Saturday, March 5, 2011

Iowa vs Purdue Round II Preview

Hopefully, every single Hawkeye fan at Carver today will give Jarryd Cole a standing ovation. He has been through the darkest period in Iowa basketball history, and he's been nothing short of classy about the whole situation. He has been a solid guy on the court, and a quality character guy off of it. I for one, am going to miss Jarryd Cole. It's too bad he never got a chance to be a part of a winning Iowa Hawkeye team. He deserved better. Thank you, Jarryd.

Now, the preview.

Last time:
Iowa vs Purdue Preview 
Iowa vs Purdue Recap: 55-72 L

Iowa Offense vs Purdue Defense

Iowa's offense is in for a fun one today! Purdue's defense is really damn good. After the Michigan State debacle, Iowa is still 1% below the NCAA average in effective FG%. Purdue, on the other hand, is 8% better than the NCAA average at contesting shots. Their 45.6% opponent effective FG%, is number one in the Big 10. Last time, Purdue held Iowa to a 38.5% effective FG%. While I wouldn't expect Iowa to shoot that horrible again, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they do either.

This looks to be an intriguing match up. Iowa is 7% above the NCAA average, pulling down 34.57% of their own misses on offense. Purdue is just as good, though, as their 66.93% defensive rebounding rate is also 7% better than NCAA average. In the previous game, Iowa only came down with 23.5% of their own misses. It also didn't help that Basabe only played 19 minutes. Basabe could go a long way toward helping Iowa come away with more offensive rebounds this time around.

From a free throw perspective, Iowa doesn't get to the free throw line very much (except for the last Michigan State game, where both parties fouled as if their lives depended on it). Their 0.35 free throw rate is 8% below NCAA average. Don't expect that to change this game, as Purdue has held their opponents to a 0.30 free throw rate this year (good for 24% better than average). Almost mirroring that number, Iowa put up a 0.31 free throw rate in the first match up against Purdue. So, expect Iowa to take about 16 free throw attempts today.

Moving on to turnovers, Iowa is once again outmatched. Iowa gives up the ball at a 5% worse than NCAA average clip. They are turning it over on 21.37% of their possessions this year, while Purdue is forcing turnovers on a little over 22% of their opponents possessions (8% above average). Last time, Iowa coughed up the ball on 23.9% of their possessions. Expect similar results this time.

Purdue Offense vs Iowa Defense

This probably won't be pretty either. Purdue's effective FG% of 51.57%, is 5% above NCAA average. Iowa is now 3% below NCAA average, after letting Michigan State and Illinois put up 60.71% and 60.91% effective FG% against them. Iowa has allowed Big 10 opponent's to put up a 54.80% effective FG% on them. Only Northwestern has been worse in conference play, allowing team's to shoot a 56.5% effective FG%. Last time, Purdue put up a 55.7% effective FG%. Purdue is in late season form right now, and they are on a roll. I wouldn't be surprised if they shot better than that.

On the offensive boards, Purdue is just slightly above average, coming out at 2% above average to be exact. Looking at the charts, you probably think, "Hey. Iowa's defensive rebounding is rated 101. Purdue's offensive rebounding is rate 102. This should be a good battle." Well, not exactly. Since conference play started, Iowa has been the worst defensive rebounding team in the Big 10, going by defensive rebounding rate. While Purdue hasn't been great, they have ranked fifth in conference play, when it comes to grabbing their own misses. Last time, Iowa allowed Purdue to grab 32.3% of their own misses. Iowa held up pretty good on the defensive boards in the first game, but will they do the same this time?

Free throw rate should be very similar to what I mentioned on the other side of the ball. Purdue doesn't get there very often, and Iowa is even better at keeping opponents off. Last time, Purdue had a meager 0.15 free throw rate against Iowa. However, that didn't really matter all that much, considering Iowa still got pummeled by 23 points.

The turnover battle should difficult for Iowa to win today, as Purdue doesn't give the ball up very often. Their 16.11% turnover rate, is 26% better than NCAA average, and the third best mark in the Big 10 this year. Iowa has been good at forcing turnovers this year, also. Opponents have lost the ball on 21.68% of their possessions this year, which is good for 6% above NCAA average and third in the Big 10. Last time, Iowa forced Purdue to give up the ball on 19.4% of their possessions. While, 19.4% is a lot for Purdue to give the ball up, it probably won't be remotely close to how often Iowa gives it up.

