After a close first half, Iowa was able to pull away from South Dakota in the second half with hot shooting and timely rebounding.
Four Factors in Review
|Iowa 1st half||USD 1st half||iowa 2nd half||USD 2nd half||Iowa Game||USD Game|
|Points Per Possession||1.10||1.00||1.33||1.09||1.21||1.04|
(Shot chart courtesy of ESPN. Makes are filled in.)
|Iowa||2pt Near Rim||2pt Jumper||3pt FG||FT|
|S. Dakota||2pt Near Rim||2pt Jumper||3pt FG||FT|
Iowa was pretty sluggish for large portions of this one, yet they still led for 75% of the game, thanks to some hot shooting. It certainly proved to be the most important factor in this game, and it was the only one that Iowa had complete control over for the majority of the contest. Outside of their performance at the free throw line, Iowa put the ball through the cylinder with relative ease. Tyler Cook and Ahmad Wagner made all 11 of their field goal attempts around the rim, helping Iowa make nearly 75% of their tries from up close. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes shot better than 40% from any type of distance for the night. Peter Jok was 3-6 from downtown, Jordan Bohannon was 3-4, and Isaiah Moss apparently gave himself the green light, going 4-9.
Both teams used transition in order to get points in this one. Iowa looked sloppy at times when they were running, but Isaiah Moss made three of his four threes in transition, and had a nice and-one layup too. Peter Jok had at least one of his threes in transition, and Jordan Bohannon threw an absolute beauty of a touchdown pass over the top of Tyler Cook's defender to get an assist on a layup. (There is an odd lack of embeddable highlights available for this game for some reason, so if you want to see just a tiny glimpse of anything I just said, you can visit the Big Ten Network's website.)
Transition was also important for South Dakota because, outside of Matt Mooney, their offense wasn't all that impressive when they were forced to run their half-court sets. Early in the game, Iowa looked woefully unprepared for the tempo at which South Dakota wanted to play, and the Coyotes opened things up with a fast break alley-oop to Tyler Flack. They would go on to get a handful of additional transition opportunities, but fortunately Iowa started to limit them, and there were also a number of layups they missed on the break because the Hawkeyes contested them.
South Dakota did shoot the ball well from three-point range, thanks to Matt Mooney going 5-10 from long range. Fortunately, the rest of the team was only 2-7, and three-pointers only made up about 29% of the Coyotes field goal attempts, which is one of the lower numbers a team has attempted against Iowa in a long time.
Overall, Iowa looked better in their half-court offense, and they were able to counter South Dakota's early transition baskets with some nice transition offense of their own that led to some easy buckets. All-in-all, it led the way to Iowa shooting a blazing hot 65% (eFG%) from the floor, giving them a huge advantage in this factor and in the game.
|Turnovers||Turnover%||Steals||%of Turnovers Forced by Steals||Points Off Turnovers||Pts Off Turnovers Per Turnover Forced|
South Dakota looked like the more aggressive team for big chunks of this game, and it really showed on defense. They used a full-court press in the first half to try and force Iowa into turning the ball over, while also aggressively double-teaming Tyler Cook when he got the ball in the paint, and even trapping off of ball screens a handful of times. And all of that worked to the tune of 16 Iowa turnovers, 11 of which were classified as steals.
10 of those turnovers and seven of those steals came in the first half, which played a big part in why Iowa was only up by four points at halftime. The Hawkeyes cut those down to a more reasonable level in the second half, and it helped them extend their lead to much larger numbers.
Moreover, while South Dakota forced four more turnovers than Iowa did on the night, the Hawkeyes and their hot shooting were much better at taking advantage of their opponent's miscues. They Coyotes outscored Iowa 16-14 on points off of turnovers, but the Hawkeyes' 14 points off of 12 turnovers is more efficient than 16 off of 16. You could certainly give South Dakota the advantage here because they did force four more turnovers than Iowa. However, I am calling this a push since Iowa was better able to capitalize on South Dakota's empty possessions than vice versa.
|Off. Rebounds||Available Off. Rebounds||Off. Rebound%||2nd Chance Points||2nd Chance pts/Off. Rebound|
Aside from free throws, Iowa's pathetic first half offensive rebounding also played a big part in why they were only winning by two baskets at the break. Normally a stellar offensive rebounding team, Iowa only corralled four out of the 15 available offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play. That number doubled in the second half to eight out of 15, which was another reason why Iowa started to pull away into double-digit territory.
Even though the first half wasn't particularly kind to them on the offensive glass, the Hawkeyes were great at converting the offensive rebounds they did get into second chance points. In the first half, they turned all four offensive rebounds into putback layups for eight second chance points. And, in the second half, Iowa added another 10 second chance points, making for a total of 18 second chance points on 12 offensive rebounds for the game.
Tyler Cook deserves a mention here, as he turned all four of his offensive rebounds into second chance layups. Ahmad Wagner also hit the offensive boards hard, pulling down three of them, including one that eventually led to Tyler Cook's only dunk of the night. And, finally, Cordell Pemsl had two in just 14 minutes on the court, and both of them led to layups. The first one was a layup for himself, and the second was a layup for Nicholas Baer.
