Hawkeye coach talks about what impressed him about Maishe Dailey vs. Colorado Mark Emmert/HawkCentral
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Maishe Dailey rescued the Iowa men's basketball team Friday.
The Hawkeyes had two long stretches of lazy play, when the turnovers mounted and Colorado kept making them pay at the Sanford Pentagon.
Dailey, a sophomore reserve guard who is growing in importance with each passing game for this team, knocked down crucial 3-pointers to break each malaise. He finished with a career-high 16 points and Iowa thrilled a highly partisan crowd with an 80-73 victory.
It was the fourth win in a row for Iowa and the first of the season against a major-conference opponent.
Dailey was the improbable hero. The 6-foot-7 native of Ohio was the final member of Iowa's touted recruiting class last year and barely played while freshmen like Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl thrived.
This season, Dailey is becoming a vital part of the team, his wingspan causing problems at the top of Iowa's press and his shooting proving better than advertised.
Dailey was low-key about his impact on Friday's game — and the season.
"It's not really a surprise to me, just because I did expect it, just because of all the hard work I put in," he said. "I just envisioned it, just being in the gym alone for hours."
Isaiah Moss also scored 16 points for Iowa. Bohannon overcame early foul trouble to add 14 points.
Iowa won despite committing 19 turnovers.
Iowa won because of Dailey.
"He was fantastic," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "He was pretty much playing mistake-free basketball, with great energy, decision-making, versatility. He was scoring the ball, he was driving the ball, he was moving it and making the right decisions."
Iowa sophomore deflects all praise after leading team to win over Colorado Mark Emmert/HawkCentral
And burying a 3-pointer in each half to give Iowa the lead just when it looked as if momentum was slipping away.
"I'm just happy to watch him shoot that with confidence," McCaffery said.
Dailey's second 3-pointer came with 10:36 left and gave the Hawkeyes a 53-51 lead,. They never trailed again.
He was at the top of the key with no one guarding him, and it was a sign of his confidence that he calmly launched it and swished it instead of overthinking the situation.
"It was a transition," Dailey said. "I was wide open. Just because Tyler (Cook) is so good, they all focused on Tyler. I think they sent all five to Tyler. It was just an open rhythm shot for me."
Iowa controlled the opening 10 minutes of play behind shooting guard Moss and a determined rebounding effort. Moss had 11 points in the first half and the Hawkeyes (8-6) built a 10-point lead, only to go 8 minutes in between field goals while Colorado (8-4) got back into the game.
It was the recurrence of a familiar theme for the Hawkeyes this season. The defense was solid throughout but a long scoring drought led to a 13-1 run by the opponent.
Dailey sank a 3-pointer — one of only two by the team in the half — to restore a 32-31 lowa lead at intermission. Then he took over in the second half.
"He's been killing it ever since he got here, stepping on campus," Bohannon said. "Obviously, he wasn't playing too much last year and he kept working and for what he's doing now, we're not surprised.
"He didn't really make a mistake the entire time out there and made a lot of big plays down the stretch."
Iowa next hosts Northern Illinois in its final nonconference game at 7 p.m. Dec. 29.
Greenway is a hoops fan
Chad Greenway is much more interested in women’s basketball these days. But the former all-American linebacker at Iowa was at the Sanford Pentagon in his home state Friday to root on his Hawkeyes, getting a loud ovation while participating in a pregame ceremony.
The former Iowa football star is rediscovering his love for the sport while coaching his daughter’s fourth-grade team Mark Emmert/HawkCentral
Greenway retired after his 11th season with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016 and is helping with Minneapolis’ effort to host the Super Bowl in February. He told reporters before the game Friday that it was the first Hawkeye men’s basketball game he’s seen in person in a dozen years.
He’s occupied these days with coaching his daughter Maddyn’s fourth-grade team. Greenway and his wife Jennifer have three younger daughters — Beckett, Blakely and Carsyn.
“I actually love to coach basketball,” Greenway said. “You’d have to ask my daughter, I guess (whether he’s a good coach). Our team is really good, if that makes a difference. It’s been fun. I was a basketball player growing up. I loved it. I wanted to be a basketball player. I just ended up being better at football. … (Coaching basketball) has re-taught me the game.”
Greenway says his family follows Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder and her team closely.
“My oldest two love basketball. My youngest two, they don’t know it yet, but they love basketball,” Greenway joked.
Greenway grew up on a farm in Mount Vernon, about 75 minutes west of Sioux Falls. He said another promising linebacker from his state, Seth Benson, reached out to talk to him before deciding to commit to the Hawkeyes on Friday.
“Seth and I actually have very similar situations,” Greenway said. “I was just honest with him. I answered questions he had, the same questions I had. I didn’t try to sway him one way or the other. It’s his decision. I’m hoping he feels good about it.”