Iowa senior forward Melsahn Basabe, who averages 6.3 rebounds per game, did not play in Tuesday’s loss to Minnesota because of a stomach illness.
That was a surprise to Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery, who watched Basabe go through warmup drills.
“He practiced (Monday). He was great in practice. I thought for sure he was going to play,” McCaffery said. “He just has not been able to move. I asked him before the game if he was ready to go, and he said no.”
McCaffery was uncertain about Basabe’s status for Thursday’s game at Indiana. But what is certain is that the Hawkeyes are missing Basabe. They have struggled with their post defense without him in the past two games; Basabe played only one minute with the same issue in Saturday’s loss to Wisconsin.
“He’s an inside presence,” Iowa leading scorer Devyn Marble said. “He can score the ball. Defensively, he protects the rim. He defensive rebounds for us. When he’s missing, a lot of that goes with him.”
Josh Oglesby said he would gladly give up his newly awarded starting spot if Basabe could return.
“We need him back in the lineup,” he said.
Anthony Clemmons impresses
Backup point guard Anthony Clemmons has played sparingly of late. But he got some key second-half minutes Tuesday at Minnesota after McCaffery watched lackluster defense from just about everybody. Clemmons, a sophomore, is considered one of Iowa’s top defenders.
In eight minutes, Clemmons had four rebounds – tied for second on the team/
“He was great. He was terrific. Man, he was great,” McCaffery said. “I didn’t play him in the first half. I wasn’t sure. I gave him a shot, and I’m really proud of him. He showed me he really wants to play more.”
Zach McCabe’s follow-up
Three days after he sent a profane tweet aimed at Iowa fans who were critical of his recent performance, senior forward Zach McCabe remained in a scoring funk. He had two points and fouled out in 12 minutes at Minnesota.
McCabe was not made available for interviews afterward. In his last 16 games, McCabe is shooting 22 of 79 (28 percent). In Iowa’s first 11 games, the senior from Sioux City was 34 of 70 (49 percent).
McCaffery said Monday he had told his players to “shut down” Twitter for the rest of the season.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball