Game Info / How to Watch:
Who? Indiana Hoosiers (15-12 (5-9), #45 KenPom) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (14-13 (6-8), #78 KenPom)
When? Tuesday, February 20, 9:00 PM, ESPN
Where? Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa
Pomeroy? Indiana by 1, 51% chance of victory
No, there is not any hope left.
Indiana has yet again hit a new low in this frustrating season after losing to Minnesota in a game which they led for the majority of the time before falling on a last-second putback. The Hoosiers stumble into Carver-Hawkeye looking for some semblance of momentum before the Big Ten tournament rolls around. If there’s any chance of an improbable tournament push, it starts Tuesday night.
For Indiana, the bright side is that Iowa is a team who has struggled just as much as the Hoosiers have this season, and are ranked 33 spots lower than IU in the KenPom rankings. Also, Iowa is nothing special. In fact, they should really be the easiest win on IU’s remaining schedule. Easy, however, is a relative term because Indiana loves making everything as hard as humanly possible. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at what Indiana is going into as they get set to take on the Hawkeyes.
HERE WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FACTORS?
|INDIANA (#28 adj. offense)||55.3 (26th)||21.3 (320th)||37.4 (10th)||35.4 (183rd)|
|IOWA (#134 adj. defense)||50.1 (155th)||19.1 (152nd)||32.5 (302nd)||27.7 (28th)|
|INDIANA (#56 adj. offense)||51.2 (139th)||18.2 (130th)||31.2 (110th)||36.0 (159th)|
|IOWA (#104 adj. defense)||47.5 (53rd)||16.1 (316th)||28.3 (129th)||36.0 (189th)|
Look! Iowa isn’t great defensively and struggles with rebounding! Things are looking up already!
The tale of the tape is: Iowa, much like Indiana, is a very middle of the pack team in almost every statistical category. They don’t defend particularly well (they’re ranked 128th in the country), but they aren’t completely inept on the defensive end either. Let’s be honest though, there’s something about playing Indiana that brings out a great defensive performance in every opposing team. The same is true on the offensive end, where nothing really stands out, but there is no damning evidence that says Iowa is completely hapless in terms of scoring the ball.
With Indiana, you know the story. The Hoosiers, despite being ranked in the top 30 in offensive efficiency, are a team who aren’t particularly good at shooting the three, but insist on taking a boatload of them anyway. They also struggle with turning the ball over, where they rank 320th in the nation in turnover percentage, but you knew that already. What you may not have noticed is that the Hoosiers rank 10th in the nation in offensive rebounding percentage, where they pull down an offensive board on about 37% of their possessions.
Basically, there’s nothing statistically that really stands out about these two teams (except for IU’s astoundingly high turnover rate, but let’s ignore that please), so this is the kind of game where a team turns to a standout player to turn the tide in their favor. Iowa’s Peter Jok certainly fits the bill here, as the senior guard has been excellent for the Hawkeyes all year, averaging 20 points per game to go along with 6 rebound and 3 assists. He’s a threat to score both inside and out, as he shoots 37% from three and 49% inside the arc. Iowa will always be looking for ways to get him going, and if the Hoosiers fall Tuesday night, it’s very likely that Jok will have a big hand in it.
Another player who could have a big impact for the Hawkeyes is freshman forward Tyler Cook, who has had a solid campaign so far, averaging 11 points and 5 boards. He’ll be matched up against a slightly bigger Hoosier front line, and that may be enough to neutralize him. Hopefully the Hoosiers will utilize their size on the offensive end too, but don’t be surprised when Thomas Bryant uses this game as another opportunity to spend 75% of IU’s offensive possessions standing outside the three point line.
If you want mediocre Big Ten basketball, then this game’s for you! If not, there’s plenty of other things on TV to watch (Tin Cup AND Real Housewives are on, so your options are looking pretty solid).