We're about halfway through the first round of the one-on-one challenge, and decided this thing needs more dunk reels. Here are the one-on-one rules:
- shoot for first possession
- alternating possessions
- play to 15, must win by 2
- 3s are worth 3 points
Roy Devyn Marble over Andrew Brommer 15-0 (99-1)
Tyler Cook over Connor McCaffery 15-4 (86-14)
Adam Haluska over John Lickliter 15-0 (98-2)
GAME ONE: No. 4 Jeff Horner vs. No. 13 Kurt Looby
Say what you will about Jeff Horner, he was certainly consistent. After a freshman season where he was adjusting to the college game, Horner posted essentially the same stat line over the next three seasons: 36 minutes per game, 13.5 points per game, 5 rebounds per game, 5 assists per game, basically across the board. How he did it changed somewhat: Horner was shooting 41 percent from three as a sophomore and junior, and adjusted to take more shots when He Who Shall Not Be Named left the program in 2005-06. The higher volume led to lower percentages, but Horner was even more valuable in that role.
Looby was a lanky 6'10" center who started for Iowa in most of the two seasons overlapping Alford's departure and Lickliter's arrival. Like Erek Hansen before him, Looby became a defensive stalwart, blocking nearly 2 shots per game as a junior and 1.3 per game as a senior. He also shot 66% from the field as a senior, but that only translated to 3.5 points per game in Lickliter's system, where he got 75 total shots in 32 games. There just wasn't much room for a guy who couldn't shoot from the perimeter, and Looby never attempted a three.
GAME TWO: No. 5 Aaron Fuller vs. No. 12 Ryan Hogan
A pretty good case could be made that Fuller, a 6'6" forward out of Arizona, was the best recruit of the Lickliter era. He started 19 games as a true freshman, but it was his sophomore campaign where Fuller started to shine. He earned honorable mention all-conference accolades after posting 10 points and 6 rebounds a game. That might not seem like much, but Fuller was the only forward to ever average more than 9 points per game in Lickliter's all-guards all-the-time system. When Lickliter was fired, Fuller transferred to USC, and bounced around the low-level pro leagues for years after his graduation.
Ryan Hogan transferred to Iowa from Kentucky in Steve Alford's first season, appearing in 60 games over two seasons from 2000-2002. He only garnered 8 starts over that time, but was a pivotal bench guard, averaging 6 points per game and shooting north of 40 percent from three. Hogan's playing time was always limited by a stacked Iowa backcourt in those seasons, but he could make critical perimeter shots and defend well enough to garner significant minutes.
GAME THREE: No. 8 Jared Reiner vs. No. 9 Doug Thomas
Reiner was the first big-time Alford recruit, a four-star 6'10" center out of South Dakota that had been pursued by the college game's elite programs. But like so many big men from small schools, it took him two years to adjust to the size and speed of top collegiate big men. Reiner led the Big Ten in rebounding as a junior, and became an important option for Iowa's interior offense. His senior year was cut short by a foot injury, but Reiner got a few NBA starts with the Chicago Bulls after he left.
Doug Thomas doesn't have the stat line to match Reiner, but Thunder Doug was never about stats. Thunder Doug was about dunks.
Thomas came to Iowa from southern California, by way of Southeastern Community College. He was often trapped behind Greg Brunner for a starting spot, but Doug was pure energy off the bench. Nobody brought CHA to its feet like Thomas, and his athleticism was enough to get him a cup of coffee in the D-League and a bunch of overseas leagues.