Iowa 118, Truman State 72: Put Some Sauce On It

By RossWB on October 31, 2022 at 10:29 pm
go perk go
© Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

Generally speaking, exhibition games in college basketball are of limited value in terms of assessing a team's quality. You're usually playing an opponent at a level or two lower than yours and they're often overmatched from an athletic standpoint. Your team should beat them and they should beat them pretty handily. Not that you always do beat them -- see: Louisville versus Lenoir-Rhyne. (Or, for an example closer to home, Iowa versus Augustana in 2015.) 

SPOILER: Iowa did not get Lenoir-Rhyne'd in their first on-court action of the 2022-23 season. 

Iowa shredded Truman State on Monday, cruising to an easy 118-72 victory over the Division II Bulldogs at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Bulldogs, coached by former Hawkeye Jeff Horner, kept things close with Iowa for about 10-12 minutes in the first half -- Iowa led just 31-28 at the 8:31 mark. But the Hawkeye ran off a 13-3 run over the next five minutes to stretch the lead to 44-31 and then finished the half on a 19-8 run to take a 24-point lead (63-39) into intermission. Truman State could keep pace with Iowa (more or less) when they were hitting shots, but once they cooled off, they were done... because Iowa just didn't miss much in the first half. 

Iowa shot 65% (46/71) for the game, including 14/25 (56%) from 3-point range, and 32/46 (70%) from 2-point range.  But in the first half Iowa was 69% (24/35) from the floor, 64% (7/11) from 3-point range, and 71% (17/24) from 2-point range. That is some [flame emoji] shooting and it was a team-wide effort, too. Three Hawkeyes scored in double figures in the first half, led by Kris Murray and Tony Perkins with 14 points each. Connor McCaffery had 12 points (!) off the bench on 4/4 shooting from 3-point range (!!!), while Filip Rebraca and Payton Sandfort added 9 and 7 points, respectively. 

For the game, Iowa had five players in double figures, led by Kris Murray with 24 points on 9/14 shooting (2/5 from 3-point range). He also had 7 rebounds, a block, and a steal, and this dazzling sequence: 

The expectation/hope is that Kris is able to take a similar leap in terms of production that Keegan took last year; games like this certainly suggest that's a very real possibility. 

Aside from Kris Murray, Iowa's other standout performer in this game was Tony Perkins. Perk started at point guard in this game, played as more of a combo guard, and looked damn good doing it. He had 18 points on 7/8 shooting, to go with 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. The most striking thing about Perkins' game was his confidence -- he pushed the ball on offense, was aggressive in attacking the basket, and was tenacious on defense. And he did this, which was pretty awesome:

This was "just" Truman State, but it also built off Perkins' strong showings in the Big Ten Tournament at the end of last season -- Perkins definitely looks like he might be ready to carry a heavier load as one of the stars of this Iowa team. 

Rebraca, Sandfort, and McCaffery were Iowa's other double-figure scorers for the game; Rebraca and Sandfort each finished with 14 points apiece, while McCaffery had 12. Rebraca also had 6 rebounds and 3 blocks and, like Perkins, looked more confident this year, though Iowa also had a pretty substantial edge in size and physicality on Truman State; we'll have to see how much of this play Rebraca can bring to games where the size and physicality of the opposing posts is a little more even. Sandfort had 14 points on 6/10 shooting (2/3 from deep) and three rebounds and an assist. Iowa's fifth starter (alongside Perkins, Murray, Rebraca, and Sandfort) was Patrick McCaffery. He was the only starter not to finish in double figures in scoring, though he had 9 points on 4/8 shooting. He also had two assists, two steals, a block, and a rebound; it was a quiet night for him at times, but he had a few standout moments and his smooth play is definitely an asset to Iowa. 

Connor McCaffery was Iowa's big scorer off the bench -- he also had 5 rebounds and 5 assists in 21 minutes of action -- but true freshman Dasonte Bowen had some nice moments. His shot wasn't falling (1/4), but he showed a good eye (and hands) as a distributor, dishing eight assists against no turnovers. Fellow true freshman Josh Dix had 8 points on 3/5 shooting (2/4 from long range) and he looked like he could fight for 5-8 minutes of action off the bench. Josh Ogundele had 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal -- a pretty eventful 12 minutes of action for Big Josh! And the Bench Mob was well-represented by Carter Kingsbury, who had 6 points on 2/2 shooting from long range. It definitely brought back a flood of memories to see a Kingsbury draining 3s in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

A 46-point exhibition win doesn't tell us too much about this team's ceiling, but it is a nice way to get reacquainted with Iowa basketball after almost eight months away. Welcome back, fellas. 

NEXT: Bethune-Cookman next Monday (6 PM CT, ESPNU)

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