Monday, January 31, 2011

Iowa vs Michigan Recap: 73-87 L

This game was going okay. Then they played the second half.

Bullet points!
  • 58.8%. That is the effective FG% that Iowa's Big 10 opponents have averaged against them in 9 conference games this year, after Michigan shot a 71.4% yesterday (86.54% in the second half!). Michigan's average on the year coming into yesterday's game was 51%. They basically shot 20% better than their season average against Iowa.
  • Iowa also shot above their season average yesterday. Their 53.5% effective FG% was about 5% better than their 48.42% average on the season. Too bad that wasn't even close to enough.
  • Michigan likes to shoot three pointers. This game was no different. They took 56 shots, and exactly half of them were three's. Out of those 28 three's, the Wolverines made exactly half of those. Their 50% 3pt FG% was about 16% higher than their season average. Their 67.8% 2pt FG% against Iowa, was also about 16% higher than their season average. 
  • I almost called the a Basabe double-double in the preview for this game. Michigan's best post defender is Horford, and he doesn't play as much as Morgan and Smotrycz. Neither of which, had a chance against Basabe. Basabe had 25 points on 9-11 shooting (81.8% effective FG%) and on 7-8 from the free throw line. He also grabbed 8 rebounds (4 offensive and 4 defensive). That was good for 15.6% of all offensive and 21.7% of all defensive rebounds available while he was in the game. If only Iowa had like 5 more Basabe's. 
  • Cartwright had a nice game today. He actually had an effective FG% above 50%, shooting 55% (yay!). He scored 11 points on 5-10 shooting with 1-2 from three point range. He also had 9 assists (screw you Darius Morris) and 0 (!) turnovers. Michigan is not a good defensive team, so this is mostly a result of Michigan being bad defensively, and not Cartwright becoming amazing overnight. Still good to see, though. 
  • Gatens had a meh kind of game. He had 11 points on 4-9 shooting and went 1-2 from behind the arc (50% effective FG%). That is pretty much all he did. Well, besides play some interesting defense. But, whatever.
  • May continues to struggle. This really needs to be fixed in the final month of the season.
  • I'll say it again without parenthesis this time. Screw you Darius Morris. How did he get stuck playing on a half-court offensive team like Michigan? I mean, this game was literally the "Darius Morris Show". He did his best Jason Kidd impression by putting together a triple-double. He was the only Michigan player that didn't just sit behind the three point line all day. He actually drove to the basket and scored 12 points and also found guys like Morgan and Horford down low for big dunks. He found his teammates 11 times total, and pulled down 10 rebounds. Yeah. He's a point guard.
  • Iowa lost the overall rebounding battle, as Michigan grabbed 52.73% of all rebounds compared to Iowa's 47.27%. Iowa did grab 69.57% of all defensive rebounds available compared to Michigan's 68.75%, and 31.25% of all offensive rebounds compared to 30.43%. It should also be pointed out that Michigan is a horrible offensive rebounding team, and that their 30.43% today was about 10% above their season average. Oh, how I miss the days of Iowa being good at rebounding. 
  • Iowa ended 23.44% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, and only 15.6% of their possessions with a turnover. That was good for a 1.5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. This is good.
  • Michigan ended 39.29% (!) of their possessions with an assisted field goal, and 17.2% of their possessions with a turnover. That was good for an assist to turnover ratio of 2 to 1. This is not good. 
  • Iowa averaged 1.14 points per possession. Michigan averaged 1.36 points per possession. Iowa is now averaging 0.99 points per possession in Big 10 play, while allowing 1.16 points per possession. Also, not good.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Looking at Iowa Compared to the Average Big 10 Team

When this season began, everyone was proclaiming the Big 10 as one of the toughest conferences in the nation. This was bad news for an Iowa team trying to rebuild. Iowa went 7-5 in non-conference play, but has gone just 1-7 in Big 10 play. We all knew that Iowa's stats from non-conference play wouldn't necessarily translate to Big 10 play. So, now that the Hawkeyes have 8 conference games under their belt, I wanted to look at why Iowa has looked so much worse. First, though, let's see how good the Big 10 actually is.

The Average Big 10 Offense vs The Average NCAA Offense

What you see above is the average of all 11 Big 10 teams plotted against the average of every NCAA Division I team. As you can see, the Big 10 is above average in everything except for getting to the free throw line. So, the average offense in the Big 10 is better than the average NCAA offense. Bad news for Iowa.

Iowa vs Michigan Men's Basketball Preview

Iowa is on the road for the second game in a row, taking on another slower paced offense in Michigan. Michigan is fresh off a big victory against Michigan State (what has happened to them?), but is only 2-6 in conference play. Michigan is a winnable game for the Hawkeyes, but they need to play much better than they have in other conference road games this year.

Iowa Offense vs Michigan Defense

Iowa should be able to shoot pretty well against Michigan, as they have been slightly below average at contesting opponents shots. Against Northwestern Iowa shot lights out, but against Penn State they were terrible. Both of those teams were below average in opponent shooting, but one game is a small sample size, so anything could happen.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Visualizing the Big 10's Top 5 Quarterbacks from 2010

I've been trying to figure out how to do this for a while now. I've been able to use averages to create ratings, and show a team's strengths and weaknesses on a chart. However, I have yet to do it for players. I'm still working on other skill players because I'm having trouble coming up with what stats to rate them on. But, quarterbacks were easy. So here they are.

For quarterbacks (with at least 80 pass attempts in 2010), I rated them on their propensity to throw interceptions (interceptions per pass attempt) and touchdowns (touchdown per pass attempt). I also rated them on how good they were at picking up chunks of yards through the air (yards per pass attempt). The final category I looked at, was completion percentage, to see how often they were completing their passes. I didn't include quarterback rating on the charts, because it essentially measures these four things by itself. I didn't want any categories that captured the same thing twice.

The ratings are the same as they always are. Only, this time the average is the Big 10 average, and not NCAA average (like my basketball ratings). 100= Big 10 average, 110= 10% better than Big 10 average, and 90= 10% below Big 10 average. Let's begin!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Iowa vs Penn State Recap: 51-65 L

Well, that sucked.

