Sunday, February 6, 2011

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. 
  • I want to talk about Cartwright first. He had 15 points on 5-11 shooting, 1-3 from three point range (50% effective FG%), and 4-5 from the free throw line. He also dished out 8 assists. Including, two halfcourt alley-oops to the high flying Eric May. His 8 assist performance, marks the fourth game in a row where Cartwright has distributed the ball to his teammates 8 times or more. His assists per minute in the last four games has been: 0.23, 0.30, 0.27, and 0.24. His season average is 0.18. Check out the last four games on the graph compared to the rest of the season:
  • He is on a hot streak right now. Big 10 beware.
  • Beyond his stats, Cartwright had his crossover working yesterday vs the Hoosiers. Jordan Hulls had trouble keeping Cartwright in front of him the whole game. This most evident when the game was coming down to the wire. With 3:03 left on the clock, Cartwright put the cross on Hulls and got inside inside the lane to hit the floater and tie the game at 62. After that, with 1:28 left in the game, Cartwright faked left and went right pulling up for a little jumper from the right baseline, and nailing the game winner over the defending Hulls. His crossover was so beautiful this game, that it totally made up for the fact that I had to listen to the ESPN 2 announcer make a Compton, California reference anytime Cartwright made a play.
  •  Basabe was a beast down low yesterday. He came up with his fifth double-double of the year, and his second this season against Indiana. With or without Watford, Indiana has no answer for him. He had 20 points on 6-10 shooting and 8-9 from the line, which was good for 1.40 points per scoring attempt (points divided by field goals and free throw possessions). He also grabbed 13 rebounds, including 8 defensive and 5 offensive. For the game, he came up with 22.8% of all offensive and 27.7% of all defensive rebounds available while he was in the game. He was easily the best big man on the court.
  • If you haven't noticed, Basabe has gotten considerably better during Big 10 play compared to where he was earlier in the season. In conference play he is averaging 0.52 points per minute compared to the 0.38 points per minute he averaged in non-conference play. He has also been more efficient in how has scored, averaging 1.27 points per scoring attempt in Big 10 play compared to 1.13 in non-conference play. He's also grabbing about 5% more offensive rebounds in Big 10 play, going from 10.38% in non-conference play to 15.5% in conference play. He's even coming up with about 2% more defensive rebounds, going from 20.28% to 22.8% in Big 10 play. Like Cartwright, the Big 10 should also beware of Basabe. I still can't believe this dude is a true freshman. And to think, if Fran wasn't hired by Iowa, this kid would be at Siena right now.
  • Eric May put up his second double digit point game in a row. He hasn't done that since back to back games vs Louisiana Tech and Illinois. So, that's really nice to see. He put up 11 points on 5-8 shooting (62.5% effective FG%) making 1-2 from the free throw line. He averaged 1.23 points per scoring attempt this game. He also put down two awesome alley-oops on halfcourt passes from Bryce Cartwright. Not to mention, he went down court and swatted a Jordan Hulls layup attempt into the front row. He did all of that in the opening 5 minutes of the second half. After the last few games, he seems to have his legs under him now. Hopefully, that means he's healthy and Iowa can count on him for the rest of the season.
  • Gatens had a bad game. Indiana was all over him the whole game. He had trouble getting open looks, and when he did he had trouble converting. Toward the end of the game Gatens was trying to post up a little bit to take advantage of his height on the defender (I don't remember the Indiana player), and even this didn't work. He went 2-7 from the field (35.7% effective FG%) and 2-3 from the free throw line. He also averaged 0.83 points per scoring attempt. Yeah. He had a bad day.
  • Jordan Hulls played like crap in the first meeting. Needless to say, he didn't play like crap in this meeting, though. Hulls' three point shooting was the only thing keeping Indiana up early (that and a metric shit-ton of turnovers by Iowa). Even when he wasn't scoring from outside, he was finding himself in the lane hitting floaters too. He finished with 24 points and shot 4-9 from behind the arc. He was a nightmare to guard this time around for Iowa. 
  • Will Sheehey is a punk. But, he did put Basabe on a poster. That dunk was crazy, and Assembly Hall erupted afterward. I seriously thought there was no way Iowa could switch the momentum after that dunk. But, I'm happy to announce that I was wrong! And victory tastes even sweeter when it's shutting those damn Indiana fans up.
  • At the 7:47 mark, Derek Elston made a layup to put Indiana up 58-48. Basabe then made a layup to cut it to 58-50, but the next Indiana possession saw McCabe pick up his third foul in the last minute to put Oladipo on the line. The lead seemed insurmountable on the road for this young Iowa team. Then, Oladipo misses the free throw and Cartwright gets a fastbreak layup. Then, after some Indiana turnovers and fouls, Basabe made two free throws, a layup, and then forced a turnover that led to a fastbreak where Cartwright found May for an easy layup. Iowa went from down 10 with about 7:00 minutes left in the game to being tied at 58 with 5:00 minutes left in the game. In two minutes, this Hawkeye team dug themselves out of a 10 point hole on the road. I have nothing else to say about this. I think that speaks for itself.
  • As a team, Iowa shot 21-44 (50% effective FG%) on 19-35 (54.2%) from two point range, 2-9 (22.2%) from three point range, and 20-25 (80%) from the free throw line. While, Indiana shot 22-53 (46.2%) on 17-39 (43.5%) from two point range, 5-14 (35.7%) from three point range, and 14-17 (82.4%) from the free throw line.
  • Iowa scored 31.2% of their points from free throws and had a 0.57 free throw rate. Iowa's free throw rate this game was 0.21 points higher than their season average of 0.36 free throw attempts per field goal attempts. Indiana's defensive philosophy is clearly: hack, hack, hack, and hack some more. 
  • Iowa dominated the rebounding battle like they used to in non-conference play. It helped that there was no Christian Watford and that Derek Elston only played 15 minutes due to some foul trouble. But, Iowa grabbed 54.3% of all rebounds compared to Indiana's 45.7%. On the offensive boards, Iowa pulled down 36% of their missed shots. While, Indiana came up with 27.3% of their own misses. On the defensive glass, Iowa pulled down 72.7% of all defensive rebounds available compared to Indiana's 64%.
  • Iowa had 12 assists and 17 turnovers vs Indiana. 11 of those turnovers came in the first half, when Iowa thought the object of the game was to have more turnovers than made field goals (by those standards, they clearly won the first half). Thankfully, they cut those down in the second half, and finished the game having ended 19.05% of their possessions with an assisted field goal and 27% (!) with a turnover. That was good for a terrible assist to turnover ratio of 0.71 to 1. Indiana didn't fare much better, though. As they finished only 9.52% of their possessions with an assisted field goal (only 6 assists all game!) and 17.5% of their possessions with a turnover. For the whole game, they had a 0.55 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. No Indiana, you're the worst team in the Big 10.
  • Iowa averaged 1.02 points per possession. While, Indiana averaged exactly 1 point per possession. This was an entertaining game.

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