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Iowa Basketball: Previewing Iowa's Tuesday Night Matchup with Indiana

Taking a look at Iowa's first and only matchup with Indiana this season.

Indiana (15-12, 5-9) at Iowa (14-13, 6-8)

Date & Time: February 21st, 8:05 p.m CT

Location: Carver Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)

TV: ESPN 

Quick Notes

- Indiana holds a 100-75 advantage in the all-time series. Iowa is 19-11 in games played against Indiana inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

- Indiana has lost four straight games coming into Tuesday night, including six of the last seven. 

- Iowa is 38-23 in Big Ten home games during Fran McCaffery's tenure. 

- Indiana is 1-5 in Big Ten road games this season. Their one win came at Penn State.

- They lost talented forward, O.G. Anunoby, back on January 18th in their win over Penn State on the road.

- First 1,500 fans receive a free Dale Jones bobblehead. 

- Five of Indiana's nine Big Ten losses in conference play have come by five points or fewer. 

- Iowa is 8-1 when they allow less that 70 points.

- Iowa is also 6-1 when they commit less that 12 turnovers in a game. They committed 15 against Illinois on Saturday. 

- James Blackmon ranks in the top 5 in the Big Ten in scoring. He averages 17 points per game. Iowa's Peter Jok still leads the conference averaging 20.4 points per game.

- Cordell Pemsl and Ethan Happ are tied atop the conference in field goal percentage (60.7%).

- James Blackmon has made 70 three point field goals this season. That leads the Big Ten. 

- Indiana has trailed at the half in each of the last four games. They've also lost all four. Two of those games came on the road.

Iowa Starters 

Jordan Bohannon (FR): Bohannon played well against Illinois, although it wasn't his best game of the season. He is averaging 11 points and just over 3 assists per game over the last five while shooting 48% from three point land. He's been fun to watch grow throughout the season.

Isaiah Moss (RSFR): He might have the most potential of any Iowa player on the roster, but so far his been very inconsistent in his first year suiting up. He is averaging 7 points and shooting over 45% from three in the last five games. He scored just two points in 17 minutes against Illinois on Saturday.

Peter Jok (SR): Jok had another double-double on Saturday afternoon with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He leads the team in scoring and rebounding over the last five, but is shooting just 25% from three point land. Jok laid a lot of the blame on himself after Iowa's loss to Illinois on Saturday.

Ahmad Wagner (SO): He played just 12 minutes on Saturday, but had four points and four rebounds. He gives the team a great amount of hustle, but the fact that he doesn't have a consistent jumper and is not as good with his back to the basket as some other Iowa forwards, he doesn't see much floor time late in the game. He is averaging 6 points and 3 rebounds in 17 minutes per game over the last five.

Tyler Cook (FR): Cook really found a groove offensively on Saturday, but was affected by foul trouble. He picked up some fouls that were in question, but still managed 14 points in 24 minutes. If Tyler stays out of foul trouble he probably plays 30 minutes and gets at least 20 points. He is averaging 11 points per game in the last five and is shooting 56% from the field.

Iowa Bench

Nicholas Baer (RSSO): He struggled from the field on Saturday shooting just 3-of-10, but was still his usual self. I saw him calling for a breather several times because he's going 100% every second he's on the court, so he gets tired faster than others do. He leads the team in blocks and steals in the last five games, and is averaging 6 points per contest. 

Cordell Pemsl (FR): Pemsl missed some bunnies on Saturday that he usually makes. And I think he'd even tell you that as well. He had five points in 21 minutes and if he converts on those missed layups that he usually makes, he makes a bigger impact in the game. He is averaging 9 points and 5 rebounds per game in the last five.

Brady Ellingson (RSSO): Brady has cooled off since going on a three game tear. He's played about 20 minutes per game over the last five games and is averaging around 5 points per. He is shooting 50% from three in those games and is tied for third on the team in assists with 12. 

Christian Williams (SO): A couple of points and a couple of boards in 11 minutes for Williams on Saturday. He played well, but took some ill-advised shots in the second half that led to him being replaced by Bohannon. He's getting decent minutes right now because of his defensive abilities, but that's about all he's bringing to the table. 

Dom Uhl (JR): Uhl has been crucial as a role player for Iowa this season. Especially since coming back from his thumb injury. He's more active on both sides and even looks more confident in his jumper. He didn't score on Saturday, but had 3 rebounds in 12 minutes. He's averaging 4 points and 3 rebounds in the last five games for Iowa.

