What to expect: Iowa

  • 12/04/2017 9:41 am in

Indiana will try to stop a two-game losing streak tonight as the Hoosiers host Iowa at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Hawkeyes are 4-4 overall and have lost four of their last five.

The game will be broadcast on BTN at 8 p.m. ET with Kevin Kugler and Stephen Bardo on the call:

Two games are in the books from Indiana’s brutal five-game stretch.

The Hoosiers battled Duke in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge for 36 minutes before falling 91-81 on Wednesday night. That hard fought loss was followed by an uninspired performance on Saturday in Ann Arbor as Michigan cruised to a 69-55 victory.

Indiana will take the floor tonight in desperate need of a win as Iowa comes to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The Hawkeyes, a trendy preseason pick to finish in the top half of the Big Ten, are coming off a 77-73 loss to Penn State on Saturday evening. Both teams have challenging games coming after tonight’s contest as Indiana goes to Louisville on Saturday and Iowa travels to Iowa State on Thursday for a rivalry game.


After losing four starters following the 2015-16 season, Iowa has a big void on the perimeter this season following the graduation of Peter Jok.

To replace the offensive production vacated by Jok, the Hawkeyes have one of the best young duos in the league in sophomore point guard Jordan Bohannon and sophomore forward Tyler Cook.

The 6-foot-9 Cook is the team’s go-to scorer through eight games. Cook’s 15.9 points per game lead the Hawkeyes and he’s already taken 60 free throws. He’s coming off a 23-point, 12-rebound performance against Penn State in which he grabbed seven offensive rebounds.

Bohannon, meanwhile, is making 49 percent of his 3s and is averaging 13.4 points and 4.8 assists per game. The 6-foot point guard is struggling inside the arc (30.4 percent on 2s), but is an excellent free throw shooter (87.5 percent). According to Synergy Sports, Bohannon is excellent in spot up situations as he’s scoring 1.36 points per possession which ranks in the 91st percentile nationally.

Joining Cook up front are freshman Luka Garza and Nicolas Baer, who missed the first six games with a finger injury. Garza is a plodder who finishes well (59.1 percent on 2s) and is excellent on the defensive glass (25.9 DR%). Free throw shooting, however, has been a problem as he’s just 16-of-35 through eight games.

Baer, last season’s Big Ten sixth man of the year, is a career 38.4 3-point shooter who is 1-of-8 from deep through his first two games. He shot 43.3 percent on 3s last season in Big Ten games, which ranked seventh in the conference.

Look for freshman Jack Nunge and sophomore Cordell Pemsl to both come off the bench for McCaffery. Nunge, a Castle product, is 6-foot-11 with the ability to step out to the perimeter. He’s 7-of-15 on 3s this season and is also hitting 63.6 percent of his 2s. Pemsl is a back to the basket big man who is a capable rebounder on both ends.

Joining Bohannon in the backcourt is Isaiah Moss, the team’s second leading scorer. The 6-foot-5 sophomore is 41.7 percent on 3s and averages 13.8 points per game.

Ahmad Wagner, a 6-foot-7 junior, will back up Baer at the three and averages 3.3 points and three rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game.


Iowa’s strengths offensively are clear cut. The Hawkeyes can shoot the 3, get to the line and offensive rebound. Bohannon, Moss and Nunge can all knock down the 3 with efficiency and Cook can take over a game in the paint with his ability to get second chance points.

But as strong as Iowa is on the offensive glass, the Hawkeyes are vulnerable on the defensive glass. Iowa is just 237th in the country in defensive rebounding percentage. The Hawkeyes also struggle to force turnovers, which makes it imperative for Indiana to take care of the ball.

Most of Indiana’s offensive metrics are solid, sans a 3-point percentage that continues to trend downward. The Hoosiers are shooting just 33.1 percent on 3s and are just 7-of-28 from deep over their last two games.

Defensively, Indiana continues to struggle with its closeouts on the perimeter (Ryan highlighted this yesterday in Film Session), which is a definite concern against Iowa.


The KenPom projection is Indiana by 2 with a 59 percent chance of a Hoosier victory. The Vegas line, which opened with Indiana as a 4.5-point favorite, is now 5 as of Monday morning. Sagarin’s ratings like Indiana by 3.5.

