Sunday, February 27, 2011

Iowa vs Illinois Round II Recap: 68-81 L

Like so many other games this year, this game was okay, then the second half started.

Bullet Points!
  • Let's start with shooting. Iowa shot 19-42 (45.24%) from inside the three point arc, and 5-17 (29.41%) from outside it. That look's bad enough. What makes it worse, is when we break down the two point field goals a little bit further. Of those 42 two point field goal attempts, Iowa took 16 in the paint. They made 15 of them, or 93.75%. That means, Iowa went 4-26 (15.38%) on two point jump shots outside of the paint. That's terrible. Overall, Iowa shot a 44.9% effective FG%. About 4% lower than their season average.
  • Illinois shot much better than Iowa. They shot 25-38 (65.7%) from two point range, and 6-18 (33.3%) from three point range. They finished the day shooting a 60.7% effective FG%. 
  • This game was not like the last time Iowa and Illinois played. In this game, Iowa didn't beat the Illini any category (except turnovers, and not in the good way). Last time, they beat Illinois in rebounding pretty handily. This time, it was close, but Illinois grabbed 50.2% of all rebounds, while Iowa grabbed 49.8%. On the defensive boards, Illinois came down with 61.1% of Iowa's misses, while Iowa came down with 60.7% of Illinois' misses. On the offensive glass, Illinois grabbed 39.3% of their own misses, while Iowa grabbed 38.9% of their own misses. Hey, at least Iowa kept it closer than they did shooting-wise.
  • Last time they faced off, Iowa won the turnover battle, by forcing Illinois into a turnover on about 25% of their possessions. This time Illinois cut that down to 19.4% of their possessions. Iowa, on the other hand, turned the ball over on 20.9% of their possessions. 
  • Iowa ended 22.39% of their possessions with an assisted field goal. They finished the day with an assist to turnover ratio of 1.07. Illinois had an assist on 31.34% of their possessions yesterday. They finished with a 1.62 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Moving onto players. Melsahn Basabe was Iowa's best player last night. He was very efficient, scoring 17 points on 5-9 from the field (55.5% effective FG%) and 7-7 from the free throw line (1.38 points per scoring attempt). He was pretty quiet on the defensive glass, only grabbing 2 defensive rebounds (9.5% defensive rebounding rate). However, he was like a vacuum cleaner on the offensive glass, sucking up 5 Iowa missed shots (18.5% offensive rebounding rate). He continues to get his points, no matter how many times opposing teams try to double team him.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Iowa vs Illinois Round II Preview

From the Previous Match up: 
Iowa vs Illinois Round I Recap

Iowa doesn't have a good track record at Assembly Hall. This could be interesting.

Iowa Offense vs Illinois Defense

Let's start with shooting. Iowa dipped below NCAA average after their last game against Michigan. They are now shooting a 48.81% effective FG% on the year. Illinois, on the other hand, has been 7% above NCAA average at contesting shots, holding opponents to a 45.35% effective FG%. They've also been number one during Big 10 play in this category. However, Iowa did shoot a 53.9% effective FG% against the Illini back in January. So, you never know.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Comparing Freshman Campaign's: Melsahn Basabe and Greg Brunner

Note: This is Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

A few weeks ago I compared Melsahn Basabe's stats from conference play to Jared Sullinger's. This time I wanted to get an idea of just how good Basabe's freshman campaign has been. To do that, I decided to use and use their side by side comparison tool to look at Melsahn Basabe's freshman year to date and Greg Brunner's. has Basabe listed at 6'7" and 225 lbs. They also have Brunner listed at 6'7" 245 lbs. I doubt that is Brunner's weight from his freshman year, but still, both players are a little undersized for being post players. However, Brunner was obviously thicker.

Now, when we look at stats, minutes played is obviously an important part. It just so happens that Basabe and Brunner both averaged 24.4 minutes per game their freshman years. That makes this comparison easier. So, let's begin.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Iowa vs Michigan Round II Recap: 72-75 L OT

That second half collapse was more painful in person.

