IOWA CITY, Ia. – It was life without Devyn Marble Thursday night. It was also a night with no excuses.
“You look at Dev, and he makes a lot of plays, he gets in the lane, he’s our leading scorer and creates shots not only for himself but other players,” Iowa’s Aaron White said after a 62-59 loss to No. 22 Michigan State Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“But I don’t think you can look back at this game and think, “Oh, it’s a game Dev didn’t play so we lost. We were up 4, 10, 8…we obviously had enough guys to win the game and we just didn’t execute.”
Marble sprained his right ankle in practice Monday and couldn’t play against the Spartans. Marble also has a toe issue on the same foot. He is Iowa’s leading scorer at 15.5 points a game.
A Big Ten season-opening 69-65 loss to No. 5 Indiana felt about the same as Thursday’s did. Opportunity presented itself. The Hawkeyes couldn’t
figure out a way to open the door.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after seeing his team drop to 0-3 in the Big Ten and 11-5 overall. “We had an opportunity to win this game. We had an opportunity to win the Indiana game. We didn’t have an opportunity to win the Michigan game (Iowa lost to the No. 2 Wolverines last Sunday, 95-67.”
McCaffery did see some improvement over Sunday’s sour showing in Ann Arbor.
“We were better (Thursday) than we were against Michigan,” McCaffery added. “That’s a good step in the right direction. Now we’ve got to go on the road (at Northwestern Sunday) and play a team that’s going to execute to percection and they’re going to shoot it, and we’ve got to be better at both ends of the floor.”
There’s no shame in losing to three rated teams. But those teams provided an opportunity for a signature victory. Iowa was 4-3 against rated teams least season, 0-3 this season.
“It’s very frustrating, obviously,” said White, who finished with 11 points and six rebounds. “Coming into a game like this, where we play with them, you can’t say, “Oh, we hung tough with them.’ Because we expected to win. We didn’t make the plays down the stretch to win the game.”
Panic hasn’t set in yet, according to White.
“I don’t think you can ever have that mindset,” White said. “Especially with how long the college basketball season is. You can never throw in the towel. We still have plenty of games. It’s just frustrating for us to be right there, and expect to win, and make some plays to give up the lead.”
Bottom line: could of and should of doesn’t equal done deal.
“We just did about everything we could to lose the game,” White said.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball