COLUMBUS, OHIO It was hard not to be “Taken” with the performance of Iowa junior Zach McCabe on Tuesday night.
“He’s a competitor,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of McCabe. “He’s got a very unique skill set. You can post him, you can pop him out and he’s usually automatic from the foul line. If I was going to have a technical shot …. He’d shoot it.
“He was a big, big factor in the game for us.”
A unique set of skills? Sounds like the fictional father from the movie “Taken.”
Granted, Liam Neeson was dealing with girl-stealing criminals, not Buckeyes.
“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”
McCabe played 15 minutes, mostly in the second half. After Ohio State went up by 24 – their largest margin – it was McCabe who scored a lay-up, got a steal and hit 4-of-6 at the line to keep the game from getting away from the Hawkeyes.
“He brought a lot of energy,” Aaron White said. “You could tell he was really upset with the way some of us were playing. He made a wing there and played really well to get us back in the game.”
McCabe’s final line wasn’t overpowering – eight points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal, four fouls – but he added a unique set of skills.
“Coach put me at the three,” McCabe said. “I haven’t played that much this year.”
McCabe has started 39 of the 85 games in his career, but after starting the first seven games this season, has accepted a different role off the bench. He still logs a lot of minutes.
In fact, Melsahn Bassabe, Josh Oglesby, Eric May, Gabriel Olaseni, as well as McCabe – mostly all starters at some point in their careers — have found ways to use their unique set of skills off the bench.
“That’s the kind of team we have,” McCaffery said. “You never know what kind of team is going to be out there.
“We go 11 deep.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball