Indiana got some much needed rest after its road trip to Michigan State was canceled. Coming off a frustrating loss to Purdue, fresh legs and a rejuvenated spirit are exactly what these Hoosiers need as they get set to embark on a particularly brutal stretch of Big Ten contests.
First up, No. 4 Iowa.
IU spent much of its week off trying to fix a perimeter defense that has allowed 41.2 percent 3-point shooting over the last eight games. Those efforts will be immediately tested. Five Hawkeyes shoot better than 40 percent from long range, and they are just under that mark (39.5 percent) as a team.
Meanwhile, Indiana’s erratic offense needs to be on top of its game, including its own 3-point shooting which has been suspect once again in 2020-21. Points, and lots of them, are required to hang with Iowa.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Indiana (8-6, 3-4) at No. 4 Iowa (12-2, 6-1)
- Tip time: 9:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa
- Television: FS1 (Adam Amin and Nick Bahe)
- IU Radio Network (Don Fischer, Errek Suhr, Joe Smith)
- Series: Indiana leads 103-78 (Indiana won last meeting 89-77 in 2020)
- Point Spread: Iowa is a 10.5-point favorite
- KenPom has No. 3 Iowa by 10 points over No. 33 Indiana
Iowa is led by Fran McCaffery who is in his 11th year and is 206-145.
- Miller and Durham preview Iowa
- McCaffery previews Indiana
- 3-point shooting continues to plague Miller’s Indiana teams
- Perimeter defense a focus during week off
MEET THE HAWKEYES
Indiana will face an offensive powerhouse on Thursday night.
Iowa has scored 86 or more points in 12 of their 14 games and haven’t been held under 70 all season. They led the Big Ten in scoring each of the last two seasons, and rank third in the country, averaging 92.2 points per game.
The Hawkeyes are No. 1 in KenPom offensive efficiency, No. 13 in effective field goal percentage (57.4 percent), No. 5 in turnover percentage (13.4 percent), and No. 16 in 3-point percentage (39.5 percent). Those are just the offensive superlatives. Iowa is top-100 in every KenPom offensive statistical category.
Fueled by that offense, ten of Iowa’s 12 victories this season have come by 15 points or more. The Hawkeyes have posted 19 runs of 10-0 or better this season. They have made more free throws (239) than its opponents have attempted (201).
A win against Iowa requires a big offensive day against the Hawkeyes’ No. 73 defense. That’s what Gonzaga and Minnesota did when they posted 99 and 102 points respectively in Iowa’s losses.
The Hawkeyes are experiencing a level of success that hasn’t been seen in 30 years. Iowa has been ranked in the AP Top 10 the first nine weeks of the 2020-21 season. The last time the Hawkeyes have been ranked in the top 10 eight consecutive weeks was the 1988-89 season.
Of course leading the way for Iowa is All-American Luke Garza.
Garza became Iowa’s all-time scoring leader in Big Ten games after his 33-point effort versus Minnesota (Jan. 10). Garza now has 1,133 points in regular season Big Ten games, surpassing Roy Marble (1,113). Garza ranks first in the country in points per game (26.9 ppg) and 10th in double-doubles (6). He has scored 444 points against AP Top 25 teams, the most of any player since the start of the 2019-20 season.
Garza surpassed Aaron White for second place on Iowa’s all-time scoring chart at Rutgers on Jan. 2. Garza is 65 points from 2,000 and 182 points from surpassing Roy Marble to become Iowa’s all-time leading scorer.
Garza tallied 38 points at Indiana (Feb. 13, 2020). The 38 points were two points shy of matching the Assembly Hall single-game record by an opponent
“He is one of the more unique players that you will see,” IU head coach Archie Miller said of Garza. “He has got great size and great physicality. He doesn’t jump that high, and he probably doesn’t run that fast. But you will never find a guy that you watch play on film that moves and works like he does.”
Jordan Bohannon (572) is four assists from surpassing Andre Woolridge for second on Iowa’s career assists chart. Bohannon is 41 assists from becoming Iowa’s all-time assists leader (Jeff Horner, 612). Bohannon has posted a program-best seven double-doubles in points and assists. Iowa is 9-0 this season when Jordan Bohannon makes multiple 3-pointers. Bohannon has made three or more triples in six of Iowa’s last seven outings.
C.J. Fredrick is No. 11 nationally with a 4.5 percent turnover rate, and he is No. 31 with a 51 percent (26-of-51) 3-point percentage.
Junior wing Joe Wieskamp scored 20 points versus No. 16 Minnesota on Jan. 10. His totals against the Gophers helped the junior become the 50th Hawkeye to reach 1,000 career points. Wieskamp is second on Iowa in points, rebounds and steals.
Freshman forward Keegan Murray is one of 17 players nationally, and the only bench player, to record at least 90 points, 60 rebounds, 15 blocks, and 15 steals this season. He ranks fourth on the team in rebounding (4.5), first in blocked shots per game (1.2),
and tied for fifth in 3-pointers made (8).
Iowa has won 22 of its last 23 at home overall, and nine of the last 13 meeting against the Hoosiers inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena dating back to the 2004-05 season. Bohannon sank a game-tying 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in regulation before draining three more triples in overtime to lift the Hawkeyes to a 76-70 triumph over Indiana in its last visit to Iowa City on Feb. 22, 2019.
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