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Woodbury determined to improve on offense

[ 0 ] June 20, 2014 |
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Iowa’s Adam Woodbury reacts after forcing a jump ball during the Hawkeyes game against Michigan.

Adam Woodbury hates how this past season ended for the Iowa basketball team, except for one encouraging exception.

The 7-foot-1 Woodbury took on the unusual role of being a go-to player on offense against Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and had arguably his best game as a Hawkeye. He scored a career-high 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds during the 78-65 loss in March.

He also joined Kevin Boyle as the only other Hawkeye to score at least 16 points, grab eight rebounds and have at least one assist in their first NCAA Tournament game.

Iowa fans might have been surprised by Woodbury’s performance on offense, but he wasn’t.

“I watched bits and pieces of it,” Woodbury said after playing in the Prime Time League on Thursday in North Liberty. “I’ve known what I’m capable of. That’s something I could have done just about every night. It just didn’t work out that way. But hopefully, next year it’ll be a little bit different.”

Midway through his college career, Woodbury has started all 71 games and shown flashes as a scoring threat. He hopes to use the Tennessee game as a springboard into next season.

“In the grand scheme of things, it’s only one game,” Woodbury said. “But it gave me some confidence going into this spring and off-season, and I’m looking forward to hopefully doing that for an entire year.”

Woodbury said more than once to reporters Thursday that he wants to play a bigger role on offense next season. The former three-time all-stater from Sioux City East is one of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery’s most heralded recruits, ranked 39th nationally by ESPN as a senior in 2012.

However, as a freshman and sophomore, Woodbury was asked to play more of a support role and to be a facilitator on offense, while providing a presence inside on defense.

Woodbury disagrees with those who feel he has been inconsistent on offense based on his modest scoring numbers.

“I think consistency is one of the things I brought to the team last year,” said Woodbury, who averaged 5.7 points per game as a sophomore and 4.9 as a freshman. “They knew what I was bringing every night. It wasn’t scoring a lot. That wasn’t asked of me. But, hopefully, this year I’ll be able to score a little bit more.”

Woodbury also would like to play alongside 6-10 Iowa teammate Gabe Olaseni, with Olaseni moving from center to power forward. That would give Iowa, which lost seven of its last eight games last season after climbing to No. 10 in the rankings, its latest version of the twin towers.

“That brings a lot of matchup problems,” Woodbury said. “You don’t see too many teams with two bigs out there. Gabe is very versatile and very athletic. He complements my skills very well. I’d love to see us get a little more playing time together.”

After playing in the Prime Time League, Woodbury will join Iowa junior-to-be guard Mike Gesell as members of a USA traveling squad that will compete in the 2014 Four Nations Cup on Aug. 4-7 in Estonia and Finland.

“I’m just trying to get better as an overall player,” Woodbury said.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball

About Pat Harty: Columnist Pat Harty has been covering the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Press-Citizen since 1991. Originally from Des Moines, he currently writes columns and covers Hawkeye men's basketball for Hawk Central. View author profile.

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