Game Info/How to Watch
When? Friday 9:00 p.m., Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Vegas? O/U 143, Iowa -7.5
KenPom? Iowa by 7, 77-70, 26% chance of Hoosier victory
The Hoosiers head to Iowa City hoping to break a four-game losing streak. They’ve lost 11 of their last 12 and this season appears to be over despite a win earlier this month against one of the best teams in the country.
After Indiana’s most recent loss, a heartbreaker against a ranked Purdue team in Assembly Hall, people are pretty pessimistic and for good reason. There’s very little to be excited about with regard to this Indiana team. There isn’t much reason to hope that they’ll win this game or any other game this season. They still struggle to score the ball and their effort level is still inconsistent at best, and both of those things are important if you want to win basketball games.
Iowa, unlike Indiana, has had a pretty good season. This could be one of the better Hawkeye teams that Fran McCaffery has had in his tenure in Iowa City. Iowa holds good wins over Iowa State, Nebraska, and Michigan, but lost their most recent game against Maryland. They also came into Assembly Hall a couple of weeks ago and edged out the Hoosiers to pick up a 77-72 win. Tyler Cook and Luka Garza could give the Hoosiers issues down low and if Jordan Bohannon and Joe Wieskamp combine to shoot 9-14 from downtown as they did in the last meeting between these two teams this could get ugly.
The four factors look pretty good for Iowa offensively. They rank sixth in the country in FTA/FGA with 44.7. They’re also top 50 in effective FG% and top 100 in TO% and also hit the offensive glass better than the average team. Defensively the Hawkeyes are just okay in three of the four factors, but they’re 40th nationally in FTA/FGA on that side of the ball.
Indiana’s four factors on the offensive end aren’t great. They only break the top 150 nationally in one and it’s FTA/FGA in which they rank 130th. On the defensive side of the ball the Hoosiers have been able to hold their opposition to a relatively low effective FG% of 48.0, which is good for 56th nationally. Indiana also ranks 32nd nationally in FTA/FGA.
What to Watch
1. Devonte Green/De’Ron Davis
This Indiana team is truly at its best when these two guys are playing well. If you look at some of IU’s biggest wins this season Green and Davis were providing solid minutes off the bench, giving the starting lineup the boost it desperately needs at times. If Green can hit a few treys and Davis can provide a strong interior presence it would be huge.
2. Three-Point Shooting
This could very well be the difference in the game. Indiana has struggled with this all season, hitting their threes at one of the worst rates in the country. Just two Hoosiers—Green and Al Durham—have hit more than 34 percent of their shots from downtown this season. Iowa, on the other hand, doesn’t have such a problem. They’re shooting nearly 38 percent from beyond the arc as a team and only one player that has taken at least 40 threes has hit less than 35 percent of them. Bohannon, Wieskamp, and Isaiah Moss are all hitting over 40 percent from downtown and that could very well be an issue for IU on Friday night.
3. Juwan Morgan
The best game that Morgan has had recently was against these Hawkeyes on February 7. Since then he’s had a bit of a rough time, shooting poorly from the field in each of IU’s last three games. Against Purdue the Hoosier star scored just nine points on 3-14 shooting but did manage to grab 11 rebounds. If Indiana is going to win this game they’re going to need better offensive production from the senior.