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Friday, December 17, 2004
 
Next Up - Western Carolina

Teams: Western Carolina Catamounts vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Site: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City
Time: 7:05 CST, Saturday

National rankings in parentheses, when available.

.........................Western Carolina..........Iowa
Record.........................5-6........................8-1
Pts/G........................75.3 (84)................82.6 (21)
Pts All/G....................77.7.......................71.2
Poss/G......................74.5 (22)...............72.1 (56)
Off. Efficiency..........101.1 (200)............114.5 (30)
Def. Efficiency.........104.3.......................98.8
FTA/FGA..................0.403 (86)..............0.431 (52)
3PA/FGA..................0.252 (296)............0.334 (148)
FG%.........................0.441 (165)............0.482 (45)
3FG%.......................0.272 (310)............0.420 (21)
adjFG%....................0.475 (223)............0.552 (37)
FT%.........................0.627 (262)............0.709 (97)
A/TO..........................0.88 (177)..............1.27 (24)
TO/100 poss.............21.9 (93)...............19.7 (47)
Pomeroy Rank..............289........................20
Sagarin Rank................275........................10

Random Notes
Western Carolina might be Iowa's last easy victory for at least a couple games, as they follow this one with Texas Tech (in Chicago), Air Force, and St. Louis before starting Big Ten play. WCU lost by 15 to Penn State earlier, 31 to Alabama, and 11 to Marquette. Three of their five wins are against non-Division I teams. Western Carolina's stats (other than the record) are based on their first 10 games, which includes two of the non-D-I teams, so they're a little inflated.

An opponent that plays a fast game and doesn't play good defense - now that's music to Iowa's ears. I'm not sure if Western Carolina's high poss/g comes from an inherently fast style or from playing fast teams that force it to run, but either scenario should spell lots of points for the Hawkeyes. Iowa's possessions per game mark leads the Big Ten, and we've seen that they like to run the floor when given the opportunity.

WCU's 6'8" Rans Brempong averages 5.6 blocks/40 min, which is very good, but not quite Erek Hansen (6.8) good. Brempong is also shooting 67% on the year while averaging 11.5 ppg. David Berghoefer, a 6'11" center, leads the team in points (15.2) and rebounds (6.8). He scored 23 in the game against Alabama, 19 against Penn State, and 20 against Marquette. Is Iowa ready to defend a big man? Jared Homan (ISU), Eric Coleman (UNI), Aliou Keita (Drake), and Chad Maclies (Centenary) say otherwise.

The Catamounts don't shoot many threes, relatively speaking. That's probably good strategy since they're only making 28% as a team. Iowa is right near the national average for threes taken per FGA.

Jeff Horner added some well-deserved hardware to his mantel yesterday when he was chosen for the Big Ten's All Wonk Team. Congratulations, Jeff.

New Feature
Always seeking more reader feedback, I thought it might be fun to try a "Pick to Click" contest (anyone who's seen a White Sox game announced by Ken Harrelson and Darren Jackson knows what I'm talking about). Simple idea - you pick a player before the game, and whoever chooses the player that plays the best that night gets, well, bragging rights. Here's your chance to humble my intelligence. Some friends and I usually do it before going to games; it gives you an additional rooting interest if nothing else.

On that note, I select Adam Haluska for my Pick to Click tomorrow night. He started the year a little slowly after working back from his hip flexor injury, at times looking tired and out of sync. Once he got over that, though, he's been able to score in bunches and provide great defense. Some people knock his three-point shooting, which started slowly with the rest of his game, but he's been hot of late, climbing to 40.5%. During Iowa's current 5-game win streak he is shooting a very respectable 12-26 (46%) from behind the arc.

If you'd like to make a Pick to Click, submit your selection, and if you like, a short explanation for it, between now and 7 CST tomorrow night in the comments following this post. Email entries are also acceptable. Making fun of the Hawk and DJ is encouraged, especially with phrases like "Stretch!," "Hegawn!," "Can 'o corn," and "You can put it on the boooard....Yes!" If you leave your screen/user name with your choice, I'll keep a running tally of who makes the most correct selections on the season. Winners will be determined by the Hawkeye Hoops Player of the Game (see sidebar), so to avoid any conflict of interest, my selections won't be included in any season-long competition (which in all likelihood means there will be 0 competitors, heh).

Enjoy the game.

Comments:
I was going to pick Glen Worley but hegawn!
 
It seems that Haluska has really picked up on his game... He gets my nod.
 
Bevo's pick - Haluska
 
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