White looks to lead Iowa back to the dance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

White looks to lead Iowa back to the dance

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -  Iowa's 8 year NCAA tournament drought ended last season. However, it was a short run as Tennessee took the Hawkeyes out in the first round. That's added some fuel to the fire this go-around

"I think that once you get in it, you want to stay in it. I think that's the message this year," said head coach Fran McCaffery during the Hawks' media day on Thursday.

Senior Aaron White, coming off an all conference season agreed.

"We wanted more, especially with how Tennessee went on to the sweet 16," said White, "We thought we had a good enough team to make that sort of run.

They believe that's true once again. Dev Marble is gone, and and while those are big shoes to fill, it appears that Aaron White is ready for that role.

"He's definitely got the respect factor," said senior center Gabriel Olesani, "and he's definitely a good player, so it's definitely his team."

"Aaron White opens his mouth, it's well received," said McCaffery, "The guys really like him, they respect him. They're going to do what he asks them to do."

The Hawkeyes certainly aren't lacking experience this season. Junior Mike Gesell returns to run the offense. The front court featuring White, Jared Uthoff, Adam Woodbury, and Olesani should be one of the deepest in the Big Ten."

"It's a big factor," said White, "because you've got multiple guys that play multiple positions that have been there and done that. It's great to have talent, but it's a little different than having talent that's played in multiple Big Ten Games, played in the Big Ten Tournament, played in the NCAA tournament, and played in the NIT's.

That experience should help with a rather daunting non-conference schedule.  The Hawkeyes play a stacked tournament in Madison Square Garden, they'll also hit the road at North Carolina, while in-state matches with the Panthers and Cyclones also add a large degree of difficulty this season.

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