Iowa's high-scoring effort could become the rule, not the exception


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All the stats from Sunday's exhibition game were unofficial, but Iowa basketball can officially be deemed fast.

The Hawkeyes scored 111 points in their 45-point defeat of Division-II Illinois Springfield in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, perhaps bringing back memories to fans who witnessed the up-tempo offenses of Tom Davis in the 1980s and '90s.

While no one wants to dwell on last season, when Iowa averaged slightly more than 60.5 points per game, it seems that comparing that offense to new head coach Fran McCaffery's squad may be impossible.

And even after one game, it seems the players are enjoying themselves.

"It's a blast," sophomore point guard Cully Payne said. "It's definitely different. I think if you put three games together we didn't score 100 points last year."

Of course, this game was an exhibition, and the Prairie Stars of Illinois-Springfield aren't a Big Ten opponent. And one can't even say it's early in the season, since technically the season doesn't start until Nov. 14 against South Dakota State. But once it does start, the team doesn't expect much change from the quality of play seen Sunday.

"I think we can get around 80 to 85 [points] a game," said freshman Roy Devyn Marble, who put up 11 points against Illinois-Springfield. "I don't see why we couldn't."

Marble, though, does want to temper expectations. He cautioned that just because Iowa scores 85 doesn't mean the Hawkeyes will win.

"Of course that comes with sitting down on defense," he said. "Just because we're scoring 80, 85, we don't want our opponents scoring anywhere near that."

If there was any flaw in the near-perfect exhibition on Sunday, it was the defense.

"Defensively, we've got some work to do on ball screens, on back picks getting over," McCaffery said. "But, again, we were covering for each other, and I think that's important. So all in all, when you look at the fact we had two freshmen in the starting lineup, both, I think, performed extremely well."

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