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Bench players come up big for McCaffery

BY BEN SCHUFF | NOVEMBER 08, 2011 7:20 AM

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Josh Oglesby didn't hesitate.

The Hawkeye freshman found himself alone on the left wing behind the 3-point line about eight and a half minutes into Iowa's exhibition opener against Northwest Missouri State.

Oglesby had been in the game only 35 seconds, but he received a pass, dribbled between his legs once right-to-left, and rose for the shot.

Swish.

Although it was the lone bucket for Oglesby, that kind of instant production from Iowa's bench players played a key role in the Hawkeyes 79-59 win over the Bearcats on Nov. 6.

Forward Zach McCabe made a similar impact when he subbed in during the first media time-out at the 14:30 mark in the first half. The sophomore collected an Eric May missed 3-pointer on Iowa's first possession following the break and was fouled in the act of shooting six seconds later. The sophomore made both free throws, extending his team's lead to 12-5.

"We all came in and tried to do a little thing that coach wants us to do — to pick up the starters," said Aaron White, who entered the game alongside McCabe. "As a whole, we did pretty well."

White had the best game of any bench player for the Hawkeyes. The 6-8 forward led Iowa with 4 blocks, led all bench players with 8 points, and also snagged a steal and 5 rebounds in 16 minutes.

In all, five players saw meaningful minutes off the bench, Oglesby, McCabe, White, Roy Devyn Marble, and Gabe Olaseni. The five combined for 25 points and 16 rebounds.

Olaseni only played five minutes in the exhibition — the others all played at least 14 minutes — and would seem the likely candidate to be bumped from the rotation once senior center Andrew Brommer returns from a right knee injury.

Marble played the most of any Hawkeye off the bench, receiving 20 minutes of playing time at guard. The sophomore subbed in for the first time about six minutes into the first half, and grabbed a rebound on the ensuing Northwest Missouri State possession. Marble scored 6 points and added 6 rebounds to go along with four assists — although he did turn the ball over twice.

"With the style coach wants to run, we have to be deeper," senior guard Matt Gatens said. "If we want to get up and down, some guys are going to be tired, and we need guys who can come in and contribute.

"It's a long year and a long season in the Big Ten, and some guys are probably going to get hurt. We need guys who can step in off the bench and start at times. I think we have more guys we can rely on this year and who coach has trust in."

Although the Northwest Missouri State game meant nothing to Iowa's record, several starters acknowledged the importance of the bench to the team long-term.

"We got some positive energy off them, and they came in and contributed," senior guard Bryce Cartwright said. "We're going to need them down the stretch if we're going to have any type of postseason."


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