Michigan Basketball: Iowa at Michigan — Preview
Hawks Flying High-Wolverines Clawing Away
Somewhat surprisingly, Michigan and Iowa enter tonight’s game with a combined one loss in league play. Iowa will come in to Ann Arbor intense, in the style of their head coach. Michigan will continue to work the offensive options and hope the shots provided fall. Iowa will play very tough on defense; hopefully Michigan does as well.
The inside game will matter. Iowa loves to go inside more than Michigan, but Michigan’s big men are picking up vulture points through hard work and precise inside dish passes. Iowa is very good at getting back in transition, so expect Michigan to play plenty of half-court offense. Hopefully, moving the ball surpasses excessive dribbling.
Look for Michigan to use Robinson III and Caris LeVert to test the inside options, sooner rather than later. The reason being that the offense has functioned so much better with these two being and inside threat. Add in Stauskas and the two centers, Morgan and Horford, and all of a sudden Michigan does not have to launch 25 three’s a game.
Michigan cannot afford to come out asleep, but must get a nice start as has happened lately. Below is a reprint from the GBMWolverine Big Ten Preview.Fran McCaffery won 20 games in the regular season last year and Iowa finished 9-9 in the league. Still, the Hawkeyes went to the NIT. Between the NIT and Big Ten Tournament, Iowa added several postseason victories to the record. The Iowa season record has improved in each of McCaffery’s three seasons. McCaffery is an intense, fiery type that demands hard play from his players.
There are many juniors and a few seniors on the roster. The juniors are McCaffery’s recruits. Iowa finished the preconference with an 11-2 record against mixed competition.
Roy Marble is now a senior. He is averaging 16 points a game, but his shooting percentage is down somewhat. Marble is a nice 6’ 6” swing type of player. He can score inside and outside, brings energy to the floor, and plays at an all-league level. His energy results in a team lead in steals and good rebounding and assist statistics.
Aaron White is a 6’ 9” forward. He is averaging 13 points a game and nearly 7 rebounds. Aaron’s 2-point shooting has been very good as has been his foul shooing (82%).
Jarrod Uthoff is a sophomore transfer from Wisconsin. He is 6’ 9” and is the third Hawkeye in double digits. Uthoff is doing very well, shooting over 60% from the floor and 80% from the foul line: nice transfer, although he was Iowa High School Player of the Year, so obviously Iowa basketball is a familiar entity.Senior Zack McCabe is a big senior forward. He mixes it up enough to contribute good scoring and rebounding considering the number of minutes played. His foul shooting is a plus.
Melsahn Basabe is a 6’ 7” senior that every Big Ten team would welcome. Like McCabe, Basabe brings energy that yields good scoring, good rebounding, tough defense, and shot blocking. While not the most skilled, classic type of offensive player, Basabe just keeps going.
Peter Jok is a 6’ 6” big guard. He is the prize freshman on the current roster. Jok has starting off a little rough regarding shooting, but is still averaging nearly 7 points a game.
Last year’s prized freshman, now sophomore, Mike Gesell, runs the show for Iowa. While not the biggest scoring threat for a point guard, Gesell leads the team in assists and steals. Gesell is a tough, hard playing, in your face type of guy.
Gabriel Olaseni is a 6’ 10” center and is a member of the predominant junior class. He provides around 6 rebounds and 6 points a game. Olaseni also leads the team in blocks. The combination of Olaseni and Basabe is a pretty tough inside defensive duo.Even more size can come off the bench when Iowa plays 7’ 1” sophomore center Adam Woodbury. He is shooting over 50%, averaging about 6 points, and gathering over 4 rebounds a game playing only 16 minutes a game.
Junior Josh Oglesby at 6’ 5” can add extra size at guard and provide a solid substitution.
Iowa plays many players, somewhat like the famous former Iowa coach Dr. Tom Davis. Eleven players average over four points a game, a somewhat phenomenal statistic. The Hawkeyes no longer wear out in the second half like in years past. This is a pretty good shooting team, both from 2-point and 3-point range. The rebounding margin is a plus 10 for Iowa. The foul shooting is in the normal 71% range.
Iowa continues to improve and is now a serious candidate for first division, Big Ten standing. This group of juniors and seniors may not be the equal of some of the elite teams in the league, but this group is a nice mix that plays with intensity. Expect Iowa to be firmly in the mix, win some big games, and have a better than average chance of being first division.
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Doc4Blu
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