The Iowa Hawkeyes will start their Big Ten Tournament journey on Friday. They’ll have to win 3 games in less than 3 days to become Big Ten Tournament Champions, but right now the Hawkeyes are just focusing on taking things one game at a time.
“It starts with being prepared and winning the first one, obviously, to get to Saturday,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “You don’t want to ever kind of look at it as it’s three games in three days. It’s basically one game in one day, then you have the opportunity to play again.
This is the time of year the Hawkeyes have been waiting for. When Luka Garza announced he would return for his senior season, his focus was on winning in this moment.
“I love to play the game of basketball,” said Iowa center Luka Garza. “There’s no time better to play the game of basketball than in the month of March. I’m very excited for this opportunity, I’m very excited for all our guys.”
It’s a new experience for some on Iowa’s roster, in part due to last year’s shutdown. 8 players on the Iowa roster haven’t yet gotten a taste of Big Ten Tournament action.
“Yeah, I’m excited,” said Iowa guard CJ Fredrick. “To play in the Big Ten Tournament, to play in the NCAA Tournament has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. Last year sucked, sucked for everybody. But we have another opportunity now.”
Now that March is upon us, the Hawkeyes are looking to keep up their recent level of play.
“Our team has developed so much over this year, especially this year with our improved defense,” said Garza. “We’re going to keep working on that. We know that’s what it’s going to take to get us where we want to go.”
“It’s staying the course with what got us to the point where we are,” said McCaffery. “Our improved defense, our ability to share the ball, understand how to utilize Luka with great point guard play, a team that really understands how to compete and play together.”