Thursday, November 17, 2005
Iowa 73, Colgate 51
Game Thoughts and Notes: Judgment-clouded-by-eternal-optimism Edition
- Erek Hansen came to play Tuesday night! He actually fought for (and grabbed) a few rebounds in traffic, and he set career marks with six defensive and eight total rebounds. [Yes, non-Iowa fans, our starting center never grabbed more than seven rebounds before this game.] Hansen also knocked down some short jumpers and finished with 11 points in just 20 minutes. It should be noted that none of Colgate's regulars were taller than 6-9, but let's enjoy the buzz on this one for a few more days.
- Mike Henderson took offense to my criticism of his passing and probably had the pass of the night. He drove hard to the baseline, drew a help defender, and split two Colgate players with an assist to a big man (Hansen or Brunner, I think). He was also one of four Hawkeyes to hit a three-pointer, and continues to impress observers with his harrassing on-the-ball defense. Let's hope he's ready to handle Rajon Rondo when Iowa plays Kentucky on Monday.
- Iowa's offense was smoking coming out of the gates. They scored on 10 of their first 13 possessions, and ended the first half with 42 points on only 31 possessions, or 136(!) per 100. Then it was Colgate's to start the second half. The Raiders scored on 9 of their first 11 trips down the floor and trimmed an 18 point halftime deficit to a 49-43 margin with about 13 and a half minutes left. Hawk fans were a little anxious by this point, but Iowa went on a 19-2 run of their own to put the game out of reach.
- Iowa "only" had 14 turnovers in this game, but with Colgate running the shot clock down on most of their possessions, Iowa only had the ball 66 times, which means they turned it over 22% of the time. That raises their season total to 21 turnovers per 100 possession against two less-than-stellar defenses. This is a red flag heading into Monday, since Rondo and Kentucky were among the country's best at forcing turnovers last year.
- It was nice to see the Hawks make a few more threes on Tuesday, though Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska only combined to hit 5 of 14. The pair is 9-23 (39%) for the year.
- Greg Brunner won Iowa City regional MVP honors for averaging 16 points and 7.5 rebounds in Iowa's first two games of the Guardian's Classic, and rightly so. I'm working on some plus/minus numbers for Iowa this year, which simply tell you how well the team does when a certain player is either on or off the floor. With Brunner, for example, Iowa's offensive efficiency is 113, but only 99 when he's on the bench. The defense allowed 60 points per 100 possessions (PPP) when he played, and 73 when he didn't. The sample sizes are of course very small at this point of the year, but I'll be updating this as the season progresses.
- With little doubt about the outcome of the game, many TV-viewers had their attention diverted by a female fan enjoying her friend's ice cream cone. The cameraman, apparently aware of his station's target market, filmed the scene for a full ten or fifteen seconds. Message boards were in an uproar. We sent the research staff to work and came up with this.
- Brunner had a monster put-back dunk but missed when he tried later in the game, and has made only one of his three dunk attempts. The season dunk tally is now - Thomas -2, Brunner - 1, Thompson -1, Gorney -1. Horner took a charge for the second straight game, and leads the team with two. Thomas and Brunner each have one.
Later this week/end - I'll take a look at the Iowa / Kentucky matchup, and hopefully finish my in-depth Iowa preview by the end of the weekend.