IOWA CITY, Iowa – Five days removed from an exhibition loss to Division II Augustana at home, the Iowa basketball team continued to say it learned lessons. It was the best they could hope for following a stunning defeat.
"I think we were taking it a little bit for granted how you can lose to anybody any night if you don’t play your game and do what you’re supposed to do," point guard Mike Gesell said. "This is the time of year if you’re going to lose one this is the time to do it and to learn from it. Augustana is a very good team. They’re the best Division II team in the country and we learned a lot from the game."
The Hawkeyes can see of those lessons result in production Friday night when the season tips off for real with Gardner-Webb coming to Carver-Hawkeye Arena (8:30 p.m. CT, ESPN3). They then experience a quick turnaround as Coppin State comes to town on Sunday (4 p.m. CT).
"It wasn’t the best game for us," forward Jarrod Uthoff said of the Augustana loss. "I didn’t think I brought it that game. I was tired and didn’t have the mindset of being aggressive. I just said it will never happen again."
The last line is what Uthoff told head coach Fran McCaffery. He showed leadership by absorbing responsibility for a team that didn’t play hard enough for 40 minutes.
"We need to match (the other team’s) intensity," guard Peter Jok said. "We came out strong, ready to go, but then we let down and that’s when they started scoring."
Gesell, Uthoff and Jok shared other thoughts with the media here Wednesday here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena: