Iowa got the win over Rutgers even though it was far from their best performance of the season. They knocked off Rutgers 90-76 which wasn't too far off from my 93-70 prediction.
Jok lead the way with 29 points. Jarrod Uthoff and Anthony Clemmons also contributed 20 themselves. Woodbury was in foul trouble during the first half but still notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Mike Gesell did not score but did hand out 9 assists.
Scout takes a look at the takeaways from tonight's game.
WOODBURY IS SO IMPORTANT
I'll make the argument right now that he's the most valuable player on this year's squad. There's a noticeable dropoff whenever he leaves the floor. He defends the bigs, his quick feet keep guards from penetrating to the hole, his passing out of the post is fantastic, and he's been active on the glass and has been strong with the ball. If Jok isn't on the floor, Iowa still has Uthoff that can create his own shot and score in bunches. If Uthoff isn't on the floor, Jok can explode with his shot. If Gesell isn't on the floor, Clemmons can handle the ball, and vise versa. If they're not getting bench production from Dom Uhl, there's Baer or Wagner. If Woodbury isn't on the floor, there's nobody to replace what he's able to contribute.
I predicted it to occur but the Hawkeyes were far from sharp in tonight's matchup with Rutgers. They got the win but it was far from pretty. They came out a bit flat and some of the shooters, Uhl in particular, weren't getting a lot of lift on their jumpers and struggled to put the ball through the net. They turned it over more than usual and the defense was lackadaisical at times. You can get away with it against Rutgers but won't be able to in the next two contests against Purdue and Maryland.
JOK IS ON FIRE
He scored 23 against Michigan State in East Lansing followed by a 16-point performance on Sunday at home against Michigan. He responded with another high-scoring output tonight, setting a career high with 29 on 10-19 shooting including 5-9 from beyond the arc.
LOT OF OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER
I alluded to it earlier but this team can score in a variety of ways. Uthoff can go off for at least 30 and so can Jok. Gesell and Clemmons have each flirted with 20 points this season. Baer and Uhl have scored in double figures off the bench. You take one thing away from Iowa but they have about four other directions they can go in to score at a high level. Uthoff, Clemmons, and Jok all recorded at least 20 points tonight.
It's a bit related to Iowa just not being all that sharp tonight but they did not get a lot of production off the bench tonight which has not been the norm for the Hawkeyes. Most of the scoring came from the starting five. Wagner had 6 and Uhl had 3 and that's all there was. They won't survive with that little of output from their bench on most nights.