IOWA CITY, Iowa — It wasn't all pretty, but it was a pretty impressive collegiate debut for Iowa's Joe Wieskamp.
The true freshman from Muscatine, Iowa scored 15 points, to lead the Hawkeyes (1-0) in a 77-63 season-opening win over UMKC on Thursday night.
"I think it's kind of what we expect," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "He's very confident in himself and the game comes easy to him. He plays at both ends of the floor, and played really good defense tonight. He's tough. I'm just really thrilled for him and satisfied presently for what he's done. You can tell he's going to be special.
"In the first half he was the only one hitting."
For his part, Wieskamp wasn't surprised by his debut, having been with the team since June and working out daily to get his game college-ready.
The former Mr. Basketball for the state of Iowa preached confidence as the reason for his steadiness in the opener.
"Any time you make your first shot, you know it's going to be a good game," Wieskamp said. "My teammates and coaches have the utmost confidence in me, and so that confidence carries over. I know I can score the ball and do a lot of things to help this team win, and that's what I tried to do."
The Hawkeyes got 12 points from Jordan Bohannon, as well as 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists from Tyler Cook.
Iowa had a 34-26 lead at halftime after shooting just 32 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from 3-point range against a UMKC squad that lost 76-45 to Loyola-Chicago in its opener. McCaffery said it was shot selection in particular that frustrated him as far as his team's offense. Despite a definite size advantage, the Hawkeyes took more 3-pointers than 2-pointers.
"In the first half we took 17 3s and eight 2-point shots," McCaffery said. "I was really disappointed in that aspect. I felt like we had an advantage in the post offensively, and I wanted to try to exploit that, and we were jacking 3s. That said, we had good shooters shooting 3s that didn't go."
The Hawkeyes bounced back with 59.1-percent shooting in the second half.
Maishe Dailey added 11 points for Iowa.
The Kangaroos (0-2) were led by Brandon McKissic and Xavier Bishop, who had 14 points apiece.