Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery says he can have four underclassmen in the starting lineup because of the unselfish nature of the veteran players. The Hawkeyes had three freshman and a sophomore in the starting lineup in Friday’s victory over Iowa State. Underclassmen scored 60 of Iowa’s 80 points in the win.
“If the upperclassmen don’t buy in, it could be an absolute disaster. We have great chemistry on this team, we have great respect for one another, and we pull for one another,” McCaffery says.
Guard Anthony Clemmons became the third freshman in the starting lineup and junior Zach McCabe is now coming off the bench.
McCaffery says McCabe “is all in” and does whatever he is asked of and says the players off the bench know they are going to get minutes and be a part of the team’s success.
Clemmons responded by scoring 14 points and dishing out eight assists against the Cyclones. McCaffery was asked on the Big Ten teleconference if he is surprised by the play of Clemmons. “A lot of times you don’t know what you’ve got until they get here, especially in that position,” McCaffery says. “I thought he was a really talented player, I thought he was a really intelligent person. But can you play point guard at this level? You don’t know that until he gets here.”
McCaffery says Clemmons plays with poise and has an uncanny ability to shoot the ball when needed, and pass the ball when needed.
Iowa is off this week for final exams and will return to action on Saturday against UNI in Des Moines.