Iowa found out Sunday that Cyrus Tate is more than just the team’s inside garbage man.
In a 64-49 loss to Michigan, Tate hobbled into the arena in a walking boot and did not play. Iowa was battered in multiple ways, both in offensive rebounds (11 for Michigan, 7 for Iowa) and turnovers (18). Iowa hit only 27.3 percent of its shots in the first half.
“If I state a fact, I don’t want it to be an excuse,” Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter said. “But I think Cyrus helps us a little bit as far as rolling to the basket and giving us another threat down in there. That helps us … can we get them to sink and go back out? I’m not saying if you throw Cyrus in there we’re winning this game, that’s not what I’m saying, but just offensively and efficiency, he helps out.”
Tate often doesn’t lead on offense, and serves primarily as the team’s designated screener. If he’s open down low, he gets the ball. Otherwise, he’s almost an offensive decoy.
Iowa guard Jeff Peterson said the team’s defense lagged, and Tate is a big part of the Hawkeyes’ efforts.
“Cy is a great player on both ends of the court, and he’s got the talent,” Peterson said. “But it is tough without him.”
Lickliter hopes Tate can return in time for Iowa’s next game, Jan. 18, at Purdue.
“I think he’ll be back within a week,” Lickliter said. “It’s sore. He may not be 100 percent in a week …”