Where was the resistance?
This was the biggest one for me and probably for everyone that really watched the game. Kevin Willard's Pirates were not going to be denied a path to the basket it seemed. The Hawkeyes showed little perimeter defense and got beat on the dribble drive way too often. You could chalk it up to not playing a very efficient style of team defense or you could chalk it up to the fact that Seton Hall has some really good guards that can get to the rim.
I believe it was a little of both.
While watching last night I said to myself that not having a rim protector like an Adam Woodbury this year, is going to hurt the Hawkeyes. Sure, they have a bunch of athletes, but you still need the guy in the middle of the floor willing to protect that basket at all costs. We did not see that from the Hawkeyes.
The Pirates totaled 50 of their 91 points in the paint to Iowa's 24. That should tell you a lot about the game. It started to really standout in the middle part of the first half and I believe Willard told his guys to keep attacking in the second half, which is exactly what they did. Hall shot 66% from the floor in the second half.
This will be one area Iowa needs to improve upon before next Friday when they take on Tony Bennett's Virginia squad.
Two man show
If you watched, you noticed it too. Heck, even if you just looked at a box score you noticed it. Iowa's Peter Jok and Tyler Cook were a two man wrecking crew on Thursday night inside Carver Hawkeye. The duo combined for 54 points with Jok pouring in 30 to Cook's 24. They were 20-36 from the field and Jok pulled in 11 rebounds to notch a double double.
I think we all kind of knew that this was going to be the case early on. Iowa is still attempting to break some of the younger guys in, but Cook is the exception. Dom Uhl, Christian Williams, and Nicholas Baer chipped in a combined 20 points, which is about what you'd expect from those guys.
Cook and Jok are going to win Iowa a heavy dose of games, in my opinion, but they've got to find a third scoring option. You could say that it's hard for another guy to chip in significantly because after Cook's 15 and Jok's 21, the next highest shot total is Williams' 6.
Fast forward this into the middle of January and I think Iowa wins this kind of game. Once they get the defense figured out, they are going to be a tough out. Especially if Jok and Cook are going to put on the show they did last night, every night.
Missed Free Throws
Free throws can cost teams games. I wouldn't say this was the case last night because both teams weren't very good at the line so it kind of evened out, but the Hawkeyes definitely missed some chances. As a team they shot 59% from the stripe and Cook's line is the one that really jumps at you. He was 5-12 at the line last night. He did a very good job getting there, but was just unable to finish the job.
He actually showed a rare ability to draw fouls on the Hall defenders. A few of the fouls he earned looked suspect to me because it looked like he kind of just went up and lost the ball, but a foul was awarded anyways. If Cook shows this ability to get to the line every night and then starts to finish the deal, he's going to be nearly impossible to stop.
Peter Jok was money as usual going 6-6 from the line, all of that came in the second half. And Ahmad Wagner was 1-4 for the Hawkeyes. Ideally you'd like to see that number get into the high 60's in terms of percentages, but this wasn't going to be a finished product the first time out. The Hawkeyes learned a lot last night in a game against a good team.
Point Guard Play
I thought for the most part, they did what I expected. Christian Williams got the start as he normally does and played well. I thought he got out of control a few times, but other than that there was nothing wildly out of the ordinary. He turned it over three times, but that is too be expected when you're playing as fast as Iowa was last night. It looked like last years team on steroids in terms of running the floor, to be honest. He buried two three pointers, which I was pleasantly surprised to see because that's not really his game.
I thought Jordan Bohannon played well also. He looked like he was just a step behind most of the time. He made some passes that he'll learn he can't make unless he makes them a half a second sooner. That was his first real taste of how fast the college game is going to be and he did exactly what I thought he would do. He got to the line four times, dished out four assists, and then turned the ball over three times. He's a true freshman, demanding excellence from him right off the bat would not be fair.
As a duo, I thought they did fine. Not great, but they played well enough to keep Iowa in the game throughout. This is a young duo, so these are valuable minutes they are playing right now. Give them a while and they'll be impressive.
After attending the game against Savannah State last Sunday, this had me a little worried coming into the game with Seton Hall. Iowa got out-rebounded in the first half of that game against the Tigers, but rebounded (get it?) in the second half to finish +12 on the glass (sorry, that was bad). The Pirates possess a lot of long athletes and they attack the boards a lot. I was especially worried about Angel Delgado, who, coming in was averaging 15 rebounds per game. He had 11 last night.
However, the Hawkeyes were pleasantly surprising on the glass and I think it took a team effort. Peter Jok led the way with 11, but Uhl had 10, and Baer had 6, while Williams and Pemsl each had 5. The ended up +8 on the glass for the night, which was nice to see after a shaky first half against Savannah State. Being as small as they are, everyone needs to attack the glass on defense. It'll be a team effort all year long.null