Right now we’re in the slow season of college basketball. Most rosters are beginning to take shape with the majority of teams already knowing the statuses of NBA Draft decisions. Luckily for Iowa fans, there hasn’t been many changes to their roster. Basically the same roster will be back next year along with a few new talented recruits. The one major question, though, will be how Iowa replaces Peter Jok.
Even with Jok's departure, there's still plenty of excitement about Iowa’s 2017-18 team. And now that Iowa’s roster is set, it’s time to move on to previewing the team’s non-conference schedule. By the way, the non-conference isn’t complete yet, but let's break it down what we know so far.
Two things to note before previewing Iowa’s schedule. The first thing is that Iowa’s Big Ten-ACC Challenge opponent will be determined in the next few weeks. The second scheduling tweak to note is that this year’s scheduling was different because the Big Ten Tournament is one week earlier than usual at Madison Square Garden in New York.
With the Big Ten Tournament taking place a week earlier, this means that each Big Ten school will have to keep December 1-4 open for two league games. Still in the process of scheduling, nine of the Hawkeyes’ 13 non-conference dates are already filled. Iowa’s non-conference schedule will feature five games at neutral sites.
The Hawkeyes will compete in the Cayman Islands Classic from November 20th to the 22nd. The tournament field also includes Cincinnati, UAB, Wyoming, Buffalo, South Dakota State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Richmond. Cincinnati and South Dakota State were the only teams in this group to make the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Although the Cayman Islands Classic doesn’t present the greatest challenge in terms of what the field has to offer, it’s still a solid event for a young team looking for quality wins. And a win over Cincinnati is great to have on the resume to present to NCAA selection committee come March.
Although Cincinnati and South Dakota State were the only teams to make the 2017 NCAA Tournament, the other five opponents at the event ranked between 72 and 198 in the final 2017 RPI rankings, which makes a Cayman Islands Classic championship a little more respectable for the Hawkeyes.
Other Significant Games
Iowa’s significant games include two in-state rivalry contests. Iowa will play Iowa State in Ames this year and they'll square off against Drake in the Big Four Classic in Des Moines. Iowa defeated Iowa State in Iowa City last season and defeated Drake in the Big Four Classic in 2015-2016 season.
The other game to watch out for is when the Hawkeyes take on Colorado on December 22nd. Colorado, just like Iowa, made the NIT last season. This matchup will give the Hawkeyes a great chance of adding a strong resume win over a power five conference school.
We’ve covered the significant games and breakdown of the Canyon Islands Classic, now here’s a rundown of Iowa’s incomplete schedule (Via Land of 10) :
Nov. 10 or 11: Chicago State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Nov. 12-18: First-round Cayman Islands Classic opponent at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Nov. 20-22:Three games at Cayman Islands Classic
Nov. 26-28: Big Ten-ACC Challenge opponent at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Dec. 7: at Iowa State
Dec. 16: Big Four Classic vs. Drake at Wells Fargo Arena
Dec. 19: Southern Utah at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Dec. 22: vs. Colorado at Sioux Falls, S.D.
[Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that South Dakota State did not make the 2017 NCAA Tournament. That has since been corrected.]