The Iowa Hawkeyes’ basketball season is just around the corner. While expectations aren’t as high as last year, the possibility of a successful season still exists. Over the next week, we’ll take a look at the players in the Iowa roster and what kind of season we might expect from them. Upcoming: three presumed starters who will be called upon to make major contributions this year.
# 2, Junior, 6’0 “, 190 lb
2020-21 stats: 3.7 PPG, 2.4 APG, 42.4% FG, 11.3 MPG, 31 games
With 6eWith player of the year Jordan Bohannon slated to move on to shooting goaltender this season and Connor McCaffery likely to step off the bench, Joe Toussaint is the odds favorite to be the Hawkeyes’ starting point guard in 2021-22. Toussaint actually started twenty games in the freshman after Bohannon was shut down with surgery, but took on a backseat role last season after being relegated to the bench. Toussaint saw a significant drop in his minutes per game (11.3 vs. 17.9), points (3.7 vs. 6.5) and field goal attempts (3.2 vs. 5.8), while his Free throw percentage fell from 83.1% in the first year to 62.2%. as the second.
Despite what some might call a sophomore slump, optimism still reigns around Toussaint. The New York junior has tremendous athletic potential and can use his speed to impact the game in transition. Toussaint also showed legitimate two-way potential with his aggressive defense on the ball, excellent recovery speed and tenacity as a pickpocket, which could make him a great defensive compliment to Keegan Murray and help him out. make up for some of Bohannon’s weaknesses as a Perimeter Defender. Additionally, Toussaint actually improved as a shooter last year, increasing his field goal percentage from 37.8% to 42.4% thanks to him taking a step forward in the game. mid-range.
The size of Toussaint’s role will ultimately be determined less by his physical attributes than by his decision-making. Toussaint has a habit of playing out of control and getting into trouble, and Fran McCaffery didn’t hesitate to take him out of the game when these tendencies manifest, even when Toussaint was acting as the starting point guard of the. Iowa. If Toussaint can find the right balance between using his exceptional athleticism and playing in the Iowa offensive system, he should have a career year. Otherwise, he could find himself increasingly giving up playing time as point guard to Bohannon, Connor McCaffery and Ahron Ulis.
# 22, Sophomore (RS), 6’9 ”, 200 lbs
2020-21 stats: 5.2 PPG, 0.9 APG, 43.8% FG, 14.6 MPG, 31 games
Joe Toussaint’s running mate Patrick McCaffery is the prime contender to join him in the starting lineup at the Small Outpost, and it’s easy to see why the coaching staff have chosen to play the two together so frequently the last year. McCaffery is bursting with athletic potential as a lanky 6’9 ” forward who can run on the ground and handle the ball, and the sophomore redshirt only scratched the surface of his potential last year. McCaffery was a consensus Top 100 recruit whose college development was hampered by his body’s recovery from thyroid cancer, but his athletic cap remains one of the highest on the program.
McCaffery’s strongest game of career came last season against Nebraska, in which the freshman scored 19 points, shot 3-6 over the arc and picked up six rebounds in only 20 minutes of action. McCaffery was aggressive in transition, used his length to disrupt the Huskers on defense, and showed a level of consistency beyond the arc that could significantly open up his offensive play if he can carry it in 2021-22. McCaffery’s offensive use rating is expected to skyrocket this season with Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp playing in the NBA, and whether he can replicate that type of performance against better Big Ten teams will be a major factor in helping determine Iowa’s cap this year.
Perhaps the greatest potential for improvement for McCaffery lies in his strength and conditioning. McCaffery has the height to protect attackers and power centers in the Big Ten, but his nervous frame can prevent him from absorbing contact and playing important minutes in a physical conference without starting to break down. If McCaffery can continue to add strength and endurance without compromising his athleticism and explosiveness, he could be set for an exceptional year.
# 0, Senior (sort of), 6’9 “, 230 lbs
2020-21 stats (North Dakota): 16.8 PPG, 1.2 APG, 50.6% FG, 31.8 MPG, 26 games
Iowa has no hope of fully replacing Luka Garza, player of the year last season and arguably the most dominant Hawkeye in the history of the men’s basketball program. Still, the closet in the center isn’t completely empty thanks in part to the transfer of Filip Rebraca, a rising senior with two years of eligibility remaining. Rebraca was a 2sd-selected the All-Summit League team in 2020-2021 who led his squad in goals, rebounds and blocks and has NBA pedigree as the son of former NBA player Zeljko Rebraca.
Rebraca is a tall, skilled man with an impressive range of low post moves and a great sense of rebound. Rebraca has scored in double digits in 33 of his last 34 games for the Fighting Hawks and has managed 20 career double-doubles. He has astute footwork and moves well without the ball, and while not the shooter that Luka Garza was, he has solid midrange play and has managed 1/3 of his three-way shots. points during his career. Rebraca can play forward or center, but will likely spend the majority of his time as the last given Iowa’s proven lack of post-production following the departures of Garza and Xavier-linked Jack Nunge.
Rebraca is a seasoned player with 87 games and 74 starts to his name, and strong performances against teams like Gonzaga, Oregon State and Minnesota create reason to be optimistic about his transition to the Big Ten. It remains to be seen, however, how well Rebraca will synchronize with his new teammates and whether he will be able to become an asset on the defensive side of the ball. Rebraca doesn’t have to be Luka Garza to be successful at Iowa City, but hopefully he will be able to play well enough that Iowa’s fall to five doesn’t turn into a free fall.