(Photo Credit: Brian Ray/hawkeyesports.com)
The Hoosiers will travel back home to Bloomington and face the Iowa Hawkeyes for the first time this season as they near the close of the regular season.
Indiana is back on track. Now, no one predicted this level of highs and lows to the season, but this is a great sign to see what the team is capable of accomplishing when they are healthy. Having Davis and Green back on the team proved to be essential to a Hoosier victory against one of the highest ranked teams in the nation, the #6 Spartans who are now on a 2 game skid after falling to Indiana and Purdue and without Langford. Despite these two losses, MSU is still ranked #4 on Kenpom, and the Hoosier victory will be crucial come March and Selection Sunday.
As we tend to favor flying under the radar, being under the College Gameday spotlight helped the Hoosiers play comfortably against the heavily favored Spartans. Against the Hawkeyes, ESPN will be covering the game this Thursday.
Iowa had a season-changing win of their own last week against Michigan. This game played at Hawkeye-Carver and Iowa cruised to a victory after the 10 minute mark in the first half and never trailed afterwards. The team looked solid and efficient while holding Michigan to a season low 0.81 points per possession. Michigan struggled to keep up with the production of the Iowa bench who outscored the Wolverines 24-3 and proved to be a major factor in their victory.
Iowa has continued to be a unrelenting force in the deep Big Ten this year. Taking down the giants (Michigan, Nebraska) and their worst loss is against a pesky Minnesota team that could turn some heads as the conference play wraps up. They have relied on crisp execution and a roster that is strong front to back with key contributors on their bench such as Ryan Kreiner who put up a key 15 point game against Michigan. They have bigger bigs than Indiana, and just as many top 100 high school recruits as the Hoosiers.
We expect them to continue this trend and keep up with the Hoosiers Thursday. Expect a lot of overpowering down low if Morgan is absent as two of their starters are taller than 6’9″ and we only have bench players that crack into the 6’10” range, Fitzner, Moore and Davis. If Morgan is forced out this game, who will we see match up against Luka who has been playing at an elite level lately? Could we see Race Thompson with some playing time this game especially if we are Morgan-less?
Both of these teams are riding high right now after tearing apart the state of Michigan. The Hoosiers have a lot more potential problems if we are battling more injuries again, but at least we have proven we can win with our current lineup in about as difficult of a matchup as anyone can see with Michigan State in East Lansing.
Meet the Hawkeyes
- Brady Ellingson – 6’4” / 196 lbs / Guard – Menomonee Falls, WI. Transferred to Drake.
- Ahmad Wagner – 6’7” / 235 lbs / Forward – Yellow Springs, OH. Leaves the Iowa Hawkeyes basketball program to play football at the University of Kentucky.
- Dom Uhl – 6’9” / 220 lbs / Forward – Frankfurt, Germany.
- Jack Nunge – 6’11” / 235 lbs / Forward – Newburgh, IN. Note: Jack Nunge remains on the Iowa Hawkeyes roster but is currently red shirting his sophomore season to grow his skill set and get stronger.
- Tyler Cook – 6’9” / 250 lbs / Forward / Junior – St. Louis, MO. Top 100 recruit from 2016, and top scorer and rebounder for the Hawkeyes (16.2 ppg, and 8.2 reb). All around go-to guy for the team.
- Luka Garza – 6’11” / 245 lbs / Forward / Sophomore – Washington, DC. Top 100 recruit for the Hawkeyes and second top scorer, 15.1 ppg.
- Joe Wieskamp – 6’5” / 205 lbs / Guard / Freshman – Muscatine, IA. The third top 100 recruit and very efficient shooter at 50.3 FG %.
- Isaiah Moss – 6’5” / 208 lbs / Guard / RS Junior – Chicago, IL. Only player for the Hawkeyes not averaging 10 ppg (9.8 ppg). However, he is second in the Big Ten in 3 PT % at 45.6%
- Jordan Bohannon – 6’1” / 185 lbs / Guard / Junior – Marion, IA. The third junior starter for the team and fourth player averaging over 10 ppg.
- Connor McCaffery – 6’5” / 205 lbs / Forward / RS Freshman – Iowa City, IA. Son of Coach McCaffery.
- Nicholas Baer – 6’7” / 218 lbs / Forward / RS Senior – Bettendorf, IA.
- Masihe Dailey – 6’7” / 200 lbs / Forward / Junior – Beachwood, OH.
- Riley Till – 6’7” / 205 lbs / Forward / RS Sophomore – Dubuque, IA.
- Ryan Kriener – 6’9” / 255 lbs / Forward / Junior – Spirit Lake, IA.
- Austin Ash – 6’2” / 170 lbs / Guard / RS Freshman – Cedar Rapids, IA.
- Cordell Pemsl – 6’8” / 230 lbs / Forward / Junior – Dubuque, IA.
- Michael Baer – 6’6” / 200 lbs / Forward / Sophomore – Bettendorf, IA.
- Nicolas Hobbs – 6’2” / 200 lbs / Guard / Sophomore – Chicago, IL.
Cordell Pemsl is out for the season from a knee injury. He played for just 13 minutes this season before injuring his previously injured knee and to remove hardware that was located in the knee.
CJ Fredrick and Jack Nunge are Redshirting.
Juwan Morgan reinjured his left shoulder during the win against Michigan State. Update; On Monday during Archie’s radio show, Archie mentioned that Juwan participated in practice, which is a big relief for Hoosier fans.
Race Thompson has been cleared for contact and has recently been upgraded to available.
Devonte Green is expected to continue to be present for the team after serving his suspension and playing in East Lansing, MI.
De’Ron Davis is expected to continue playing after his ankle injury has healed.
Zach McRoberts has a “stress reaction in his foot” and will likely be shut down for the time being.
Jerome Hunter has declared his intention to sit out the rest of the year as a redshirt. Hunter suffered a leg injury which required surgery and has not seen the floor this season.
What to Watch for:
- Will the injury bug plague us again? At the time of this article, the status of Morgan is unknown. The same shoulder that has caused problems in the past has acted up again after diving for a loose ball early in the first half. There have been promising signs noted by our twitter detectives, noting that he was lifting his bag on his shoulder after the game. However, lets see what updates get released prior to game time. His presence is instrumental for us to make a push into the postseason.
- Roster depth. Both Indiana and Iowa had a bench that stood up to in the moment against Michigan State and Michigan. This will be crucial especially for Indiana as even though we had a nearly full starting roster, we had no reliable bench production until Michigan State and the difference was noticeable.
- Can we stop Luka Garza? He has been one of the most formidable players in the Big Ten as of late. Over the last 7 games, he has accumulated more than 16 points per game and has consistently caused problems for opponents. Having Juwan Morgan back as he is the only Indiana player with a similar height is instrumental in stopping him.
- Back in the spotlight and to start the push for the postseason. Indiana will play its second game in a row under the spotlight against Iowa and this time on Thursday on ESPN. This is the time to prove to the viewers that we deserve to be in the tournament. It will be easier now that we have most of the remaining games at home, but even that has been not a surefire way to get the win when it comes to Big Ten play.
How to Watch
|Date||Thursday, February 7th|
|Time||9:00 PM EST|