CEDAR FALLS – It was a tournament where a win or two could give the University of Northern Iowa national attention. Instead, the Panthers dropped three games in three straight days for an eight place finish in the Battle for Atlantis.
UNI lost their three games – 2 against ranked opponents – by an average of 8.6 points per game.
“Certainly playing Louisville, Stanford and Memphis, playing those kinds of teams with the guys they’ve got and the guys coaching those teams, you learn a lot about what you need to do and where you need to improve,” Coach Ben Jacobson said at his weekly news conference.
“In terms of how hard our guys played, our teamwork and the leadership we got from our upperclassmen, those things were very good. A lot of positives came out of this weekend. More positives than negatives. I’m very encouraged. I really like our basketball team.”
While the past weekend may have been the toughest stretch of UNI’s non-conference schedule, the Panthers still have tough battles against UNLV, Iowa and George Mason in the next month.
“(It’s) an opportunity for us to get better now having played those games. The only thing I would have be different would be that we won Thursday (against Louisville),” Jacobson said.
UNI will have the next five days off before hosting Milwaukee on Saturday.
“Guys care about what they’re doing. They have a lot of pride in our program and how they want things to go. I think we have a great opportunity to get better this week, and I think we will,” Jacobson said.