The Daily Iowan

Forecasting men’s basketball’s biggest surprise

Iowa+guard+Isaiah+Moss+attempts+a+shot+past+Penn+State+forward+Satchel+Pierce+during+an+Iowa%2FPenn+State+men%27s+basketball+game+in+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Saturday%2C+Dec.+2%2C+2017.+The+Nittany+Lions+defeated+the+Hawkeyes%2C+77-73.+%28Joseph+Cress%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa guard Isaiah Moss attempts a shot past Penn State forward Satchel Pierce during an Iowa/Penn State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes, 77-73. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Isaiah Moss attempts a shot past Penn State forward Satchel Pierce during an Iowa/Penn State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes, 77-73. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Isaiah Moss attempts a shot past Penn State forward Satchel Pierce during an Iowa/Penn State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hawkeyes, 77-73. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley and Pete Ruden

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Isaiah Moss

Confidence is the biggest wildcard for Moss heading into the new season. He’s a solid shooter who possesses the ability to run the floor and push in transition smoothly, and that’s why he’ll be the biggest surprise for Iowa in 2018.

Moss hit 3-pointers at a 38.6-percent clip last season, and he knocked down shots from 2-point range with ease, hitting 44.4 percent (better than Jordan Bohannon last season).

When Moss gets into a rhythm, he’s hard to contain. In Iowa’s loss to Maryland, it was almost as if Moss were the only Hawkeye who got off the team bus. He dropped a season-high 25 points and hit 4 of his 6 3-pointers.

It’s no surprise that when Iowa wins, Moss tends to have solid performances. His shooting from 3-point range in wins spikes (44.8 percent) compared with his performance in losses (31.7 percent). He averaged 2.1 makes from deep in Iowa’s 14 victories last year. Aside from the loss to the Terrapins (in which Moss shot 66.7 percent from 3-point range), his five best shooting performances came in victories.

When he’s on, Moss fits perfectly into coach Fran McCaffery’s run-and-gun offense. Iowa employs a system in which it spreads the floor with players who can hit from all over and also run in transition.

I believe that the addition of freshman Joe Wieskamp will spread the floor much more than last season, giving Moss more open shots from 3-point range and opportunities to score in transition.

Moss finished fourth for the Hawkeyes in scoring last season with 11.1 points per game; that total was up by nearly 4 points from his first season in the Black and Gold. Don’t be surprised if Moss ends up carrying more of a scoring load in 2018.

​— Adam Hensley

 

Maishe Dailey

After a disappointing 2017-18 season, Iowa basketball needs someone to step up big in addition to Tyler Cook and Jordan Bohannon.

Luka Garza played that role as a freshman last season, and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Isaiah Moss put all the pieces together to establish consistency after getting feedback from NBA executives during the predraft process.

That’s why Maishe Dailey will be the biggest surprise for the Hawkeye program this year.

At one point last year, Dailey came through clutch for Iowa, becoming the player the Hawkeyes needed in the long season.

He did that by consistently knocking shots down from deep. Dailey boasts the second-best 3-point percentage of returning Hawkeyes, hitting shots at a 39 percent clip from behind the arc.

Head coach Fran McCaffery has said he wants Dailey to take more shots, so if the soon-to-be-junior gains some confidence, he could become a real threat from downtown.

This season, Dailey can also finally focus on a role in which he is not the primary distributor. Last season, Connor McCaffery’s injuries and illnesses forced Dailey to back up Bohannon at the 1 at times.

While his passing skills will still be on display, it will not have to be his main focus.

But it’s not like Dailey will have to be a go-to scorer or playmaker. After all, Iowa returns Tyler Cook’s team-leading 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, along with Bohannon’s second-best 13.5 points and team-high 5.4 assists a game.

With Garza and Moss still in the mix, Dailey has a chance to excel in his role and be a key for the Hawkeyes.

— Pete Ruden

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