Franalysis: Hot Shooting Not Enough to Overcome Turnovers, Bad Defense vs. TCU

By Matthew Lundeen on March 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm
The Hawkeyes put on their best offensive performance of the season, but turnovers and defense ultimately did them in.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawkeyes put on their best offensive performance of the season, but turnovers and defense ultimately did them in.


Four Factors in Review

  Iowa 1st half TCU 1st half iowa 2nd half TCU 2nd half Iowa OT TCU OT Iowa Game TCU Game
Points Per Possession 1.16 1.28 1.28 1.16 1.01 1.26 1.20 1.22
Possessions 34.4 34.4 8 77


shot chart

(Shot chart courtesy of ESPN. Makes are filled in.)

Iowa 2pt Near Rim 2pt Jumper 3pt FG FT
Attempts 33.9% 14.5% 48.4% N/A
FG% 66.7% 33.3% 53.3% 42.1%
TCU 2pt Near Rim 2pt Jumper 3pt FG FT
Attempts 46.5% 12.7% 33.8% N/A
FG% 63.6% 22.2% 41.7% 66.7%

Iowa saved their best shooting performance of the season for the last game. Ignoring the free throw line because we will get to that in a little bit, Iowa's 68% eFG% kept them in a game that likely would have been out of hand if they hadn't torched the nets the way they did.

The big story of the game was Iowa's three-point shooting. 30 of their 62 field goal tries were from long distance, and Iowa drained 16 of them. Jordan Bohannon made seven of 12, Peter Jok connected on five of 10, and Nicholas Baer made four of his six attempts. Even inside the arc, Iowa was knocking down a majority of their shots, as Tyler Cook went 7-7 from inside the painted area, including throwing down four dunks.

TCU wasn't much worse than Iowa at putting the ball through the net. They made 42% of their threes because Iowa's defense frequently left them wide open on the perimeter. Vladimir Brodziansky was also automatic when he got the ball near the rim, and Iowa struggled to keep pesky guard, Alex Robinson, out of the middle of the defense where he could make plays for himself and others. 

Overall, Iowa won this category, and it almost helped them pull off one of the more odd victories we've seen this season. Unfortunately, it was the other three factors that ultimately cut Iowa's season short. 

Advantage: Iowa


  Turnovers Turnover% Steals %of Turnovers Forced by Steals Points Off Turnovers Pts Off Turnovers Per Turnover Forced
Iowa 17 22.1% 3 33.3% 15 1.67
TCU 9 11.7% 13 76.5% 28 1.65

It's not often a team can shoot 72% (eFG%) from the field, grab 55% of their misses, and still find themselves down by four points at the half, yet that's exactly what happened to Iowa on Sunday. Turnovers were the Hawkeyes main bugaboo in the first 20 minutes of the game. In 34 first half possessions, Iowa turned the ball over 12 times, which makes for a turnover rate of 35%. In case that number means nothing to you, an average Division I team turns the ball over on about 18.5% of their possessions this season. Iowa about doubled that in the first half of basketball yesterday, and TCU scored 21 points off those 12 turnovers. 

Turnovers were so vital in that first half that TCU ended up with nine more scoring attempts than Iowa did in this game because the Hawkeyes had so many empty possessions. In the first half, the Horned Frogs had 37 scoring attempts to just 28 for Iowa, which does  a pretty good job of explaining how you can shoot and rebound that well and still be losing at the break. 

Things got better in the second half, though, as Iowa only gave the ball away to the Horned Frogs twice, and TCU only had five points off turnovers. Overtime was a little bit worse since Iowa was credited with three turnovers (and three fewer scoring attempts), although I remain adamant that Tyler Cook was fouled on what was instead called his seventh turnover of the game, when a TCU player slapped his wrist and took the ball from him. 

Still, credit goes to TCU for the 12 13 steals they had, and the 17 turnovers they forced. If they would have had one or two less, the outcome of this game may have been different.

Advantage: TCU

Offensive Rebounding

  Off. Rebounds Available Off. Rebounds Off. Rebound% 2nd Chance Points 2nd Chance pts/Off. Rebound
Iowa 13 35 37.1% 7 0.54
TCU 10 37 27.0% 16 1.60

TCU is a very good offensive rebounding team, and a less-than-stellar defensive one. Iowa unsurprisingly put together a good offensive rebounding day against them, but they should also get credit for holding the Horned Frogs to an offensive rebounding rate that was six percentage points below their season average.

But -- and there is a huge but -- Iowa lost the quality portion of this factor. Because while they had more offensive rebounds, they failed to do much of anything with them, scoring just seven second chance points on 13 offensive boards. TCU, meanwhile, had 10 offensive rebounds, but still managed 16 second chance points. That's big.

So while Iowa won the quantity portion, TCU's performance in the quality area effectively negated any advantage that Iowa otherwise had. If the Hawkeyes could have mustered a couple more second chance points in this one, the season may still be going. 

Advantage: Push

Free Throw Rate

  FT Made FT Attempted FT% FT Rate (FTA/FGA)
Iowa 8 19 42.1% 30.6%
TCU 12 18 66.7% 25.4%

Missed opportunities were also plentiful for the Hawkeyes at the free throw line. TCU's free throw rate is a little inflated from Iowa having to foul at the end of the game, but Iowa still won the quantity portion of this category.