Bullet Points!
  • This was the second overtime game I've been to at Carver. The last one was the game against Penn State where Jake Kelly went off, while puking in a trashcan on timeouts, two years ago. Needless to say, this one didn't end as well.
  • Iowa shot a 54.8% effective FG% in the first half, while Michigan shot 50%. Iowa outscored them by 8 in the first half. In the second half, Iowa shot a 44.6% effective FG%, and Michigan put up a 58.7%. Michigan outscored Iowa by 8 in the second half.
  • For the entire game, Michigan outshot Iowa, 53.8% to 46.6%. Iowa made 58.5% of their two point attempts, and a meager 11.8% from behind the three point line. Michigan made 59.3% of their two point shots, and 30% of their three point shots.
  • The Hawkeyes did win the rebounding battle, pulling down 58.6% of all rebounds, compared to Michigan's 41.4%. Iowa grabbed 41.2% of their own misses, while allowing Michigan to do the same only 24.1% of the time. On the defensive glass, Iowa came down with 75.9% of all of Michigan's misses, and Michigan came up with 58.8% of Iowa's misses. This the only thing Iowa dominated in for the whole game.
  • Iowa ended 21.7% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, but they also turned it over on 23.2% of them. That performance was good for a 0.94 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Michigan ended 20.3% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, and only gave the ball up on 18.8%. That performance was good for a 1.08 assist to turnover ratio.
  • More on the second half collapse. Iowa had a 32-24 lead at the beginning of the second half. Around the 9:15 mark it was 42-42. That is a 18-10 run for Michigan. During that 18-10 run by Michigan, Tim Hardaway Jr. went 3-4 from three point range and 1-1 from two point range. He scored 11 points in that 10 minute stretch. That is 1 more point than Iowa scored in that entire 10 minute stretch. That was a bad bad 10 minutes.
  • As you can see from above, instead of this game being the Darius Morris show Part II (he did play good, though), this time it was the Tim Hardaway Jr. show. Hardaway scored a game high 30 points (20 of which came in the second half) on 9-14 shooting (4-7 from two point range and 5-7 from three point range). Thanks to all his three's, he had a ridiculous effective FG% of 82.1%. If you add him going 7-7 from the free throw line, you get a ridiculous 1.73 points per scoring attempt. He wasn't just hitting wide open shots, either. There were times where he just decided to pull up with an Iowa defender in his face, and drain the shot. It got to the point where me and the guy in the seat next to me, were surprised when Hardaway missed a shot. He looks like he's going to be pretty good for years to come.
  • Now, we can move on and talk about Morris. Morris was pretty quiet in the first half (the whole Michigan team was). But, in the second half, Michigan decided to start attacking Iowa's defense more. That was a problem for Iowa. Iowa had enough trouble guarding Hardaway in the second half, but when Morris started driving more, all hell broke loose. Cartwright couldn't keep him in front of him and neither could Marble. He also made Basabe (I believe that's who it was, because Fran yanked him for a good chunk of minutes) look bad on some pick and roll defense, that led to some easy baskets for Michigan. Morris put up 20 points and 9 assists, 10 and 5 of which, came in the second half.
  • Moving onto Iowa's players. Basabe was his efficient shooting self, as he put up 19 points on 8-10 shooting (80% effective FG%) and made all three of his free throw's (1.66 points per scoring attempt). He also grabbed 8 rebounds. 5 of which were defensive (22.8%) and 3 of which were offensive (11.6%). There were stretches where Basabe was unstoppable, making almost everything he put up, and grabbing some key offensive rebounds and converting them into second chance points. He also had a very nice alley-oop on a lob from Marble, on a play that was almost a turnover. However, as I said above, he did have some defensive trouble in the second half. So much so, that Fran took him out and put Brommer in for a while. That most certainly, did not help Iowa's offense. But, if you're going to blow that many defensive assignments, Fran is not going to have you on the court.
  • Staying on Fran for a moment. Holy hell, was he in full character yesterday. During the second half his face was terror threat level red. What was great about it, was that he would get in the players faces as they came off the court. They would sit down, and he would dig into them again. Then he would walk away as if he needed to calm down and collect himself, and then he would walk back over and start screaming once again. During a TV timeout, I believe it was, he walked away and came back at least 4 times. Fran can be more entertaining than the game sometimes.
  • Hightower refereed yesterday. Beilein got a technical. Fran didn't. Huh?
  • Gatens put up 13 points yesterday, but shot 4-11 from the field including 2-7 from behind the arc (the only three pointers Iowa made yesterday). However, it was his defense for the second game in a row that was pretty freaking bad (the team as a whole had some terrible defensive stands). I love Gatens, but he's too slow on defense. 
  • Marble was pretty impressive yesterday, putting up 11 points on a 62.5% effective FG%. His mid range jumper was beautiful yesterday. He would just bring the ball up court, and pull the trigger. It looked very smooth. As a matter of fact, Marble made 60% of his two point shots outside the paint yesterday. By far the best on the team. He also made 100% of his shots inside the paint. He is looking more impressive as the year goes on. He has some real upside for the future.
  • Cole put up 14 points (1.69 points per scoring attempt), doing most of his damage from the free throw line. He made 8 of his 9 free throw attempts. That was good for a 2.25 free throw rate (free throws attempted per field goals attempted). This is something I need to give Cole credit for, his ability to get to the free throw line. He is number one on the team in free throw rate among players who actually play (Archie is number one, overall), getting to the line on 60% of his field goal attempts (0.60 free throw rate). Keep it up, Jarryd.
  • Cartwright couldn't make a basket yesterday to save his life. He went 3-13 from the field (23% effective FG%), scoring 8 points. While he did have 8 assists, he also had 5 turnovers. But, let's stay on his shooting. Cartwright shot 42.86% on his shots inside the paint yesterday. Only Brommer, who shot 33.3%, was worse. However, Cartwright decided to one-up that, by shooting 0% (0-6) on his two pointers outside of the paint. Add to that, the fact that he couldn't guard Darius Morris to save his life either, and it was a bad day.
  • Iowa averaged 1.04 points per possession, while Michigan averaged 1.09. Another game where Iowa scores above season average and loses.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Iowa vs Michigan Round II: Preview

Going to be a short preview today, as I decided last minute to head to this game in person, and I still got to take a shower and everything. But, here is the preview from last time and the recap from last time. Both should do a good job of letting you know what to expect today. But, below I do have the updated ratings for both teams coming into this game. Enjoy!

