IOWA CITY, Iowa - Inconsistency and a porous defense were hallmarks of Iowa's disappointing 2017-18 campaign, but it's a recommitment to defense that has the Hawks sitting at 17-5, 6-5 in the Big Ten.
"It's not like we're trying to have bad defensive games, you know what I'm saying?," said junior Tyler Cook. "Sometimes you're more...maybe prepared, more locked in than others. But at the end of the day, you just want to try to be the best than you can every single game."
Iowa has improved in basically every defensive category compared to last season. That's led to more consisteny play and less in-game meltdowns.
"We know we can score, but it starts defensively," said freshman Joe Wieskamp. "If we want to win consistently throughout the rest of the season, we want to keep getting stops and holding teams under 70 if possible."
Fran McCaffery and the team say keeping opponents in check offensively will be a key during the stretch run.
"That never goes away," McCaffery said. "You're constantly trying to get better on both ends of the floor, trying to get better collectively, trying to get better individually. You just want to consistently be better at the defensive end, whether we're in in zone, man, or in the press."
With just seven points and four rebounds at halftime, it didn't look…
Elite offense and average defense.