Iowa overwhelms Northwestern: Love that Tempo-Free

Too bad you can't earn points for floor burns. - David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Where have we seen this before? Young team can't put the ball in the hoop, and eventually succumbs to a visiting team in a laffer. Unfortunately, we were the young team tonight as our veterans didn't produce. Time for the tempo-free take.

Mama said there'd be days like these. Used the Worldwide leader to calculate the stats.

Pace and Points per Possession

I calculated 67.8 for the Hawkeyes, while NU had 63, let's split the difference and set it at 65.

Iowa: 1.08 PPP
NU: 0.77 PPP

Aie. Iowa showed that overall season D of 0.89 in tonight's game as opposed to the 1.17 they had been allowing in B1G play.

Four Factors

Effective Field Goal Percentage
Iowa: 49.2%
NU: 34.3%

Turnover Percentage
Iowa: 12.3%
NU: 13.8%

Offensive Rebound Percentage
Iowa: 27.6%
NU: 18.4%

Free Throw Attempts / Field Goal Attempts
Iowa: 19%
NU: 49%

Takes on the Tempo Free

There's a reason why Dean Oliver put eFG as the most important of the Four Factors (he weights this at 40% importance) - if you can't score, then it really matters less if you protect the ball, get offensive boards or even get to the free-throw line. Tonight was a text book example, as the 'Cats protected the ball, and prevented Iowa from dominating the offensive glass (they had come in averaging 35.5%, and tonight's performance would rate as 27th best in terms of average), and they got to the line - an amazing 49% in FTA/FGA. (Even if the 'Cats went 60% from FT, they still scored 7 more points than the Hawks due to their ability to get to the line). However, their dismal eFG ensured defeat tonight.

The Hawks weren't awesome at offense tonight - 49.2% would put you at 135th in the country. This wasn't Michigan running their testarossa offense on us.

Burning Storylines

Savvy Veteran Watch

Sobo: 34 m, 14 pts, 2 reb, 5 asts, 1 block, 4 TO
Reg: 26 m, 6 pts, 2 reb, 2 stl, 1 TO
Swop: 27 m, 2 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 TO

This was the opposite of the Penn State game. The veterans did not produce- their eFG was 30.4% and 0 for 11 from distance. I'd equate them like the eFG in Dean Oliver's 4 Factors formula - probably the biggest priority for the 'Cats to get a win. When the vets produce, we got a chance. I will give credit for Sobo's attacking the basket - that led to drawing the fouls that put us at the FT line and put us in the bonus. He was 6-9 from the FT line, which isn't great, but still better than our season average. Meanwhile, Hearn and Swop were a combined 0-6 from FT. As seniors, that just boggles the mind.

How'd we do at the 5?

AO: 11 m, 3 pts, 4 rebounds, 1 TO
Mike Turner: 29 m, 5 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 3 blks, 4 PF

The Alex Olah sequence that sticks out to me is when he got the ball in the post, and then got 2 rebounds off of his own misses. If there was a way for a 7 footer to avoid contact, you witnessed it in that play. He also took an ill-advised three. I say ill-advised because it wasn't in rhythm, and he had no rebounders underneath. My DVR didn't record the first 4 minutes of the game, so I couldn't tell if we tried to feed him, but it seems like he needs to get more touches. He will get better, but tonight wasn't his night. Meanwhile, while Mike Turner will have his ups and downs, he looked much more seasoned. His triple was in rhythm, and he showed athleticism in his defense.

Life without Drew Crawford and Jershon Cobb (now that he's on the Scout team, I'll include him in)

Kale Abe: 19 m, 3 pts, 1 TO
Alex Marco: 23 m, 5 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk
Tre Demps: 19 m, 10 pts, 4 reb, 1 TO

Iowa's effective pressure man-to-man couldn't free up Kale Abe to take distance shots. i respect him for not trying to force it, but his lack of ability to create his own shot meant that he wasn't going to get minutes. Tre Demps increases his minutes, and had a 54.5 eFG tonight. Finally, Marco had another rough night - 1 for 5 from distance. I like that he chipped in with 6 boards, but he's out there to be a sniper. Again, he's a veteran, our energy guy - and with no Cobb, Crawford - we need his contribution.

Anything Else?

  • JM3 and Omar got crucial minutes as they compete in America's favorite reality show, America's Next Top Reggie Hearn.

  • Cerina got in garbage time. On the rivals board, one commenter noted that he has heard that Cerina's been more of a DNP-CD than injured. Usually I don't pay much mind to hearsay, but this commenter has a pretty good track record of the inside skinny of the team. If that's the case, I'm very concerned as we could use some more toughness up front.

Back-cuts

  • Our defense was pretty decent in the first half - we gave up only 25 points. However, nothing came easy for us on the offensive end, and just wore us down. Our 1-3-1 zone didn't work as Iowa was confident by then and it's just easier to shoot at that point. At the same time, it wasn't like the rained 3s down on us or killed us on O-boards - they were 4/16 and only got 27% of their misses. They just shot enough 3s to keep the zone honest.

  • Speaking of Iowa's offense, they took a bunch of long 2s tonight. I guess that's ok, but I could see that hurting them in other games. Helps when Marble's taking them, but still, given that their season long eFG is under 50%, they seem to be better served banging inside - plus they got Basabe and Woodbury, so it's not like they're lacking for skilled bigs.

  • Credit to Iowa's defense tonight. That being said, we had open looks early - its just one of those things when you don't make shots, then Iowa got more aggressive and confident and pushed us out even further. They played with urgency tonight knowing their backs were against the wall.

  • Moving forward: Sucks to lose at home and in a game that got broken early in the 2nd half. They now have travel to Assembly Hall, where the Illini are also desperate for a win after getting waxed by Minnesota and Wisconsin. Oh boy - it seems like a tailor made stomping. However in conference play, the Illini haven't been hitting 3s, nor defending 3s. Plus they're getting killed on their defensive glass, nor or they hitting the offensive glass well either. There's possibility here - again, if the kids can get shots to fall early, they could pull of the road win.

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