Team preview: Iowa
Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2003-04 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.
Momentum has been a tricky beast for the Iowa Hawkeyes to tame recently. In each of the last two seasons, Steve Alford's teams have jumped out to hot starts-13-4 in 2001-02, and 11-3 last year-only to see their high hopes dashed and the season end with a trip to the NIT.
If Alford is to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the Hawkeyes' surprise run to the Big Ten Tournament title carried them to the Big Dance in 2001, Iowa will have to find a way to stand up to the rigors of the never-forgiving Big Ten schedule. Nobody knew quite what to expect from last year's team. The Hawkeyes had to replace Reggie Evans and Luke Recker, who had provided the bulk of their offense and rebounding in the previous two seasons. And in the off-season, a handful of player transfers and off-court troubles limited the Hawkeyes to just four returning lettermen. At times, just finding 10 bodies for a full-court shirts-vs.-skins scrimmage was a difficult task for Alford.