Indiana Starters

Josh Newkirk (JR): The transfer from Pittsburgh has been a nice little addition to this Hoosier team. Only issue for him is that he's had to fill the shoes of Yogi Ferrell, Indiana's standout point guard over the last four years. That's no easy task. He is averaging 9 points and 3 assists for Tom Crean's team this year. He's also scored in double figures in 4 of the last 5 games, including two 20 point games in early February.

Devonte Green (FR): Green has seen a spike in minutes over the last month and half or so, largely due to the injuries to James Blackmon and O.G. Anunoby. Blackmon is back, but Anunoby is not and Green remains in the starting lineup. He has scored in double figures just once this season and has played 20 or more minutes just once in the last four games. 

James Blackmon Jr (JR): He was a stud coming out of high school, but has had to battle injuries for a good chunk of his college career. This season was no different. He is pacing the conference in three point makes, even after missing a few games due to injury. He's averaged double figures in every season he's been at IU and in the three games since returning from injury has scored in double figures twice, including 22 points against Minnesota not too long ago.

De'Ron Davis (FR): He hasn't played big minutes for the Hoosiers this season, but has given them consistent production. He is averaging right around 7 points per game and has scored in double figures in the last two. At 6'10" he is a shot blocking presence and helps create a nice front line for IU. He's had to step up due to the injury to Anunoby. Davis was a top 100 recruit coming out of HS in the class of 2016.

Thomas Bryant (SO): Bryant was my pick for Big Ten Player of the Year at the beginning of the season, but it really looks like Caleb Swanigan is running away with that. Bryant is an effort guy with loads of talent. He can hurt you with his back to the basket and from three point range. He is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds in his sophomore season for the Hoosiers. 

Things to Watch

Rebounding

Indiana is one of the best teams in the conference on the glass coming in at 3rd in rebounding offense and 4th in rebounding defense. They have a rebounding margin of +8.1, which is good for third in the conference and 8th in the entire nation. They really come at you with a lot of long, athletic bodies and their guards even rebound the basketball well. The Hawkeyes get a lot of attention when it comes to athletes crashing the offensive glass, but the Hoosiers will bring it in that department as well. Iowa needs to keep Indiana off the glass and limit their second chance opportunities on Tuesday night. Thomas Bryant and Juwan Morgan lead the way in terms of offensive rebounding. For the season Bryant has 64, while Morgan has 47.

Losing Streaks

I'll be looking at which team is able to break their losing streak on Tuesday night. Iowa has lost three straight, while Indiana has lost four, so something has got to give. Both teams have been battling hard in these games despite the losses, but you can only do that so much before not winning games you're playing your butt off in starts to takes its toll on you emotionally. Things really took a turn for the worst when IU lost Anunoby and then it did not help matters when Blackmon went down either. Iowa played well without Peter Jok during their stretch, but has since lost three straight games as well. It started with a really emotional loss up in Minneapolis to the Gophers and has since snowballed into two more losses, one against Michigan State and the other against Illinois. I'll be looking at which team is able to buck up and win themselves a ball game on Tuesday night in a nationally televised game. 

Guard Control

Indiana reminds me a bit of Maryland in the sense that they have lighting quick guards that have the ability to score in bunches. Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowan gave Iowa fits in Iowa City earlier in the season and Newkirk and Blackmon will do more of the same if the Hawkeyes do not prepare properly. Blackmon, when on, is one of the better scorers in the conference, but he can be inconsistent at times. Newkirk, while he's not Ferrell, is able to get to the rim when he wants and can also fill it up pretty fast. But like Blackmon, he can be inconsistent as well. The Hawkeyes need to get them out of their rhythm early on. If Blackmon sees the first couple of threes go in the Hawkeyes could be in for a long night. Same goes on Newkirk's end, if he gets to the rim a couple of times and scores, getting him in a rhythm, that won't bode well for Iowa. Thomas Bryant is a beast down low, but the guards have the most potential to really hurt you on this team.

Predictions

This is a tough one because both teams are really struggling. Indiana is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Minnesota and their only win in the last 7 games is a triple overtime winner over Penn State. They've been up and down, but they lost three of the last four by five points or less. The loss at Wisconsin was by 5 and the loss to Minnesota was just by 1. They've been close, but haven't been able to piece it together late in the game. Iowa has been struggling ever since they got hosed in Minneapolis. They shot poorly against Michigan State and it was more of the same against Illinois. Iowa really needs to break out of this funk, but I don't think they do. Give me Indiana in Iowa City on Tuesday. 

Indiana 82 Iowa 75


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