Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery feels the pieces are in place to make significant improvement. The Hawkeyes finished 11-20 during his first season as head coach, including 4-14 in the Big Ten. He says collectively they have a team with more size and depth, and they need the depth to play up tempo and to change defenses.

McCaffery says added experience is a plus. The Hawkeyes will be led by the senior guard tandem of Bryce Cartwright and Matt Gatens. He says senior guards always raise the expectations and they have to play like senior All-Big Ten caliber players.

McCaffery says this year’s team should be better, but how much remains to be seen. He says beeing better at crunch time is important,a s they lost a lot of close games last year.

Iowa hosts Northwest Missouri State in an exhibition game on November sixth.