  • Iowa player shooting tendencies:
  • Iowa player scoring breakdown:
  • Iowa player points per minute:
  • Purdue player shooting tendencies:
  • The two big stars, Johnson and Moore, work mostly inside the three point arc. However, Moore playing the small forward position, does take almost 40% of his shots from outside. Smith, Byrd, Terone Johnson, and John Hart (when he plays) all prefer the three point shot. 
  • Purdue player scoring breakdown:
  • When looking at how each player scores, we can see that JaJuan Johnson gets almost a quarter of all his offensive value from the charity stripe. Moore is a pretty balanced scorer, who can do it from everywhere on the floor. Smith gets almost 80% of his points from three point shooting. Byrd gets about 63% of his from behind the arc also. 
  • Purdue player points per minute:
  • Purdue has two big time scorers, in Johnson and Moore, who both average over 0.50 points per minute. When you take into consideration, that Hart is a three point shooter, who averages 0.40 points per minute in a little over 10 minutes per game, Purdue has quite a drop off in scoring after their two big stars. However, they do have some good shooters, like Smith (66.5% effective FG%). So, Johnson and Moore might just take so many of the shots, that the rest of the team doesn't really need to do all that much offensively. 
  • Iowa has taken 72.59% of their shots from inside the three point line, and 27.41% from behind it this year. 59.20% of the Hawkeyes points have come from two point field goals, 21.32% have come from three point field goals, and 19.48% have come from free throws.
  • Purdue has taken 67.13% of their field goal attempts from two point range, and 32.86% of their shots from beyond the arc. 51.18% of Purdue's points this year have come from two point field goals, 29.13% have come from three point field goals, and 19.69% have come from free throws.
Opposing Players to Watch:
  • JaJuan Johnson is 6'10" and is going to be a pain for Iowa to defend. He averages 20.47 points per game or 0.58 points per minute (best in the Big 10) on a 51.8% effective FG%. He's an okay offensive rebounder (7.4% offensive rebounding rate), but he is at his best on the defensive boards (19.2% defensive rebounding rate). Not to mention, he is third in the Big 10 in block rate, swatting 6.92% of all opponent shots taken while he is on the court (Basabe is fifth in the Big 10). Last time he played Iowa, he struggled shooting, but he still put up his points. He scored 16 points on 17 shots and 3 free throw attempts, and pulled down 5 (all defensive) rebounds. Johnson also made a big difference on defense, rejecting 4 of Iowa's field goal attempts. Just like Illinois did, I would expect Purdue to take advantage of his length. 
  • E'Twaun Moore is Purdue's second best scorer and the sixth best in the Big 10 according to points per minute. He averages 18.5 points per game or 0.55 points per minute on 52.6% effective FG%. He's also shooting 41.6% from behind the arc this year. However, he takes about 65% of his shots inside of the three point line, where he is making 46.98% of his two point attempts this year. He's also a pretty good passer, ranking thirteenth in the Big 10, with an assist rate of 21.31%. Not to mention, he's also a pretty good defensive rebounder for a guard. He's grabbing 13.1% of all defensive rebounds available while he is on the court. Last time he played Iowa, he struggled more than Johnson did. He scored 11 points on 15 shots, going 1-6 from three point range. However, he also had 7 rebounds (6 defensive and 1 offensive) and 4 assists. So, his game wasn't all bad. Iowa should consider themselves lucky, if Moore has another game like he did last time. 
  • Ryne Smith only averages about 6 points per game, but he can shoot it from down town. He's made 44.8% of his three point attempts this year. Last time he played Iowa, he went 6-9 from long range, and put up 18 points total. Further proof that, even though Johnson and Moore score the bulk of the points, Purdue does have other guys who can step up when those two aren't shooting particularly well. Knowing how Iowa tends to lose the opposing team's shooter at times (Keith Appling being the most recent example), Smith will probably make my wife leave the room quite a few times as I start yelling at Iowa to "guard the fucking shooter!" 
  • Purdue's point guard, Lewis Jackson, has also been known to put up double digits. He only averages 7.83 points per game or 0.31 points per minute, but he is an efficient shooter (54.7% effective FG%). He lead's the team with a 28.5% assist rate, but he also has a pretty high turnover rate of 23.8%, which sits at 13th worst in the Big 10, and would be even worse if you collapsed that list down to point guards only (Interesting side note: Iowa has four players in the bottom eleven in the Big 10 in turnover rate; Brommer fourth, Cartwright ninth, McCabe tenth, and May eleventh). Last time he faced Iowa, he scored 7 points on 3-3 shooting and 1-1 from the free throw line. He also had 7 assists and 4 turnovers. Pretty much sums up his season stats. 

