Jan 19, 2014, Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Fran McCaffery looks on during their game against the Minnesota Gophers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa beat Minnesota 94-73. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Should Fran Slim His Rotation?

Everyone always talks about how deep Iowa is as a team and how it can only benefit them.  Well, I hear some people calling for the rotation to go from 10 or 11 guys to 8 or 9 guys.  Sure, if you think about it it may start to make sense.  But, my only question for those people is who do you cut minutes?

Lets start out like this.  Roy Devyn Marble and Aaron White are two guys that will never see a decrease in minutes played.  Melsahn Basabe is very close to that class as well.  Among the other 8 guys that have seen a decent chunk of floor time this year, I see only three names that I would even consider cutting minutes.  Adam Woodbury, Anthony Clemmons, and Peter Jok.

Now Jok has already seen his minutes decrease quite a bit.  He has played just 16 minutes in Iowa’s last five games, two of which he did not appear in.  He didn’t really make any mistakes and totaled five points for Iowa. Also, most of these minutes were garbage time minutes.  So, I think it’s safe to assume that Jok may not be playing as the Hawkeyes hit the meat of the Big Ten season.

Anthony Clemmons has played in the last five games for Iowa, but his minutes have declined.  He played 15 against Nebraska followed by a pair of 9 minute games, then a couple of 5 minute games.  So, his role is slowing diminishing as well.  Maybe Fran is slimming his rotation without really telling anyone.  While I think Clemmons is very capable to performing at this stage, there is just a log jam at the point guard spot with Gesell and Marble.  He is a nice piece to have if the Hawkeyes are being pressured late in the game because he’s a good ball-handler.

Now on to the big one.  Adam Woodbury.  This is a guy that came to the University of Iowa and was regarded by many as the best recruit the Hawkeyes have landed in their programs history.  Looking back at it now, I just kind of laugh because of what we’ve seen so far in his year and half in Iowa City.  He’s hasn’t been able to score the basketball, he’s a decent rebounder, and is still fairly weak.  However, he is an excellent passer for 7’1″ which keeps him on the floor a lot of the time.  The fact that he’s 7’1″ helps too.  He’s a big body that Fran can shove in the lane so he can alter some shots.

After that missed dunk against Minnesota on Sunday, I looked around and members of the audience were just laughing and shaking their heads.  Most of the students were booing and yelling things I can’t tell you, but I bet you get the picture.  When you’re that tall and wide open underneath the basket and you can’t even get far enough off the floor to dunk the ball, something is wrong.  That might explain why he only played 10 total minutes in the game.

I’ve heard arguments for benching Zach McCabe, but there is no way that happens.  He is a tough guy that has the ability to make shots.  He’s also a senior and has been around the Big Ten for a while, so to the people calling for McCabe’s minutes to be cut, forget about it.

If Josh Oglesby is going to continue to shoot like this there is no way Fran can cut his minutes.  He stretches the floor even when he’s not hitting his shots because everyone knows he has the ability to make a few and after that it only gets worse for the opponent.  Like most shooters, he’s streaky.  Oglesby will continue to see good minutes.

Olaseni and Uthoff will still be in the mix too,  they are too athletic and bring too much to the table not too be.

So, as of right now I’d say Jok and Clemmons won’t see the floor much and if Woodbury continues to perform the way he has, he may see a drop off as well.  That might have something to do with Olaseni playing as good as he has been.  A lot of people even ask, should Olaseni start over Woodbury?

I’ll leave that one alone for now.  We’ll talk later.

Stay tuned.

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