The Takeaways From Iowa's Win Over Texas Tech
The rotation was down to nine.
The leading scorer was bloodied in the second half, and came back to post a double-double.
The biggest shot of the night came from a redshirt freshman.
Iowa's 72-61 win over 12th-ranked Texas Tech in Thursday's Las Vegas Invitational semifinal was the strongest showing of the season for the Hawkeyes, who came into this weekend searching for an identity and may have found it.
Four players scored in double figures, led by Jordan Bohannon's 20 points. Luka Garza had 17 points and 12 rebounds, but spent time in the training room in the second half after taking an inadvertent elbow to the face, leaving him bloody and dazed.
The takeaways from Thursday's win:
There's never been a question about Garza's grit, and he showed that by coming back after getting popped in the face.
Garza played 33 minutes and made 7-of-13 shots.
Iowa's frontcourt depth is lacking right now. Jack Nunge is gone for the year and Patrick McCaffery is day-to-day as he continues to deal with health issues related to his treatment for thyroid cancer in 2014.
Garza leads the team in scoring and rebounding, and continues to be a difficult matchup for anyone.
Think back to last season how he played coming off the September surgery for the cyst removed from his abdomen. Think how much the Hawkeyes missed him as he came back from the ankle injury in late December.
He showed, once again, on Thursday night he's going to be on the court no matter what. There's a toughness Iowa has needed in recent seasons, and Garza has that.
Iowa had just a 61-59 lead when Bohannon missed a 3-pointer. But Cordell Pemsl saved the rebound and got the ball to redshirt freshman CJ Fredrick, who hit a 3-pointer to start the final 11-2 run to complete the win.
Fredrick, who finished with 10 points, then made two free throws on Iowa's next possession.
Fredrick's teammates raved about him before the season, and he's showed why in the first six games of his career.
For a while, it didn't look like the Hawkeyes were going to get much production from the bench.
Pemsl's rebound was the biggest moment for the four reserves, but there were plenty of crucial plays.
Pemsl had four rebounds for the game in 14 minutes. Freshman guard Joe Toussaint played 16 critical minutes, especially with starting point guard Connor McCaffery battling foul trouble all night.
Iowa's reserves only had four points, but combined for seven rebounds and five assists against one turnover.
Bohannon didn't play in last Sunday's game against Cal Poly because of "hip soreness," and really, the senior guard wasn't needed in that game.
But he started on Thursday night and played 33 minutes, hitting 8-of-8 free throws in the second half. He also had six assists against just one turnover.
It's unknown if Bohannon will try to play the whole season — he gets five more games in the first half of the season before he has to decide to try for a medical redshirt season.
His presence in the lineup was necessary on Thursday night, and it showed just how important he is for this team right now.
It has seemed at times this season that sophomore wing Joe Wieskamp has been trying to get into a rhythm.
He had 16 points on Thursday night on 6-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 in threes.
Much like Garza, Wieskamp can be a tough matchup for teams in his own way. He talked before the season about being more of a leader of this team, and he's starting, more and more, to show that.