is definitely a player McCaffery can rely on for leadership.
Everyone is confident in the skill set the guys have this year, McCaffery believes that this year they filled the roster with talent. Confidence is a trending emotion amongst the team. The guys this year are extremely versatile and ready to take on challenges this season may present.