Game 22: Iowa at Michigan Preview

Dylan Burkhardt
Who: Iowa (8-12) at Michigan (12-9) univ_of_iowa_logo[1]
Where: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, MI
When: January 30th, 2011, 4:00 PM
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: MGoBlue / WTKA AM 1050/Sirius Ch. 122/XM Ch. 143
Pick to Click / Beilein Video / Morris & Douglass Video

Michigan has six wins over Iowa in the past three seasons but has yet to face Fran McCaffery’s new look Hawkeyes. Under Todd Lickliter, Iowa played a slow deliberate style of basketball that featured endless three point attempts. Now McCaffery has attempted to move his uptempo style of basketball from upstate New York to the cornfields of Iowa. The fast paced style of play made it to Iowa City intact but the victories aren’t there yet.

Iowa is the fastest team in the Big Ten, averaging 67 possessions per game, but they are also the worst team with just a 1-7 record and the worst efficiency margin in the league. Michigan heads into this game on the heels of its biggest win of the season but hasn’t been much better overall.

Jarryd Cole, Eric May, and Melsahn Basabe

Iowa is the only Big Ten team to score under 1 point per possession in conference play and has struggled across the board offensively. Iowa turns the ball over often than anyone else in the Big Ten, rarely gets to the free throw line, and is the second worst shooting team in the league. The one thing that Iowa does well offensively is clean up the glass. The Hawkeyes are the fourth best offensive rebounding team in conference play, grabbing 33% of their misses.

Iowa’s defense isn’t quite as bad as its offense, but it’s still average at best. The Hawkeyes are surrendering 1.13 points per possession which ranks 8th in the Big Ten, closer to the bottom three than the middle of the pack. Iowa forces turnovers as well as anyone else in the league as Big Ten opponents have coughed the ball up on 22.3% of their possessions. Iowa also does a good job of keeping opponents off of the free throw line with the 8th best free throw rate (FTA/FGA) allowed in the nation. Iowa’s defensive problems occur when opposing teams manage to get shots off. Iowa has the second worst effective field goal percentage allowed in conference play, 57.2% – 56% on twos and 39% on threes. Iowa has also been the worst defensive rebounding as Big Ten opponents are grabbing 39% of their missed shots.

Iowa’s roster is a mash-up unit of old and new pieces of contrasting styles. Some we are familiar with – notably Matt Gatens, Jarryd Cole, and Eric May – but many others are relatively unknown to Michigan fans. May (9ppg, 48% 3pfg) and Gatens (13 ppg, 36% 3pfg) are the teams best three point shooters but May turns the ball over far too often and both are anemic rebounders. 6-foot-7 250 pound Jarryd Cole starts down low and is a solid rebounder for an undersized post player, averaging 7 points and six rebounds per game.


The newcomers to remember are junior college transfer point guard Bryce Cartwright (pictured above) and 6-foot-9 freshman athlete Melsahn Basabe. Cartwright averages 11 points and 5 assists per game but isn’t the most efficient player, shooting 42% on twos and 26% on threes while turning the ball over three times per game. Basabe might not be the most skilled player but the freshman possesses game changing athleticism, averaging 10 points and 7 rebounds pre game. Basabe is the third best shot blocker in the league and fourth best offensive and defensive rebounder – a poor man’s Trevor Mbakwe. Freshmen wings Zach McCabe and Roy Marble (a Michigan native) will both play around 20 minutes per game off the bench.

Four Keys for Michigan:

  • Control Tempo: Iowa wants a 70+ possession game and Michigan wants 60 possessions or less. It’s probably good news for Michigan is this game finishes somewhere around 60 possessions.
  • Hold onto the Ball: You can get good looks versus Iowa’s defense as long as you don’t turn the ball over. Michigan has been average to above-average in the turnover department and this will be a good test.
  • Make threes: At 38%, Michigan is the fourth best three point shooting team in Big Ten games. Considering that 47% of Michigan’s field goal attempts have been from long range, it’s safe to say that three point shooting will play a major role in every game.
  • Control the defensive glass: Michigan did an admirable job on the defensive glass in East Lansing – the bigs boxed out and the guards & wings grabbed rebound after rebound – but Michigan’s defensive rebounding has been boom or bust. Will we see a strong defensive rebounding performance like MSU or Wisconsin, or will Iowa’s bigs win the battle like the Indiana or Minnesota games.

