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Iowa Basketball: Previewing Iowa's matchup with Nebraska on Sunday

Preview of Iowa and Nebraska's second matchup of the season.

Nebraska (10-12, 4-6) at Iowa (13-10, 5-5)

Date & Time: February 5th, 1:06 p.m. CT

Location: Carver Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)

TV: BTN (Kevin Kugler and Shon Morris)

Quick Notes

- Nebraska defeated Iowa 93-90 in double overtime back on January 5th in Lincoln.

- Huskers are 2-5 in true road games this year.

- Nebraska has been minus Ed Morrow, who leads the team averaging 8 boards per contest. Morrow had 9 points and 6 boards against Iowa the first time out and has not played since January 8th. 

- Huskers have lost 7 of their last 8 games, including 3 straight road games.

- Iowa holds an 18-10 advantage in the all-time series with Nebraska and they are 12-3 in games played in Iowa City.

- Iowa has won 9 of the last 10 contests between these two teams in games played in Iowa City. 

- Nicholas Baer is the only Division 1 men's basketball player to record 30+ blocks, 30+ steals, and 20+ threes.

- Iowa is 7-1 in games started by Ahmad Wagner.

- Glynn Watson had 34 points on 7-of-8 from three the last time these teams met. In the seven games since, he's made 11-of-32.

- Iowa's freshmen have accounted for 53 points per game in the last two games. 51 against Ohio State and 55 against Rutgers. 

- RPI's for both teams. Nebraska 73, Iowa 98.

- Isaiah Moss scored 15 first half points the last time these two teams met this year. 

Iowa Starters 

**Peter Jok slated to return, but will keep starters the same as the last few games until we know for sure**

Jordan Bohannon (FR): Bohannon was as sharp as ever in the road win over Rutgers. He led the team with 17 points on 5-7 from three and seemed to be as on as I've ever seen him. He also chipped in 4 assists and no turnovers as the Hawkeyes routed the Scarlet Knights. He's been about as consistent as any Hawkeye has this year.

Isaiah Moss (RSFR): Moss, who was MIA for a few games in the past few weeks, seems to have returned. He had 11 points in 16 minutes and even threw in 3 assists against RU. With Jok out, Moss is one of the guys that needs to step up to fill the scorers role. He had 17 the last time Iowa played Nebraska. 

Nicholas Baer (RSSO): Baer struggled from the field on Tuesday, but he does everything else well you probably didn't even notice. Five boards, five assists, four steals, and two blocks to go along with just three points against Rutgers as he continues to fill the stat sheet. When Baer is scoring he's probably the second best Hawkeye on the floor.

Ahmad Wagner (SO): Nine points in 21 minutes on Tuesday for Ahmad as Iowa continues to win when he's in the starting lineup. He brings the energy on the glass and the athleticism on defense that Iowa has lacked early in games. Expect Ahmad to remain a starter as long as he's giving the Hawkeyes what he has been recently. 

Tyler Cook (FR): Cook had 10 points, 5 boards, and 3 steals in 21 minutes on Tuesday and continues to be consistent. He's still turning the ball over a few times per game, so you'd like to see him cut down on that, but he has so much potential on the offensive side that he's a must-have-guy in the starting lineup. 

Iowa Bench

Cordell Pemsl (FR): Pemsl has been a true pro after being moved from the starting lineup to the bench for the last two games. He picked up a big time game against Rutgers totaling 15 points and 7 rebounds. Pemsl being on the bench to start gives the Hawkeye units much better scoring balance. He's a threat to score whenever he gets the ball because he's so crafty on the block.

Ryan Kriener (FR): After 14 points and 7 rebounds against Ohio State, Kriener struggled against Rutgers. But I think with the production he's had the last few weeks, he's entitled to struggle for a night. He's constant energy on both sides and has been a really valuable piece to this Iowa team. He did not play the first time Iowa and Nebraska met. 

Brady Ellingson (RSSO): Brady is without a doubt the unsung hero the last few games. He exploded for 17 points on Saturday night against Ohio State after we learned Peter Jok would not be playing and gave Iowa 6 points and 5 assists in the win over Rutgers. He has taken his fair share of criticism over the first couple years in Iowa City, but he's been a great bench piece for Iowa this season. 

