IOWA CITY — Iowa has faced some of the nation’s best players over the last 10 weeks in Big Ten play.
That won’t change tonight in Iowa’s NIT opener against Indiana State (18-14) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Sycamores feature do-it-all point guard Jake Odum, who has knocked down shots in high-pressure situations this year.
Odum, a 6-foot-4 junior, beat Miami (yes, that Miami) with a banked-in jumper with .8 seconds left at the Diamond Head Classic. He scored 25 points against New Mexico. He posted 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in an overtime win against Ole Miss. He beat Northern Iowa 59-58 on a pair of free throws with .3 seconds left.
“He affects the game in so many different ways,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. “He has a very unique game. He does things that I haven’t seen before. He’s got phenomenal feel for how to play this game, how to find his teammates, and be a great guy to play with. But he’s always in control, and I think his teammates feel that and they’re a team that’s always under control. They don’t panic.”
Odum averaged 13.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists a game. He was named to the Missouri Valley Conference first team and already has surpassed 1,000 points in his career.
“He has a little bit of an unorthodox type of game, different from any player that I’ve played this year,” Iowa guard Mike Gesell said. “But he’s a tremendous player. The film that we’ve watched, he’s great at getting to the basket and making crafty plays for other players or making baskets for himself, and he can shoot the outside ball. Basically he can do it all.”
Gesell ready to play
After sitting out four games because of a stress reaction in his right foot, Gesell started in both of Iowa’s Big Ten Tournament games last week. He combined for 43 minutes and scored 22 points in those games.
The pain in his foot persists, however, and Gesell has continued to wear a walking boot since last Friday. But after missing practice Monday, Gesell was back at it Tuesday and plans to play tonight.
“I was a little sore and I’ve been resting it” Gesell said. “(I’m) sitting out a few things in practice, just so it won’t get more sore before the game. Just doing everything I can so I can play.”
Gesell averaged 9.1 points and 27.1 minutes a game this year.
Comments are closed.