Bullet points!
  • Iowa got beat in pretty much every facet of the game by Penn State. The only one of the Four Factors that Iowa won was the turnover battle. They turned the ball over on 19.3% of their possessions, while forcing Penn State into a turnover on 24.56% of their possessions. 
  • Unfortunately turnovers wasn't enough to give Iowa the win, as they also got killed in shooting. Penn State shot a 58.5% effective FG%, which is 10% higher than their season average. Iowa, on the other hand, shot a 44.1% effective FG%, which is 4% lower than their season average. It's all the more disappointing because Penn State's opponents had been shooting well on them all season. So, it's not like Penn State was known for their defense. 
  • Let's stay on shooting. Iowa shot a better percentage from downtown, making 38.9% of their three pointers compared to Penn State's 31.3%. However, the problem came once Iowa got inside the three point line. They only made 36.3% of their two point field goals (!), compared to Penn State's 64.5%. Ummm, yeah. I think that speaks for itself. 
  • It's not like Iowa was bad all game. For most of the first half they had the lead over Penn State. They were even up by double digits at one point. Of course, the lead dwindled and the Nittany Lions took the lead right before halftime. A real momentum shift, I felt, took place when the refs called that charge on McCabe. The defender was all the way under the basket, and it should have been a blocking foul. Of course, Fran also disagreed with the referee, and got himself another technical to add to his mantle this year. But, that took at least two points off the board for Iowa, and gave Penn State two as they made their technical free throws. I'm not saying that is where Iowa lost the game, just that it seemed to be a momentum changer in the first half.
  • Once again in Big 10 play, Iowa got throttled on the boards. I've already mentioned how rebounding has taken a turn for the worse during Big 10 play for Iowa, and tonight was no different. Penn State grabbed 56.5% of all rebounds to Iowa's 43.5%. On the offensive glass, the Nittany Lions outrebounded Iowa 42.9% to 30%. Defensively, they grabbed 70% to Iowa's 57.1%. I mean, Iowa only grabbed 12 defensive rebounds out of Penn State's 22 misses all night. Let me repeat that. 12 defensive rebounds. All night. That's it. That sucks.
  • Gatens reached double digits tonight, scoring 10 on 4-10 shooting (50% effective FG%). He went 2-5 from two point range and 2-5 from three point range. That is what I find the most interesting because it shows his Big 10 performance in a nut shell. Three pointers have been the easier shot for Gatens since Big 10 play kicked off. In eight conference games, Gatens has shot 44% from three point range and 38.10% from two point range. One of those things is good, and one of those things is not. In November he shot 35% from two point range, but he was coming off a hand injury. In December, he was hot, shooting 70% from inside the arc. So, he's gone from ridiculously cold to ridiculously hot to ridiculously cold again. Let's hope for Gatens to regress to his mean in January.
  • Cole was the leading scorer for the Hawkeyes last night. He put up 11 on 4 of 7 shooting (57.1% effective FG%) and by hitting three of four free throws. Cole had a better defensive rebounding game, grabbing 17.8% of all defensive rebounds while he was on the court. However, he didn't do a whole lot on the offensive rebounding side, grabbing only 4.1%. Still had a pretty good game though.
  • Cartwright was interesting last night. On the one hand, he had 8 assists and only 3 turnovers. On the other hand, he had 9 points on 4-13 shooting (34.6% effective FG%). Early in the game he took some questionable shots, but they were falling so you couldn't really question him. Late in the game those shots were no longer falling. There really isn't much to say about it anymore, it would be great if he could get 9 points on about half as many shots but, Cartwright is what he is. 
  • On the Penn State side, Talor Battle and Jeff Brooks put up more points, together, than every player on Iowa did. Battle had 23 points on 8-13 shooting (65.3% effective FG%), while Brooks had 22 on 9-17 shooting. His 64.7% effective FG% looks better than his 9-17 shooting, and that's because of 4 of his 9 made baskets were three pointers.
  • Penn State's Andrew Jones also put in 9 points. But, his shooting wasn't the important part. Jones was Iowa's worst nightmare on the glass, as he came up just one point shy of a double double. He grabbed 4 offensive rebounds (21.7%) and 6 defensive rebounds (22.8%). He's the main reason Iowa lost the rebounding battle.
  • Overall, Iowa ended 22.8% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, finishing with a 1.18 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Penn State ended 24.56% of their possessions with an assist, which gave them an assist to turnover ratio of 1.
  • Iowa's miserable shooting led to an average of 0.90 points per possession. Meanwhile, Penn State averaged 1.14 points per possession.
  • Ugh.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Iowa vs Penn State Men's Basketball Preview

WOOOO!!! We're no longer alone in last place!!! Sorry, haven't quite gotten that out of my system yet. We are now on our third day removed from Iowa's first Big 10 win of the season over a short-handed Indiana squad. Now, Iowa heads out to Happy Valley tonight to take on the Nittany Lions of Penn State. Interestingly enough, Penn State doesn't look to be as bad as everyone thought they would be this year, getting two big upsets at home against Illinois and Michigan State. Even their last two Big 10 road losses to Ohio State and Purdue were close, losing by three points and one point, respectively. So, does Iowa stand a chance? Let's find out.

Iowa Offense vs Penn State Defense

As any Hawkeye fan who has followed all season knows, Iowa is not a real great shooting team. Their 48.62% effective FG% comes out to 1% below NCAA average, which is actually only good enough for last place in the Big 10. Thankfully for Iowa, Penn State has let opponents shoot 5% better than NCAA average against them. Last time Iowa played a Big 10 team that was below average in shooting defense (Northwestern), they shot a 59% effective FG%. So, there's a chance!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Iowa vs Indiana Recap: 91-77 W

 I only caught parts of this game since I was busy watching the Packers make the Super Bowl. Nonetheless, it's Iowa's first Big 10 win of the season and the Packers are going to the Super Bowl! Great Day!

