3 up 3 Down: Iowa Cruises Past UT-Rio Grande Valley in Hoops Action

Iowa cruises past UT-Rio Grande Valley in hoops. What did we learn?

THREE UP

A SPECIAL SCORER

It's becoming readily apparent that Peter Jok is going to put up some unreal offensive numbers this season. He's fantastic on the offensive end. Jok leaves a little to be desired on the defensive end but he just has an uncanny, natural ability to score. Amazingly, he does most of it around the perimeter. He's certainly got in his repertoire to beat you off the dribble but he can drop an easy 30 each night by simply just creating his own shot on the perimeter. Like one of our members (ArvadaHawk) posted on our message board, a 23 foot jumper is like a lay-up from Jok. 

FRONTCOURT DEPTH

They may not have the quality depth that they want in the backcourt yet but it's there in the frontcourt. They'll absolutely need it in Big Ten play since they don't have a lot of bulk and could be prone to foul trouble against some of the bigger post players inside the conference. Between Cook, Wagner, Pemsl and Kriener, Fran feels confident in throwing four different guys out there. That's a valuable thing. They'll need all four beginning in January. 

OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN

It didn't take that long for Iowa to put the game on ice against UT-Rio Grande Valley. It was valuable for Fran McCaffery to unload all his bench and give his very young squad some extended minutes against someone other than themselves. Jordan Bohannon played more than 20 minutes, Isaiah Moss got in more than 15, Ellingson logged about 20, Maishe Dailey got about 10 minutes of floor time, while Ryan Kriener also had about 10. With how young the Hawkeyes are, these are the minutes that can have a big difference on a team. 

Especially for Ellingson and Bohannon. They're going to be asked to play some key minutes in Big Ten basketball games this year and they haven't had a great amount of experience with that. The more minutes for them beforehand, the better. You can't get better without playing. 

THREE DOWN

NEED ANOTHER SHOOTER

Nobody is asking for another Peter Jok (though it would be nice) but they need someone to be more consistent from the perimeter other than him. They need another threat to take away the attention that he'll demand later on in the season against teams that can make him much less impactful. It will probably need to come from Brady Ellingson or Dom Uhl. Christian Williams isn't a pure scorer or offensive-minded player. Bohannon will have his struggles and it's a lot to ask of a freshman point guard. Baer is more of a balanced threat that will shoot when it's there, or drive when it's there. The shooting and outside threat, other than Jok, seems like it needs to come from Ellingson or Uhl. Perhaps Isaiah Moss, but he's received less meaningful playing time than the others so far. 

Fran also mentioned it in his press conference that they would need an outside threat, whether it is Baer, Uhl, Ellingson, or Moss. 

DEFENSIVE LAPSES NOT GOING AWAY

They've happened in every game. It happened tonight. Against Seton Hall, defense was terrible. For sequences it was terrible against Savannah State and Kennesaw State. For a sequence or two, it was awful again. There's been more than one culprit. Jok turned the defensive light off against Seton Hall, as did Tyler Cook. Defending the rim was the main problem against Seton Hall and they put Cook into some tough situations where he had to decide to stay with Delgado, help out against the ball handler or stay at the rim. It was an experienced team that put an inexperienced player into a difficult predicament. That's going to be the season for this young Hawkeyes squad. 

Bohannon has some defensive struggles and most of the time it is due to being at a disadvantage in terms of size and strength. But his defense hasn't been a real issue, not as much as his decision making at times on the offensive end. Jok's defense has been inconsistent. Christian Williams and Brady Ellingson play very good defense for the most part, as does Ahmad Wagner. But they need everyone to pick up the intensity and focus on the defensive end throughout the game the way they do. 

BETTER WHEN THEY RUN

Iowa seems to get a little stagnated and sloppy when they are operating at a slower pace and in the halfcourt offense actually. Cook threw some easy ones away, and did have the one fast break turnover. Jok had a couple when he was trying to force the offense. They'll have their share of fast break turnovers, and that's acceptable, but the half court ones are less acceptable. They need to be better in the half court sets because they won't be able to just run fast and set the entire pace of the game next week in Florida or later on in the Big Ten slate like they are with the lesser competition right now. 

They should always want to run but the sloppiness in the half court sets have to be cleaned up. The Hawkeyes had 16 turnovers again and many were unforced.

NOTE: I assumed Cordell Pemsl was in the doghouse because of his declining minutes. It is not that. He is dealing with a groin issue according to Fran McCaffery. 

NOTE: Dale Jones out 8-9 weeks. Fran is disappointed and saying he will have every opportunity to have an impact when he returns.

NOTE: Peter Jok is fine. He's not hurt. His health is not an issue. He just banged knees with someone from UT-Rio Grande Valley. 

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