Indiana recorded a massive win in their last outing, knocking off a top-10 opponent on the road. Now they will have to prove that performance was not a fluke.
The Hoosiers will welcome the #20 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes to Bloomington on Thursday night in an important game for the Hoosiers tournament chances. Both teams are coming off big wins, as the Hawkeyes knocked off Michigan at home in their last contest.
The biggest challenge the Hoosiers will have to deal with against the Hawkeyes will be limiting the frontcourt duo of Tyler Cook and Luke Garza.
Cook leads Iowa in both scoring and rebounding at 16.1 and 8.1 respectfully and will be one of the most impressive athletes the Hoosiers will face all season long. Cook is excellent at finishing around the rim but struggles at times when forced to operate outside of the paint. Garza is the 2nd leading scorer for the Hawkeyes on the season adding in 15.1 per game, respectively; Garza possesses an effective post-game down low and is an excellent finisher at the rim. He is also capable of stepping out and knocking down the three-point shot, with 16 makes from behind the arc on the season.
Jordan Bohannon will get the nod for the Hawkeyes at point guard and this season has had mixed results for him. He is shooting a respectable 38% from behind the arc this season along with an impressive 86.6% from the free-throw line. However, Bohannon has struggled from the field overall converting just 36.5% of his attempts. The 6’1 guard has particularly struggled around the rim, where he is converting just 37.5% of his attempts.
Joining Bohannon in the backcourt will be Freshmen wing Joe Wieskamp who is the 3rd leading scorer for the Hawkeyes at 11.4 per game and is converting 42.9% of his attempts from behind the arc on the season. Wieskamp also possesses good length at 6’6, and is an effective finisher at the rim, getting 68.5% of his shots around the paint to go.
Rounding out the starting line-up for the Hawkeyes is Junior guard Isaiah Moss. Moss is a terrific shooter from behind the arc, knocking down 45.6% of his attempts. Indiana must stay with Moss at all times and force him to step inside the arc, where his efficiency notably declines.
As a team, Iowa is a tale of two ends, as they are one of the most effective offensive teams in the conference, yet also one of the worst defensive teams, statistically. Iowa currently sits last in the Big Ten in points per possession allowed; their defensive effective field goal percentage allowed has not been much better, as they come in at 12th in the conference in this category. However, Iowa makes up for this with an extremely effective offense. They are currently 3rd in the Big Ten in points per possession and sit at 4th in the conference in effective field goal percentage. The Hawkeyes are also one of the best shooting teams in the conference, knocking down 37.3% of their attempts from behind the arc, good for 4th in the conference.
Indiana was able to get their season back on track with a win against the Spartans, and now they must prove that win was more than just a fluke. Indiana currently sits inside most NCAA tournament brackets, but they have run out of room for error on the season. Indiana must take care of business at home for the rest of the season and a good Iowa team is a perfect opportunity for the Hoosiers to add yet another quality win to their resume.