Free Throw Rate
|FT Made||FT Attempted||FT%||FT Rate (FTA/FGA)|
This was easily Iowa's worst factor. Not only did South Dakota earn their way to the charity stripe a lot more frequently than Iowa, but the Hawkeyes really struggled to convert on the minimal attempts they did have. The main culprits were Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl, who combined to go 2-8 from the line. Fortunately, this factor didn't have a huge impact on the game, so we will just leave it there.
Advantage: South Dakota
Overall: Iowa Won 2 of 4 Factors
Iowa had quite a few guys to choose from when trying to decide player of the game. Adjusted game score per minute likes Tyler Cook, while Kenpom's MVP formula likes Jordan Bohannon. You could also go with Isaiah Moss, and, hell, Peter Jok even managed to score 20 points despite being in foul trouble for stretches of this game.
I lean toward Bohannon as the player of the game, for the simple fact that he ran the offense superbly for 37 minutes of this game. After logging his first career double-double in the Big Ten Tournament loss to Indiana, he put up another against South Dakota last night, scoring 19 points on 13 scoring attempts and handing out 11 assists, while turning the ball over just once.
He knocked down his threes per usual, but he also had four layups in this game, which was a career high for a guy who is usually known primarily for his long range shooting prowess. Aside from his scoring, he continued to make things happen for his teammates. And I'm really annoyed there isn't video, because I can't get over the full-court pass he made, where he dropped the absolute perfect pass in over Tyler Cook's shoulder and the outstretched hand of the South Dakota defender. I mean, if he makes that pass any later, Cook probably catches that ball under the hoop or out of bounds and can't do anything with it. But Bohannon dropped the ball in there perfectly, and Cook converted on a difficult layup. It was truly a sight to behold.
Speaking of Cook, if you discount his 2-5 shooting at the free throw line, he had an outstanding offensive night. (No one really had a stellar defensive night for Iowa.) Cook finished with 18 points on 8-8 shooting from the field, and grabbed eight rebounds. As previously mentioned, four of those rebounds were of the offensive variety, and he scored layups on all four. And, despite a couple of turnovers, Cook had three assists and showed off some better passing skills out of the post in this one. South Dakota was aggressively doubling him and trying to set the trap when Cook caught the ball, so him going 8-8, handing out three assists, and only coughing the ball up twice is a great line considering the way they Coyotes were defending him.
He also had one dunk in this game.
|Tyler Cook Dunk-o-meter||Games||dunks||Dunks Per Game||made field goals||dunk rate||projected season total|
|Tyler Cook||26||46||1.8||121||38.0%||48 (27 Games)|
|Sophomore Year Aaron White||26||43||1.7||105||41.0%||56 (38 Games)|
And with Iowa's season potentially ending at any moment now, there's a good chance that Cook stays ahead of Aaron White's sophomore dunks per game rate, but it's not very likely he is going to pass his dunk rate for the simple fact that White got so much more of his scoring from free throws instead of field goals. I may start calculating dunks per scoring attempt, but that's for another day.
Isaiah Moss also had his best game in quite a while, scoring 16 points on 13 scoring attempts. Most of his points came in a 90-second span in the first half, when he hit three three-pointers in four possessions.
He finished the game shooting 4-9 from outside, and was particularly good in transition in this game. He had three of his four makes from outside came before Iowa got into their half-court offense, while he also had a number of good takes to the basket by pushing the tempo that ended either in a layup or free throws. He was also pretty good on the defensive end on a night where not many guys were. He blocked two shots, had one steal, and deflected at least one pass. He's been rather inconsistent over the past couple of months, but games like this one show the potential that Moss has on both sides of the ball.
Peter Jok found himself in foul trouble throughout this game, but still found a way to score 20 points and make it look like nothing. He finished the night 7-14 from the field, including making three of his six three-point attempts.
He also made three of his four free throw attempts, but that miss was a big one, as it would have put him ahead of [REDACTED] for the Big Ten single-season free throw percentage record. The record is 92.1%, and Jok is now at 91.6% from the free throw line this year. In order for Jok to break that record, he would need to go 10 for his next 10 at the free throw line. That could happen, but I'm not sure how likely it is that Jok will get to the line 10 more times this season. Getting to the line isn't a huge part of Jok's game, and TCU doesn't foul all that much. That means Jok's best bet is to keep winning and extend the season multiple games. If he can do that -- and make his next 10 free throws -- he can break the record.
Even if he doesn't, though, we should still keep in mind that the record was set on 126 attempts in a season. Jok is less than a percentage point behind that record on 41 more attempts. That's more impressive to me.
Anyway, Iowa played a little sluggish in this one, but still won by double-digits. In an NIT where the majority of the higher seeds seem to be falling, I am happy with a 12-point win. Iowa will certainly have to look better to beat TCU. The Horned Frogs are going to look to slow down the game, and make every possession count. Against South Dakota, Iowa usually had the ball right back in their possession after making a mistake. Against Jamie Dixon's team, though, every possession will be precious.