Big Ten players and coaches took to Chicago last week to face the media for the first time this season and answer questions about expectations, offseason development and more. With the start of the season less than a month away, we ran through the conference to look at one major question facing all 14 teams.
Iowa: Can the Hawkeyes bounce back from last year’s disappointing finish without Devyn Marble?
In mid-February, Fran McCaffery appeared to be on the verge of his big breakthrough in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes were 19-6 and looked like a team headed for a top-5 NCAA tournament seed. Then Iowa finished the season losing seven of its final eight games, ending the season with a NCAA tournament play-in defeat to Tennessee.
It’s going to be tough to shake the bitter taste of last year’s finish and it’ll be even tougher without Roy Devyn Marble. Despite the fact that Iowa was the deepest team in the Big Ten last season, it was still as reliant on one player as anyone in the conference other than Nebraska. Now the question is who will replace his production? McCaffery gave Aaron White the nod at Big Ten Media Day.
“Well, the leadership and talent, obviously it shifts to Aaron White,” McCaffery said. “ It’s Aaron White’s team. But again, he’s got two other seniors and four juniors all of whom played a lot, and they’re all good people and they’re all good players.”