January 20, 2014

TES - Sedge's Iowa Hoops Update, Monday January 20th

Sedge’s Hawkeye Hoops Update - January 20th 2014
Iowa’s Record: 15-3, 4-1 Big Ten

AP: #10
USA Today: #10

Big Ten Standings:
Michigan State, 6-0
Michigan, 5-0
Iowa, 4-1
Wisconsin 3-2
Purdue 3-2
Iowa Games This Week:

Wednesday January 22nd, @ #22 Michigan  7:00 pm, BTN
Game Watch - On, in the Back Room, aka Kinnick Clubhouse

Saturday January 25th, @ Northwestern  12:00 pm, BTN
Game Watch - On
Games of Note this week:
Ohio State (3 straight losses) @ Nebraska, tonight, 7:00 pm, BTN

Indiana @ Michigan State, Tuesday, 7:00 pm, ESPN

Wisconsin @ Minnesota, Wednesday, 9:00 pm, BTN (after our game)

Illinois @ Ohio State, Thursday, 7:00 pm, ESPN.

Wisconsin @ Purdue, Saturday, 5:00 pm, BTN

Michigan @ Michigan State, Saturday, 7:00 pm, ESPN

It’s been a long, long time.

That anyone cared enough to write about Iowa Basketball, let alone read about it.

Yes, we all felt good when we saw how Fran was going to play the game when he got hired, after being bored to near death during the years we wish to forget.  

And through the first 3 years, Fran’s Hawkeyes improved, and with the run to the NIT title game last year, noticed was served, that the Hawks were going to start kicking people around again in the 2013-14 season.

The 3 losses this season, as we all know, were games that we really should have won.  But last week when we took down Ohio State in Columbus, the team had finally learned to close out a tough game.  

And then they had a week off before taking the court in Carver yesterday.  As some guessed, the layoff had the team a bit rusty to start, and for most of the first half, it was a nip and tuck game, with neither team able to snag a decent lead.  But then at the 2:22 mark, the score was 33 all, and the Rodents went on a 10-0 run to have the Hawks down 43-33 at the 1:05 mark.  

Hawk fans were not feeling good, but then Mike made a layup to cut it to 8, and in the final 38 seconds, Josh drained not 1, but 2 treys, while the Hawks stuffed the Rodent offense, and the half ended at 43-41 Rodents.

The most amazing part, Marble and Whitey had just 1 point between them at the break.

But Josh was 5 of 5, and 4 of 4 from behind the arc, and that kept the Hawkeyes close. 

Of course, it probably shouldn’t have been.  Rodent guard Holllins had 18 points at the break, and it was his slashing to the hoop, or passing it to the shooters on his drives, that fueled the Rodent offense.  Iowa needed some defensive adjustments at halftime.

And they got them.  It started with Marble on a drive to the hoop, he was fouled, and he made the free throw, and just like that, Iowa had the lead.  

The Rodents would then have a 46-44 lead at 19:31 of the second, but then Mike nailed a jumper to tie it, and then on back to back possessions, Marble would drain 3 pointers, and the Hawks had a 52-46 lead.  

From there, the Rodents could never get closer than 3 points, and the Hawks pulled away down the stretch to win it, 94-73.  They woke up at halftime.

And the combination of a match up zone, and much more intense man to man, kept Holllins completely off the board in the second, he would only get two free throws in the final 20 minutes.

Josh, 17 points on the day, Gabe, 12, Zach, 8, he even drained a three late to shake the blues of the past two games.  The Iowa bench, 43 total points.  Depth that is going to be deadly for many teams in the future.

White ended up with 18, including 10-11 at the line, and Marble had 16, 33 of those 34 points all coming in the last 20 minutes.  The leaders responded.

Woodie was scoreless, and even messed up a wide open dunk by hitting the bottom of the rim, but his defense was key.  He only played 10 minutes, and in that time, just 1 foul.  We are going to need him going forward, and this Wednesday would be a good time to find some offense.

As Michigan does not have a single player on their roster that plays the Center position.

They do have two guys at 6’10, but one of them is out for the season, and that’s McGary, who had back surgery, and his return is unknown.  

Michigan does have Glenn Robinson the 3rd, Stauskas, and some quick guards.  But the lack of true hight inside has the Wolverines at #267 in rebounds per game, compared to 3rd overall for Iowa.

And then there is this - with the threes we drained in the Rodent game, Iowa now is averaging 40.3% from the arc, in Big Ten games.  And that - leads the conference.

I’ll type that again - Iowa has the best three point shooting percentage in the conference if you just count B1G games.

Which leads to this - if Iowa is hitting shots from the outside, it’s going to really open the inside - that’s Woodbury, Gabe, Melsahn, and Whitey going to the hoop, Uthoff posting up on the inside.    It will be a lethal combination.

And then there is this - in the last game, the win over Wisconsin, 4 of the 5 Michigan starters played more than 31 minutes - two of them 37 and 38 minutes.

Iowa by comparison, Marble at 31, no other starter over 27.

That’s the Iowa depth - and if that second line can score, we are going to be a nightmare for just about everyone we play going forward.

The Hawks should have no problem starting quickly on the road against a team that is a half game ahead of us in the standings.  Nothing is ever easy on the road in the Big Ten.  But nobody in the Big Ten can bring the depth, and depth that can score, that Iowa   puts on the court.  

Suddenly, the Hawkeys will be the hunted.  It’s been a long time coming.  And what a ride we are in for.

Go Hawks!!!


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