Iowa Offense vs Michigan Defense

Michigan Offense vs Iowa Defense

Friday, February 18, 2011

Iowa vs Northwestern: Round II Recap: 70-73 L

Iowa outshot and outrebounded Northwestern, and still lost.

Bullet points!
  • Iowa outshot Northwestern in effective FG% 56% to 55%. Iowa made 54.3% of their two point field goal attempts, 41.7% of their three point attempts, but they also hit only 41.7% of their free throw attempts. Northwestern shot 46.8% from inside the three point arc, 42.9% from behind it, and 53.8% from the free throw line. 
  • In the first match up between these teams, Northwestern scored 46.7% of their points on three point field goals. This time they decided to up that, to 49.3%. 
  • Iowa also won the rebounding battle 53.7% to 46.3%. On the offensive glass, Iowa pulled down 35.3% of all of their misses, compared to Northwestern's 27.8%. On the defensive glass, Iowa grabbed 72.2% of the Wildcat's misses. While, Northwestern grabbed just 64.7% of Iowa's misses.
  • Iowa did lose the turnover battle last night. They turned the ball over on 20.3% of their possessions. Northwestern, on the other hand, turned it over on just 12.5% of their possessions. Most of those Iowa turnovers, were directly forced by Northwestern (and Iowa stupidity), they weren't just travels or passes thrown out of bounds. 10 of Iowa's 12 turnovers were steals by Northwestern (15.6% of Iowa's possessions ended in a steal). Northwestern's defensive philosophy seemed to be "go for the steal, allow basket, repeat."
  • Iowa finished 25% of their possessions with an assisted field goal. Good for an assist to turnover ratio of 1.23. Northwestern ended 26.56% of their possessions with an assisted field goal. Good for a 2.12 assist to turnover ratio. 
  • Northwestern also won in free throw rate. However, they beat Iowa in this regard ever so slightly, 0.22 to 0.21 free throws attempted per field goals attempted. Though, neither shot them very well as you can see in the first bullet point. 
  • Speaking of not shooting free throws very well. Holy hell, Devon Archie. I've seen people airball free throws before, but they usually go straight and come up short. Archie's, from the TV camera angle anyway, looked like it went almost a foot to the right of the basket. Archie is 6-22 (27.3%) from the free throw line this year. After last night, I'm amazed he's made 6 free throws this year. 
  • Staying with free throws. Matt Gatens missed 2 of his 3 free throws last night. Gatens is now 60-68 from the free throw line this year. His 88.2% free throw percentage, according to, is number one in the Big 10. Gatens missing 2 free throws in a game almost seems impossible. I'm halfway tempted to go back and check how many times he has ever missed more than one free throw in a game. 
  • If you had to pick a star player for Iowa last night, it would probably have to be Cartwright. He didn't have his best shooting performance, scoring 10 points on 5-12 shooting  (41.6% effective FG% and 0.83 points per scoring attempt), but he did shoot better down the stretch. Overall, he was the catalyst for Iowa's offense last night. He finished the game with 9 assists and assisted 42.3% of all shots made by Iowa (and probably 99% of the shots made by Jarryd Cole), while he was on the court. He had 4 turnovers, but I can live with the 2.25 assist to turnover ratio. I'm really hoping he can improve on his scoring efficiency next year. If he can put those 10 points up on about 3 less shot attempts, he's going to be really damn dangerous. 
  • Jarryd Cole had a big game against Northwestern. Much better than his first game against them. He scored 17 points on 8 shots (87.5% effective FG%) and 4 free throw attempts, which was good for 1.72 points per scoring attempt. He also grabbed 8 rebounds (4 offensive and 4 defensive), which was good for a 14.7% offensive rebounding rate and a 13.8% defensive rebounding rate.
  • McCabe was Iowa's offense in the first half. When Northwestern tried to put Iowa away early with a barrage of three pointers, McCabe decided to fire back. He only went 1-3 from three point range, but he went 4-5 from two point land, including a nice layup and foul on a clear flop from the Northwestern defender. McCabe scored all 11 of his points in the first half. He didn't do a whole lot in the second half, but he kept this game from getting out of hand like the previous game did. Kudos to the freshman, who has struggled in Big 10 play.
  • Onto Basabe. I predicted a double-double for him, and he probably would have had it too. Except, he only played 20 minutes due to foul trouble. Some of the fouls were plain crap, but I'm not going to get into the referees. Melsahn struggled to find his game early, but right around when he picked up his second foul, he put down a thunderous one-handed dunk (just before Fran pulled him, as he does with any player that has two fouls in the first half), and he seemed to get rolling after that. In the 20 minutes he played, he put up 13 points and 7 rebounds (4 offensive and 3 defensive). Translating that into rebounding rate, he grabbed 23.5% of all offensive and 16.6% of all defensive rebounds, while he was on the court. If he wouldn't have been in foul trouble, Iowa probably would have had their second conference road win of the year. Basabe probably would have had that double-double too.
  • Gatens returned to his normal form this game, after being in a shooting slump over the last three games. When I say returned to form, I mean he went 3-4 from behind the three point arc and 1-4 from inside it. Not to mention, he played some pretty poor defense at times. Welcome back, Matt.
  • Eric May shot a 20% effective FG% and averaged 0.40 points per scoring attempt. That also includes a laser beam layup that he threw off the backboard way too hard. Eric May is lost right now. Maybe we should put some "missing" signs on the back of milk cartons or something. 
  • While Iowa shot better and made three more field goals than Northwestern did, the Wildcats made 12 three pointers. Those 36 points are the reason Northwestern averaged 1.14 points per possession, and Iowa averaged 1.09. This marks the second time that Iowa has faced Northwestern, shot much better than their season average, and still lost.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Iowa vs Northwestern: Round II Preview