Christian Williams (SO): As up and down as he's been this season, he's been up recently. He's averaging just a shade over 4 points per game in the last three and has done a good job spelling Jordan Bohannon, who has been battling a bug recently. 

Dom Uhl (JR): Dom had 5 points and 2 rebounds against Rutgers on Tuesday and has really given Iowa a nice jolt of energy off the bench recently. It seems he's working a lot harder and is winning a lot of 50/50 balls. Once he becomes more confident in the jumper I hope to see last-year-early-part-of-Big-Ten-play Dom.

Nebraska Starters 

Tai Webster (SR): He's the straw that stirs the Husker drink. He plays big minutes, scores the ball, and shares the ball for this Husker team. He's scored in double figures in the last five games, but the Huskers are minus their front court presence, so Webster has pretty much had to carry this team recently.

Glynn Watson (SO): Watson lit Iowa up the last time these two teams met and I don't see that happening again. Like Webster, he's going to play big minutes and is going to get his fair share of points as well. He's scored in double figures in the last five games, but you can only ask for so much from these two.

Evan Taylor (JR): Taylor has given the Huskers just 8 points in the last three games as the three. He's not doing much to help right now. He's averaging 5 points per game this year.

Michael Jacobson (SO): Jacobson is a guy that is constantly going it seems. He attacks the glass and can even fill it up if you're not careful. He had 13 rebounds the last time Iowa and Nebraska met, so the Hawkeyes will need to keep him off the glass.

Jordy Tshimanga (FR): Tshimanga is the man that has filled in for Ed Morrow. He's been up and down, but is coming off a career day against Michigan State when he had 15 points and 9 rebounds in 24 minutes. The Huskers lost, but that's a nice step forward for Jordy. He's another big body Iowa will need to keep off the glass. 

Things to Watch

Lots of Points

This game will feature two of the worst scoring defenses in the Big Ten. Both Iowa and Nebraska ranked in the bottom five of the Big Ten in that category and for Iowa, it speaks to their quick pace of play somewhat and the fact that they do just struggle on that end as a whole. However, the Hawkeyes have one of the best scoring offenses in the Big Ten, whereas Nebraska does not. The teams combined for 183 points in the first meeting. It did go to double overtime, but the offense was on full display for both teams. The Huskers are minus Ed Morrow and the Hawkeyes have a banged up Peter Jok, but Iowa has shown the ability to score in bunches even with their best scorer sidelined. Expect a shootout on Sunday.

Peter Jok

He's missed the last two games due to injury, but is slated to be a go for Sunday. I'm interested to see if he plays, how much he plays, and how effective he'll be. Jok had 34 points in the losing effort last time out against Nebraska, but it'll be interesting to see if he's rusty at all this go around. He's the Big Ten's leading scorer (21 ppg), but before he hit the bench to rest a bit, he was just a shell of himself. Iowa has done well without Jok, so I imagine he would not return so soon if he was not feeling 100% healthy. He admitted that he was hurting the team while playing hurt, so I don't think Pete would go if he wasn't feeling right. Especially when you think about how Iowa has played recently and what is coming up for the Hawkeyes. 

How Does Iowa control Husker Guards

Tai Webster and Glynn Watson are two of the quicker guards in the conference. They both have the ability to get to the rim when they want and they are exceptional finishers. Watson adds the three point shot, a shot that he is making 42% of the time this year. Webster is more of a guy get-to-the-rim guy. And he does it well. The Hawkeyes had trouble controlling them in the first meeting and that is a big reason why they lost the game. They played a mix of zone and man-to-man, but had trouble staying in one or the other because in man, the Husker guards were getting to the rim. And in the zone, Watson was burying three pointers. Bohannon is going to struggle keeping one of these guards in front of him in a man-to-man, so we'll see how Iowa defends them. These are the two guys that you really have to key on if you're going to win.

Predictions

The first meeting was close throughout. I assume this one will be close to the same. Nebraska is struggling right now, but they did just beat a Purdue team without one of their top three players in Morrow. Teams haven't had much luck coming to Iowa City and beating the Hawkeyes during the Big Ten considering Iowa is 4-1 in five Big Ten home games this season. I don't really see the Huskers coming to Iowa City and winning, especially without Morrow. I assume he sits this one out as well. Give me the Hawkeyes in this one. They are playing so well.

Iowa 81 Nebraska 75


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