Didn't See That Coming
If we're all being realistic, no one would've honestly predicted the Hawkeyes to take down the Boilermakers on Wednesday night. But, I definitely did not think they'd get beat in the fashion that they did. Purdue started the game on an 11-2 run, which turned into a 21-6 run and it was pretty much over 5 minutes into the game. The Boilers took a 24 point lead into the break and in the second half were up by 31 at one point. The Hawkeyes got it down to 22 at the end of the game and considering it was 71-40 at one point, I guess we can consider 89-67 respectable. The Hawkeyes just looked lost, if I'm being honest. Couple that with Purdue's hot shooting and the young Hawkeyes didn't stand a chance. They were bad from the floor, shooting just 37% and were bad from three, shooting just 24%.
Tyler Cook is Back
It was nice to see Tyler get some action for the first time in over a month. He didn't start as I predicted, but did play 22 minutes, which tied Peter Jok for third highest on the team. He had 12 points in those minutes, but fought foul trouble for a majority of the game. He picked up his third personal with 4 minutes left in the first half on a foul 85 feet away from the basket, which is one of the dumbest fouls a player can commit. I don't know if Fran McCaffery would have pushed him into the 30's in terms of minutes if he wasn't in foul trouble, but my guess is he likely would not have with the game being so out of hand. It was nice to see Cook get back into the lineup and garner some solid minutes.
For those of you that read the game preview, I said that Ellingson was my sleeper pick. And I hit the nail on the head, which I don't do often! Brady continued his spectacular play notching 11 points on 3-4 shooting and 3-3 from behind the arc in 17 minutes played. He was the most efficient Hawkeye and probably flew under Matt Painter's pre-game radar a bit when you consider who else the Hawkeyes have. If he's going to continue to play like this he's going to continue to see 15-20 minutes per game. At least, he should. He's one of the better defenders the Hawkeyes have and is now shooting an amazing 64% from three point land. With Jordan Bohannon, Peter Jok, and Isaiah Moss all able to hit shots from three in the starting lineup, Ellingson is giving McCaffery another three point option off the bench, which is huge.
The Game Plan
The plan looked like it was going to be to neutralize Purdue's big men, Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Hass. McCaffery even said that Iowa was looking to limit opportunities for their big guys in the post game. The Hawkeyes were hanging out in a zone trying to cram things together inside, making it harder on the talented bigs to produce. They were going to make Purdue's guards knock down outside shots to beat them. Unfortunately for Iowa, they did. Dakota Mathias and Carsen Edwards were a combined 7-13 from three point land on the night. This was just a case of Purdue playing extremely well. They knew what Iowa was giving them, so they took it, and then were able to execute. I've seen 3 or 4 Purdue games this year and that is the most complete I've seen them look from top to bottom.
Regroup for Sunday
As bad as the loss looks, this is ultimately just one game. They got beaten badly by an extremely talented team, but the team has to understand that there are still 17 more conference games to go. This isn't the end of the road. I thought they did some things well and some things poorly on Wednesday night, but you just have to tip your cap to Purdue, who hit the shots that you gave them. The Hawkeyes got beat by a superior team, but have a nice chance on Sunday to come back home to Carver Hawkeye and take on a pretty talented Michigan team. It's going to be more of the same with the Wolverines in the three point department, but they don't have nearly the same front line that Purdue does.