Life got in the way of me posting an Iowa vs Minnesota recap. Not that it really matters, as I can sum it up for you real quick: Iowa got spanked. Now, onto the Wildcats.

Iowa Offense vs Northwestern Defense

Last time Iowa played Northwestern, they shot about 11% above their season average effective FG% of 48.6%. That is actually pretty normal for Northwestern's defense this year, as Northwestern has let opponents shoot a 7% better than NCAA average effective FG% against them. Hopefully, that will mean good news for an Iowa team coming off a terrible shooting game.

Iowa is a pretty good offensive rebounding team, grabbing 6% more offensive rebounds than the average NCAA team. Northwestern has been better on the defensive boards, though. Coming down with 8% more defensive rebounds than average. In the previous match up, Iowa got embarassed on the glass all night. Basabe did his part, but Iowa will need bigger contributions from Cole and Brommer. Archie too, but I doubt he plays.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Iowa vs Minnesota Men's Basketball Preview: Round II

From Last Time
Iowa vs Minnesota Men's Basketball Preview
Iowa vs Minnesota Recap: 59-69 L

The last time Iowa and Minnesota faced off this year, Minnesota scored 39.1% of their points from free throws and blocked 20.3% of Iowa's shots. Iowa actually kept it somewhat close, and only lost on the road by 10, though. This time, these teams face off at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and Iowa has played much better in their house than they have on the road this year. So, let's look at the match up, shall we?

Iowa's Offense vs Minnesota's Defense

Iowa's 48.89% effective FG% rounds out to NCAA average. While, Minnesota is holding opponents to 46.79% shooting, which comes out to 4% above NCAA average. During their last match up, Iowa shot around 42%, but that was also because Minnesota blocked 12 shots. Unless you expect Minnesota to block that many shots again, then there is a good chance Iowa should shoot a better percentage from the field.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Iowa vs Wisconsin Recap: 59-62 L, OT

I'm a day later than usual because, believe it or not, I have a life.

