The Iowa Preview
Date: Thursday, December 29th
Time: 6:00pm CST
Location: Lincoln, NE
Record: 8-4 (0-1 Big Ten)
Coach: Fran McCaffrey (13th Season)
Welcome back folks for another fun filled college basketball Thursday. In today’s preview we are diving into the mighty Hawkeyes of Iowa.
Iowa comes into Thursday’s game with an 8-4 record. Their most recent game was on December 21st where they lost to Eastern Illinois. Yes, the game where the Panthers came into Iowa City a thirty point under dog and beat the Hawkeyes 92-83. The game ended up being one of the biggest upsets of the year.
The Hawkeyes are struggling this month and a lot of it has to do with injuries in the team. Kris Murray is probably the largest who is averaging 19.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. He has missed the past four games for the Hawkeyes. Two of which ended up as losses for team. He is however expected to play tonight against the Huskers
Also on the injured list is Connor McCaffery who missed the last game. Yes, Fran’s son is on the team. Iowa is a family oriented school after all (see the football team). Conner has been averaging 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on the season.
Since we are on a family kick, I’d be remised if we didn’t mention Frans other son on the squad, Patrick. The junior forward is leading the team averaging 14.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists. His biggest game was the Hawkeyes overtime loss to Wisconsin where he had 24 points and 7 rebounds.
Now that we have gotten through the McCaffrey clan we can move on to some of the other productive players on the team. The main player of note would be forward Filip Rebraca. Filip has been a constant contributor for Iowa averaging 14.0 points, a whopping 8.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. If Nebraska can shout him down, and I think Derrick Walker will have a chance, this could easily neutralize a major Iowa threat to the Huskers.
The Hawkeyes are an offense heavy team. They average 83.8 points per game which makes them the highest scoring offense in the Big Ten and in the top twenty nationally. Nebraska will need to use their defense and rebounding to slow this team down and pressure them into making bad shots as the night goes on.
Iowa will win if Kris and Conner come back heathy and end up having a productive night. Nebraska’s chances of winning will come down to their defense and keeping control of the game pace by not letting Iowa take any advantages. It is a rivalry game so I would expect both teams to put pressure on both ends of the court.