Iowa’s Exhibition Game Serves Purpose: Men Down Regis 95–73

Iowa City, Iowa — The Hawkeyes blew out Division II foe Regis University 95–73, but the game served as a reminder of what it takes to compete in the Big Ten.

“There’s a lot of good and there’s a lot that needs some work,” head coach Fran McCaffery said after the game.

Iowa’s effort waned throughout the night, and they came out of the gates slowly. It was 17–17 at one point in the first half before Peter Jok went on a 13–0 run himself and the Hawkeyes’ lead ballooned to 20 at the half.

“Our main thing is working on defense,” Jok said. “Tonight we didn’t play great defense, so we’re going to watch film over the weekend and get back to practice to get ready for Friday.”

In the second half, Regis came out with more energy than Iowa and trimmed the lead down to 10 before McCaffery lit into his squad during a timeout.

“The complacency that we played with once we got up 20, there’s no excuse for that,” a calm McCaffery stated after having a few outbursts during the game. “That cannot happen. We cranked it again defensively, but you can’t play the game that way. You cannot play this game in spurts.”

The Hawkeyes then flipped the switch back on, ramping up the intensity on the defensive end and getting out in transition for easy buckets. Iowa outscored Regis 21–4 in fastbreak points, reflective of how the Hawkeyes were able to get stops and run. Christian Williams impressed in his first start as the quarterback of the offense, recording 11 points and five assists with zero turnovers.

“Yeah, I’m pretty satisfied,” Williams said of his performance. “But I still have to get better.”

Point guard Jordan Bohannon was not shy in his Hawkeye debut, going 2–8 from the field and 3–5 from the free throw line. Not unexpectedly, the freshman made some mistakes and committed some silly turnovers, but that’s what games like this are for; get your feet wet, learn from mistakes, and get better.

“There was definitely some mistakes, but they were all correctable. That’s the good news,” a composed Nicholas Baer reflected on his team’s play. “So we’ll over the film and learn the teaching points and make sure to fix those up.”

Baer was solid as usual, going for nine points and seven rebounds, remaining active and seeming to always be in the right position. His consistency and heads-up play will be relied upon by a young Iowa team.

The stars of the night were senior Peter Jok and freshman Tyler Cook. Iowa’s two stars lived up to their billing, as Cook bullied his way 15 points and six rebounds while Jok tickled the twine to the tune of 28 points (7–9 FG, 5–7 3FG, 9–10 FT). The Hawkeyes certainly haven’t had an athlete the caliber of Cook as a freshman, as his body is already developed and ready for the brunt of the Big Ten schedule.

“Just keep working, keep running the floor in transition,” Cook said of how he can help his teammates get him the ball. “Just keep working to get in good position in the post and on the perimeter. You know, I got to do my part, too.”

The main narrative from tonight was that the effort must be more consistent, especially if Iowa wants to compete in the Big Ten.

“We weren’t playing hard, they were playing harder than us,” Jok, the team’s leader, said. He got on his teammates in the huddle during a timeout as their lead was cut to 10. “Coach got into them, and I just tried to tell them in a different way.”

Finding cohesion, identifying mistakes, and working to correct the errors are what these first few games are for, and Iowa knows what they must correct to be a successful Big Ten team.

By Jack Brandsgard — 11/05/16

Podcasting 10 Years Of Original Programming On Iowa Athletics