The 2019 Gavitt Games opened up on Monday night with a matchup between Iowa and DePaul in Iowa City. Unfortunately for Hawkeye fans, things didn’t end well, giving the league an 0-1 start to the battle with the Big East.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Day:
-DePaul Blue Demons 93, Iowa Hawkeyes 78
Let’s be frank about this game. It went terribly for Iowa. Sometimes, teams can lose by a significant margin, but keep things close for a half. That did not happen for the Hawkeyes on Monday night. Iowa got rolled out of the gates and played catch up all night. Iowa briefly looked like it might make a run early in the second half, but ended up falling short.
The biggest issue for Iowa in this one was the team’s defense, or lack thereof. DePaul ended up scoring 1.13 points per possession and shot 55.0 percent from three-point range. Unless you’re an elite offensive team, there’s no way you’re going to keep up with that. Fran McCaffery and his staff are going to have to find a way to improve on that side of the floor, otherwise, it’s going to be more of this in the coming months.
Additionally, Iowa fans have to be concerned about Joe Wieskamp’s performance on Monday night. The star forward finished with just four points on the night. We’ll see if he can get back on track, but that’s not an encouraging performance for Hawkeye fans. Iowa needs more from him on a nightly basis.
On paper, this doesn’t project to be a devastating loss for Iowa. While it was disappointing, DePaul projects as an improved unit this year, currently sitting 68th on KenPom. However, Iowa has a lot of tough games coming up, including a neutral site showdown with Texas Tech later this month. As such, dropping a game like this at home will leave a mark. The good news is that there’s still plenty of time left to get back on track.
Iowa will now prepare for a game against Oral Roberts at home on Friday. That figures to be a nice opportunity to score a win for the Hawkeyes.