MBB: Iowa's Woodbury Dynamic In Debut As Hawkeyes Win
By Scott Dochterman, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa Adam Woodbury's much-anticipated debut was what everyone wanted, and he barely played.
Woodbury, a 7-foot-1 freshman center from Sioux City, scored 10 points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked three shots in only 14 minutes of Iowa's 86-55 blitzkrieg of Texas-Pan American on Friday night.
In a two-minute span early in the second half, Woodbury scored three times within five Iowa possessions. He also swatted a shot that led to a Mike Gesell 3-pointer. In short, the much-heralded recruit did everything Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery expected when he lured him to campus.
"I thought Woodbury was terrific," McCaffery said. "He got it going defensively in the second half. That's because he runs and he's always where he's supposed to be."
"I grew up my whole life working for this moment and getting the win, you couldn't ask for more," Woodbury said.
Woodbury also got a little advice from teammate Aaron White shortly before the second half.
"I told him coming out of the tunnel, 'Let the game come to you,'" White said. "'You play hard and you're going to get baskets at that size, especially on a team like that where we drive and they collapse.' He's going to be right there for the dump off. He did good on the boards."
"He said I don't need to look for my own shot," Woodbury said. "It's going to come from the rhythm of the game, and he's exactly right. I ran the court hard, and I got easy buckets."
But Woodbury hardly was Iowa's only star in in the team's season debut at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Gesell, who turned 19 on Friday, had seven points, four assists and three rebounds in 24 minutes.
"It was the perfect birthday present getting the 'W' tonight," Gesell said. "I had class all this morning and it was so hard to pay attention. Just thinking about my first regular-season college game ever, it was anything I could ask for."
Devyn Marble scored 11 points and had no turnovers in 23 minutes. Melsahn Basabe scored nine points and led the Hawkeyes with 10 rebounds. Eric May added six points, five rebounds and two assists.
But making the biggest impact were Zach McCabe and White. Each moved down a spot in the starting line-up McCabe from center to power forward; White from power forward to small forward. Both were effective in different ways.
McCabe drained all four 3-point attempts including the first shot of the game and finished with 14 points. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
White was everywhere for the Hawkeyes, scoring a team-high 16 points, grabbing five rebounds, four steals, two blocks and two assists. He even left the court for a few minutes in the first half after taking an elbow to the face.
"I got clotheslined," White said. "I just went out, they looked at my jaw. It was intact, so I was good."