Iowa Hawkeyes' Best Situational Lineups in 2013-14

Ryan Curi@rcuri1Featured ColumnistDecember 13, 2013

Iowa Hawkeyes' Best Situational Lineups in 2013-14

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    Fran McCaffery's Iowa Hawkeyes enter Friday night's rivalry game against undefeated Iowa State with their own impressive 10-1 record.

    Iowa's lone loss came to Villanova in the championship game at the Battle for Atlantis, a game that got away from the Hawkeyes before they fell short in overtime.

    Nonetheless, McCaffery has been able to experiment with plenty of lineups, as Iowa has won several games by large margins, so expect the Hawkeyes to go 10 players deep (11 when Josh Oglesby returns) even during Big Ten play.

    Listed below are the rotation players, along with the number of situational lineups they appear in throughout this slideshow.

    Roy Devyn Marble: 4

    Melsahn Basabe: 3

    Aaron White: 3

    Mike Gesell: 3

    Jarrod Uthoff: 3

    Zach McCabe: 2

    Gabriel Olaseni: 2

    Adam Woodbury: 2

    Peter Jok: 2

    Anthony Clemmons: 1

Starting Lineup

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    PG: Mike Gesell

    SG: Roy Devyn Marble

    SF: Aaron White

    PF: Melsahn Basabe

    C: Adam Woodbury

    McCaffery instituted this starting five midway through last season, swapping Basabe in for Clemmons and trading size for ball-handling. When Gesell went down with an injury late last season, McCaffery inserted Eric May into the starting lineup, moving Marble to point guard in an even bigger lineup.

    McCaffery isn't afraid to make mass substitutions when he doesn't like what he is seeing. After the aforementioned starting lineup, Iowa's second most-used lineup is Clemmons, Jok, McCabe, Uthoff and Olaseni—the backups at each position.

    While Iowa's five best players do not all start, Fran is not afraid to play the hot hand late, giving his team the best chance to win.

Three-Point Lineup

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    PG: Mike Gesell

    SG: Peter Jok

    SF: Roy Devyn Marble

    PF: Zach McCabe

    C: Jarrod Uthoff

    As a team, Iowa has converted on 36.9 percent of its three-point attempts, compared to only 30.5 percent from deep last season. This comes without Josh Oglesby, who attempted more three-pointers than any other Hawkeye last season. Oglesby is expected to make his season debut prior to the start of Big Ten play.

    The above group has combined to make 61 of Iowa's 69 three-pointers in 2013-14. McCabe has rediscovered his stroke from deep, connecting on 16 of 33 long-distance shots. Marble, Jok and Gesell follow closely behind McCabe, connecting on 15, 12 and 11 three-point shots, respectively. Then there's Uthoff, who has been selective in his shot attempts, making 7-of-13 three-balls, good for 53.8 percent in the early going.

Defensive-Minded Lineup

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    PG: Roy Devyn Marble

    SG: Aaron White

    SF: Jarrod Uthoff

    PF: Melsahn Basabe

    C: Gabriel Olaseni

    Of the five situational lineups, this was the hardest to come up with. Both Gesell and Woodbury could have easily made this group, though with only five allotted slots, this is the group I have chosen. Ironically, this lineup is only a combined four inches shorter than the big-man lineup that follows (thanks to Woodbury's absence).

    Marble leads the team in steals, averaging 2.3 per game. White is a key player in Iowa's pressing zone, disrupting passing lanes with his size. Olaseni leads Iowa in blocked shots at 2.1 per game, followed closely by Uthoff's 1.5 rejections. Basabe is averaging 1.2 blocks over the course of his career and is always looking to make a highlight-reel play at either end of the court.

Big-Man Lineup

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    PG: Roy Devyn Marble

    SG: Zach McCabe

    SF: Jarrod Uthoff

    PF: Gabriel Olaseni

    C: Adam Woodbury

    This lineup has players who stand 6'6", 6'7", 6'9", 6'10" and 7'1" for an average of 6'9". Unlike most teams, Iowa could realistically use this group together on the court. Marble is Iowa's leader in assists while McCabe and Uthoff are the Hawkeyes' best percentage shooters from long range despite being natural forwards.

    Olaseni and Woodbury would form a defensive-minded frontcourt which averages 4.7 rebounds between them. While Olaseni and Woodbury are not go-to-guys on the offensive end of the court, they both have improved in that area from last season. Rarely, if ever, do the two play together, although with McCaffery at the helm, any lineup seems possible.



Small-Ball Lineup

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    PG: Anthony Clemmons

    SG: Mike Gesell

    SF: Peter Jok

    PF: Aaron White

    C: Melsahn Basabe

    Last season, McCaffery started two freshmen point guards together in Clemmons and Gesell. The two are mirror images of each other, with both standing 6'1" and weighing 190 pounds. Ultimately, McCaffery realized Iowa has more players who are inside presences than outside playmakers, prompting Clemmons' move to the bench. The two have nearly split playing time, with Gesell averaging 3.4 assists compared to Clemmons' 3.2 dimes.

    The 6'6" Jok is Iowa's backup shooting guard, filling the role of Oglesby in his absence. Jok was the lone member of Iowa's 2013 recruiting class. Up front, White and Basabe would form a small, but athletic, pair.

    Two seasons ago, Basabe and White often teamed up together up front without Woodbury or Uthoff, and with an extremely raw Olaseni. The 6'9" White can guard multiple positions while Basabe's freakish hops allowed McCaffery to get away with playing him at center as a freshman, Basabe's best season at Iowa.