Bullet points!
  • I was expecting Iowa to shoot terrible, but I wasn't expecting Wisconsin to shoot worse. The first half was terrible, Wisconsin went 6-33 from the field and 2-16 (!) from three point range. That total was good enough for a terrible 21.2% effective FG%, and a miserable 0.63 points per possession. And somehow, Iowa was only up by 5 at halftime. 
  • For the entire game, Iowa shot 25-60 from the field. That includes, 24-53 from two point range (45.2%),1-7 from three point range (42.5% effective FG%), and 8-9 from the free throw line (88.9%). They also averaged 0.94 points per possession.
  • For the entire game, Wisconsin went 24-68 shooting. That includes, 16-39 from insided the arc (41%), 8-29 from beyond the arc (41.2% effective FG%), and 6-7 from the charity stripe (85.7%). Wisconsin finished the game averaging 0.98 points per possession.
  • Wisconsin took 8 more shots than Iowa in this game. That is because in the first half, Iowa allowed the Badgers to grab 12 offensive rebounds. I bring that up to point this out; Wisconsin had 0 second chance points in the first half, according to Iowa's .PDF box score. Wisconsin shot so bad in the first half, that on 12 second chance opportunities, they had no points to show for them (they were still only down by 5 at halftime, though).
  • Why didn't Fran call a timeout at the end of overtime? I'm fine with not using it at the end of regulation. The game was tied then, and a two point shot wins it. Cartwright is pretty much the only guy on the team who can create his own shot, and he got his chance and missed. In overtime though, Iowa needed a three to tie. Cartwright is not a good three point shooter. He is shooting 26% on the year. He's not the guy who should be taking a three, much less a contested one, in that position. Call a timeout, and set up a play for Gatens, even May is a better long range shooter, or hell, put Stoermer on the court and give Wisconsin another option to guard. I would much rather see Gatens take a contested three with the game on the line, than Cartwright. 
  • Just like in the Michigan State game, Iowa had four starters in double-figures this game. They also saw their two starting post players, put up double-doubles. This was Basabe's sixth double-double this year. The kid is a monster.
  • Basabe was second on the team in scoring, but he played the best, overall. He scored 13 points on 6-11 shooting and making his only free throw attempt. Like always, Basabe was very efficient at scoring. He finished with a 54.5% effective FG% and averaged 1.13 points per scoring attempt. He also grabbed 11 rebounds, including 4 offensive (13.5% offensive rebounding rate) and 7 defensive (18.9% defensive rebounding rate).
  • Jarryd Cole had a nice game. He put up 10 points on 4-7 shooting and went 2-2 from the line. Cole shot a very efficient 57.1% effective FG% and averaged 1.26 points per scoring attempt. He also came down with 12 rebounds (3 offensive and 9 defensive). For the game, Cole grabbed 9.6% of all offensive and 23% of all defensive rebounds available while he was in the game. He was the team's best defensive rebounder, and was the second best offensive rebounder, behind Basabe.
  • Cartwright led the Hawkeyes in scoring, with 14 points. But, he didn't have his best shooting night. Wisconsin is a good defensive team, and they held Cartwright to 5-15 from the field and 1-2 from behind the arc. He did make all three of his free throws, though. But, he had a rather inefficient night scoring, as he put up a 36.6% effective FG% and averaged 0.85 points per scoring attempt. He also ended his streak of at least 8 assists in his last four games. He finished with 4 assists, and a 21.8% assist rate (percentage of field goals assisted while on the court), which is about 16% less than his season average. 
  • Staying on Cartwright, I'm not saying he had a terrible game. He was just offensively inefficient. However, he still had moments where he looked damn good. One moment comes to mind, where late in the game, Cartwright pushed the ball up court and took it straight to the lane, hitting the little tear drop floater. The Badgers wanted to slow this game down, but on this possession Cartwright set the pace of play to Iowa's speed. It was good to see him be aggressive and not get bogged down in Wisconsin's slower pace of play.
  • Gatens was the fourth starter in double-digits, scoring 10 points on 4-12 shooting, including 0-4 from downtown. He did make both of his free throw attempts. However, Gatens was not himself this game, as he finished with a very inefficient 33.3% effective FG% (about 16% below his season average) and was second worst on the team averaging 0.77 points per scoring attempt (May was the worst averaging 0.33). It was good to see that with an off shooting night from Gatens and Cartwright, that Iowa could still weather the storm against a good team like Wisconsin.
  • John Leuer had 19 points and 15 rebounds. I just want to point out that he grabbed 32.7% of all defensive rebounds available while he was on the court. That's insane.
  • Overall, Iowa lost the rebounding battle 46.1% to Wisconsin's 53.9%. Wisconsin won on the offensive boards, grabbing 35.6% of all offensive rebounds available to Iowa's 27.8%. They also won on the defensive glass, 72.2% to 64.4%. 
  • Losing the rebounding battle is not surprising anymore, considering how Iowa hasn't won the rebounding battle very much in Big 10 play. To show this, I provide visual evidence below. Look how the black line goes from being under the yellow line, to above it once Big 10 play starts. 
  • Iowa ended 22.2% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, and 15.9% of their possessions with a turnover. Good for a 1.4 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Wisconsin ended 30.2% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, and 12.7% with a turnover. Good for a 2.38 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Quick Comparison

Player A: 11 Games, 35.64 Minutes Per Game, 0.52 Points Per Minute, 54.80% Effective FG%, 0.65 Free Throw Rate, 65.50% Free Throw%, 11.70% Offensive Rebounding%, 26.50% Defensive Rebounding%, 1.70% Block%, 1.40 Steal%, 11.50% Assist%, and 11.30% Turnover%. 

Player B: 11 Games, 25.36 Minutes Per Game, 0.52 Points Per Minute, 57.30% Effective FG%, 0.57 Free Throw Rate, 82.40% Free Throw%, 15.40% Offensive Rebounding%, 22.70% Defensive Rebounding%, 6.00% Block%, 1.00 Steal%, 3.20 Assist%, and 21.10% Turnover%.

Pretty similar players, huh? What if I told you, that Player A, was a McDonald's All-American and was a top 5 recruit coming out of high school? What if I also told you, that Player B, was none of those things. That Player B was only offered a scholarship by smaller school's out East. Would you believe it? Can you guess who these two mystery players are?

If you guessed Player A was the Big 10's top freshman this year, Jared Sullinger, then you guessed correct. Now, can you tell me who Player B is? Since this is a Hawkeye blog, that should give you an idea. It's none other than the Hawkeyes own, and Fran McCaffery's prized recruit, Melsahn Basabe.

Those stats above are what these two players have accumulated in conference play so far. I was shocked to find that they were so similar.

As you can see, since conference play has kicked off, Basabe has put the ball in the basket at the same rate (0.52 points per minute) as Sullinger. He has also shot the ball better, 57.30% effective FG% to 54.80%. Sullinger gets to the free throw line more often, as his free throw rate (free throw attempts per field goal attempts) is 0.65 compared to Basabe's 0.57. However, when Basabe has gotten to the line he has made 82.40% of his free throw's in Big 10 play, compared to Sullinger's 65.50%. Sullinger has about a 4% edge in defensive rebounding, while Basabe has about a 4% edge in offensive rebounding. Basabe has also blocked about 4.5% more shots than Sullinger has.

