IOWA 92, ALABAMA STATE 58: RINSE AND REPEAT

By RossWB on November 12, 2017 at 10:42 pm
Monster Maishe time!

@IowaHoops

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Another game, another cupcake, another blowout for Iowa hoops. We're not learning a ton about Iowa's capabilities yet, but they are doing what they ought to do against weak opposition: crush them. Alabama State kept it close for about five minutes -- Iowa was only up 13-11 at that point -- but then Iowa took control. The Hawkeyes went on a 29-5 run over the next 10 minutes of game time to turn the game into a total rout. 

That run, like the game itself, was a balanced effort from Iowa. Moss and Pemsl had five points each, Kriener had four, Garza, Nunge, and Ellingson had three apiece, and Cook and Bohannon had two points each. For the game, five Iowa players scored in double figures, led by Cordell Pemsl with 15 points on 6/9 shooting (nice). Isaiah Moss had 12 points on 4/7 shooting (2/5 from 3-point range), Tyler Cook had 10 points on 4/8 shooting and Jack Nunge and Luka Garza each had 11 points on 2/6 and 2/8 shooting, respectively. While Garza struggled around the rim, he did quite a bit of damage at the free throw line (7/11). Garza also had a game-high 13 rebounds, giving him a double-double in his second career game, which puts him in some pretty solid company among Iowa players: 

Speaking of interesting stat lines, Brady Ellingson is a damn glitch in the matrix: 

As expected, Iowa clobbered the smaller Hornets on the boards, with a 53-38 advantage; in addition to Garza's 13 rebounds, Ahmad Wagner had seven boards, Tyler Cook had six, and Nunge and Pemsl had five each. Iowa had a 22-15 edge in offensive boards and turned that into a 27-15 advantage in second chance points. Iowa also harassed the hornets into a lot of turnovers: 17 total (versus just nine for themselves), and they turned those 17 Alabama State giveaways into an incredible 33 points; that's some impressive efficiency. 

Iowa took full advantage of their depth in this game as well; no starter played more 19 minutes (Garza) and 10 players logged double digit minutes, with four bench players playing 20 minutes or more. Given that, it's perhaps not too surprising that the reserves outscored the starters for Iowa, 49 to 43. Outside of Pemsl's 15 and Ellingson's nine (on 3/5 shooting from deep), Iowa also got another double-digit performance from Maishe Dailey, with 11 points on 4/10 shooting. It's unclear how many opportunities he'll get against better opposition, but he seems to be making the most of his chances now, which is good. Of course, he's also seen significantly more playing time than expected the past two games because Connor McCaffery has missed both games while recovering from an ankle injury; he's expected to return by Thursday's game, in which case Dailey's playing time is likely to drop significantly. 

Dunks? Yeah, this game had those. 

The main flaw with Iowa's performance? Probably free throws (again). Iowa made just 17 of their 33 attempts at the charity stripe, a 51.5% conversion rate, which is... not great. Cordell Pemsl was the worst offender there (3/8), but Cook was just 50% (2/4), Wagner and Uhl each went 0/2, and while Garza made seven, he also missed four. All told, Iowa's bigs went 12/27 at the line, which is alarming. The missed free throws didn't matter in this game -- Iowa won by 34 in a game that was never in doubt over the final 35 minutes -- but they can't afford to let missed free throws become a habit again. There was a lot of talk in the off-season about Iowa's bigs working on their free throws and trying to improve at the line; so far we're not seeing much payoff there. 

Finally, why not watch a few more highlights -- including an Ahmad Wagner three-pointer (seriously!): 

NEXT: Iowa returns to action on Thursday night against Grambling State (7 PM CT, BTN Plus). 

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