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Versatility keeps Jarrod Uthoff on the basketball court

[ 0 ] November 25, 2013 |
Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff (20) shoots over Penn's Darien Nelson-Henry, left, and Patrick Lucas-Perry (30) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. Uthoff scored 19 points as Iowa won 86-55. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Iowa forward Jarrod Uthoff (20) shoots over Penn’s Darien Nelson-Henry, left, and Patrick Lucas-Perry (30) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, in Iowa City, Iowa. Uthoff scored 19 points as Iowa won 86-55. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Jarrod Uthoff is coming off the most complete game of his brief college basketball career. He’ll also continue to come off the bench for Iowa’s basketball team.

“I would always consider moving anybody into the starting lineup,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said Monday. “Especially someone playing as well as he is. But I don’t know that it would impact his total number of minutes that much. It might. And right now I’m very comfortable with the starting lineup we have.”

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Uthoff is Iowa’s third-leading scorer though five games, averaging 11.8 points. The 6-foot-9 sophomore forward is also the Hawkeyes’ second-leading rebounder, averaging 6.8 a game. He’s doing that while averaging 20 minutes off the bench.

Uthoff scored a career-high 19 points, making six of seven shots from the field and all six free-throw attempts, in Friday’s 86-55 victory against Penn. The Hawkeyes, 5-0, return to the court at 6 p.m. Thursday against Xavier in the first round of the Battle for Atlantis in the Bahamas.

Uthoff has played at least 18 minutes in every game, and his versatility could keep him on the floor even longer as the season unfolds.

“The great thing about him is he plays more than one positon,” McCaffery said. “When you put a guy in and he plays well enough to remain in, that’s all well and good. But you might have to take someone else out because they’re either struggling or they’re tired. So to add the flexibility to take the three (small forward), the four (power forward) or even the five (center) if we have to, is something that enables him to stay out there.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Rick Brown: Rick Brown covers men's basketball for The Des Moines Register and Hawk Central. He's married and the father of two. He also covers golf for the Register. View author profile.

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