Bullet Points!
  • Not only was Indiana missing Maurice Creek, but they were missing their second leading scorer in Verdell Jones III. That helps to somewhat explain why they shot as terrible as they did today. Indiana was shooting a 54% effective FG% in Big 10 play, but they shot a 42.86% today. That is easily the best that Iowa has held a Big 10 opponent to so far this year. Indiana was clearly off today.
  • Speaking of shooting, my word, what the hell got into Iowa today? Their 61.54% effective FG% was the second best this season, next to the SIU Edwardsville game, and only the third time they've eclipsed the 54% mark this year.
  • I said in the preview that Indiana had a fouling problem, and if I was Iowa I would just dump the ball down low to Basabe. I figured that if he didn't score, he would at least get to the free throw line. Well, he scored 20 points on 7-10 shooting (70% effective FG%), and he also made it to the free throw line 8 times, sinking 6. Not to mention that he was, once again, Iowa's best rebounder. He came away with 24.8% of all defensive and 9.8% of all offensive rebounds.
  • Gatens did not have a great shooting game today, going 3-8 from the field, but he still had 19 points. That was because he went 11-12 from the free throw line. I'm not used to seeing that many free throw attempts next to Gatens' name in the box score. It's definitely good that the teams best free throw shooter was able to get to the line that much. 
  • Devyn Marble, welcome to the Big 10! Marble had 18 points on 8-13 shooting (65.3% effective FG%). However, he continued to struggle from the free throw line, making only 1-4. Flipping over to this game, I saw Marble getting into the lane almost at will. Indiana had a lot of trouble stopping him. I don't expect Marble to do this again in the Big 10 for the rest of the year, but it's good to see flashes of the future down the road.
  • During a commercial break from the Packers and Bears game, I switched over to see Eric May catch an outlet pass from Bryce Cartwright and throw down a thunderous dunk. He went on to follow that up on the next possession, by taking the ball the full length of the court, weaving in and out of Indiana guys, and finishing at the rim again. On the day he had 11 points on 4-5 shooting (no three point attempts) and 3-4 from the line. I have yet to watch the game on DVR, but the stats seem to indicate that May was more aggressive with the ball today, and that's a welcome sight.
  • Brommer followed up his breakout game at Ohio State by playing 12 minutes today. He did go 2-2 from the field for 5 points and grabbed 2 offensive rebounds and 1 defensive rebound. However, he had 4 fouls in those 12 minutes. It's hard for McCaffery to give him playing time when he can't keep himself on the court. 
  • What happened to Jordan Hulls today? The nation's leader in effective FG%, shot 1-8, including 1-5 from downtown. He finished with 7 points. That makes it three straight games where Hoffarber, Diebler, and now Hulls have struggled to find their shot. At what point should the credit be given to the Hawkeyes defense?
  • Christian Watford was trying to make up for the loss of Verdell Jones III and the slumping Jordan Hulls, as he put up 30 points today. He put up 20 shots, making 10 of them (3 behind the arc). He's a pretty good player.
  • I figured that Iowa would force more turnovers than they did today, but they still forced Indiana to turn the ball over on 19.2% of their possessions. Iowa lost the turnover battle, though, giving it up on 24.4% of their possessions. This ended up being a moot point, considering the disparity in shooting between the two teams.
  • Of Iowa's 19 turnovers, 11 were from Cartwright and Basabe combined (6 and 5). In the preview I expressed my wishes for Cartwright and Basabe to cut down their turnovers. Obviously, I did not get my wish.
  • Iowa and Indiana both ended 20.5% of their possessions with assisted baskets. Iowa finished with a 0.84 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Indiana finished with a 1.07 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Indiana's Derek Elston did his best to single-handedly win the rebounding battle for the Hoosiers. He grabbed 7 offensive (27.6%) and 5 defensive (31.3%) rebounds in 22 minutes. 
  • Indiana won the rebounding battle 51.3% to 48.7%. They outrebounded Iowa on the offensive glass 37% to 34.5% and 65.5% to 63% on the defensive glass. 
  • Needless to say, rebounding, once Iowa's strength, is not so much in Big 10 play. In seven Big 10 games, Iowa has grabbed only 47.16% of all rebounds compared to 54.39% in non-conference play. Offensively, they have dropped from 36.43% to 33.47%, and on defense, they have fallen to 61.71% from 72.64%. Let's hope this changes.
  • Overall, Iowa averaged 1.17 points per possession against Indiana. The Hoosiers only managed 0.99 points per possession.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Iowa vs Indiana Men's Basketball Preview

Everybody is claiming that this is one of Iowa's best shots to win a Big 10 game. While I think Penn State (even with their upsets) is Iowa's best chance, Indiana is beatable. However, it won't be easy. Indiana has some serious offensive firepower, and Iowa well, they are offensively challenged at times. I could see this game being close, but I could also see Indiana pull a Northwestern on the Hawkeyes too.

Iowa's Offense vs Indiana's Defense:

Iowa has shot a 47.97% effective FG%, which is right around what Indiana has held opponents to shooting wise. So, expect Iowa to shoot pretty close to their average against this Indiana defense. The offensive rebounding battle will be interesting. Iowa has been 9% above average at getting second chances, while Indiana has been 9% better at limiting them. Indiana seems to have a fouling problem, as they are a ridiculous 24% below average at keeping their opponents off the free throw line (so bad, I had to rescale all the graphs down to 70 for this post). Iowa is slightly below average at giving out assists. Indiana is decent at limiting them, but not so good that Iowa couldn't have a pretty good game in this regard. The same goes with turnovers. Indiana is about average at forcing turnovers, which could be key in this game. If Iowa can keep the turnovers under control (I'm looking at you Cartwright and Basabe), they have a very good chance at winning this game.

Actual In-Season Improvement: Melsahn Basabe

There are a number of reasons for Hawkeye basketball fans to be excited about the player they have in Melsahn Basabe. The most obvious, is that he is just a freshman, and Iowa has three more years of him presumably only getting better. As a true freshman he has been Iowa's most consistent rebounder (outside of Archie who doesn't get regular playing time) and one of Iowa's best offensive threats.

I want to look at three categories for Basabe: scoring, offensive rebounding, and defensive rebounding to see if he has made any in-season improvements during his freshman campaign.

First, scoring:

His points per game have increased pretty consistently as the season has gone on. His Big 10 numbers also prove this point, as he is averaging 11.83 points per game compared to the 8.5 he put up in non-conference games.

Like with Cartwright, let's look at his shooting to see if he has improved that.

His effective FG% is slightly trending upward. Overall though, he is shooting 54.17% in Big 10 play compared to 54.93% in non-conference play. The Purdue game clearly hurt his Big 10 effective FG%.

Just as I did with Cartwright, I want to look at how many shots per game Basabe is taking.

I would say that that's a pretty big increase. In non-conference play Basabe averaged 5.92 field goal attempts per game. So far in Big 10 play, he has put up an average of 8 shots per game. Just like Cartwright, Basabe is putting up two extra shots per game, at the expense of another player's shots (:cough: Eric May :cough:). So, Basabe is scoring more points, but that isn't really the result of him improving his shooting. He's just the same scorer he was before, only now, he is taking more shots per game.

What about offensive rebounding?

Holy crap. Basabe has seen his trendline move from about 8% to about 17%. That's a rather large increase in the percentage of offensive rebounds he has come down with over the season. During non-conference play, Basabe pulled down 10.38% of all offensive rebounds available while he was in the game. In Big 10 play, that number increased to 18.52%. If your curious, that dip around the Drake and Louisiana Tech games is when Fran said Basabe was terribly sick with the flu.

Defensive Rebounds tell another story though.

His defensive rebounds have actually declined by about 2% over the course of the season. Looking at his Big 10 defensive rebounding rate of 22.73% compared to his 20.28% defensive rebounding rate for non-conference games, though, it looks to be the opposite. That is because the Northwestern game where Basabe grabbed 47.62% of all defensive rebounds available while on the court, is inflating his Big 10 defensive rebounding rate. Otherwise, Basabe has seen a slight decrease in defensive rebounds, but nothing too large to be worried about. He has pretty much stayed the same in this regard also.