Pomeroy likes Michigan in this one, 66-59, with a 76% chance to win in a 63 possession game. This is a game that Michigan can win with a solid performance. However, it’s tough not to worry about Michigan’s youth and consistency issues especially on the heels of Thursday’s huge win. Sometimes keeping a level head after a big win can be just as difficult as staying motivated during a losing streak. 10 minutes in we should have a big clue as to whether Michigan is going to handle business or lay an egg.

  • jihadistjohn


  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Also, the season has been tumultuous but the win on Thursday is deserving of support. Tickets still available for the game Sunday. Ticket link

  • Nate the Newt


    Sorry, Thursday hangover.

  • AG2

    Basically, Iowa is a poor man’s Indiana. Still not a good match up for us but if this turns into a track meet I hope Darius Morris and THJr get to the hoop early, often, and effortlessly.

  • Beast1530

    My biggest fear is letdown after a big win over Sparty. Wouldn’t surprise me if Michigan lose to Iowa but it also wouldn’t surprise me if Michigan blow out Iowa.

  • Brian W

    I get the feeling that they’ll come to play. Novak, Stu, and Darius were doing a good job of leading the way against MSU. If they want to get in to a post-season tournament, they need to keep up the defensive intensity and beat the beatable teams, like Iowa. They don’t need a “bad loss” to Iowa.

    Penn State is up on Wisconsin with about 3 minutes to go.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Penn State beat Wisconsin. The middle of the Big Ten is a mess. It’s Ohio State and everyone else — maybe Purdue is ahead of the middle group, but barely.

  • Alex

    Announcers seem to think Penn State is on the bubble. They are 12-8 with three top 25 wins. I guess we’ll find out.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      The bubble is really large at this time of year. Still a lot of basketball to be played.

  • AG2

    The middle of the entire country is a mess. Big XII, Pac-10, SEC, ACC, you name it. Except the Big East, of course. In the Big East, the *top* is a mess!

  • Brian W
  • drae

    Are we in on Hare right now? What is his style of play?

  • maxwell’s demon

    I’ll be surprised if we come out flat. I imagine this team hasn’t forgotten the stretch preceding the MSU game and will still be desperate to stay afloat.

  • Tweeter

    Yea I will be really disappointed if the team comes out flat tomorrow. They have had the letdown game several times this year after playing up a few night before (UTEP after Cuse, concordia after Harvard, Bryant after Oakland, Indiana after OSU). There is no reason at this point for the team to have it happen again. Its time to put some good play together for a stretch and the excuse of youth should no longer be an excuse. At this point in the season all these guys have played enough to understand what it takes to win a game at this level. I can live with a bad shooting game or a hot shooting game from the other team, but I will be very upset if we see the level of effort we saw in the Indiana, Minny, and NW games.

  • billiam

    Man, the more I think about this season, the more I am looking forward to next year. Stu/Novak as the senior leadership and Morris, THJ, CB driving to the rack? Sounds good, along with all the freshmen gaining experience and muscle. However, the most important thing to me is how well we’re doing THIS year.

    No one expected us to hang close to OSU, ‘Cuse, and Kansas. No one expected us to win at PSU, Clemson, or MSU. This team has really done better than expectations, and if we’re a NIT team (doubtful, but possible) there’s nothing stopping us from making the NCAAs next year. This should be a great team next year (well, great compared to past teams.)

    • grandchamp

      We beat PSU at home but yea that Clemson win is looking better and better every day.

  • billiam

    On who is recruiting Hare: “Hare, [sic] is being recruited by Michigan, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and USC, among others”

  • KAB

    Hey are any of you guys making the trip to Columbus?

  • georgeesq.

    Defensive intensity is imperative, IMO. Shooting is a variable, but defensive intensity has to be a constant to win consistently, and that includes defensive rebounding.

  • KAB

    I think that that loss to Maine probably burst Penn St. bubble.Dylan is right alot of basketball left to be played.One game at a time blue!

  • CJD

    Hoping we do not fall into the trap of playing down to our competition today. Tempo and discipline will be the key’s to winning this very winnable game.

  • Kenny

    Penn State over Wisconsin, OSU barely escaped against NW. From top to bottom, the Big Ten is very competitive. To win, we have to play the high intensity every single game as the one against MSU last Thursday. I hope that there is no let down today.

  • KAB

    Yea it will not be easy to get a road win in this conference!Dylan,do you know how long Shurna is out for?

  • Pickle


    I am studying abroad in England and really want to watch the game tonight.

  • Casey, CO

    “The Butterfly”… it kills me