The Hawkeyes really struggled from both the field and from behind the arc. They shot 33% for the game and 19% from behind the arc. You can give a lot of credit to Michigan State's defense. They looked like they were playing on a whole different level. Jordan Bohannon getting into the early foul trouble really put a damper on him getting into any rhythm of the game. He and Brady Ellingson both did not score on Saturday night. Leading scorer Peter Jok even struggled from the field, shooting just 2-of-11. You're obviously not going to win many games when you shoot this poorly. The Spartans did a good job making it hard on Iowa, but they definitely missed some shots they usually make. Bohannon and Jok missed a few wide open three pointers, which is very uncharacteristic of them. It was pretty bad from Iowa and when you play at such a fast pace and have a bad scoring defense, struggling from the field isn't going to help matters.
I said in the pre-game that if they can really make an effort to press this Michigan State team they will turn them over quite often. Well, I was right. They turned it over 21 times, but the Hawkeyes were just shooting so poorly that it didn't turn into much offense. They scored 21 points off of the 21 Spartan turnovers. If they would've shot the ball better, this would have been a different story. They shot just 30% in the second half compared to Michigan State's 55%. They did only turn it over 8 times themselves and for a young team on the road that is encouraging. But the shots just simply weren't falling for them. The amount of turnovers they forced was a positive take from this game.
The only way they get into the dance now is probably via winning the Big Ten tournament in a few weeks. That likely is not going to happen. Iowa is one of the youngest teams in the entire conference this season, starting four freshmen at one point. They still have five regular season games remaining and obviously the focus is to win all of them, but we need to start seeing what we'll be getting next season and beyond. Replacing Peter Jok is not going to be easy at all. He's an all-conference player, but Iowa did prove they can win when he is not on the court. They still have a good shot at playing in the NIT this season and they look like a team that could get to Madison Square Garden, much like they did a few seasons ago with their talented freshmen class that year. They learned a lot this year and are definitely not done learning considering there are the five games left. They've gotten a lot of good experience this year that will help them grow and develop as we head into the next season.