Now, I'm not saying that Basabe is better, or that he is a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. Obviously, Sullinger is the better player. Basabe turns the ball over about 10% more often than Sullinger, while dishing out about 8% fewer assists. Plus, Sullinger's numbers are very impressive, when you consider he plays about 10 minutes more per game than Basabe on average.

This is only an 11 game sample, so there could be a lot of random chance in here. But, it is 11 games against very good competition, and since they are in the same conference, it is against the same competition. What this does though, is give you an idea of just how good Basabe has been over the past month and some change. I think what this also shows, is that if Iowa fans aren't already excited about Melasahn Basabe, they should get excited. Because he looks like the real deal.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Iowa vs Wisconsin Men's Basketball Preview

No intro. Need sleep.

Iowa's Offense vs Wisconsin's Defense

Right off the bat, this doesn't look real good for Iowa. The Badgers are a good defensive team. Wisconsin has held opponents to a 45.62% effective FG% on the year (47.8% for Big 10 opponents), which is good enough fro 7% above NCAA average. Iowa isn't a good shooting team, coming in right at NCAA average and tenth in the Big 10, with a 49.2% effective FG%. Expect Iowa to struggle from the field.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Offensive-Minded Stats from January

I like keeping track of monthly progress for Iowa's players because it lets me know the ups and downs of the season, that the season average doesn't provide. Monthly averages are undoubtedly small sample sizes. Teams play seven or eight games in a month, and there is a lot of room for random variation in there. However, I think it is still fun to look at, and see if we can see who was on a hot streak and who was not. So, let's take a look.

First, minutes per game:

Obviously, May was injured in January, so it's not a surprise that his playing time took a little dip. As a result, Marble's playing time went up a bit. For the third month in a row, McCabe's playing time has decreased, that might have something to do with a 33.78% effective FG% in January. Finally, looking at the post players, Basabe, Archie, and Brommer all saw their playing time go up in January, as Cole's decreased. Cole didn't have the greatest of January's either.

Iowa vs Indiana: Round II Recap: 64-63 W

I'm not sure which game I enjoyed more. This game vs Indiana or the Michigan State massacre. Michigan State is a great program with a legendary head coach. So, that made it even more awesome that Iowa slaughtered them. Indiana is a rebuilding program, like Iowa, and this was a competitive game going back and forth the whole time. I haven't had a feeling like this, where Iowa pulled out a big conference win in... I don't know how long. But, either way, these last two games have been nothing short of spectacular, considering the expectations of this Iowa team coming into the season. And, by the way, Iowa picked up their first conference road win yesterday.

Bullet Points!
  • I said in the preview to this game, that because Indiana has a fouling problem, Basabe and Cartwright should live at the line today. Well, Basabe had a free throw rate of 0.90 (!), getting to the charity stripe 9 times, making 8 of them (88.89%). Cartwright was second on the team with 5 free throws attempted, making four of them (80%). Which, was good for a free throw rate of 0.45. Both players took advantage of Indiana's hacktastic ways, and even more important, both players made it count when they got to the free throw line. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Iowa vs Indiana Men's Baskeball Preview: Round II

Iowa vs Indiana Preview: Round I

Iowa vs Indiana Recap: Round I

Last time this game was played, I didn't get to watch most of it because the NFC Championship game was on. But, when I did see catch the game during commercials, Iowa was dominating. That was at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, though. While, Iowa is 2-3 in home conference games this year. They are 0-5 on the road. Indiana has a similar home/road split. They are 3-2 at home, and 0-5 on the road in Big 10 play. Not to mention, in their last three games they have beaten Illinois and Minnesota (two teams that beat Iowa), and they took Sparty (a team who Iowa crushed) to overtime and only lost by one point. Did I mention that they are doing this while missing star players? When Iowa beat them they were missing Maurice Creek and Verdell Jones III. This time they will have Jones III back, but he isn't 100%, and they will be missing Christian Watford, who just happened to put up 30 points on Iowa last time out. So, who knows what to expect?

Iowa Offense vs Indiana Defense

The thing to keep an eye on, is the free throw rate. Indiana has a ridiculously hard time not fouling guys. Last time these teams played, Indiana put the Hawkeyes on the line 39 times (a 0.75 free throw rate!). Almost 30% of Iowa's points that game came from uncontested shots at the free throw line. When you give a team that many free opportunities. You're probably not going to win all that much.

Comparing Iowa's Non-Conference Stats to Big 10 Stats

Iowa went 7-5 in non-conference play this year. But, since the Big 10 schedule kicked off, wins have been few and far between for the Hawkeyes. Going just 2-8 in conference play so far. So, what has been the difference? Let's find out.

As you can see, Iowa's shooting hasn't really changed in Big 10 play. Instead, it's been their opponents shooting that has been much better since conference play started. Non-conference opponents shot a combined 44.69% effective FG%, while Big 10 opponents have shot 56.64%. Let's break the shooting down a little bit.

Two point and three point field goal percentage:

We already know Iowa is shooting pretty much the same between both halves of their schedule (even though they are shooting a little better from three point range in Big 10 play). Their opponents, though, have shot about 10% better a piece on their two point field goal attempts and their three point field goal attempts. It's not a surprise that these numbers have gone up, but a 10% increase is a lot. You're not going to win a lot of games when you get outshot by your opponents like Iowa has in conference play.

Offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency:

Offensive and defensive efficiency are simply just points per possession multiplied 100, to show what a team would score on offense or give up on defense in 100 possessions (it's like points per game, but adjusted for pace of play). Iowa is scoring slightly less in conference play, dropping by 1 point per 100 possessions. But, that hasn't really been the problem.

Seeing that Iowa has had trouble stopping Big 10 opponents from shooting really well, it shouldn't be a surprise that defensive efficiency is where Iowa see's the most trouble. In non-conference play they only allowed 87.56 points per 100 possessions. In conference play, however, they have allowed 113.26 points per 100 possessions. Don't expect these numbers to change all that much though. The Big 10, obviously, has a lot of firepower this year.


Iowa was a dominant rebounding team during the non-conference portion of their schedule. Now that they are in Big 10 play, not so much. They went from grabbing 72.64% of all defensive rebounds available in non-conference play to 61.76% in Big 10 play. That is a huge drop. Offensive rebounding rate has dropped too, but not anywhere near as much as defensive rebounding rate. The Hawkeyes pulled down 36.43% of  all offensive rebounds available against non-conference opponents, but only 33.02% in conference play. We should expect a small drop in rebounding since Iowa is playing harder competition now, but the defensive rebounding is just ridiculous. That needs to be fixed.

Assists and Turnovers:

Finally,  let's look at assists and turnovers. Just like the rest of the categories above, the offense has been basically the same. They have seen a 1% increase in their assist rate (percentage of possessions ending with an assisted field goal), but nothing real huge. Once again, the defense has been the difference.

To go right along with the huge increase in shooting, Big 10 opponents have seen a much larger percentage of their possessions end with an assisted field goal than non-conference opponents did. Iowa is also forcing a turnover on 22.10% of Big 10 opponents possessions compared to 23.26%  against non-conference opponents. That's not a huge difference, but when you are allowing 10% more assists, the last thing you want to do is force less turnovers.

To summarize, Iowa's offense has actually been pretty consistent since transitioning into playing against Big 10 defenses. However, the same cannot be said for the defense guarding Big 10 offenses. Big 10 teams are shooting a ridiculous effective FG% against Iowa, which has also led to a huge uptick in the number of assists allowed by the Hawkeyes. The amount of turnovers Iowa has forced is also slightly down in conference play, but Iowa is still very good at making other teams cough the ball up.

The other main problem besides opponents shooting, has been rebounding. Specifically, defensive rebounding. Since Big 10 play has started, Iowa has been giving opponents way too many second chances opportunities. The rate at which Iowa was grabbing offensive rebounds has also dropped, but to a much lesser degree than the defensive rebounds have. Let's hope these problems get smaller as the season goes on. This is a young team, and it wouldn't be reasonable to expect them to fix them overnight. Hopefully, though, we can see progress as the season winds to an end. Progress gives us something to look forward to for next year.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Iowa vs Michigan State Recap: 72-52 W

That game was what every Hawkeye fan needed. Sure, Michigan State has major problems right now, and Iowa didn't go and knock off the best team in the Big 10. But, keep in mind that this Michigan State team still has a lot of talent on it, and Iowa outplayed them in pretty much ever aspect of that basketball game last night. So, it's still a great win for the Hawkeyes, even if we are still alone in last place (damn you Indiana).

