Iowa Men Hoopsters win Season Opener

Sports

November 14th, 2011 by Chris Parks

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Freshman Aaron White may not have a true position, but he can sure help Iowa with minutes like he did Friday night.

White scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds off the bench as the Hawkeyes beat Chicago State 96-53 to open coach Fran McCaffery’s second season.

It’s the first double-double by an Iowa freshman in his debut since Jess Settles had 13 points and 11 rebounds against Drake in 1993. White’s 19 points were the most by a freshman in an opener since Ricky Davis scored 18 in 1997, which was also against Chicago State.

“My role is to come in and give energy,” White said. “I hit some open shots and pulled down some rebounds. Whatever they need me to do to spark something.”

The Hawkeyes, who won their season opener for the first time since 2008, started the game on a 10-0 run and used a full-court press to force 27 turnovers. Chicago State turned it over on each of its first six possessions.

White, a lightly recruited 6-foot-8 forward from Strongsville, Ohio, can play inside and outside. He hit two 3-pointers and converted the second into a four-point play when he got knocked down in the middle of the second half.

White looked strong on the block, even at 225 pounds, snatching four offensive rebounds in only 18 minutes.

He can play defense too. At the end of the first half, White stole the ball at midcourt and went in for an uncontested layup.

“He’s a complete player,” McCaffery said. “I said this before: When you have a 6-8 player who understands how to play, dribble, pass, shoot, post up, play in the zone, he’s got a feel. He doesn’t rattle. There’s no panic in him at all.”

Sophomore Melsahn Basabe scored 14 points for Iowa. Zach McCabe added 13 points off the bench and Eric May 12.

Eight Hawkeyes scored at least five points, and Iowa’s bench totaled 57 points – four more points than Chicago State.

“Our team is capable of that,” May said. “You see it in practice every day.”

Chicago State lost 10 lettermen from last year’s squad, which finished 6-26. Junior Jeremy Robinson led the Cougars with 20 points and seven rebounds.

Iowa, which has struggled to fill Carver-Hawkeye Arena in recent years, announced a crowd of 12,987 Friday night – the most for a home opener since 2001. Iowa averaged 9,550 fans in 2009 and 11,635 last season.

“My team was really intimidated by the atmosphere,” Chicago State coach Tracy Dildy said. “For a lot of these guys it’s tough to come play at a Big Ten arena on opening night. And especially a team that feels they really have something to prove, which is how the Hawkeyes feel.”

Freshman Aaron White scored 19 points and Iowa beat Chicago State 96-53 Friday night to open coach Fran McCaffery’s second season.

Sophomore Melsahn Basabe added 14 points for the Hawkeyes, who started the game on a 10-0 run and scored 25 points off turnovers.

Zach McCabe added 13 points and Eric May 12 for Iowa. White grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Hawkeyes won their season opener for the first time in three years in front of an announced crowd of 12,987 – the most for a season opener at Carver-Hawkeye Arena since 2001.

Chicago State committed 27 turnovers, including on each of its first six possessions. Jeremy Robinson led the Cougars with 20 points and seven rebounds.