Iowa Basketball: Get To Know The Stetson Hatters
A look at the Iowa Hawkeyes’ opponent on Monday, the Stetson Hatters
After a disappointing loss to the Omaha Mavericks on Saturday afternoon, Iowa basketball will try to rebound at home on Monday night against the 4-5 Stetson Hatters.
Stetson, part of the A-Sun Conference, is off to a slow start and not on pace to have their first .500 or better season since 2007-08 or first winning season since 2000-01. Nonetheless, Iowa can’t afford to overlook the Hatters after their slow start and inability to come back against Omaha.
While Stetson’s 4-5 record isn’t terrible, they are just 2-5 in their last seven games and have mightily struggled against even mediocre competition this season. The Hatters lost to East Carolina by 23, Air Force by 13 and most recently to Central Florida by 36.
As previously mentioned, Stetson’s struggles aren’t anything new. They have only won double-digit games in two of the past seven seasons and have never made an NCAA Tournament appearance. Not to mention 1982-84 is the last time Stetson had back-to-back winning seasons.
Traveling to a Power Five school is a rare occasion for Stetson, though. The Hatters lost by 41 at West Virginia but only fell by four to Florida State the year before. They’re not a team who has a lot of experience against major schools, however they’ve shown they can rise to the occasion.
Iowa won’t have a ton of confidence heading into the game, but Stetson is a team they can regain some of it back. The Hatters rank a mere 96th in points per game and rank a devastating 311th in points allowed per game this season. It’s another game Iowa should be able to cruise to a win, but this time they need to take advantage.
The Iowa Hawkeyes and Stetson Hatters are set to tip-off at 6:00 p.m. on ESPNU Monday night in Iowa City.
Head Coach: Corey Williams
Corey Williams‘ first head coaching gig has gotten off to a rough start. He’s gone a dreadful 32-73 (.305 winning percentage) in his three-plus seasons as Stetson’s head coach.
The good news is that he continues to win more games every year. After winning seven games his first season, Stetson won nine the following year and then 12 last season, marking their first double-digit win season since 2012-13 — the year before Williams.
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Also, Stetson has a long history of keeping head coaches for a significant amount of time. Glenn Wilkes was their only head coach for their first 25 years, and Derek Waugh coached the Hatters for 10 seasons in the 2000s. They’ve had coaches with shorter stints, too, such as Casey Alexander, their coach before Williams, but he left after two seasons to sign with in-conference rival Lipscomb.
Williams is now in his fourth season and the improvement in wins should be seen as a good sign for a program who has not sniffed relevance in basketball before. It’s slow process but this season they have a chance to double their amount of wins (7) from Williams’ first year as head coach.
Plus, while Stetson has failed to finish above second to last in the conference under Williams, they made their conference championship game last season. Stetson came two points away, losing to Florida Gulf Coast, a perennial powerhouse in the A-Sun, 80-78, which would have been their first NCAA Tournament bid.
It’s not a lot of success, however, with the little success Stetson basketball has seen before, Corey Williams is one of their best coaches in program history.
Players To Watch
Derick Newton: 18.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 42.7 FG%, 47.3 3P%
Iowa’s biggest weakness are rebounding and defense. Derrick Newton leads Stetson with six rebounds per game and can score in multitude of ways. 50 percent of his shots come from behind the arc, where he shoots a very good 47.3 percent.
In fact, Newton is actually more efficient from behind than the arc. He only shoots 38.2 percent from inside the arc. While it means he shouldn’t dominate the Hawkeyes in the paint, Iowa hasn’t been a great perimeter defense team either. Newton is one of the best three-point shooters in the nation, shot 46.7 percent from three last season, therefore Iowa can’t forget him on the perimeter.
Newton has been somewhat inconsistent from three this season, but he’s shown the ability to be a real problem if he gets going. He has three games with at least five three-point makes, and Iowa leaving him open would certainly help him find a rhythm.
Newton is Stetson’s star player, and his repertoire of rebounding and versatile scoring seems like a nightmare for Iowa.
Luke Doyle: 12.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 40.4 FG%, 33.8 3P%
Stetson lives and dies by the three, and none more so than Luke Doyle, who leads the team with 65 three-point attempts this season. The junior guard offers solid size at 6-5, and he’s been a key contributor in Stetson’s four wins.
He’s scored 17 points in one win and 21 points in two others this season. In fact, Doyle averages 15.6 points per game on 44.1 percent shooting from three in wins, compared to just seven points per game while shooting a measly 22.6 percent from three in losses.
It’s evident that Doyle, who is third on the team in scoring, offers Stetson a much-needed boost when his outside shot is on. Especially since he plays heavy minutes when he plays well, 36-plus minutes in four games, Iowa can’t afford him to be a reliable option for the Hatters.
Stetson needs more than one or two players to play well to beat Iowa. If Luke Doyle’s shot starts to fall, it could be the boost Stetson needs to upset the Hawkeyes.
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