Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery predicts that freshmen starters Anthony Clemmons and Adam Woodbury will bounce back from rocky performances in Saturday’s victory against Northern Iowa.
“They’re both very resilient individuals,” said McCaffery, whose team hosts South Carolina State at 8 p.m. Wednesday. “They are very competitive and have a lot of pride.”
Clemmons, who had 21 assists to two turnovers in the previous three games as a starter, had no assists and two turnovers in the 80-73 victory over the Panthers in the Hy-Vee Big Four Classic at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Clemmons, a point guard, failed to score and played just 11 minutes. He was coming off a career-high 14 points and career high-matching eight assists in the previous game, an 80-71 victory over Iowa State on Dec. 7.
Woodbury, a center who had averaged 9.7 points and 5.2 rebounds in the previous four games, had one point and three rebounds against the Panthers, playing a season-low 9 minutes.
“What I’d like to be able to do is allow a young guy to play though his mistakes, but in a game like that that was close, I have other options,” McCaffery said. “I have to go with my other options and find the mix that is playing well. They have been very mature and understanding in that aspect and have worked hard in practice the last couple of days. They’re great people in terms of character. I have no doubt they’re going to bounce back.”
A third freshman, guard Mike Gesell, scored a career-high 23 points against Northern Iowa. But he, too, has struggled in a few of the 11 games played so far this season. On Saturday, Woodbury and Clemmons never got it going.
“Obviously, we don’t want it to happen, but it’s sort of inevitable sometimes when you have young guys,” McCaffery said. “True freshmen, it’s amazing what they’ve accomplished so far, and they’ll continue to get better. (Woodbury and Clemmons) didn’t play well (against Northern Iowa). They played against an experienced team. It’s part of the growth process. How do you show up the very next practice? Those guys have worked really hard and really gotten after it.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball