Hawks and Panthers Get Preseason Love In New Poll
If you're wondering why Luka Garza returned to Iowa for his senior season, its because he knew this Iowa Hawkeye basketball team had the chance to be one of the all time best. Others are agreeing with the Iowa center. College basketball expert Andy Katz has released his version of a preseason poll. He calls it his Power 36. That's right, a top 25 poll isn't good enough for Katz! No surprise that Iowa is near the top, but UNI is also getting some preseason love!
First, lets talk about the Hawkeyes. Katz has them ranked #5 in the nation in his preseason poll.Here is what he had to say about this year's Iowa squad.
Luka Garza is back as the preseason favorite to win Big Ten and National Player of the Year. Jordan Bohannon is also back from a hip injury and Joe Wieskamp returns as a compliment to Garza. This is Fran McCaffery's best team at Iowa.
Admittedly that short blurb doesn't tell Iowa fans anything they don't already know. But add to that the return of Jack Nunge from a knee injury and the depth from last year's team and you have the makings of a special year in Iowa City. Other Big Ten teams that Katz ranked included Illinois at #4, Wisconsin #6, Michigan State #12, Rutgers #13, Michigan #17, Indiana #18, and Purdue at #32. Yes, the Big Ten is stacked!
But that little school to the north, UNI, also makes an appearance on Katz's list. He has the Panthers ranked at #34 overall. Here is what Katz says about the Panthers.
AJ Green was the best player in the Missouri Valley. He's back, and the Panthers, who got bounced early in the Valley tournament, should have a chip to motivate them early and often this season.
Two Iowa teams getting some preseason accolades feels pretty good. It also feels good that there will actually be a season. The 2020-2021 NCAA basketball season will officially start the weekend of Thanksgiving on November 25th.