The keys are Indiana are straight forward: take care of the ball, win the rebounding battle and avoid early foul trouble for De’Ron Davis and Juwan Morgan. Morgan will likely be tasked with guarding Cook and if the Hoosiers opt to help in the post, it is crucial that shooters aren’t left unattended in the process.

Indiana has the advantage playing at home, but the Hoosiers need a solid start to energy the Assembly Hall faithful which produced a terrific atmosphere last week for the Duke game.

Can the Hoosiers avoid starting 0-2 in Big Ten play for the second straight season?

Filed to:

  • Arch Puddington

    I expect:

    1. Fran McCaffrey to rage and howl like Yosemite Sam at every turn.
    2. Iowa to hit a dismaying number of threes.
    3. Indiana to win. This is a “gots to win” deal. If they can’t beat Iowa at home, it will be hard to not conclude that the team that laid an egg in Ann Arbor is the real team, and the one that played with such brio against Duke was an impostor. I’m betting that Archie was not delicate with them after the Michigan game, and that they will respond.

  • ForIndiana

    Point #3 is the question for the year…do these players stay maddeningly entrenched in the wild swings of effort as they have over the last several years, or does Archie break the mentality and get them to start building incremental progress? All we can do is tune in and find out and hope your bet is a strong one!

  • SCHoosier

    If IU gives up uncontested 3’s like they did at UM…Bohannon will go for 30 pt. Cook will be the best low post player on the floor IMO..always gives IU fits. Looking for a way too call Hoosiers a winner in this one..but having a problem with that. Maybe the Hall will be what we need.

  • inCMitrust

    What to expect. We make more than 2 three pointers on our homecourt. We aren’t outscored by 27 from 3. We win.

  • sd chuck

    We need better play from our guards! RJ, good defensive player, not shooting the ball well at all this year, needs to become a better passer. JN, not shooting the ball well either, not a good passer, has never been good from the freethrow line, DG, best passer of the bunch, can create of the dribble but makes some poor decisions, not shooting very well from outside. Team will have a tough time winning close games if they don’t learn to knock down ft’s!

  • RonMlarkey

    Teams Iowa has lost to: LA- Lafayette, South Dakota St, Virginia Tech (by 25 points), Penn State. Would be an absolute embarrassment to lose to the Hawkeyes at home and would force me to lose all hope in making any type of post season tournament.

  • millzy32

    Home Court in College hoops is huge. It’s usually a deciding factor if teams are even remotely close in talent they’ll usually pull away and win handily at home. Have to expect a much needed double digit win tonight. Just because we are at home.

  • millzy32

    Well one player already responded (By announcing he’s transferring). Hopefully the others who are staying respond better:)

  • PS IU

    Maybe the team had an emotional/physical letdown at Michigan after the Duke game. Hopefully being at home and feeding off the crowd, IU will win the game easily.

  • YoungHoosier

    IU by 9. Hoping to see some solid post D and not leaving shooters open as a result of any doubling down low. Turnovers and 3 pointers are what I’ll be keeping an eye on. Hopefully we can get some guys who have been cold of late some good looks to jump start their confidence for this tough upcoming stretch. Go Hoosiers.

  • iubase

    Good point. I feel overall we have made steady progress. Michigan was the outlier. Hope to see better communication on D. Would like to se more plays for our shooters esp CH.

  • Fifer39

    It always has been difficult to know what to expect with this group. I remember in the final moments of the UNC game last year, Thomss Bryant made a bucket then hustled back and drew a defensive foul to pretty much seal the win. He fist pumped and punched his chest all the way back down the court to take his free throws while the other 4 (JM, RJ, JBJ and OG I think) nonchalantly strolled behind him with barely an expression.

    Now I’m not criticising these guys for their demeanour or suggesting there’s any lack of effort or desire. But from a fans perspective, it’s just a bit easier to get a sense of where you are or to relate to the team when they wear their heart on their sleeve a bit more. I’m certainly not intending to be critical – I really like this group of upperclassmen and they’ve dealt with a lot – but quite frankly I’ve little idea where we are right now or what to expect tonight. I do think we’re making progress though but know that there will be more bumps in the road. Go IU.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    As predicted by Oleman, the Michigan game was a trap game. And this IU team is not mature enough to fight through trap games yet (alarming given the fact that the backcourt has 2 senior starters). This game is a MUST WIN game, following a game that I would imagine Archie was less than pleased with. I expect for IU to come out swinging and jump all over Iowa from the tip. If not, I expect a new starting lineup in the very near future as Archie has expressed his dismay with slow starts. It could not possibly have been a slower start at Michigan.