Overall, Basabe is similar to Cartwright, in that he is shooting the same but scoring more points because he is taking more shots per game. But, he has actually improved in one of the categories that is important to a player who plays Basabe's position. His offensive rebounding continues to get better as the season goes on. His defensive rebounding has dropped off a little bit, but is still over 20% which is very good. The total package of  double digit points per game on an above 50% effective FG%, coupled with an offensive rebounding rate around 13% and a defensive rebounding rate around 20% is a very good player. Especially, for a true freshman. I look forward to seeing Basabe's improvement as the season goes on, but I also look forward to seeing his game get even better over the off season. Considering he is only a freshman this year, the Big 10 better watch out for the next three years.

Is Cartwright Getting Better?

Recently, Iowa's point guard Bryce Cartwright has been scoring more and more of the team's points. He is averaging 10.89 points per game currently, which has given off the appearance that he may indeed be finally putting it together.  Now, he has gone from 10.33 points per game in non-conference play, to 12 points per game in Big 10 play. Does that mean he's gotten better though? Not necessarily. Let's take a look.

First, we've already established that Cartwright is scoring more points per game recently. So, let's look at his effective FG% to see if he's shooting more efficiently than he was in the beginning of the season.

I added a trendline because the pattern is hard to discern otherwise. As you can see, Cartwright's shooting has been on a very very slight downward trend since the beginning of the season. When you look at his effective FG% in non-conference play and Big 10 play it tells the same story. In non-conference play he shot a 42.15% effective FG%. In Big 10 play so far, he has shot a 41.67% effective FG%. Not a huge difference, but clearly his shooting has not gotten any better.

The only other explanation could be that he is just taking more shots per game. Well, let's see.

The trendline is increasing here. So obviously, Cartwright has taken more shots per game recently. During non-conference play, Cartwright put up 10.08 shots per game. In the Big 10 portion of the schedule, he has put up 12 shots per game. Two more shots per game seems to explain the rise in points scored.

So, is that it? Is that all Cartwright should be judged on? Not quite. Since he's the point guard, it would only be fair to look at his assists and turnovers too. First, assists:

That's good to see. The trendline shows a tiny increase. Overall, Cartwright has averaged 0.16 assists per minute in Big 10 and non-conference play. So, just like with his shooting, his assist rate has remained pretty stable.

What about Turnovers?

Also good to see. However, in Big 10 play, he has averaged 0.11 turnovers per minute compared to his 0.10 turnovers per minute during the non-conference part of the schedule. That doesn't fit with the trendline. What gives? Well, it's not necessarily bad news. I lean more toward it meaning Cartwright is the same as he has been. If you look at his performances against really good Big 10 defenses in Ohio State (0.17 and 0.14 turnovers per minute) and Purdue (0.14 turnovers per minute) he turns the ball over more against them. When he plays a soft defense like Northwestern, he only averaged 0.05 turnovers per minute. Those high numbers against the good defenses are more than plenty to inflate his Big 10 average so far through only six games. After playing the rest of the Big 10 schedule that number could very well level out to around 0.10 again.

Now, I'm not trying to say anything negative about Cartwright, because I'm glad he is on this team. I can't imagine what this team would do if Fran never recruited another point guard. But, it doesn't look Cartwright has improved as the season has gone on. Good news is, he hasn't gotten worse either. There is still a little over a month of basketball left to play, which means he still has time to show some improvement. He also has the whole off season, as it definitely isn't unheard of for players to make huge strides out of season. I just wanted to see if Cartwright had indeed made strides or not. In this case it turns out not. But, hey, at least he's consistent.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Iowa vs Ohio State Recap Part II: 70-48 L

Well, that wasn't surprising.

Bullet Points!
  • You know that Iowa is in trouble if Andrew Brommer is the player of the game. In all seriousness though, Brommer played great last night. He had 12 points on 8 shots and 2 free throws (both of which, he actually made!). However, scoring was only a little part of what he did against the Buckeyes. He also had 6 rebounds (3 offensive and 3 defensive), 2 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks. Even more miraculous, was that he only had 3 fouls in 30 minutes of play. 
  • Even though Brommer had a great game, I'm not on the "Free Andrew Brommer" bandwagon yet. Cole has hit a bit of a rough stretch (which continued last night), but he still has better number's than Brommer. Cole averages slightly more points per minute, 0.29 to Brommer's 0.27. He also grabs more rebounds. Brommer has pulled down 13.27% of all defensive rebounds and 9% of all offensive rebounds while in the game this year. Cole, on the other hand has grabbed 19.08% of all defensive and 12.75% of all offensive rebounds this year. They both have shot about a 51% effective field goal percentage, but Cole makes more of his free throws. The only outright advantage that Brommer has over him is in assists. At this point, I don't really buy into the Brommer hype until he starts becoming a more consistent scorer or better rebounder. 
  • Gatens failed to reach double digits in points for the first time since the UNI game. What I found interesting was his shot selection. He went 4-11 from the floor, but only took 2 three pointers, both of which he missed. 4-9 shooting from two point range, isn't a real great percentage. Now, I fell asleep trying to watch this game on my DVR, but after this game and the Minnesota game it felt like Gatens had missed a lot of two point field goals lately. So, I looked it up in my handy spreadsheet. In January, Gatens has shot a FG% of 36.67% on two point field goals. In that same time frame, he has also shot 43.33% from behind the arc. Good to see the numbers match what the eyes are seeing.
  • May followed up his great performance against Minnesota, with a not so great performance against Ohio State. In 18 minutes, May went 0-2 shooting, grabbed 1 rebound, had 1 turnover, and picked up 1 foul. I said Iowa needed a big game out of Gatens and May considering Ohio State would probably game plan for Basabe this time around. Well, those two didn't have great games, and Iowa got run out of the building.
  • Since I haven't seen all of this game yet, I don't know what adjustments the Buckeyes made to guarding Basabe this time around, but he still had 11 points. They weren't as efficient as usual, since it took him 10 shots and 2 free throws, but it's good to see that Basabe hasn't hit that "freshman wall" and is still giving Big 10 teams trouble. 
  • Cartwright was Cartwright last night. Scoring 10 points on an inefficient 13 shots. He also had 7 assists and 5 turnovers. Cartwright would be so good if he could cut down the amount of shots it takes to get him to double digits and if he could cut down on the turnovers. He will be a Senior next year, and if he makes those improvements, Iowa will be much better.
  • Sullinger was relatively quiet this time around, only scoring 13 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. David Lighty was the star for Ohio State. He had 18 points (85.7% effective FG%), 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. They just have too many good players.
  • Iowa had another bad shooting performance last night, shooting a 40.9% effective FG% compared to Ohio State's 52.7%. In Big 10 play, Iowa has shot a 47.2% effective FG%, and allowed opponents to shoot a 60.06%. Yep. That's why Iowa is 0-6 in conference play.
  • Looking at points per possession, Iowa scored a whopping 0.69 points per possession (easily the lowest of the year). Ohio State averaged 1.01 points per possession. Not surprisingly, as Iowa has gotten in to Big 10 play, their points per possession has dropped and their opponents has risen. Take a look:
  •  Iowa lost the rebounding battle again, as Ohio State pulled down 52.7% of all rebounds to Iowa's 47.3%. On the offensive glass, Iowa grabbed 33.3% to Ohio State's 38.7%. On the defensive boards, Iowa grabbed 61.3% compared to the Buckeyes 66.7%. It's starting to look like Iowa's one real strength is starting to diminish in conference play, as rebounding has been just as bad as points per possession recently:
  •  The one real positive from this game, was that Iowa was good at causing turnovers. In fact, they forced a turnover on 29% of Ohio State's possessions. The bad news was they also turned the ball over on 33.3% of their own possessions.
  • For assists, Iowa finished with a 0.52 assist to turnover ratio, finishing just 17.42% of their possessions with an assisted field goal. Ohio State finished with a 0.9 assist to turnover ratio, ending 25.89% of their possessions with an assist. 
To wrap this game up, it sucked. The end.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Iowa vs Ohio State Men's Basketball Preview: Round 2

