Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 11/6/14
After years of mediocrity, Iowa re-energized its weary fan base last season with 18 wins and a spot in the NIT. The optimistic Hawkeyes are hoping that this will be the year they return to the NCAA tournament and become nationally relevant again. This is the most anticipated season in years at Iowa, which hasn't won 20 games or reached the NCAA tournament since a first-round exit in 2006. The Hawkeyes have a promising core of emerging players like Devyn Marble and Aaron White that will be augmented by a standout freshman class, including a pair of likely starters in center Adam Woodbury and point guard Mike Gesell. Iowa (18-17, 8-10 Big Ten in 2011-12) opens its season on Nov. 9 against Texas Pan-American. `I am very excited about our team and our potential, and I think we have to be cautiously optimistic because we're still a very young team,'' said third-year coach Fran McCaffery, who signed a new seven-year deal in the offseason. ''I think we're the biggest we've been in a lo...
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