Iowa Hawkeyes Preview
Date: Saturday, January 27th
Time: 7:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Coach: Fran McCaffery (8th Season)
2016-17 Record: 19-15 (10-8 Big Ten)
2017-18 Record: 11-11 (2-7 Big Ten)
The Hawkeyes finished the season in a four way tie for fifth place in a very middle heavy Big Ten. They then went on and lost in the second round of the conference Tournament to 10th place Indiana. While they had a decent season overall, they barely missed the NCAA Tournament and were one of the last “four out”.
In being one of the last four out, they received a #1 placing in the NIT Tournament. There they defeated South Dakota in the first round. Their season ended in the second round to eventual NIT champion TCU.
They were lead by senior guard Peter Jok who recieved first team All Big Ten honors along with leading the conference in scoring at 19.9 ppg and field goal percentage at 91%. A huge talent who is missed in Iowa City.
Iowa has had a rough season after making the NIT last year. It is even a little more surprising since Jok was the main loss from last years team. Most of everyone, with some new additions, returns to this years team. Though, that does show you the impact Jok had with the on the court product. A team doesn’t replace a player of his caliber overnight.
The worst part of this years Hawkeye’s seems to be the defense. Something the Huskers will gladly take on. They are allowing 76.4 points per game. Currently worst in the Big Ten. So, there will hopefully be little worry if the Huskers go into a scoring drought like they are known to do.
They are lead by sophomore Tyler Cook. The 6’9” forward is averaging 14.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg. He twisted an ankle in their win over Wisconsin on Tuesday but has been practicing and is expected to play on Saturday. Expect the ball to go in to him quite a bit. Though his play should be handled if the Huskers come out strong.
Jordan Bohannon leads the Iowa guards with 13.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, and 5.1 apg. While he is scoring well for the Hawkeyes, he is not the most threatening point guard the Huskers will have faced. He does well on offense but struggles on the defensive end. Guys like Glynn Watson Jr. and James Palmer Jr. should be able to handle him fairly easily when the Huskers are on offense.
Luka Garza has been a bright new face to the roster this year. The 6’11” freshman forward is averaging 11.2 ppg and 6.8 rpg. Has played well so far this season and seems to be improving as the year goes on. Expect him to threaten the middle on offense and defense on Saturday night.
Iowa is a decent team on offense and they struggle on defense. They are basically the opposite of a lot of the conference teams Nebraska has played so far. It will actually be a nice breather from the Rutgers win on Tuesday night. One that saw Nebraska going up against the #1 scoring defense in the conference. Iowa, on the other hand, is the worst.
While Nebraska will not light the scoreboard on fire, I do no think that Iowa will have enough offensive firepower to pull off the win. They have some decent forwards in Cook and Garza. There, they match up well against Nebraska. It’s their lack of a threat in the guard position that makes me feel that the Huskers will walk away with a nice win at home.
University of Nebraska 73 University of Iowa 61