Iowa freshman Tyler Cook will play Wednesday night when the Hawkeyes open Big Ten play at 15th ranked Purdue. The six-nine native of St. Louis has averaged nearly 14 points but missed the last seven games after having surgery to repair a broken finger.
“Whether he starts or whether he doesn’t start he is going to play starters minutes and I am going to have him out there”, said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. “It effects everybody’s minutes when you add a guy who is going to play those kinds of minutes but we will be a better team with him on the floor.”
McCaffery likes the progress his team has made. With three freshmen and a sophomore in the starting lineup the Hawkeyes take a five game winning streak into the start of the league race.
“These kids are tough. They are smart and they have figured it out but now it is going to be tougher. These next 18 games there is no let up at all.”
Iowa’s opponents are shooting just 33 percent over the last five games but the Boilermakers will test that improved defense. Sophomore Caleb Swanigan leads a talented Purdue frontline by averaging more than 18 points and 12 and a half rebounds.
Purdue has won six straight and takes an 11-2 record into the start of Big Ten play.