Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Iowa lost three of its 2020-21 starters ahead of the 2021-22 season. Guards Joe Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick and center Luka Garza scored about 55 percent of Iowa’s points last year.

With so much scoring lost, and many new faces littered throughout their roster, the Hawkeyes might struggle to find their footing early this season.

The Hawkeyes luckily have nine games against mid-major teams scheduled early this year. So, Iowa will have an adequate amount of time to get in rhythm before Big Ten Conference play begins.

With the likes of Joe Toussaint, Patrick McCaffery, Tony Perkins, Keegan and Kris Murray, and Ahron Ulis all positioned to see more minutes this year, Iowa figures to be a lot more athletic both offensively and defensively than it was a year ago.

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Iowa might also play a quicker and more modernized brand of offense this season. Instead of trying to get a center like Garza set up to score in the post, the Hawkeyes can attack the basket from the perimeter and shoot from downtown, utilizing their more athletic lineup.

This year, the Hawkeyes will also have a deeper rotation than they did last season. With key additions like freshmen Riley Mulvey and Payton Sandfort and transfer forward Filip Rebraca, Iowa’s regular rotation could include 10 or more players.

Because of their increased depth and athleticism, I expect the Hawkeyes to sneak into the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament as a 10 or 11 seed.

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