What to Expect: Iowa

  • 02/26/2014 5:36 pm in

After the game was postponed last week, Indiana returns to Assembly Hall on Thursday for a primetime matchup with No. 20 Iowa. The Hawkeyes are 19-8 overall and 8-6 in the Big Ten.

The game will be broadcast at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN and on the IU radio network (Sirius 91, XM 91):

The originally preview for Indiana-Iowa led with discussion of the Hawkeyes as a remaining contender for the Big Ten title. Much has obviously changed since that time.

The Hawkeyes traveled to Bloomington last Monday, Feb. 17 for their game with the Hoosiers that was scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18, only to have it called off after a beam fell into the seats in Assembly Hall.

So Iowa went back to Iowa City on Tuesday night and prepared for a home game against Wisconsin, which it lost, and then went on the road to Minneapolis on Tuesday night and lost again. And with those setbacks, any talk of the Hawkeyes as a member of the conference title race has dissipated.

For Indiana, this is the second of a three-game stretch against ranked teams and the first of three straight contests at home. This is the type of game Indiana has played its best in over the past few seasons: Big stage, ranked opponent and what should be a lively home atmosphere. Will the Hoosiers deal the Hawkeyes their third straight loss?


When Fran McCaffery took over a depleted Iowa program for Todd Lickliter, this is the year he was building toward. It’s year four in Iowa City and McCaffery has constructed a roster that is deep, versatile and experienced enough to make a run in March.

McCaffery isn’t piling up highly rated recruiting classes, but he’s assembled talent that is now seasoned enough to finish in the top three of another brutally tough Big Ten. And while Iowa’s future appears stable, this is probably as good of a year as any for the Hawkeyes to make a run as their best offensive player, Roy Devyn Marble, is a senior.

In league play, Iowa is playing nine guys 15 or more minutes per contest and a tenth man, Anthony Clemmons, is playing about eight per contest. The offense, the second best in the Big Ten with 1.14 points per possession, is led by Marble, who is averaging 18.2 points in conference play with an effective field goal percentage of 50.2. Marble is using 28 percent of Iowa’s possessions, which hurts his efficiency a bit, but he’s good enough to take over a game.

Iowa’s most efficient player is junior forward Aaron White, a teammate of Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey over the summer in the World University Games. White is making 64.1 percent of his 2s in Big Ten play and his free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 60.6 is third in the conference.

In addition to White, Iowa’s frontcourt rotation also features senior Melsahn Basabe, Gabrial Olaseni and Adam Woodbury. This trio has the potential to cause major foul issues for Noah Vonleh, so it’ll be interesting to see how McCaffery chooses to attack the paint. Iowa is getting more than 20 points and 15 rebounds a game in Big Ten games from Basabe, Olaseni and Woodbury and the depth gives the Hawkeyes plenty of options if one of the three is having an off night.

Sophomore point guard Mike Gesell is Iowa’s third leading scorer in conference play with 9.9 points per game and his assist rate of 32.2 tops the league.

Jarrod Uthoff, Josh Oglesby and Zach McCabe will all contribute off the bench. Oglesby, who was recruited to be a 3-point specialist, has found the range this season as he’s hitting 43.2 percent of his 3s in conference play.



Both teams are excellent on the glass and at getting to the foul line, but Iowa is the far superior shooting team and is also significantly better at taking care of the ball despite playing the Big Ten’s fastest pace.

Indiana is going to have to win this game on the defensive end as getting into an up-and-down contest with a team that can fill it up like Iowa is unlikely to yield favorable results.

The Hoosiers were successful in devising a game plan to slow down another potent offense (Michigan) earlier this month, but that performance was also aided by a huge shooting night from Yogi Ferrell. The Wolverines were also a much weaker team defensively than Iowa is, so Indiana is going to need notable offensive contributions from more than just Ferrell.


Pomeroy likes Iowa by 5, Sagarin likes the Hawkeyes by 4.5, while the Vegas line currently favors Iowa by 5 after opening at 4. Indiana is 3-3 at home in conference play thus far with wins over Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin and losses to Northwestern, Michigan State and Penn State.

When playing its best, Indiana can play with any team in the conference in Assembly Hall, but the Hoosiers have also had home missteps against Penn State and Northwestern, teams they beat on the road. Indiana actually enters this game playing relatively well after a strong performance in Evanston and an 11-point loss to Wisconsin in Madison on Tuesday.

As I iterated earlier, this is typically a spot where Indiana is at its best. The Hoosiers are the underdog and this is a primetime spot with ESPN in Assembly Hall. The NCAA tournament is no longer a realistic goal (short of a run through the Big Ten tournament), but there’s still plenty at stake in terms of adding another league win and finding a positive way to close out the home schedule in Bloomington.

