Here's a look at Thursday's Indiana opponent:
Iowa Hawkeyes (19-8, 8-6)
Last time out: L, 95-89 at Minnesota Tuesday
The Hawkeyes dropped their second game in a row after having their game with IU rescheduled, this time to Minnesota on the road 95-89. The Golden Gophers shot better than 60 percent from the floor while knocking down 11 3-pointers to propel them past the traditionally high-scoring Iowa squad.
Iowa was led in scoring by Roy Devyn Marble, who finished with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including four 3-pointers. As a team, Iowa shot 31-of-64 from the field (48.4 percent), taking 15 more shots than Minnesota, but the difference came at the free throw line, where Minnesota made 24-of-29, seven more than the Hawkeyes.
Iowa led by as many as 11 in the first half and had clear control during the first more than 10 minutes, but Minnesota-s shooting from beyond the arc brought them right back, as they took a 51-47 lead into the locker room. In the second half, Iowa tore off with eight of the game's 12 points just after the start of the final 20 minutes. The teams went back and forth until the Golden Gophers gained a two-point lead and sank 13-of-14 free throws in the final 1:10 to keep their lead in-tact.
Record: (25-13, 9-9 in the Big Ten Conference)
The Hawkeyes made it all the way to the NIT Championship game last season, falling handily to Baylor 74-54 at Madison Square Garden. To begin the season, they played a fairly low caliber of teams, beginning the season 5-0 before dropping two-straight, against Wichita State in the Cancun Challenge and to Virginia Tech 95-79 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
They faced the Hoosiers in their first conference game of the season at home and stayed competitive the whole contest before falling late 69-65. Iowa had a tough start to the team's conference schedule, losing to Michigan and Michigan State immediately after the IU loss. Iowa also dropped two straight against Ohio State and Purdue on the road during the end of January as well as road matches against Minnesota and Wisconsin in the beginning of February. In the team's final eight games, though, Iowa managed to turn things around, with the help of a bit softer schedule, wining six of the final eight regular season games.
In the conference tournament, Iowa took down Northwestern 73-59 in the first round before succumbing to Michigan State down the stretch 59-56. In the NIT, the Hawkeyes beat Indiana State and Stony Brook easily at home before playing a lone road game against Virginia, winning 75-64. In the semi-finals Iowa took another double digit victory against Maryland before falling in the finals to Baylor.
What they do well:
The Hawkeyes seem to be a reminder of IU's team last season: a high-scoring, efficient offense skilled at shooting the 3-pointer and rebounding the ball. Iowa leads the Big Ten by a large margin in scoring, putting in 83.5 points per game. Michigan State, the second team, is more than six points back. Even while giving up the third-most points per game, the Hawkeyes still have the highest scoring margin, outscoring their opponents by 14.8 points each contest. As a team, they shoot 47.1 percent from the field, and two of the team's most frequent shooters – Aaron White and Basabe – shoot 59.4 and 56.4 percent, respectively, from the field.
Inside, Iowa's big men have propelled them to second in the league in blocked shots, with the help of White, Basabe and center Gabriel Olaseni. The Hawkeyes have also overtaken the Hoosiers as the top rebounding team in the conference.
G Roy Devyn Marble, Sr.
Marble isn't the sharpest shooter on his team by a long shot. From the field, he's the worst of the team's five consistent starters, but he's also taken 341 shots in 27 games this season, averaging 16.9 points per game to lead the Hawkeyes. His 3-point shooting percentage barely dips, though, from his shots inside, making him nearly an equally as potent shooter no matter where he is on the court.
Because of his lower percentages, Marble has been prone to score anywhere from the single digits to 30 and everything in between. All he needs is the opportunities, and with all of the strong shooters the Hoosiers will have to keep an even sharper eye on, the senior from Southfield, Mich. likely will see his share of chances.
F Aaron White, Jr.
Outside of Ohio State's Amir Williams, who has taken only 147 shots this season, White is the scariest shooter to face in the Big Ten, with Basabe not far behind. He knocks down shots just under 60 percent of the time, although he relies nearly solely on his inside game as a 6-foot-9-inch junior.
Vonleh will have his hands full inside with Adam Woodbury, who stands at 7-foot-1-inch. White will have a height advantage on nearly anyone IU throws at him, except for Hanner Mosquera-Perea who will be expected to play Thursday after seeing his first playing time Tuesday since his arrest. If Iowa can get Vonleh in foul trouble just like Purdue did, this would only mean a smaller or less athletic guy to defend White, something the Hoosiers can't afford with his size and experience.