The Iowa Hawkeyes will play their next three games against in state foes beginning with Tuesday night’s matchup at home against Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes evened their season mark at 4-4 over the weekend with a victory over Idaho State and coach Fran McCaffery is anxious to see junior Matt Gatens return to form.
Since returning from pre-season thumb surgery, Gatens is connecting on only 31% from the field and has only made five of 29 shots from three point range. McCaffrey says Gatens is not as comfortable as he was and he says if you look at his steals and rebound numbers, they would be better. He says he has confidence Gatens will continue to get better.
U.N.I. already owns a victory over Iowa State and improved to 4-2 with a win at TCU over the weekend. The Panthers will want this to be a half court game and McCaffery says the Hawks need to be ready. He says it is not different than any other game, as each team has characteristics that define them, and they have to make the players know and understand who they are playing. McCaffrey says they just have to make the players understand what the other team wants to do.
McCaffery says the Hawks need to adjust to whatever tempo the game is played at, as some will be up and down and some will be more half court. He says he prefers games to be in the 90’s, but you can’t always get that if the other team is packing in the defense.