(Photo credit: Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)

Filed to:

  • Alford Bailey

    Hoosiers have GOT to get better next year so we get ESPNs #1 announcers on the call vs the B team (Dackich).

  • Indiana_Banners

    Laughed out loud. Dakich was in extremely poor form last night.

  • Indiana_Banners

    I remember a play where Yogi came down the court, handed the ball to Noah at the top of the key, and Noah drove for a layup. He said, “Look what happens when Indiana moves the ball and moves people – they get a good shot” I had no idea what he was watching.

  • OhioHoosier

    I’ve lost some respect for Dakich lately. There is a difference between being critical and letting the fact that you were not selected for a job affect you. He has been borderline unprofessional..

  • SCHoosier

    So we’re expecting Dan D to impact the Iowa game?? For me its the lousy match-ups. White and Marble create multiple problems and our full five match-ups are not favorable to IU. Iowa in a few games has not run their offense and “settled” for 3 pt shots. When they are on..Hawks are a handful..when they are not they are beatable. Let’s hope the Hawks leave the “Eye” at home TH. IU should be the underdog by at least five pts??

  • Ole Man

    That’s because he sees Indiana on the jersey and his mind fogs over.

  • Steve Fischer

    Dakich made pointed remarks which were critical of Crean and our program. The Perea incident- Dakich isn’t a judge and has no inside knowledge. He alluded that our program was not as clean with Crean. It’s ok for us to criticize Crean here where he can read it and .. lol learn. It’s another thing for the Dakich to do it. Dakich didn’t exactly have a stellar coaching record.
    Anyway it does seem like the roof is caving in on our season especially if we lose again. When Huey Long was Governor and he wanted a new roof on the legislature because it leaked rain. The lege. refused so Long had people climb on the roof and make the holes much bigger where the “No” legislators sat.. They got soaked and he got his new buiding. SO where will Dakich be sitting? LOL

  • Will take charge

    I think we know what to expect

  • John

    He needs to stick to broadcasting but even that is suspect.

  • Alford Bailey

    I’m not that impressed with the Hawkeyes. What, did they return their entire roster? Only 8-6 in the league. IU plays one of their “good” games and they can win this.

  • iuball11

    What to Expect: A loss. That’s what this season has done to me

  • Shaggy_C

    Last night the Wisconsin fans were chanting “NIT! NIT!”

    In other years, I would have been infuriated. Strangely, last night my reaction was more “Wow, they think we can actually get into the NIT! They BELIEVE in us!” Lowered expectations…

  • Brian Goodman

    Dakich will always be bitter he wasn’t hired… but can’t wait for next year when JBJ comes to Btown and Dakich will have no choice but to admire the Hoosiers

  • Miamihoosier

    As disappointing as this season is, it actually makes me feel better to see the season NC State is having. They have the same if not better overall talent, and their record is almost identical to ours. You might disagree, but to me, each new year, these “super freshman” are less and less ready to dominate at the college level, and experience is becoming more and more a factor. I’m sorry but Wichita St. does not have the talent of half the teams in the ACC and Big Ten. They are one of the best 3 teams in the country because they play 0 freshman, have 3 upper classman in the starting 5 and 2 more seniors in their first 3 off the bench. Next season, Indiana and NC State make huge leaps……mark it down.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    I have thought this for 3 years now, and am glad someone else see’s this.
    To me, it’s mystifying, being that he is a Hoosier.
    But I guess personal feelings and sour grapes count more to him.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    We have a tendency to play the Hawkeyes well, I think it’s winnable but who can tell.

  • Gregory J. Haggard

    Here, here.

  • Alford Bailey

    NC State is a good comparison to IU. Both are loaded with young talent. Both had great teams last year that underachieved in the Dance. Both have good recruiters but very mediocre coaches. Mark Gottfried is the CTC of the ACC. He has a good season followed by a season of not making the Tourney. Got family who are Alabama fans and they were more than happy when he left (not that they really care about bb).

  • Btown

    Did you guys catch when he said “the ball rolled the wrong way” in the michigan game last year, (which gave IU big 10 title). Then the other announcer quickly said that for IU fans the ball rolled the right way. At that point it is pretty obvious Dakich has a problem with IU. I think he also said “we” referring to IU’s opposition like I say we meanining “IU”.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree AB.. they have under-performed vs. their talent level. That said..when their offense is clicking they are a mean machine. Marble and White really present some match-up problems.