Bullet Points!
  •  WOOOOOOO!!!!!
  • I've been very repetitive lately, saying that Iowa has yet to get a good game out of their four best offensive players, or even three out of the four. Well, Gatens was feeling it last night, Cartwright put together another great game, and May had some big plays that got Carver on its collective feet. Basabe struggled, but Cole more than made up for his troubles last night. Overall, 4 Iowa starters were in double digit points. 
  • Iowa's starters scored 59 points, going 24-40 from the field, 2-5 from three point range (62.5% effective FG%), and 9-11 from the free throw line (81.82%).
  • Michigan State's starters scored 34 points on 12-41 shooting, including 4-17 from the three point line (34.15% effective FG%), and 6-6 from the free throw line (thanks to Kalin Lucas). I'm not surprised there was this much disparity between the teams in shooting, I'm just pleasantly surprised that it wasn't Iowa, who couldn't buy a basket all game.
  • For the entire game, Iowa made 62.7% of their two point field goal attempts (only the second time they've been over 60% in Big 10 play this year), but only 33.3% of their three point attempts. Considering that 75% of the Hawkeyes points came from inside the three point line, they still finished with a great effective FG% of 60.58% (their second highest shooting in Big 10 play this year).
  • Over the entire 40 minutes of this game, Michigan State made 39.4% of their two point shots taken, and an even worse 22.2% of their three pointers attempted. These two averages combined for a 37.5% effective FG%, which is easily the lowest by any Big 10 opponent against Iowa this season. Actually, it is only the third time Iowa has held a conference opponent to less than 50% this year. 
  • Bryce Cartwright has put together back to back great games. This really has to make the Iowa fanbase excited to see how much he can improve next year. He's no Darius Morris, but he did his best impression last night, as he grabbed his first Career double-double as a member of the Iowa team (and in his collegiate career). He scored 12 points on 6-12 shooting (50% effective FG%), which is a very efficient shooting night for Cartwright. He also had another game where he went insane dishing out assists. He tallied 10 assists in 37 minutes of play, good for his second best assist per minute rate of the season, at 0.27 (he had 0.30 assists per minute vs Michigan last Sunday). Cartwright did have four turnovers, but still came up with a 2.5 to 1 assist to turnover ratio last night. Pretty good.
  • Staying on Cartwright and his assists, the man has been impressive. In an earlier post, I wrote he wasn't improving as the year had gone on. Well, he hasn't scoring wise, but he is getting better and better at finding his teammates over the course of the season. If you look at his assist rate, he is ranked number 21 in the country and number 3 in the Big 10, with a 36.9% assist rate. In Big 10 play he is averaging 0.20 assists per minute compared to the 0.16 assists per minute he averaged in non-conference play. What about if you check out month to month? Yep. He's getting better. Have a look:
  •  Gatens had a great game. He had 14 points on 6-11 shooting, including 2-3 from three point range (good for a 63.6% effective FG%). He also added 5 more points from the charity srtipe, bringing his total on the night to a team high, 19 points. Gatens still struggled to shoot a better percentage from two point range (50%) than he did from three point range (66.7%), but that's the player he is, and he is still Iowa's best shooter. He also had 4 steals and a dunk! Fastbreak points bitches!
  • Welcome back Eric May! Please feel free to stay a while too. May was very efficient, scoring 11 points on 4-5 shooting (0 three point attempts) and 3-4 from the free throw line. Even better, he was attacking the basket when he shot, and he was getting out in transition when Michigan State turned the ball over. May had one dunk foiled when was run down from behind by a Michigan State player, but a couple minutes later he was redeemed. May caught an outlet pass, outrunning another Spartan player, flushing the ball down with one hand. That dunk literally got everybody in Carver (and even fans on Twitter) out of their seat. 
  • I love when Eric May dunks. Eric May dunks bring us all together. I think Eric May's dunks could bring peace to the Middle East. Let's get on that Eric.
  • Jarryd Cole also decided to come to play last night, as he scored 13 points (6-6 shooting too!) and grabbed 9 rebounds (all defensive). As if this game wasn't already amazing enough, Iowa almost had two players grab double-double's against Sparty. Cole grabbed 31% of all defensive rebounds available while on the court, which is about 12% better than his season average. However, his outstanding defensive rebounding was still second on the team.That's how good things were for Iowa last night.
  • Cole's defensive rebounding rate was second best on the team to who else? Devon Archie of course. All the man does is crash the boards. He pulled down 12.4% of all offensive and 35.7% of all defensive rebounds while on the court. Good to see him get some playing time. Too bad it meant that Basabe and Cole were in foul trouble.
  • Brommer was apparently sick as a dog, and throwing up at halftime. For being sick, 6 points and 2 offensive rebounds in 14 minutes of play is still pretty damn good. He also, only picked up 1 foul in those 14 minutes. Progress!
  • Looking at rebounds, Iowa won the overall battle ever so slightly, 50.79% to 49.21%. However, Michigan State gave the Hawkeyes trouble on the offensive boards, pulling down 40% of their missed shots. Iowa, on the other hand only grabbed 34.78% of their missed shots. On the defensive boards, Michigan State also came away with more, beating Iowa 65.22% to 60%. This isn't real disappointing though, because Michigan State has some legit rebounders. So, this was expected.
  • Iowa finished 30.65% (!) of their possessions with an assisted field goal (the only other time they were over 30% in this category this year, was against the mighty SIU Edwardsville Cougars), while also ending 19.4% of their possessions with a turnover. That's good for an assist to turnover ratio of 1.58 to 1. 
  • Michigan State ended 17.74% of their possessions with an assisted field goal, and ended 27.4% of their possessions with a turnover. The Spartans finished with a 0.65 to 1 assist to turnover ratio.
  • Overall, Iowa averaged 1.16 points per possession. Michigan State, meanwhile, averaged 0.84 points per possession. That is the lowest defensive points per possession allowed by Iowa in Big 10 play this year, and only the second time they have held a conference opponent under 1 (Indiana averaged 0.99 points per possession).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Iowa vs Michigan State Men's Basketball Preview

Everybody knows something is going on up at Michigan State. They've already lost four conference games to Penn State, Illinois, Purdue, and in-state rival Michigan. Not to mention, they just went into overtime with an Indiana team missing some key players. Finally, another blow for them, was Junior guard Korie Lucious recently being dismissed from the team. Will this one be the game where Iowa finally pulls off a Big 10 upset? Or will this be another blowout where Iowa is run out of the gym? Let's try to figure that out.

Iowa Offense vs Michigan State Defense

Let's start with shooting. Iowa is the worst shooting team in the Big 10, overall (10th place if you look at conference games only), shooting a 48.66% effective FG%. Michigan State has only been 2% above NCAA average at contesting opponents shots this year, allowing opponents to shoot 48%. In conference play though, the Spartans have allowed Big 10 opponents to shoot a 51.9% effective FG%. Hopefully that means good news for Iowa.