    Bold statement for the day: “IU by 25 in a blowout.”

  • Sandra Wilson

    Take a look at the season’s statistics. RJ has 18 assists and 18 TO. DG has 20 assists and 18 TO. JN has 23 assists and 14 TO. While DG may make some pretty passes, I’m not sure you can call him a good passer (or even our best passer) with that many TO, particularly when many were poor passing decisions.

  • Fifer39

    There’s a lot of talk about this as a MUST WIN, but must win in what sense? Must win if we’re to have any chance in the B1G, an NCAA bid, NIT? I’m not knocking, just genuinely interested in what objective people still see that makes this a must win. I want to win every game but I’m genuinely not sure that anything other than the NIT is realistic at this point and so if we don’t win I’ll be disappointed but I’m not sure it’ll change my expectations for the season in the way that a must win, by definition, should. And I’ll still be behind Archie as much as I was before. I might be being defeatist but genuinely interested in views – not that I’m saying I think we will lose this one either.

  • Sandra Wilson

    Some coach must have really yelled at you when you played. It sure seems to have made a lasting impression. Izzo yells and screams, as does Bill Self. Their teams seem to be doing okay. Maybe Miller could get some pointers in that area from McCaffrey. In terms of motivation, what Miller’s doing now doesn’t seem to be working.

  • Sandra Wilson

    If we don’t double down in the post and play defense behind Cook, he’ll score 30. We should be able to double down in the post and still cover the 3 point line. Of course, you have to have a plan and the players must execute it. Most of the 3’s we give up are a result of poor (on the ball) defense and then confusion on who should help and where the rotations should be. I thought by now we’d have made some improvements in that area, but I really don’t see any. I’m not sure what that says, but it says something.

  • Ivan Renko

    RoJo and DD need to show up, simple as that. It’s not any sort of revelation on my part. but when RoJo and DD play well, we win (sans Duke, but understandable), and when RoJo and DD play poorly, we get blown out. I only say RoJo and DD because JM has been consistent.

    JM has been locked in all season, which is extremely encouraging to see going into true B1G play in January. I’m most excited to see how he develops going into his senior year, he’s going to be the on-court senior leader we haven’t had since Yogi.

    It has obviously been frustrating so far, but to repeat our friends at the Assembly Call and Podcast on the Brink, we shouldn’t judge this team until late December/early January. Kinks are being worked out – clearly so with the departure of CuJo (best of luck).

  • Arch Puddington

    An amazing number of addled thoughts in one short post. You would make an excellent Tennessee fan.

  • Fifer39

    Bit harsh….but very funny 🙂

  • Arch Puddington

    Harsh? Hmmm. Maybe blunt, but Sandra can’t complain either way. I mean, it’s not like I went all “Fran McCaffery” in my response. Heck, maybe she’ll criticize my response for being too SOFT.

  • IdahoHoosier

    I really like some guys on this roster, but I hope we can save judgment on Archie’s coaching until he has a few years and his own recruits onboard. Stay strong Sandra!

  • John D Murphy

    I’m with you. I want the team to make progress on some front that the coach is emphasizing. Maybe quick start, guarding the three, or closing the game. If there is positive progress on enough fronts, then the w’s will enventually come.

  • John D Murphy

    Wish you’d stop sugarcoating everything.

  • Fifer39

    It was the Tennessee fans feelings I was thinking of – what happened to that response?!

  • Ms hoosier

    Thanks for the numbers. In order for this team to get better our guards must get more efficient and consistent. Everything the team does begins with the guards both your offense and defense begins with your guards. Until our guards get more efficient we will struggle!!

  • vicbert caladipo

    I don’t think it was a trap game. Michigan is better than us and played at home after a tough loss against UNC. Most predicted an IU loss whether we played Duke the previous game or the Highland Trojans

  • vicbert caladipo

    This is as even a matchup as it gets. Should be a close game. We need RJ to play well down the stretch to get the W. And for Gods sake…….team HIT SOME FREEKIN 3’s!!!!!

  • vicbert caladipo

    How do you know he played? Maybe Arch is DJ White? I do agree though Fran Mc. seems to be the coach IU fans love to hate. I haven’t had a problem with him. Now don’t get me started on Rick Pitino or his pal Cheatapari

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    DG for president!!!!!