Short on time and sleep. So, let's get to it.

Iowa's Offense vs Ohio State's Defense:

Iowa is a pretty mediocre offense overall. They excel at offensive rebounding (9% above NCAA average), and they did win that battle against Ohio State last game. Iowa struggles to shoot the ball though, coming in slightly under the NCAA average in effective FG%. Last time, Iowa shot a 48.3% effective FG%, which is right around their season average.

Ohio State's defense is very good. They have held opponents to 3% below average in shooting this year. Iowa probably won't get to the free throw line very often, considering Ohio State is 81% above average at keeping opponents off of it, and Iowa is 4% below average at getting there. Ohio State has been good at limiting their opponents second chances, but last time Iowa grabbed 45.7% of their misses. So, who knows? Expect Iowa to turn the ball over early and often, as the Buckeyes are 25% better than average at forcing teams to cough it up. On paper, Iowa doesn't match up real well here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Iowa vs Minnesota Recap

Bullet points!
  • This game was a story of 2 periods for Iowa. In the first half, I was updating my like nine Twitter followers that Iowa was attempting to finish the 1st half with more turnovers than field goals made. Well, the good news was, they didn't. The bad news was, they had 8 turnovers and 8 field goals made in the the first half.
  • Iowa shot 8-25 from the field and 2-11 from three point range in the first half. Good for a 36% effective FG%. Not good.
  • In the second half, Iowa was hot for the first 10 minutes and then cooled off during the last 10 minutes. For the second half they shot 14-34 and 4-8 from three point range. Good for a 47.1% effective FG%, which is slightly below average, but better than 36%. They outscored the Gophers in the second half 40 to 39. Too bad they were outscored 19 to 30 in the first half.
  • Overall, Iowa shot 22-59 and 6-19 from three point range. Good for a terrible 42.4% effective FG%, which is about 6% below their season average. They did make 9 of their 11 free throws. So, that was good. Unfortunately, they only made it to the free throw line 11 times. 
  • Minnesota didn't shoot all that well from the field either. Iowa held them to a 45.7% effective FG%. About 5.5% below their season average. The big thing on offense for Minnesota was free throws. They got to the line 37 times! Their free throw rate (free throws attempted per field goals attempted) was an absurd 0.80 (!) because they took 46 shots from the field and 37 free throws. That is pretty much double Minnesota's season average. 
  • 13 of Iowa's 23 fouls came from Cole with 5 (fouled out), Basabe with 4, and May with 4. 
  • The players of the game for Iowa were Basabe and May. First, Basabe. He only took 3 shots (made 2 of them) and had 4 rebounds (2 offensive and 2 defensive) in the first half. Not a huge part of the offense. In the second half, Basabe exploded for 16 points on 6 field goals and 4 free throws. He also grabbed 9 rebounds (3 offensive and 6 defensive). He finished the night with a double-double 20 points (66.7% effective FG%) and 13 rebounds. He grabbed 14.6% of all offensive and 26.1% of all defensive rebounds. Both of which are above his season average. Hopefully we can see more of this Basabe as the season goes on.
  • It was good to see May have a good game after dealing with an injury lately. Like Basabe, he was relatively quiet in the first half offensively, minus a nice fastbreak dunk. In the second half, May went 4-6 including 3-3 from behind the arc, scoring 11 points. For the game, May scored 16 points with a 75% effective FG%. 
  • Cartwright had 10 points in this game, with most of them coming in the second half. I was impressed with his play in the second half, but for the game he still had at least one missed lay up that bugged me. He did go 4-5 from the free throw line, but it still took him 10 shots to get his 6 points from field goals. I'm just hoping he can be a more efficient scorer.
  • Gatens scored double digits again. The problem was it took him 21 shot attempts to score those 13 points (30.9% effective FG%). Similar to the Purdue game, Gatens shot 30% (3-10) from three point range. Gatens tried to get in the paint and draw the foul against the Gophers, and it never worked. Every time he would get into the paint his shot was blocked as he went to the ground. Gatens is the best player on the team, but he has always had trouble when he's contested in the lane.
  • I found it funny that Iowa's best shooter (Gatens) and Minnesota's best shooter (Hoffarber) were both cold on the same night. Unlike Gatens, Hoffarber made none of his three point attempts. He was 2-10 from the field and 0-4 from behind the arc. For once, Iowa held the opposing team's shooter in check this year. 
  • The Gophers had a block party on Sunday night. Ralph Sampson III swatted 7 or 19.4% of the Hawkeyes total shots. As a team, Minnesota blocked 12 of Iowa's shots (20.3%). That along with the free throws killed Iowa in this game.
  • Another thing that killed Iowa was Minnesota outrebounding them. It's not really surprising since Iowa wasn't really favored in rebounding. But, Basabe was the only one that actually seemed to stand a chance at pulling the ball down against the Gophers. Minnesota grabbed 56% of all the rebounds to Iowa's 44%. They also grabbed 42.9% of the offensive rebounds (horrible) and 69.2% of the defensive rebounds. Iowa managed to secure 30.8% of the offensive rebounds (5% below season average) and 57.1% of the defensive rebounds (12% below season average).
  • Iowa finished 20% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, and 16.7% of their possessions with a turnover (thanks to only turning the ball over twice in the second half). Good for a 1.2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. 
  • Minnesota finished 28.33% of their possessions with an assisted field goal (85% of their field goals were assisted...), and 18.3% of their possessions with a turnover. Good for a 1.55 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Iowa averaged 0.98 points per possession. Minnesota average 1.15 points per possession. 
  • To sum it up, Minnesota free throws, blocks, and rebounding are what killed the Hawkeyes in this game.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Iowa vs Minnesota Men's Basketball Preview

The Hawkeyes are headed to the Twin Cities to take on a team that they haven't beat since 2007. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to change after this game. From here on out, anytime that Iowa wins, aside from Penn State (even though they upset Illinois and Michigan State) and Indiana, it's going to be considered an upset.

