This is a huge game for both teams, but it is as critical as it gets for the Hoosiers, who are home after losing three straight games. Any hopes of an NCAA tournament berth for either team make this a big game. Will Ware be back in the Hoosiers lineup? Can Indiana find someone who can shoot the ball? The Hoosiers made zero three-pointers in their loss at Illinois on Saturday. Iowa, after a slow start to the season, has slowly progressed to having a shot at postseason play.
Indiana has suffered three losses in a row overall, and Kel’el Ware has missed two consecutive games due to an ankle injury, making up much of its recent failures at the rim. Ware is Indiana’s leading rebounder and is an effective deterrent in critical positions on defense.
Like Iowa, Indiana prefers pushing the pace and attacking the basket, ranking 352nd in 3-PA/FGA and 200th in 3-point as a team. Due to this strategy, they rank fifth for average height but rarely create second-chance opportunities.
Indiana is physical and draws plenty of fouls, yet still struggles offensively. Malik Reneau (16.7 PPG and 40.6 3p%) can only do so much without Ware to assist.
Xavier Johnson and Trey Galloway have been huge disappointments this season, especially Trey Galloway, who shot 46.2% from three and last year and now only 28.4% from three. They need Johnson and Galloway to step up to have a shot at saving this season.
Overall, it has been an uphill struggle for Indiana in terms of offense.
Indiana has excelled on defense during Big Ten play. Indiana ranked fifth in Defensive Efficiency during that span and first against perimeter shots; that alone makes Indiana standout among Big Ten teams, allowing over 40% of field goals from outside.
Indiana excels at home and has only lost two games at Assembly Hall to top-10 opponents.
Fran McCaffery and his Hawkeyes remain on the outside looking in regarding NCAA tournament consideration and have a significant stretch coming up during conference play that may prove pivotal in reaching March Madness.
Beginning with a winnable road game at Assembly Hall.
Kris Murray has since left for professional endeavors, leaving McCaffery searching for new solutions on the offensive end. While he doesn’t have one primary shottaker to turn to for scoring purposes, Ben Krikke, Tony Perkins and Payton Sandfort have made up for it by scoring an average of 45.4 points per game (53.2%) between them.
Similar to last season, Iowa prefers an aggressive running game on offense. They rank 10th in turnover rate while looking to feed it to big men such as Krikke and Owen Freeman for maximum offensive efficiency.
Defense of the rim against Iowa is key when facing them, since their 3-point shooting percentage stands at 30.6% of attempts. Furthermore, Iowa doesn’t draw fouls frequently or create many second-chance opportunities.
Sandfort has been the team’s best shooter — 41% from 3 during Big Ten competition — while Perkins ranks within the top ten in both theft rate and assist rate.
Iowa struggles defensively. They rank 195th in eFG% and give up second-chance opportunities at an alarmingly high rate (222nd). Coach McCaffery tends to rely on soft defense, preferring high-scoring battles over ones where opponents control scoring margins.
Patrick McCaffery has slowly returned from injury and played 21 minutes against Michigan on Saturday, nearing full workload again. Though his performance this season has varied greatly, McCaffery often provides steady shooting from outside.
Great value exists in this line! IU is at home getting +1.5 against a team that is not good; neither of these teams could be called good at the moment, but I will take the points and the Hoosiers. Indiana 83 Iowa 77
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
Contact us: email@example.com
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
This site is using Cloudflare and adheres to the Google Safe Browsing Program. We adapted Google's Privacy Guidelines to keep your data safe at all times.