The Hoosiers travel to Iowa City for their second match-up with the Hawkeyes for the season on Friday February 22.
The Hoosiers have been in freefall since the start of 2019 with only victories against Illinois and Michigan State. The Michigan State victory alone is making the Hoosiers an interesting topic of discussion when it comes to the last teams to be granted a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but the chances are looking pretty slim at this point.
Indiana now looks as healthy as they have in weeks, but they still struggle to find consistent momentum each game. There are many rumors and theories as to factors that are negatively impacting this team, but regardless, one of the more frustrating aspects is the amount of involvement that Romeo has had over this stretch of games. In the prior game against Purdue, Romeo did not take a single shot in the second half of the game. He was ill for the first several minutes, but still played most of the half but with next to no involvement. Needless to say, this has been frustrating to watch for our star, top-10 projected pick Freshman phenom.
Since the last time the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes met, Indiana has not won a single game while the Hawkeyes have gone 2-1 with a loss to a strong Maryland team on a tip-in with 7.1 seconds remaining by Fernando. They are the most fun team to watch when the game is on the line, with all three of these last games coming down to the final shot in the game and the Hawkeyes hitting 2-3 of their shots.
Iowa has continued to be a unrelenting force in the deep Big Ten this year. Having 5 of their players score over 10 points per game and are ranked No 21, and No. 28th by Kenpom. They have one of the most efficient offenses in the country being ranked # 8 in the country on Kenpom, but when it comes to defense, they are last in the Big 10 while allowing opponents to a 2P% of 54.7%. Another unsurprising difference is that the Hawkeyes make 6.4% more of their 3PT shots and the Hoosiers continue to struggle from deep only hitting 31.3% – a Big 10 worst.
Iowa is going to continue to rely on their power offense against the Hoosiers. Limiting turnovers setting up quick transition defense will be key for the Hoosiers to stop the #3 team in the Big Ten in fastbreak points. Iowa allows easy baskets and do not have a quick team which allowed Romeo to have one of his more efficient and solid performances of the season the last time these teams met.
Even with a victory, the Hoosiers may not be able to claw back into the NCAA Tournament discussion. However, there is much to still be played for this season.
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. Scored 21 points against the Hoosiers on Feb 2.
- 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%. He was a non-factor against the Hoosiers as he scored 0 points and played just 14 minutes.
- Jordan Bohannon – 6’1” / 185 lbs / Guard / Junior – Marion, IA. The strongest player over the last few weeks for the Hawkeyes and leading scorer last time these teams met with 25 points.
- 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.
- 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:
- Romeo’s Involvement: Romeo’s involvement when the game is on the wire has been of concern for the Hoosiers and the fanbase makes it more known than anyone else. No matter which argument you can make, it is not acceptable to have him take 0 shots in the second half against Purdue. He and Juwan can keep the Hoosiers in the conversation for the tournament, but without both of their involvement, the Hoosiers chances are close to none at this point.
- Preparing for 2019-2020: As much as it it is painful to admit, we need to focus on the future for the Hoosiers. The season has been underwhelming and a disappointment, but seeing more play time for Race and changing up line-ups will be key for their confidence and building a team for the next season.
- Down to the wire: Both Indiana and Iowa played down to the wire last game, and both lost to a tip in off of a missed shot by Purdue and Maryland respectively. We expect it to be another close game, but for a change Archie needs to figure out a way to have an early lead and to play from ahead rather than digging a way out of a hole like most of the Hoosiers’ games.
- Archie, the MVP of the Iowa game: Archie needs to be the top performer this game with solid utilization of his resources and personnel. This is not only essential for the current, but future of Hoosier basketball as Keion and other future prospects are watching closer than ever to figure out they will take their talents.
How to Watch
|Date||Friday, February 22th|
|Time||9:00 PM EST|