The Hyball: Rebrača Appreciation Post

By Bobby Loesch on March 17, 2022 at 11:00 am
Always On The Move
© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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The Hyball is a weekly Iowa men's basketball column.

Hey, yo.

This doesn't need to be long.

Replacing Luka Garza was never going to happen, but then Keegan Murray kinda did. But Keegan Murray doesn't play the 5.

Nah, that's our North Dakota transfer. The 24-year-old. Yes, he wears a t-shirt, and I know he's not a Do Everything Guy like Murray or a Gritty Grit Grit Man like Garza or a distance shooter like J-Bo, but he's just been solid. There's a reason nearly every photo of him is playing defense, bodying someone up.

It's been fun watching him, and I have no idea what this team would have to do if he wasn't available. He's our 'size' when we still don't even have all that much size. He gets pain in the ass assignments every game (hi, Kofi/Hunter,TJD), fights, plays hard, and, sometimes underrated in college basketball, knows his role.

When the worst thing you could say about a guy is "ugh, could you be a little better at the free throw line?" -- especially when it's a big -- you're probably doing OK.

Jack Nunge leaving was a massive blow. We all supported him, but it's hard not to miss the guy. He put up 13.4 points with 7.4 rebounds for Xavier this year on 53.7% shooting. Rebrača's season was more modest; 5.8 points and 5.5 boards, but he did it playing five minutes less a game, against better competition, and while shooting a hilariously slightly better 53.8%.

This isn't a Rebrača < Nunge column. This is a "we coulda been colossally screwed, but it turned out solidly" column. That's it.

Been wanting to really shout this dude out all year, and I'm realizing now we are running out of time. Plenty of time to talk about the stars below and beyond.

So let's raise our Rakija to the man in the middle. Thank you for your sturdy service.

The Hyball

"I will not get you wrong."

Last Week

3/10 - Iowa 112, Northwestern 76: Before looking up the score to this game, my thought was "Which one was that? Oh, the one where we fire bombed them."

/looks up score

"Wow, we fire. bombed. them!"

3/11 - Iowa 84, Rutgers 74: This shall forever be remembered as the time Keegan Murray gave me my most viral tweet ever.

Nasty.

Ohhh, we know.

The day wasn't without some indignity.

3/12 - Iowa 80, Indiana 77: lol we so did not deserve this game more than IU

but alas

Jokes aside, I was pretty devastated Murray didn't touch the ball on that last possession. What we doing?

So... so that's what we're doing. Speaking of questionable choices, I'm all in on an eyebrow cut if Indiana makes the Final Four.

About... 97% sure I could not pull this off.

TJD

3/13 - Iowa 75, Purdue 66: This tournament run was sweet, and this was the sweetest. Everything came together. I had to pay the tax of the J-Bo buzzer beater in the previous round to get my boy Josh some legit run.

Validation is spelled O-G-U-N-D-E-L-E.

woooo

Yeah.

Gotta say, this title felt sweet, y'all. First BTT championship for the Iowa men since I was in college. Been to a lot of these games over the years...

Looked up 5/13/15... Iowa didn't even play that day. No no, not because we had a bye. Because we lost 5/12/15, to Penn State... as a 5-seed.

#13 Penn State 67, #5 Iowa 58

I'm telling you, dues have been paid.

All love, Joe.

This Week

3/17 - Iowa (5-seed) vs. Richmond (12-seed): We are favored by 10.5, and I expect to win comfortably. Richmond has some decent size for a mid-major, and I'm interested to see if we stick Keegan on 6'7'', 215 pound leading scorer Taylor Burton. The forward averages 16.3 points per game. He gets that done on 46.7% FG shooting. For context, I looked at Iowa's lineup. Only Keegan (55.4), Ogundele (54.2), Rebraca (53.8) average better for rotation players who see 5+ minutes a game.

The bottom of the list? Ulis (34.0), Connor (35.7), J-Bo (38.9), and P-Mac (42.2).

While we're on the subject of shooting, did you know both Keegan and Kris finished above 40% from three this season?

Related/unrelated: Moar Kris Murray minutes forever and always

3/19 - Iowa (5-seed) vs. Providence (4-seed), projected: I like this game, and I like Iowa in this game. Leading scorer Nate Watson is a more traditional center (read: does not shoot threes), and although Iowa's lack of size could at some point factor in, they've played around that weakness generally pretty well this season. Bet we're favored, too.

Plus there's that.

Caitlin Corner

That's an order, not a request.

eeeee

Brad Davison Is Definitively A Senior.

We said goodbye to Brad Davison last year. We even made a playlist. I'm not linking it again because I deleted it after seeing it too many times/getting mad when he came back. But we have a... decently solid chance this is the last time this section can cause us pain. Next week... next week can be a celebration!

If not then, then next next week.

Obligatory Michigan Section

woooo; that's kinda fun

Predicting a crisp 1-1 showing in this tournament for the Wolverines. Also predicting me sniping at this discourse:

We... all understand the Big Ten Tournament does not represent the entire season, correct?

Ha, there it is.

By the time this posts, M will be nearing halftime of the tournament's first game. Starting PG DeVante Jones sustained a concussion in practice and is out, which swung the line down and made this more of a toss up. Bummer for the Wolverines to have a starter out for a second straight year in the NCAA tournament. Rumor is he could be back by the weekend if they are able to get through the Colorado State opener; no longer a guarantee.

The Mini-Hybrid
Bill Walton's Western Civilization 

Someone will pay.

/picks Arizona to win the natty

No Context College Basketball

Haven't thought about CJF in a while.

Have thought about KD, though.

/eyes widen

Wrapping It Up...

RIP to the Lone Wolf.

Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.

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