Saturday, February 26, 2005
Iowa 78, Penn State 56
Wow, Penn State is bad. That's no surprise to you if you follow the Big Ten, but today was the first time I actually saw them play, and it was not pretty. The Hawks took advantage of poor Penn State passing, turning steals into easy fast break points. Iowa ran out to an early lead and had a 27 point advantage by half time. They led by as much as 31 in the second half and were able to give big minutes to a handful of guys who rarely play.
Let's get a few numbers out of the way -
Iowa - 61 FGA - 9 Oreb + 12 TO + 0.4 x 11 FTA = 68.4 poss.
PSU - 51 FGA - 10 Oreb + 16 TO + 0.4 x 20 TO = 64 poss.
Average = about 66 poss.
IA off rtg = 78 / 66 x 100 = 118
IA def rtg = 56 / 66 x 100 = 85
What amazes me is that, despite hitting nearly half their threes and scoring numerous easy layups and dunks, Iowa's offensive rating was still lower than what Illinois is averaging for the Big Ten season (122 through last weekend). Truly an impressive season by the Illini.
- Jeff Horner got several open looks at the basket and wasn't afraid to pull the trigger. Some of his shots were probably too deep for his coach's taste, but making 4 of 9 makes his day hard to criticize. He needed 20 points in this game to hit 1,000 for his career, but came up just shy with 19. Hopefully a few people will make it out to see him hit the landmark on Wednesday night.
- Greg Brunner is another Hawkeye on the verge of cracking the 1,000 point mark. His 14 points today put him at 943 in his 2+ seasons, meaning he'll likely join the club during one of Iowa's post-season games. The big guy spent much of his afternoon hauling in errant Penn State shots, and ended the game with a career-high 14 rebounds and a season-high 5 assists.
- Adam Haluska continued to display his strong scoring ability, dropping 22 points on 10-14 shooting. The high shooting percentage was the result of several layups and dunks on fast break plays. He's averaging an even 19 ppg since Pierre Pierce was dismissed from the team. That Haluska has been able to increase his scoring is not a big surprise, considering the number of possessions that became available with Pierce's departure. What has surprised me is how efficient Haluska has been in scoring those 19 ppg. He shot 47-90 with 13 threes over the past 7 games, which works out to a 59% adjFG% (league avg is about 50%). Not quite Dee Brown good, but we'll take it anyway.
- I'm not sure he could repeat today's performance against non-Penn State opponents, but Seth Gorney might just have joined the ever-growing list of players I'd rather see start than Erek Hansen. Iowa's lone 7-footer played a season-high 12 minutes and tripled his season point total by making 3 field goals for 6 points, with two baskets coming off of offensive rebounds. Hansen did Hawkeye fans a favor by picking up his second foul less than five minutes into the game. Alford skipped over Alex Thompson and Doug Thomas and sent Gorney in. The big guy responded by putting back a Haluska miss for two points only two minutes later. When was the last time you saw Hansen do that? (I can tell you it wasn't at Minnesota, site of his 25 min, 0 off reb performance.)
- Does anyone else find themself cheering for Hansen to pick up early fouls? That seems to be the only way Alford will pull him off the floor. I thought the 10 offensive rebounds by Jeff Hagen were a pretty good indication that something wasn't working, but I guess I'm not a D-1 basketball coach. By the way, with Hansen only playing 11 minutes, Iowa was able to hold Penn State, the Big Ten's third-best offensive rebounding team, to an offensive rebound rate of 27%, well below their conference games average of 35% and the overall conference average of 32%.
- Doug Thomas, no surprise, was a big contributor to the rebounding effort. He grabbed 5 rebounds in his 17 minutes and scored a solid 9 points. He also had one of his signature Thunder Dunks on one of Iowa's many fast breaks.
- Carlton Reed missed the game due to a death in his family.
- To underscore how many close games Iowa has lost this season, consider this - the Hawks have actually outscored their conference opponents, 943-931, yet are only 5-9.
- Brunner still trails Penn State's Aaron Johnson for the Big Ten's overall rebounding lead, but he took the lead for rebounding in conference games only. Brunner has 126 rebounds in Iowa's 14 games (9.0 rpg), while Johnson has 122 (8.7).
What's the deal with Thomas? Is he bad is practice? Why is he not getting 25 minutes (assuming no foul trouble)? He's consistently productive.
I think it's hard to take foul trouble out of the equation, since Thomas seems to rack up 3 fouls as fast as anyone, and that's usually the point at which Alford takes him out. Aside from that, Alford probably just values Hansen's shot-blocking more than Doug's offense and rebounding (which I disagree with).
I'm just amazed that Hansen has been reboundless in his last 35 minutes, if I remember right. I'm 6 foot 2, and I can't help but believe that if I played that same 35 minutes, I'd pull down at least ONE board.
You know, as I've been thinking about it, I never thought I'd say this, but we'd be much better off with Glen Worley. At least he enjoyed some points and rebounds with his fouls and turnovers.Post a Comment