Instead, it was the quality portion, yet again, that did them in, as the Hawks shot 8-19 from the charity stripe for the game, and 7-17 in the second half. Peter Jok and Jordan Bohannon uncharacteristically missed one free throw apiece, but the problem mostly came from Tyler Cook and Ahmad Wagner, who shot a combined 4-11 from the line. Both guys have shown a knack for getting to the foul line this year, but both guys will obviously be putting an emphasis on practicing their free throws this offseason.

Overall, the quality aspect of this factor did Iowa in again. And in a game decided by two points, you never know what would have happened if Iowa would have made just a couple more free throws. 

Advantage: TCU

Overall: Iowa Won 1 of 4 Factors



Iowa's player of the game has got to go to Jordan Bohannon in this one. The true freshman continued his terrific offensive play by logging his third-straight double-double, and finishing the game with the highest adjusted game score per minute of anyone on the court. Bohannon gave the Hawkeyes a career-high combination of 25 points and 13 assists, while only turning the ball over three times in 42 minutes of play. His defense was a roller coaster ride, but he was outstanding on offense, knocking down threes and finding his teammates all throughout the game. 

In case you were wondering how good he was down the stretch of this season, here is a little taste:


I'll have more on him when I get into player reviews over the next couple of weeks, but Bohannon's play really ticked upward over the final games of the season. His offense was crucial to Iowa's demolishing of opponents to end the regular season, and he was a big part of why the Hawkeyes almost backed themselves into the NCAA Tournament. They came up just short, of course, but the future is still bright for this team, and a big part of that is because of the revelation that has been Jordan Bohannon. 

Peter Jok also went out on a strong note. In what turned out to be his final game in a Hawkeye uniform, Jok went for 22 points on 18 scoring attempts in 41 minutes. He looked like the old, healthy Peter Jok for a little stretch in the first half when it seemed like he might go off for 50. But he cooled off after that and went on a more normal scoring pace. It was good to see him go out with a 22-point and five three-point performance, but it pains me to think about how the back end of his season went. Jok deserved a better year than the injury-plagued one he got. 

Also for a free throw update:

Peter Jok 2017 154 169 91.1%
[REDACTED] 1985 116 126 92.1%

Jok needed to make 10-straight in order to take the lead for highest single-season free throw percentage in Big Ten history, but he went 1-2 from the line. Still, though, he attempted 46 more free throws on the year and finished behind the record by all of one percentage point. That's impressive in its own right.

Nicholas Baer rebounded from a couple of down games to rate as Iowa's second best player, according to adjusted game score per minute. He gave Iowa 15 points on nine scoring attempts, shooting 4-6 from long range. He also logged the third double-double of his career, grabbing 10 rebounds (four offensive). On defense, Baer was basically the only resistance TCU had when it came to scoring at the rim, as he swatted three Horned Frog shots. He also finished with two steals.

Tyler Cook was super efficient from the field, scoring 16 points on 7-7 shooting. That efficiency dropped when he had to go to the free throw line, though, as he made just two of his five attempts from there. He also had seven turnovers, one of which I think should have been a foul on TCU, but I digress.

The turnovers were still a problem, and his defense was inconsistent. I saw a number of times where he perfectly hedged and recovered on TCU ball screens, and he even played some nice help defense on one occasion, cutting off the baseline on the guy Peter Jok was guarding and helping to force a turnover. However, there was also an instance in which Kenrich Williams blew by him on the perimeter and threw down an easy slam, or when he decided to jump out on the perimeter and try and double Desmond Bane, only to leave Brodziansky open in the paint for a layup that put TCU up 84-82 with 11 seconds left in regulation. Of course, Cook was clutch on the other side of the ball, backing his man down and tying the game up after putting a nice spin move on his opponent. 

Essentially, this game was Tyler Cook's freshman season in a nutshell. So many dunks and so much offensive potential, but too many turnovers and a lot of defensive inconsistency. He's only going to get better, though. 

Tyler Cook Dunk-o-meter Games dunks Dunks Per Game made field goals dunk rate season total
Tyler Cook 27 50 1.9 128 39.1% 50
Sophomore Year Aaron White 27 44 1.6 108 40.7% 56 (38 Games)

Those were the four biggest players in this one for Iowa. However, Ahmad Wagner had some nice moments, finishing with six points, four rebounds, three assists, and a steal. He played well in the pick and roll with Bohannon, but he struggled at the line, shooting 2-6 on his free throws. Cordell Pemsl only had four points on 2-5 shooting, but he did have seven rebounds in 16 minutes of play, as well as two assists, and a block. Also, he had a Harlem Globetrotters moment that eventually led to a Jordan Bohannon four-point play. 

Overall, it was a wild end to a wild season. We saw just how much firepower this team has on offense when it is all clicking, but the same defense that plagued them all season long, reared its ugly head again and proved too much to overcome. In the end, the team came up just short, but there is still a lot to be excited about. It may have been a down year and we may be saying goodbye to one of the best players of the Fran McCaffery era, but the Hawkeyes will be back and it shouldn't take them all that long. 

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