Current record: 7-11 (0-6)
Current RPI: 155 (IU is #151)
Current Sagarin: 168 (IU is #173)
Current Pomeroy: 84 (IU is #64)
2009-10 record: 10-22 (4-14)
2009-10 RPI: 210
2009-10 Sagarin: 168
2009-10 Pomeroy: 173
Series: IU leads 94-71
Last Iowa win: 2/10/2010 (78-65 in Iowa City)
Last IU win: 2/4/2009 (68-60 in Bloomington)
Last IU win in Iowa City: 1/2/208 (79-76)
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 3 pm Sunday, BTN
Blog: Black Heart Gold Pants
IU has had a reasonably good week, winning its first Big Ten game of the season last weekend against Michigan and playing reasonably well against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center in a 69-60 loss that was much closer than that for most of the way. The Hoosiers have a bit of momentum, but it's all pretty pointless if IU can't find a way to beat Iowa, currently winless in the conference, in Iowa City tomorrow night. Unsurprisingly, Iowa fans also believe that this is a crucial game for their team, and I would assume that there is a bit of desperation for Iowa. The Hawkeyes are the only team in the Big Ten without a conference win and the only team with a losing record overall.
Iowa is in a transitional mode. This is the Hawkeyes' first season under the direction of coach Fran McCaffery, who came to Iowa after successful runs at both UNC-Greensboro and Siena. Iowa, along with Michigan, is one of only two Big Ten teams with less roster experience than IU. Also, McCaffery has brought a completely new style of play to the Hawkeyes. In former Butler coach Todd Lickliter's 3 seasons with Iowa, the Hawkeyes were one of the slowest-paced teams in the country, routinely checking in at around 60 possessions per game. This year's Iowa team is at a much faster-paced 68 possessions per game, which places them in the top third of Division I.
This game will pit strength against weakness on both ends of the court. While IU has emerged as a very solid offensive team (don't look now, but IU is ranked in the top 40 in offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, and both field goal shooting categories) and an extremely suspect defensive team. Iowa has been the opposite. Iowa ranks #45 nationally in defensive efficiency, allowing only .92 points per possession, mainly because they somehow manage to force lots of turnovers (23 percent) without sending their opponents to the line all that often. The Hawkeyes also are a solid rebounding team at both ends of the court. Offensively, it has been more of a struggle for Iowa. The Hawkeyes turn the ball over on 22 percent of their offensive possessions (that's two percentage points worse than IU), and don't shoot particularly well from anywhere on the court or from the line. Unsurprisingly, the Hawkeyes defensive numbers are somewhat inflated by nonconference performances, but Iowa is the only Big Ten team that has held Ohio State to under a point per possession, so it's unlikely that points will come easily tomorrow night.
Here are Iowa's individual stats:
|Roy Devyn Marble||18||17.6||1.9||5.0||37.8||0.3||1.3||25.0||1.1||2.2||50.0||0.6||2.0||2.6||1.3||0.9||0.9||0.1||1.1||5.2|
If, like me, you haven't seen much of Iowa this season, expect to learn some new names. Only two of Iowa's top five scorers were on the roster last season. Matt Gatens has been around, of course, but freshmen Melsahn Basabe and Zach McCabe, and transfer Eric Cartwright, are new to the team. Jarryd Cole is back for his eighth season as well.
This game presents an opportunity for IU to continue its recent improvement. The Hawkeyes are no pushover and have held their own in games against Ohio State, Minnesota, and Illinois. Still, for the Hoosiers to improve on last season's 4-14 Big Ten record, let alone keep alive their slim postseason hopes, they will need to win tomorrow. Last year, IU was 3-3 in the conference when they hosted the Hawkeyes and were pushed around on their homecourt. It wasn't the end of competitive games for IU--after that game, IU lost on a buzzer beater at Illinois and played with Purdue until the bitter end, but it was the first game in what became an 11-game losing streak. Let's hope IU can begin a different sort of streak tomorrow.