I really hate when referees come into games with goals/agendas, like keeping it even or focusing on one or two calls more. In my view, officials should have a relatively clear standard and apply that standard regardless of what happens. I prefer refs that allow a little contact before calling fouls, but that doesn't mean the ones that call ticky-tack fouls are bad necessarily. Just be sure to call them all game and the players can adjust. When refs try to keep it even, the standard for calls is all over the place and nobody knows what a foul, travel, etc. is.
We have to be careful with +/- because of garbage time and other basketball randomness. Otherwise, this is spot on. In game one, Doyle, Sevillian, and Meyer looked like the players we've seen before. I tend to favor playing younger players, but here would be my lineup going forward:
The other of Marshall/Martin off the bench first. Then Sevillian. Then Taiwo. Ollinger to backup Warnock/Czinano. The freshman plus Czinano and Taiwo has the beginnings of a fairly good future core. I'd play them a lot this year even if it makes the team a little worse in the short term. The team's ceiling in future years is higher than its ceiling this year.
You get the bonus points!
Thing is, this really isn't early. These recruits are HS seniors a month away from the first signing period. Teams have had plenty of time to evaluate and offer them and just haven't. As the article notes, those type of recruits can work out, but the hit rate is far less than on higher rated/offered recruits.
Overall, this is a very worrying sign for Iowa recruiting. Fran has been in on a bunch of highly rated recruits for this class, and appears to have missed on all of them (with the possible exception of Foster). One or two high risk players in a class can work, but a whole class of them would require abnormally high hit rates to get even average results.
As good as Iowa was offensively, it's the defense that's built this lead. They've done an excellent job of challenging NC State's shots in the post. When they've kicked out for threes, the guards have done well in closing those out. Keeping that intensity will be key in the second half.
Everything is going right for Iowa at the moment. The posts are dominating, the guards making threes, and the defense is very good.
Iowa closes out the Big Ten Tournament with a dominant 90-76 victory. Gustafson was the star, but everyone played well for Iowa today. Tremendous victory.
Iowa leads 86-71 with 2:19 to play.
Iowa is 3:53 away from a Big Ten Tournament Championship. They lead 81-67 and are heading to the line for two more after the break. Gustafson has been phenomenal with 45 points and 10 rebounds. Doyle has stepped up her offense in the third and fourth to complement her. Great team defense in the second half.
Iowa starts the fourth quarter well, and they lead by 12 with 7:23 to play. Gustafson is up to 40 points. She's making a wonderful case for being Player of the Year on national television, too.
Iowa gets a couple big defensive stops to end the third, and they bumped a 3-5 point lead up to 9 at 69-60. Gustafson goes to the 4th quarter with 38 points, but 3 fouls. Hopefully she doesn't pick up the fourth for a long while. Doyle came on strong with some offense in the latter half of the quarter to compliment Gustafson.
Gustafson with 3 fouls, which is worrying. Maryland just had their first player foul out of the game. Refs aren't afraid to blow their whistles today.
It's turned into a battle between Gustafson and Charles. Gustafson has 32 and 6, Charles 28 and 4. Both teams shooting very well from the floor.
Foul trouble will also play a huge role in this one. For Iowa, Doyle, Meyer, and Stewart all have 2. Doyle didn't play at all in the 2nd quarter. Some of Iowa's defensive woes can be attributed to no Doyle.
For Maryland, they have four players listed as forwards. Those players have: 4, 3, 2, and 2 fouls. It's not hard to envision Iowa fouling out multiple Maryland forwards, which could make defense on Gustafson even more difficult. Charles (6'1') was guarding her near the end.
After a frantic first half, Iowa leads 51-45 at the break. Gustafson has 26 and 5 to lead Iowa. Charles has 22 points to lead Maryland.
On Iowa's end, Maryland isn't throwing enough bodies at Gustafson, and she's absolutely dominating them. We'll see if they adjust, and if they do, if Iowa's guards can compensate offensively.
On Maryland's end, the big question is will Iowa's defense hold. When it's a half court game, Iowa's done relatively well defensively, though Maryland found a couple open threes late. If Maryland gets in transition, they've been killing Iowa.