Iowa's Offense:

Not much has changed with Iowa. They are still around average at shooting, and slightly below average at getting to the free throw line, sharing the ball, and not turning it over. Their offensive rebounding rate fell after getting embarrassed by Northwestern.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Iowa vs Northwestern Recap

This game doesn't deserve an intro.

Bullet points!
  • Well, I said Northwestern could shoot... Wednesday night was a mixture of bad defense from Iowa and ridiculously hot shooting from Northwestern. They came into the game with a 54.52%  effective FG%. During the game, they shot a 64.52% effective FG%. Coming into the game they had made 39.39% of their three pointers. During the game they made 50%. 
  • I also said Northwestern was bad on defense. Iowa had a 48.16% effective FG% coming into Wednesday night's game. In 40 minutes, they put up a 59% effective FG%. Second best this season, only to the 66.67% they put up against SIU Edwardsville.
  • I also told you, that Iowa should win the rebounding battle easily. Yeah, about that. I have no idea what happened. Basabe did his job on the boards. He grabbed 8 defensive rebounds (47.62% defensive rebound rate) and 4 offensive rebounds (26.27% offensive rebound rate) in 21 minutes of play. Cole, actually grabbed around his season average in defensive rebounds, but did not grab any offensive ones. When you take into consideration time on the court, (he  grabbed 4 defensive rebounds in 22 minutes) Cole had a 22.73% defensive rebounding rate. He averages 19.57% on the year. 
  • I think the rebounding gap lies with Archie and Brommer, who both played a combined 19 minutes in the game and grabbed no rebounds. This is the one good thing that Archie can consistently do, and against Northwestern he just wasn't himself. 
  • Staying on rebounding. Northwestern grabbed 59% of all rebounds to Iowa's 41%. They also out-rebounded Iowa on the offensive glass 43.75% to 24.14%. Not to mention, on the defensive boards 75.86% to 56.25%. That is the worst Iowa has been in rebounding this season. Those totals are also, all way above Northwestern's season average, especially, the 43.75% offensive rebounding. Coming into the game, they had only grabbed 27.74% of all offensive rebounds available on the season.Yeah. This was a great game!
  • One of the few bright spots in this game was Matt Gatens. He shot 5 of 8 from three point land, and made all 3 of his free throws. He finished with 20 points on 10 field goals attempted and 3 free throws attempted. That was good for an effective FG% of 85% (!). He has been the only consistent player on this team since Big 10 play started, shooting a 70.24% effective FG%, making 53.57% of his three point attempts, and averaging 17 points a game. At least we know what we can expect out of one Iowa player once the game starts.
  • Cartwright also had an offensive explosion against Northwestern. Going off for 25 points. Even better, was that he did it on 16 shots and 8 free throw attempts. That was good for a 56.25% effective FG%, much more efficient than his season average of 42.94%. Don't expect this efficiency to be an every game thing, because most of the Big 10 doesn't play defense like Northwestern.
  • Staying with Cartwright. I only caught the last 10 minutes of this game because I forgot to set my DVR, and the Big Ten Network didn't replay it that night (not that I can blame them after the massacre that took place). But, listening to the second half on the radio driving home, I heard Dolph and Bobby get excited every time the Hawkeyes would make a shot to cut the lead. However, they would immediately go from encouraged to depressed because of Cartwright's defense. They literally sounded like Cartwright's defense was driving them to drink on the air. Since Iowa is so thin at point guard, this is what we are going to get. An offensive minded, decent passing, turnover prone, inefficient scoring, matador-like defending, point guard. He has nights where he can be special, but there are nights where he will frustrate the living hell out of you. Last night was a little of both. 
  • Eric May's injury has really hurt this team. I feel bad for Eric because he was in a shooting slump in December, only to get injured before the Ohio State game. May can put the ball in the basket, rebound, and play defense. Not having him do all of that at full strength, is not doing this team any favors during Big 10 play. 
  • I defended Basabe and Cole on their rebounding, but I was surprised at how little they scored against Northwestern. Mirkovic is a good, tall post player for Northwestern, but he can only guard one of the duo. Basabe went 3 of 3 from the field and Cole went 1 of 2. Even more weird, when I got home, I thought I heard the Big Ten Network announcers say that Northwestern didn't even try their 1-3-1 zone until later in the second half. Hopefully, the Basabe and Cole who showed up in the Ohio State game will come back and visit soon. 
  • Iowa struggled from the free throw line, making 54.55% on 12 of 22 shooting. But, when you look at who missed them, it's easy to see why. Marble went 1 for 6 and Brommer went 0-2. That is 7 of the 10 missed free throws there. Marble is shooting 50% from the line this year, and Brommer 30.43%. When those guys are taking 8 of your team's free throws, you should automatically prepare for the worst. 
  • Iowa finished 16.07% of their possessions with an assisted field goal and 21.91% with a turnover. Good for a 0.73 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. 
  • Northwestern ended 33.67% of their possessions with an assist and 20.49% of their possessions with a turnover. Good for a 1.64 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Iowa averaged 1.04 points per possession. Northwestern averaged 1.32.
  • After letting Northwestern shoot lights out on them, Iowa has now allowed Big 10 opponents to shoot a 64.76% effective FG% (!), compared to the 44.69% they held non-conference opponents too. You should expect an increase, but 20%? Let's hope this gets fixed.
This game doesn't deserve an outro either.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Iowa's Defense 2003-2010 (The Rest of the Leftovers)

If you've read the the accompanying posts, you know how this goes. Since I'm snowed in today, I have time for more analysis than I did in the offensive one.

