Iowa Hawkeyes Preview Part Deux
Date: January 5th - 1:00 pm - Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, IA
2016-17 Record: 13-10 (5-5 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Fran McCaffery (7th year)
The last time the Huskers saw the Hawkeyes was in a 93-90 double overtime win in Lincoln on January 5th. A game that showed how evenly matched up the Huskers and the Hawkeyes were on the court. It was a Vault burner of a game with Glynn Watson Jr. having a career night with 34 points and going 7-8 from beyond the arch.
Since then Iowa has gone 4-3 with wins against Rutgers (twice), Ohio State, and Purdue. Their three losses were to Northwester, Maryland, and Illinois. To be honest, all of these losses and wins make sense. They have beaten those who they are better than and lost to those who are better.
The last two wins against Ohio State and Rutgers were without star Peter Jok who has been out with a back issue. Though, Coach Mccaffery believes he will play against the Huskers on Sunday. Jok, who is leading the Big Ten with 21 ppg will most likely give the Huskers fits again. Even after coming back from a back injury which he described as a muscular issue.
The once nice thing about Jok’s absence was the ability to see how this young team does without the standout senior next season. As a whole, they played well without him. Forward Tyler Cook stepped up well in his scoring and defense in both wins. You also saw an uptick from their bench. Guys like Brady Ellingson and Ryan Kriener both have had double digit games off the bench.
While the emergence of this young team without Jok has been good to see for the Hawkeye faithful, still expect to see him take a majority of the pressure during the game. Jok is still one of the top players in the Big Ten and two games should not hold him back against the Huskers.
Expect another tough match up in Iowa City as both teams are trying to play for some sort of position in the post season.