  • SCHoosier

    Yea I heard Dan..just trying to prove he’s not a “homer”..and being a pain in the a–.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Totally agree…tonight is probably a matchup between the two most “disappointing” teams in the conference. Iowa was considered a Final Four darkhorse by many because they could score and had a ton of veterans back. They also had a very favorable Big Ten schedule. Things just haven’t clicked for them recently and we have to hope that continues on Thursday. Of course, if we lose tonight I suppose it doesn’t matter all that much, sigh.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I thought Anthony Grant would succeed there but he’s been worse than Gottfried ever was at ‘Bama. You are correct though, they probably haven’t noticed!

  • CreamandCrimson

    It will be interesting to see what tempo this game is played at. Iowa loves to run and takes care of the ball decently. We would like to run but it appears we have finally realized that doing so causes our turnover numbers to go from ugly to unbelievably horrific. Rebounding will also be interesting. Iowa can come close to matching us on the boards and we’ll need to control that aspect of the game to win. Can we manage to shoot more than 3 FT’s tonight?

    The result of this game is largely inconsequential. I’ll be hoping the Hoosiers win but we all know the wins and losses mattering for this season ceased two weeks ago. I’d like to see continued effort (we fought at Wisconsin, not so much at Purdue) and for our turnover numbers to continue to improve. I’d also like to continue to see the increased involvement of Noah (although maybe we should keep his numbers down to keep him here haha!). Can Stan or Troy build some more positive momentum moving into the end of the season/offseason? Win or lose, I hope the Assembly Hall crowd are supportive of the team/program tonight. We don’t have to love the results on the court but I think we should always be proud to cheer for our Hoosiers….through good times and not so good times.

  • JetpackJunky

    Certainly doesn’t help now that his kid plays for them too.

  • Earl Scheib

    I totally picked that up, too. While I like Dak–I played, or I should say, was on the team that played against his Andrean squad in HS–it’s impossible for him to not slam IU in some way on each broadcast. Definitely sour grapes. And don’t forget that his son is a walk on at Michigan, so “the right way” for Dak is the UM way, now I guess. Let’s also not forget that his job is to be the quasi-neo-Duke Vitale self-deprecating outspoken color guy. It’s his job to say stupid things sometimes. I feel he’s been unnaturally harsh on IU, but then again, you can’t really blame him, right?

  • BradTon23

    It’s time for a home stand, folks! 3 straight wins at AH over quality opponents and these kids can begin to feel good about themselves again. Let’s get rowdy tonight and let this team know that we are behind them and will not go ANYWHERE!!

  • David Macer

    NC St has won 2 NCAA titles. No one should ever forget the magical year 1983 with Jimmy V. For you to say the State doesn’t have a tradition is incorrect. BTW they do have a huge Indiana connection…Everett Case and Norm Sloan.

  • HoosierFanaticFromUSI

    Iowa, like IU, has trouble closing out games. They have top 10 talent but not top 10 toughness.

    They could get to the Final 4, but more likely will end up being bounced in the first weekend.

  • deebo

    Ha ha lol

  • Miamihoosier

    Kansas is different because they have far more talent then both these teams (3 top 15 picks), and because the Big 12 is a joke. Iowa St is your second best team? Kentucky would be undefeated in the Big 12 this year. Both Kansas and Kentucky would have 5+ league losses in the ACC or Big Ten (see Duke)

  • kaponya44

    Well said !! Not to mention, it would void that last part in the article too.

  • Steve Fischer

    As disappointing a season as it is we can always look at Texas Pan American U who at 7-20 is not even ranked in the top 300! The “Broncos” are being ridden by everyone cept Chicago State. They will be in an even bigger hole when they play Grand Canyon University next week. Actually aside from entertaining myself with little quips, this doesn’t make me feel better at all. I didn’t even know Pan Am had a basketball team. I’ll feel a tad bit better if we beat Iowa and we are due to get lucky. Coem to think of it, if i figured out what conference UT -Pan AM is in , it might provide solace to know if we played there we might get an automatic bid.

  • JetpackJunky

    Maybe he should have considered not ramming a Final Four caliber team into the ground during the only 7 games he coached.

    I know KS is really to blame for it all, lack of focus, upset at changes, blah blah. Those kids should have been able to advance past the first round with a cardboard cut-out on the sidelines despite that.

    If he had stepped in and helped them overcome that distraction, he would have gotten the benefit of the bargain. Instead the team looked terrible in every single game he coached. It doesn’t matter the root cause, it matters what everyone associates with him.

  • MillaRed

    I agree with that. The truth hurts etc. But he is Dicky Vitale ANNOYING. Regardless of what comes out of his mouth.

  • SilverAtlanta

    What to expect, NOT what I am seeing! Where has THIS Hoosier team been? The Bench, the D, the movement, the shooting, WIll Shehey, AMAZING performance!