It’s possible Iowa could start posts David Palmer and Cyrus Tate together once Tate recovers from a severely sprained left ankle.
Now, they don’t invoke any images of former Hawks Greg Stokes and Michael Payne, but the 6-foot-9 Palmer and the 6-8 Tate together can show something different to opponents on both ends of the court. Iowa’s offense to date has been guard-oriented but having two big men on the court has even Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter thinking about the possibilities.
“Yet to be seen but you can speculate,” Lickliter said. “I do think there’s becoming a better understanding now if they play together. I think maybe David, offensively, can play the four and Cyrus, defensively, can guard the four. That’s what we’re looking at. We’re yet to see it but at least gives us a possibility. I’m not saying we’ll do it all the time.”
Strangely, the players haven’t worked at those positions together on the court. Before Tate’s injury, Palmer usually played on the scout team, showing Iowa’s opponent’s top inside threat. He also worked at the post behind Tate in practice.
“I think our games are very similar,” Palmer said. “Cyrus is a big, strong inside guy. I think I can play inside. I think we really complement each other because I can step out and shoot it.
“I can get it into space to post up and obviously help him on the glass because everybody needs help on the glass so I think we’ll be a really good duo.”
Tate, who is doubtful Thursday with his ankle and may not play Sunday at Illinois, is more practical about the combination.
“We haven’t practiced together,” Tate said. “We played together in Prime Time (League), but that’s a totally different thing. I look forward to it, getting on the court with Dave and probably be able to make a difference.”