Iowa returned to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday and also returned to the win column as they manhandled Northwestern for an 85-71 victory. The score was not all indicative of how one-sided the affair was. The Hawkeyes were dominant.
They were spearheaded by the efforts of Peter Jok and Jarrod Uthoff. Jok was 6-10 from the field including 4-7 from beyond the arc for 26 points. Jarrod Uthoff threw in another 23 points on 8-16 shooting. They were the only two in double figures. Anthony Clemmons had 9, Dom Uhl had 8, and Nicholas Baer provided 7 more off the bench.
Hawkeye Insider provides the takeaways..
UTHOFF RECLAIMS HIS GROOVE
Jarrod Uthoff, like many of the Iowa players, was far from his usual self against Maryland. He struggled shooting the ball and had difficulty scoring in general. It was an off night for him. But it didn't take long for him to get back on track. After missing his first three shots, he then made seven of his next eight baskets. The Hawkeye faithful can rest easy that the struggles from one game don't carry into the next.
IOWA DANGEROUS WITHOUT UTHOFF ON FLOOR
One of the few runs the Hawkeyes were able to create against Northwestern came when Uthoff wasn't on the floor. Like head coach Fran McCaffery said in his postgame press conference, that was not the first time that has happened this season. It is important for Iowa when it gets into the latter portions of their schedule and when tournament time comes that they are able to withstand and hold leads while their star isn't on the floor. They've shown repeatedly this year that they can do just that.
TWO ELITE SCORERS DIFFICULT TO DEFEND
I know Maryland was able to last Thursday but Iowa's offense is so hard to contain. When Jarrod Uthoff isn't scoring at an elite level, Peter Jok still could be, and vise versa. When they are both hitting on all cyclinders, they're virtually unstoppable on the offensive end. You can't just stop one of their top scorers and feel good about your chances because there's so many different weapons. Even Anthony Clemmons and Dom Uhl have shown they can score points in bunches as well. It's a 'pick your poison' type of thing when it comes to defending the Hawkeye scoring attack.
BENCH PLAY IS CRITICAL
Many have said Iowa is deep this year, and they are. They go about three or four deep on the bench in addition to their starting five. Those three or four players they bring off the bench just aren't bodies, they provide critical minutes and production. Dom Uhl, Nicholas Baer, Ahmad Wagner, and Brady Ellingson have all provided pop in different games. But you aren't deep if the guys on the bench aren't producing. And for the most part, they didn't against Maryland. When they get typical production from those three or four, they are deep, and they are that much more dangerous.
PEAK INTO THE FUTURE A BIT CONCERNING
Iowa and the fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and watching on the Big Ten Network were given a sneak peak into the future in Sunday's game against Northwestern. With the game out of hand, a lot of the floor time went to Brady Ellingson, Christian Williams, Ahmad Wagner, Dom Uhl, and Nicholas Baer. Unfortunately, those weren't pretty moments. They had their struggles on the defensive end and they were prone to turnovers on the offensive side with little to no flow. They were outscored 24-0 after Uthoff and the rest of the starters left the game. It's concerning because it showed the obvious growing pains they'll have to battle through the rest of this season and for next year. They'll only get better but it showed how much of a rocky start it could be.