A lot of people have complained about Cook's lack of aggressiveness on the glass and on the defensive end. I think he ramped it up a bit on Tuesday. He was dealing with a talented forward in Thomas Bryant and he didn't back down from the challenge. I noticed it most in the second half. Bryant blocked one of Cook's shots and started jawing. Cook then threw home a big time dunk over Bryant and earned a foul. Tyler followed the dunk with a vicious stare down of Bryant, showing him that he was there to play and wouldn't be backing down. From then on out he looked more active on the glass and on defense. Those are two areas he really needs to improve in and I thought he did a good job of that on Tuesday. Iowa needs more of that from him.
Christian William's Game
He played his best game of the year and it came at a great time. He and Jordan Bohannon are two very different players. Williams can defend and likes to get to the rim. Bohannon likes to shoot it and distribute. Williams came in for Bohannon - who was struggling to keep the IU guards in front of him - very early on in the game. He then took off. He was defending well, taking good shots, and helping his teammates get good looks at the rim. He took a couple of difficult shots that Fran McCaffery did not like, but 10 points on 5-6 shooting and good defense is about all you could ask out of him in his 21 minutes. He even played with Bohannon late in the game to still keep his length and athleticism on the court, while also adding Bohannon's scoring ability. It also gave McCaffery two point guards on the court. He also threw a sweet alley-oop to Tyler Cook, who finished with the dunk.
Bohannon's Roller Coaster of a Game
He got yanked about 2 minutes into the game - along with the rest of starters - mostly because they looked flat. They weren't playing any defense, weren't getting good shots, and were turning the ball over. Williams came in and really performed well, so Bohannon didn't actually come back in for about an 8 or 9 minute stretch. From then on, he got better and better. He finished with 9 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals in 27 minutes and really turned things around as the game got older. That just speaks to his mindset about staying positive over the course of the 40 minutes. They could've easily gotten down on themselves and folded during the first 10 minutes, but they didn't. And that is big for a young team like this. Jordan continues to show how mature he is as a point guard for his age.
Jok in the Overtime
Jok broke Don Nelson's record of 21 made free throws in a game on Tuesday night as he made 22-of-23 on his way to a game high 35 points. He scored 15 of those points in the overtime and did a really good job of demanding the rock in that five minute period. Indiana was in foul trouble and Jok knew that, so he was aggressive. Pete did not touch the ball on Iowa's final play of regulation and admitted that he didn't do a good job of getting the ball at the end of the Illinois game. So, he wasn't going to let that happen again. He stepped up, got to the line, and knocked down the shots he needed to. He admitted that he was even upset that he missed the one that he did because they're free points and you should always make those.
Quietly Good Bench Mob
I thought Nicholas Baer, Cordell Pemsl, and Ryan Kriener were all splendid on Tuesday night. Obviously, Baer is going to be remembered for his huge put-back dunk in the second half. He got the two points, but missed the following free throw. He played 35 minutes, had 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists in the win and continues to be a big reason why Iowa wins basketball games. If you go back and look at his put-back, he starts from outside the three point line when the Peter Jok three goes up. That's just ridiculous. Pemsl also quietly performed well in his 15 minutes. He had 9 points and 3 rebounds and continues to be a warrior accepting that bench role. Ryan Kriener had the highest +/- of any Hawkeye on Tuesday at 20. He had 4 points on 2-of-2 shooting and played with a lot of emotion and intensity, which is what McCaffery asks out of his guys. These three will be a big key to how Iowa finishes up this season.