After a 25-win season and a runner-up finish in the NIT, the Hawkeye basketball team opens their season Friday against North Carolina-Wilmington. Iowa returns their leading scorer, rebounder and assist man from last season and are ranked by several publications, including The Sporting News.
Sophomore Mike Gesell, from South Sioux City, will start at guard, and East grad Adam Woodbury will start at center. Senior Zach McCabe of Heelan -- who has 39 career starts -- will be one of the first players off the bench.
"We want to be an attack team," said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. "We want to get to the free throw line. We want to push it and go and drive the ball to the basket. Even when we're shooting jumpers, it's dribble, draw and kick. We haven't made any concerted effort to change."
Their opponents from UNC-Wilmington has five of their top six scorers back. Iowa only shot 40 percent in their exhibition win over Augustana and their opener won't be an easy win.
"This is not an easy opening game by any means," said McCaffery. "It's a very well coached team, it's a veteran team, it's a team with a history of winning. They've got a lot of different weapons. They've got a combination of size and speed that I think will challenge us."
That opener on Friday starts at 8:30. UNC-Wilmington plays at Iowa State on Sunday.
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