Iowa Bounced In FIrst Tourney Game: Takeaways

Iowa is bounced again in their first Big Ten tournament game.

Iowa exits Indianapolis once again without winning a game at the Big Ten Tournament. Fran McCaffery is now 2-6 in the tourney as head coach of the Hawkeyes. They fell to Illinois Thursday afternoon 68-66. 

The turnovers were a large portion of the problem again for Iowa. For much of the earlier games in the season their turnovers would number in the single digits. It's not that way anymore has the Illini forced the Hawkeyes to turn it over 18 times. Illinois did not take advantage as much as they should have but still capitalized with 19 points. 

The defense was also shaky again for Iowa. They didn't force Jalen Coleman-Lands to put the ball on the deck enough as he was given several open looks from the perimeter and that's asking for trouble with how he shoots from range. Coleman-Lands was 5-10 from the three-point line. 

Leading Iowa on offense was Peter Jok has he was scorching from the field. It wasn't enough but he poured in 29 points before receiving a technical foul and fouling out. Jarrod Uthoff also notched 21 of his own. Adam Woodbury recorded 10 rebounds in the defeat.

Here are the takeaways.


Peter Jok was ridiculous. To end the first half, he went on a run where he scored 13 in a row and 15 of Iowa's 18 points. Jok was the only reason Iowa even kept it close in all actuality. Before fouling out, he finished the game with 29 points on 10-16 shooting. Jok was also 4-6 from the three-point line and converted all five of his free throw attempts. 


Iowa just isn't on the right track. They're lost offensive and defensively. They struggled to inbound the ball at the end of the game. Uthoff clearly threw one where I could have been the intended target. Jok fouled out on a technical foul. Mike Gesell couldn't find the rim on a 9-foot jump shot that was an open look. Anthony Clemmons played sloppy. They turned it over a ton. There was just a lot of miscues and a lot of errant play. 


It came at a bad time but I'd have to say this was Clemmons' worst game of the season. Iowa waited until the end of the season to play poor basketball and Anthony Clemmons waited until their Big Ten Tournament opener to play his worst game. He was really, really good earlier on in the season. 


Peter Jok and Jarrod Uthoff combined for 50 points. Jok had 29 and Uthoff had 21. Everyone else combined only for 16. That is not a sound strategy and definitely not a winning formula. It means the bench was weak and Iowa needs a good bench to have success. It also means that they were easy to defend. Illinois did not have to be concerned with anyone outside of two players. Want to know why Iowa looks lackluster on offense? They're easy to guard. Some of the other guys that play don't even look to score a majority of the time. And many of the others are wildly inconsistent. 


Do they have anything left in the tank? Can they rebound from yet another defeat? Are they inspired at all at this point? A deep run in the Big Ten Tournament coudl have propelled them to a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament. But leaving Indianapolis without a victory likely means they could fall to as low as a 7-seed. It likely means they'll play in Oklahoma City or Spokane, Washington for their first round game. Now, I think they have something left. I think they can rebound. I think they're inspired, especially with four seniors in the starting lineup. But I don't think they get get past the first weekend. 

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