Iowa basketball coach Steve Alford has high hopes for the upcoming season. The Hawkeyes have all five starters back from last year’s team that survived the loss of its leading scorer and finished with 21 wins enroute to the NCAA Tournament. Alford says it’s an experienced group and they’ve practiced that way and this is the best summer and fall they’ve had. Alford says this is his most talented team since 2001-2002. The Hawks entered that season with high expectations only to finish 8th in the Big Ten and 19-16 overall. Alford says the coaches and players didn’t do a very good job in 2002, but he says coming off an NCAA appearances now, they want to continue to improve and grow. Alford feels the Hawks can contend in the Big Ten race but says a number of coaches feel the same way. He says if you don’t think that, you’re beat before you throw the ball up. The Hawkeyes will open the season by taking part in the Guardians Classic.
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