More is being asked of a couple of Iowa players, and early indications are they’ll be able to answer.
The Hawkeyes will count heavily on Tony Perkins and Filip Rebraca this season. The duo will have another chance to show its capabilities Friday night when North Carolina A&T visits for a game in Iowa City, Iowa.
“Tony Perkins has aggressiveness,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said after his guard scored 16 in the opener. “He has skills. He is shooting the ball outside. He is driving the ball. He always had a pull-up game. He is getting to the rim. We put the ball in his hands a little bit more, and he is even more effective.”
Rebraca secured his 20th career double-double, though just his second for the Hawkeyes since transferring from North Dakota, when the Hawkeyes opened the season by throttling visiting Bethune-Cookman 89-58 on Monday.
The experience is there with Rebraca starting 36 games at center last season. An upgrade in production could make the Hawkeyes more formidable.
“That’s what I wanted him to do,” McCaffery said of Rebraca’s double-double. “It was always in there, and now you’re seeing it.”
Among the early priorities this season for the Aggies was improving their perimeter shooting. By making 17 shots from 3-point range in an opening rout of Edward Waters to tie a program record, it was a much-needed step.
“That was an area we wanted to improve, on our 3-point shooting,” interim coach Phillip Shumpert said. “We couldn’t stop talking about it. We’ve got some guys that can hit shots, so we must continue to try to get them open looks.”
The Aggies made a one-season stopover in the Big South Conference last year before joining the Colonial Athletic Association. So, it’s not just a roster transition like many teams are dealing with, but there has been a coaching change and a new conference affiliation since N.C. A&T’s final game last March.
The new season brought a matchup with Edward Waters first. The Aggies cruised as expected.
“We figured it would be a good tune-up before we play against an actual Division I opponent like Iowa on Friday,” Shumpert said.
The keys for the Aggies could be forward Marcus Watson, who once was in Oklahoma State’s program before a season with New Mexico State, and forward Duncan Powell, who’s the program’s all-time highest-rated recruit but sat out last season because of injuries.
–Field Level Media