First, defensive points allowed per game:

The 2006 version of Iowa's defense was the only team to ever give up more (just slightly) than Big 10 average points per game. If you're looking up points per game and these don't match, it's because I took out points given up on kick returns or any other plays that the defense was not on the field. 2003, 2008, and 2009 were really stingy on points. 2010 was really good at this through the first eight games, the last four games raised their average to about 16.
  • Iowa's eight year average: 16.17 defensive points per game allowed
  • Big 10 eight year average: 21.94 defensive points per game allowed

Iowa vs Northwestern Men's Basketball Preview

Northwestern is coming into Carver Wednesday night, after just picking up their first conference win of the season against Indiana. They are a pretty interesting team. My opinion on them, is that they had a pretty cupcake non-conference schedule, but have struggled anytime they have faced a good opponent. For a team that is looking to finally make an NCAA tournament, their signature wins this year are probably against Creighton, Georgia Tech, and Indiana. They did only lose by 3 to Michigan State at home, but on the road they lost to Illinois and Purdue by double digits. Interestingly enough, in this series over the last two years, the home teams are undefeated. Even better, Northwestern hasn't won in Carver since the Alford Era (or since I was a Sophomore in high school, I'm getting old), January 10, 2004. Also, in that time frame, Iowa has only won once at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The home team has won ten out of the last twelve meetings. In other words, Iowa could easily get their first Big 10 win Wednesday night.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Iowa's Offense 2003-2010 (Leftovers from the Last Post)

In the first post I only gave you the percentages because I felt that it was already long enough, and there was no need to go overboard with information. In this one, I wanted to put the actual numbers because it is interesting to see things like in what years the Big 10 was especially tough. Also, I calculated more than the five stats I used for the earlier post, and I figured they might as well not go to waste. There will be less analysis in this post, but plenty of graphs to look at.

Offensive Points Per Game:

Three seasons above average.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Iowa vs Purdue Recap

Not going to lie. I paid much more attention to the first half of this game than the second half. I had the game on the entire time, but got distracted by other things after halftime. I saw some of the action, but a lot of it seems like a blur of Iowa making some mistakes, making a few good plays, and then making even more mistakes. Not surprisingly, Purdue capitalized on these mistakes and ran away with a game that was never in doubt once the tip was won.

Bullet Points!
  • Congratulations to the Hawkeyes on a new record today! This was their worst shooting game of the season. Previously this year they had shot a 38.97% effective FG% against Xavier. Today, they shot 38.46% vs Purdue. That is going to hurt the season average.
  • The Hawkeyes are not a great shooting team to start with, as they came into the game shooting about NCAA average in effective FG%. But, Purdue is a really good defensive team. They came into the game today holding opponents to 43.1% effective FG% on the season. NCAA average was 48.9%. Yeah. They are good. 
  • Iowa shot 37.78% on their two point field goals today. Interestingly enough, that is only second worst this year to the 33.33% they put up against Alabama (they won that game?). 
  • The 7 three point attempts by Iowa is the least amount taken in a game this year. The previous least was 10 in the first game of the year against South Dakota State.
  • Iowa made 12-16 free throws today, which marks three out of the last four games that they have made at least 70% of their free throws. So, maybe they're fixing that problem.
  • Purdue was really focusing on Gatens defensively. They know he likes to catch and shoot from behind the three point line, and they limited him to three shots from there. Gatens went 4 of 10 from the field, and only 1 of 3 from behind the arc. He was still the only Hawkeye in double figures, with 13. But, it was harder than usual, coming on 10 field goal attempts and 4 free throw attempts.
  • The Hawkeyes had a tough time converting on shots around the basket today. In the first half I specifically remember seeing Cartwright miss at least two layups after bringing the ball up court and getting into the paint right away. Brommer also missed a layup pretty horribly, and I still have no idea what that was about. Marble missed one or two pretty close to the hoop also. There were probably more, but there were so many of them they all started to blur together for me (notice a trend?). Early on, Iowa actually would have been more in the game if they hadn't missed all of these.
  • Remember when I said JaJuan Johnson was their best shot blocker? He had 4 blocks. Purdue, as a team, had 9 blocks. 
  • Also, remember when I said they had shooters? Well, Ryne Smith, who shot 49.1% from three point range coming into the game, shot 6 of 9 from there. ISU's Christopherson, OSU's Diebler, and now Purdue's Smith. Iowa has to find a way to shut down opposing teams shooters. 
  • Devon Archie got 20 minutes of playing time today. Mostly due to the fact that Iowa was getting killed, and Basabe and Cole seemed to be ineffective down low. Basabe had 8 points and Cole had 6, but Basabe pulled down 3 rebounds and Cole pulled down 0. Archie is by no means a better player than either Basabe or Cole, but he is the teams best rebounder. He has proven it time and time again while in the game, that he can be a rebounding machine. Today was no different, he grabbed 2 offensive rebounds and 6 defensive rebounds. I really wish he could put it together, because he is a great rebounder when he is on the court. The problem is, he doesn't see the court that often.
  • Oh yeah. In 20 minutes of play, Archie grabbed 38.71% of all defensive rebounds available while on the court. The next best on the team was Brommer with 17.2%. 
  • Iowa ended 16.27% of their possessions with an assisted field goal today. Unfortunately, they ended 23.67% of their possessions with a turnover. A 0.69 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. 
  • Purdue ended 30.91% of their possessions with an assist today, and only 19.14% with a turnover. That was good for a 1.62 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Remember how rebounding was supposed to be Iowa's strength? Yeah, well, not so much today. Purdue grabbed 55.38% of all rebounds compared to Iowa's 44.62%. On the offensive boards, Iowa grabbed 23.53% and Purdue grabbed 32.26%. Defensively, Iowa pulled down 67.74% and Purdue pulled down 76.47%. Probably didn't help that Cole didn't grab one single rebound and Basabe only had 3. 
  • Overall, Iowa scored 0.77 points per possession, beating their previous low of 0.88 against Alabama (they really did win that game). While, Purdue scored 1.10 points per possession. 
Wrapping this up, I figured a blowout like this was coming. Iowa has such a young team, and five of their players (including Archie who sat out last year) were playing in their first Big 10 road game. Purdue is a good team with no weaknesses. Add in that home crowd, and I figured it wouldn't be pretty. Next up for Iowa is Northwestern, and I really want to beat them. We can't lose to them in football and basketball this year. That one will be in Carver, so forget about Purdue and prepare for a good game. I know I've already erased this massacre from my DVR and mind.

Comparing Iowa to the Rest of the Big 10 Under Kirk Ferentz

Kirk Ferentz became the Iowa coach in 1999. In the last 12 seasons Ferentz has had the same offensive and defensive coordinator. One of them is regarded as a genius of his trade, while the other is, well, not so highly regarded. The genius, and rightfully so, is Norm Parker who has given Iowa a reputation of great defenses. Ken O'Keefe is the not so highly regarded coordinator. Since O'Keefe has been offensive coordinator, Iowa has had some good offenses, but they've also seen some bad ones. Now, O'Keefe tends to get all the blame for Iowa's offensive strategy. I tend to believe that if Iowa had another offensive coordinator, not much would change because Ferentz is the boss and he tends to be very conservative.

