Iowa men’s basketball freshmen contribute in exhibition win

First-year guards Dasonte Bowen and Josh Dix earned significant playing time and made an impact in Monday night’s scrimmage against Truman State.


Gabby Drees

Iowa guard Dasonte Bowen looks to pass the ball during a men’s exhibition basketball game between Iowa and Truman State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. Bowen led the team in assists with eight. Iowa defeated Truman State, 118-72.

Grant Hall, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s basketball team put on a display Monday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a 118-72 victory in an exhibition game against Truman State. 

Although the Bulldogs led, 26-25, through the contest’s first 10 minutes, the Hawkeyes closed the first half on a 38-13 run to secure a 63-39 lead heading into the break. 

Iowa outscored Truman State, 55-33, in the second stanza.

While upperclassmen Kris Murray and Tony Perkins carried the load offensively, scoring 24 and 18 points, respectively, Hawkeye freshmen guards Dasonte Bowen and Josh Dix each played pivotal roles in the game.

Bowen and Nix both came off the bench as part of head coach Fran McCaffery’s second unit. 

Bowen, a three-star recruit out of Boston’s Brewster Academy, dished out a team-leading eight assists on the night, adding two points on 1-of-4 shooting. 

Bowen said his first game experience in Carver-Hawkeye Arena was a memorable one.

“It was definitely a lot different with fans there,” Bowen said. “I thought I played solid, I did my job. People probably wanted me to score a little more, but I facilitated, and that’s what I do.”

Bowen played 20 minutes in the game, tied for most among non-starters. 

McCaffery said Bowen will be a versatile asset to his team moving forward, as McCaffery plans to use the freshman at both guard spots this season. 

“There’s going to be times when I play him off the ball,” McCaffery said. “He can score, he can cut, and he gets open. Tonight, he had eight assists with no turnovers, that was great to see, and I’m proud of him. He got jammed up a couple times at the rim, but he’s going to learn from that.”

In 12 minutes of action, Dix dropped eight points in his Hawkeye debut.

The Council Bluffs native knocked down two triples on 50 percent shooting behind the arc. He also grabbed two rebounds. 

Murray said Dix has improved quickly after he suffered a gruesome injury during his senior season of high school.

RELATED: Iowa men’s basketball’s Josh Dix recovered from leg injury, full participant in practice

“It was great to see [him contribute],” Murray said. “He’s come a long way, especially in the past month or so. His jump shot is looking great, it’s nice and smooth. He’s definitely a confident freshman, and you’ve got to like having that on your team because it gives us a spark.”

On the practice court, the two freshmen depend on each other as they learn the ropes. Bowen said his camaraderie with Dix has helped the pair transition cleanly into the college game.

“We’re roommates, so our chemistry and bond are there,” Bowen said. “We help each other out, and it’s very helpful to know that there’s someone else there with you learning at the same pace.”

McCaffery said both Bowen and Dix are learning quickly and are playing well beyond their years. 

“I don’t think they played like freshmen [tonight],” McCaffery said. “Josh made one mistake early, where he was chasing a back picker and they got a bucket, but he’ll learn from it. He moves without the ball, and he plays like a veteran. He’s a really good player, and it’s the same thing with Dasonte.”

While the freshmen duo combined for 10 of the Hawkeyes’ 118 points, Iowa had five players in double figures on the night. 

Along with Murray and Perkins, sixth-year senior Connor McCaffery added 12 points, burying his first four attempts from three.

Senior forward Filip Rebraca and sophomore forward Payton Sandfort each tallied 14 points. 

Up next

The Hawkeyes take on Bethune-Cookman in Iowa City on Nov. 7 in Iowa’s first regular season game. The game begins at 6 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Wildcats are one of 35 eligible Division 1 schools to never reach the NCAA Tournament.

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