There is no real match up that favors Iowa in this game. When Iowa has the ball, they will be going up against a team that contests every shot, forces turnovers by the bucket load, crashes the defensive boards hard, and keeps their opponent off the line. The Boilermakers don't really have much of any weakness on defense.

When Purdue has the ball, the match up still doesn't look much better for Iowa. Purdue is a good shooting team, that rarely turns the ball over. They are pretty average on the offensive glass, but Iowa has been catastrophically bad at pulling down defensive rebounds in Big 10 play. Purdue is really bad at getting to the free throw line (Jackson and Barlow are the only one's with a free throw rate over 0.50), but that by itself isn't enough to push Iowa over the top.

Nobody on Iowa had a great offensive day against Purdue back in January. Gatens put up his obligatory double-digits, scoring 13 points, but it took him 10 shots and 4 free throw attempts. This is actually very similar to how he's played lately. His effective FG% has been at 44.05% through February/March and his points per scoring attempt has been at 0.98 (the only other month he dropped below 1 point per scoring attempt was in November, when he was injured). Purdue shoots 37.9% from three point land, so Iowa could use a good shooting game from Gatens to offset getting buried by three's early on.

After Gatens, everybody else had a "meh" kind of game, back in January. Basabe was non-existent, though, he did manage to go 6-6 from the free throw line. I would expect, he'll shoot better than 1-5 from the field this time, and I hope he'll still get to the free throw line that much. Iowa needs a big offensive rebounding day from Basabe, since Purdue is such a good defensive rebounding team. Iowa will probably miss a lot of shots, but if Basabe is there to put them back in, maybe Iowa can stick around in this game.

Cartwright is key to this game. He hadn't really hit his stride yet, the last time Iowa played Purdue. At that time, he was just an inefficient shooting, decent passing, turnover prone point guard. Since then, however, Cartwright has turned up his game. He's still the same inefficient shooter (hovering around 0.88 points per scoring attempt and 41% effective FG% for the last three months), and he still has some turnover problems (turnovers per minute have been around 0.10 for the last couple months), but he has turned up his passing game. Since November, Cartwright's assists per minute have increased by 0.02 every month. In November he sat at 0.15 assists per minute, December 0.17, January 0.19, and in February/March he has averaged 0.21 assists per minute. He currently sits at second in the Big 10 in assist rate (tenth in the nation according to or eleventh in the nation according to His 39.1% assist rate, is only lower than Michigan's Darius Morris. How well he runs the offense today, is big for Iowa. When he is able to push the ball and get into the paint, he has been great at creating easy shots for his teammates. If Purdue locks him down today, expect Iowa's offense to look stagnant, which means passing the ball around with no real purpose. It also probably means 5 or 6 turnovers for Cartwright.

The wildcard for this game is probably Cole. Cole had a bad January, and didn't do much against Purdue last time. However, his points per minute are up to 0.36 in February/March, which is the highest he's averaged in any month this year. Not to mention, he's back to grabbing around 20% of all defensive rebounds in February/March, after dropping down to about 14% in January. If Cartwright gets inside, Cole could be the recipient of some easy lay ups. 8-10 points and 5-7 rebounds would help Iowa quite a bit.

Prediction time. Both team's average about 67 possessions per game, and that's how many there were in the last game. I think Purdue will be up pretty big late, which means they will slow the pace of this game down. So, I'll guess about 63 possessions, with Iowa averaging 0.90 points per possession (they averaged 0.77 last time), and Purdue averaging 1.10 (they averaged 1.12 last time). That comes out to Iowa losing 57-69. So, somewhat similar to last time, only Iowa loses by 12 instead of 23 (Home court advantage!). As I have done a lot this season, I will once again end this by saying: Prove me wrong Iowa. Also, win one for Cole. He deserves to leave Carver on a high note.

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