Under Ferentz, Iowa has been a run first team no matter what. Ferentz is the kind of coach who has no problem late in games running the ball three times, punting it, and letting his defense win the game. He also is the kind of coach who will get up on a team by three scores in two quarters and then milk the clock the last two quarters (see 2010 Penn State). Iowa fans cannot complain too much, as Iowa has been successful under Ferentz. But, I wanted to look at how Iowa's offense and defense compared to the rest of the Big 10 in the Ferentz era to see if the praise of Parker and criticism of O'Keefe is warranted.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Iowa vs Purdue Men's Basketball Preview

Iowa goes on the road for the first time in conference play this Sunday, taking on Purdue. This would be the third Top 25 team in a row that Iowa has faced. So like usual, if they were to somehow come away with a victory this would be a huge upset. But, can they keep it close? Let's hope so. Here is how they match up.

Like always, here is Iowa's offense:

Just like last time, 100 is NCAA average. Anything below is below average, and anything above is above average. Iowa shot above it's season average vs Ohio State, which bumped them up slightly to exactly average by NCAA standards in shooting. However, they didn't get to the free throw line as much as they had been, so they were knocked down just a notch below average in free throw rate. However, thanks to Basabe and Cole rebounding well vs Ohio State, Iowa's offensive rebounding went up. It is now 14% above NCAA average for the year. Iowa's offense looks pretty average, but their one strength is rebounding.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Iowa's Biggest Strength: Rebounding

The one thing I've been really impressed with from the Hawkeyes men's basketball team so far this year has been their rebounding. So, here are a few graphs to show you what I mean.

The first graph shows the percentage of defensive rebounds Iowa has pulled down every game. The white line is the NCAA average. As you can see, for the most part this year Iowa has been above that white line in almost every game. Especially, around late November when Cole seemed to be recovered from the injured foot. Also, you can see that the only game in which they lost the defensive rebounding battle, was Long Beach State.

Now, Offensive Rebounds:

We have the same thing for offensive rebounds too. Long Beach State is the only team to crash the offensive boards harder than the Hawkeyes. Iowa is also above the white line in offensive rebounding in just about every game so far this season too.

I am becoming more impressed with this team's rebounding, especially after what they did against Ohio State. I wondered if their rebounding would decline once they got into the tougher competition of the Big 10. I know it's only two games in, but so far they are showing that their rebounding skill is for real.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Iowa vs Ohio State Recap

Well, that game was fun. Even though it was a loss, I thoroughly enjoyed watching last night's game. I mean, Iowa led at halftime only to give it up, but come back from a double digit deficit and lose by five to the second ranked team in the nation. I'm not usually a moral victory type of person, but for a young team in their first year under a new coach, I would consider this a great outcome. I predicted a double digit loss, and that's what it looked like would happen when Ohio State went on their run in the second half. But, Iowa played tough and clawed back into the game. They even got within three with thirty seconds left. They didn't win last night, but this team showed a lot of heart.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Eric May's Different Approach in December

Similar to the Gatens post, I want to take a deeper look at Eric May's December. In November he was the best player on the Iowa basketball team. December, though, was a different story. If you look at the number's May seems to have changed his strategy like Gatens did, but with different results.

Just like in the Gatens post let's start with Eric May's shooting:

You can see there is a big difference in the shooting percentages in both months. In November he was hitting almost any shot that he took. He made 60% of his three pointers, which led to a 60.42% effective FG%. Now, there is no way that May was going to keep shooting 60% from three point range. That is an unrealistic percentage for even the best shooters. In December he hit 36.36% of his three points shots. This is actually more realistic for May. He shot 28.7% from behind the arc last year, and it isn't crazy to think he could have improved his three point shooting into the mid 30% range. The problem with his shooting in December is that he only hit 30% of his two point shots. That knocked his unrealistically good effective FG% from November down to an unrealistically bad 40.38 FG%. The graph also shows that May has also not shot real well from the free throw line in either month.

Iowa vs Ohio State Men's Basketball Preview

Big 10 play kicked off last week with a loss to Illinois. Iowa played them pretty tough, but Illinois shot ridiculously well. Ohio State is the next Big 10 foe to visit Carver this Tuesday. So far this season, they seem to be the team to beat in the Big 10. But, how does Iowa match up?

First, let's look at Iowa's offense:

The offensive rating is simply the average of the five scores from the graph. 102 means that Iowa's offense has been a little above average so far. Clearly, this team's strength is offensive rebounding. So far they have been 12% above NCAA average in offensive rebounding percentage.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The 2010 Iowa Hawkeyes Football Team: What Happened?

The 2010 season did not go as many had hoped it would. Iowa had a huge returning senior class, a two year starter at quarterback, a wide receiver on the verge of almost every Iowa receiving record, and a dominant defense returning most of its starters. The first eight games of the season went about as planned. Iowa looked like one of the best teams in the Big 10. Their only two losses came on a just missed comeback against Arizona and a last minute loss to Wisconsin. Iowa then went on to blow out an undefeated Michigan State team, and suddenly they were in control of their own destiny. The next four games though did not go as expected. Iowa won in week ten versus Indiana, but it took a last second dropped pass. They then finished out the season with three straight losses and finished 7-5. So what was the difference in those first eight games compared to the last four games? Let's find out.

First, lets take a look at the passing game:

This is Stanzi's completions and pass attempts by game. For the most part the gap between Stanzi's completions and attempts seem to be the largest in Iowa's losses. But, notice how the gap between the two gets larger and stays larger after Michigan State. Meaning, that over the last four games of the year Stanzi's completion percentage took a dip.

I Think it is Safe to Say that Matt Gatens is Healthy

I touched briefly on this in an earlier post, but I wanted to dig a little deeper. Anybody who has watched Iowa basketball this year has noticed Matt Gatens is starting to play like the player we all knew he could be. The season didn't start off like Gatens would have liked. He dislocated his thumb in practice before the season, and missed the first three games of the season. Fans figured that the one part of his game that would suffer from this injury would be his shooting. Surely enough, it did in November. In December though, he played like his hand was no longer bothering him.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Comparing the 2009-2010 Season to the 2010-2011 Season

The Men's Basketball season is only about halfway over, but I think one thing is pretty clear. This year's team is better than last year's team. Now, I'm not going to make this post into a Lick-bashing/Fran-loving one, I'm simply curious as to what this year's team is doing better so far. In order to figure that out, I compared the numbers of this year's team and last year's team vs their non-conference opponents. Let's take a look.

First, the 2009-2010 Offense:

So, as you can see, Iowa was an above average shooting team last year against their non-conference opponents. Their rating of 108 means they shot 8% better than the NCAA D1 average in effective FG%. They were also above average at sharing the ball, averaging 19% more in assists to field goals made ratio than NCAA average. They also gave the ball away 7% less than the average NCAA team last year. However, they did have trouble getting second chance opportunities, as they were 13% worse than average at grabbing offensive rebounds. Not to mention, that they struggled getting to the free throw line. Their free throws attempted to field goals attempted ratio was 15% below NCAA average.