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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

August 9th, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball

 

Iowa Hawkeyes

Overall Rank: #94

Conference Rank: #9 Big Ten

 

2005-06: 25-9, 11-5, 2nd (t)

2005-06 postseason: NCAA

 

With a senior heavy team last year, the 2005-2006 campaign was supposed to be the big year for Iowa.  And that was the case with a second place finish in the conference and a trophy in the Big Ten Tournament.  Yet, the ending left a bad taste in the mouth of Hawkeye fans and it may take a year or two of rebuilding for Coach Steve Alford and his squad to garner such high expectations once again.

 

Who’s Out: Greg Brunner led the conference in rebounds, Erek Hansen led the conference in blocks and Jeff Horner was second in the Big Ten in assists.  That’s an impressive group to lose and it doesn’t end there.  Doug Thomas and Alex Thompson, who is transferring to Iowa State, were the depth in the frontcourt.  Carlton Reed showed some promise in little playing during his freshman campaign, but has transferred to Northern Iowa.  Little used Justin Wieck has also run out of eligibility. 

 

Who’s In: Kurt Looby, J.R. Angle and Dan Bohall all redshirted last season.  Looby will the make the biggest impact of the bunch and will battle for a starting spot.  The 6-10 power forward is a little raw, but has the ability to battle on the inside with the more experienced big men in the Big Ten.  Cyrus Tate is a solid power forward who seems to keep getting bigger and stronger.  Justin Johnson will add some athleticism to the wings and can hit the outside shot with some consistency and walk-on Drew Adams will provide some emergency depth to the backcourt.  The big signing for the Hawkeyes is small forward Tyler Smith.  The 6-7, 210 pound forward is a tough, athletic player and might see minutes at the three and four this year, if Coach Alford wants to have a small lineup on the floor.  His jumper lacks consistency, but it has improved over his year at prep school.

 

Who to Watch: The backcourt returns a dynamic duo in Adam Haluska and Mike Henderson.  Haluska averaged 13.9 points as a junior and will be asked to take over the scoring load for the departed players.  His shot seems streaky, but the overall shooting numbers aren’t that bad.  Haluska won’t be able to disappear for games at a time if Iowa expects to return to the postseason.  Henderson quietly started all 34 games last year, averaging 7.6 points and 2.0 assists.  The point guard is expected to take over a leadership role this year and his numbers should benefit.  Tony Freeman was the first guard off the bench and may find himself in a starting role this year.  However, if Freeman starts, the lineup will be small and the backcourt depth will be nearly non-existent. 

 

Final Projection: The frontcourt is worrisome with junior Seth Gorney battling for a starting job after averaging 4.0 minutes in 22 appearances.  The newcomers will have to step up and try to produce half as well as Brunner, Hansen and Thomas did.  If they can, Iowa has a shot at the NIT.  Otherwise they’ll need another crazy run in the Big Ten Tournament to have a shot at a postseason.

 

Projected Post-season Tournament: none

 

Projected Starting Five:

Mike Henderson, Senior, Guard, 7.6 points per game

Adam Haluska, Senior, Guard, 13.9 points per game

Tyler Smith, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season

Cyrus Tate, Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season

Kurt Looby, Junior, Center, DNP last season

95 Drake » Complete List » 93 Rutgers

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