Indiana Hoosiers v. Iowa Hawkeyes: dare I call it a must-win?

Iowa Hawkeyes
Current record: 11-10 (3-5)
Current RPI: 120 (IU is #20)
Current Sagarin: 106 (IU is #11)
Current Pomeroy: 111 (IU is #11)
2010-11 record: 11-20 (4-14)
2010-11 RPI: 186
2010-11 Sagarin:
112
2010-11 Pomeroy: 80
Series: IU leads 94-73
Last Iowa win: 2/5/2011 (64-63 in Bloomington)
Last IU win: 2/4/2009 (68-60 in Bloomington)
Last Iowa win in Bloomington: see above
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 6pm Saturday, BTN

Blog: Black Heart Gold Pants

IU's struggles with Iowa over the last two seasons have typified the Hoosiers' failure to gain any momentum during Big Ten play. IU knocked off Iowa for its only Big Ten win in 2008-09, but the Hawkeyes now have a four game winning streak over IU (only Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Purdue currently have longer streaks against IU). In each of the last two seasons, Iowa finished 4-14 in the Big Ten but won two games against IU each year. IU's last two losses to the Hawkeyes have been among the most depressing moments of the Crean era. In 2010, IU entered the game with a 9-9 record and a 3-3 Big Ten record, and Iowa was 8-12/1-5, but a 15 point Iowa win at Assembly Hall was the first game of an 11 game Hoosier losing streak. In 2011, IU was barely over .500 and was playing very well, having beat Illinois in Minnesota and lost at Michigan State in overtime in the previous three games. IU controlled most of the game and led by 10 with 8 minutes to go, but collapsed down the stretch and lost 64-63.

This year's Hawkeyes aren't bound for the NCAA Tournament, but with an 11-10/3-5 record, the Hawkeyes do have a chance at posting their first winning season since 2006-07. After an unremarkable non-conference season, the Hawkeyes have scored three nice wins in Big Ten play: at Wisconsin, at Minnesota, and a home beatdown against Michigan. Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes have offset their strong road performance with a 1-3 record at home in the conference, including a loss to Nebraska on Thursday. Overall and in conference play, the Hawkeyes have struggled defensively. Iowa is now #12 in conference games in defensive efficiency (IU has moved up to #10 after playing solid defense in the last two games). The Hawkeyes are #2 in Big Ten games in holding their opponents to 29 percent from behind the arc, but that may still be a relic of Wisconsin's 3-28 three point performance against the Hawkeyes. On the season, Iowa allows 34 percent shooting from deep. Cody Zeller should be heartened to know that Iowa is last in the conference in defensive two point percentage (56%) and don't rebound particularly well at the defensive end. Most of the Hawkeyes' strengths have been on the offensive end: Iowa gets to the line, gathers 31 percent of its offensive rebound opportunities, and they do a reasonably good job taking care of the ball (19.1 turnover percentage in Big Ten play, 17.6 overall)


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Matt Gatens 21 32.8 4.4 9.7 45.1 1.5 4.4 34.8 3.0 3.4 86.1 1.2 2.9 4.1 2.1 1.0 1.6 0.1 1.9 13.2
Roy Devyn Marble 21 27.1 3.8 9.0 42.1 0.3 1.0 30.0 3.4 4.7 72.7 1.1 2.5 3.6 3.3 1.3 1.5 0.4 1.8 11.3
Aaron White 21 19.6 3.3 6.8 48.6 0.3 1.4 24.1 2.8 3.9 72.8 2.0 2.9 4.9 0.5 1.3 0.8 0.5 1.7 9.7
Zach McCabe 21 21.2 3.3 6.2 53.1 0.7 1.4 48.3 1.4 2.0 71.4 2.0 2.6 4.6 1.0 1.4 1.0 0.1 3.2 8.7
Melsahn Basabe 21 21.5 3.1 6.2 50.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.9 2.9 66.7 1.6 3.6 5.2 0.4 1.6 0.6 0.8 1.9 8.2
Eric May 21 20.0 2.5 6.2 40.5 0.7 1.8 37.8 0.7 1.1 62.5 1.0 2.3 3.3 1.4 1.2 0.8 0.3 1.8 6.4
Bryce Cartwright 20 21.0 2.2 6.5 33.3 0.2 0.9 16.7 1.6 1.9 83.8 0.2 1.3 1.5 4.0 2.2 0.9 0.0 1.1 6.0
Josh Oglesby 21 16.6 2.1 5.2 40.4 1.1 3.3 34.8 0.6 0.9 68.4 0.2 1.3 1.5 1.1 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.4 6.0
Abodunrin Gabriel Olaseni 10 5.8 0.7 1.3 53.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.9 66.7 0.7 1.0 1.7 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 0.5 2.0
Andrew Brommer 18 9.5 0.7 1.1 68.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.3 39.1 0.7 1.2 1.9 0.2 0.6 0.5 0.1 1.7 1.9
Devon Archie 14 8.6 0.7 1.2 58.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.4 40.0 0.6 1.5 2.1 0.1 0.8 0.4 0.4 1.0 1.6
Branden Stubbs 8 4.1 0.5 1.0 50.0 0.3 0.4 66.7 0.3 0.3 100.0 0.0 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.5 0.0 0.4 1.5
Kyle Denning 4 2.3 0.3 0.5 50.0 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.5 0.5 100.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
Steven McCarty 6 2.8 0.2 0.8 20.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3
Darius Stokes 7 3.7 0.1 0.6 25.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.0 1.1 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.3 0.7 0.3
Cody Cox 3 2.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.3 0.0
Christopher Rickert 1 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0


From an individual perspective, the biggest surprise for Iowa this year has been the failure of sophomore Melsahn Besabe to improve on his solid freshman year. Besabe's minutes are down (24-21), as are his scoring (11.0-8.2), shooting percentage (57-50), free throw shooting (71-67), and rebounding (6.8-5.2). The Hawkeyes do have a fairly balanced attack, with five players in the 8-13 point range.

This game is a must-win. The Nebraska and Minnesota losses have narrowed IU's margin for error. A home loss to Iowa would, even standing alone, make it difficult for IU to reach .500 in the conference, and would be a bad sign for IU's prospects this season. Of course, as I mentioned above, IU has struggled against Iowa in recent years, even when the Hawkeyes weren't an appreciably better team than IU. It's time for the Hoosiers to put the Hawkeye problem behind them with a well-played game and a comfortable win.

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