Hello TOC. Well that last game sucked, and this one has the potential to be even worse. It will be interesting to see if the bench can keep up their good play through these next couple of games until Payne returns, or if the rivalry game was the spark that helped the bench play as well as they did. As always here are the adjusted stats with the analysis coming afterwards.
This Iowa team is leading the Big Ten in possessions per game, which directly leads to them leading in made field goals, Free throw attempts and makes (although they are only middle of the road in FT%), points per game. They are also a top 5 team in the nation in total rebounds and defensive rebounds which does not bode well for MSU without Dawson and Payne. Other than that they are middle of the road in the big 10 in most of the other categories, with their only real deficiency being 3 point attempts and makes, in that they don’t take very many.
Starting with the backcourt, Marble is the Senior player that Harris is going to be matched up with all day in that he is the number 1 option on offense for this Iowa team, and has a far higher possession rating than the rest of the team. He is a volume shooter and is only an average rebounder, but he has the highest steal percentage on the team, as well as having the third highest assist percentage. The second starter is Gesell who is a sophomore point guard. He looks to pass first and is probably the fourth or fifth shooting option when he is on the floor. He is third in 3pt attempts and shoots around 34%. He has the highest assist percentage, as well as the second highest steal percentage, but he is by far the worst rebounder on the team.
The Frontcourt is led by White, Junior, who is probably my favorite player on this Iowa team. He is the number two option for this Iowa team, but unlike Marble he has the highest offensive rating as well as the highest effecting field goal percentage for the starting players. He is also an above average rebounder, better on the defensive end than offensive, as well as having the fourth highest assist percentage on the team while also averaging a little over 1 foul per 30 minutes. One negative is that he can’t really stretch the defense because he has only taken 16 threes this season and of those sixteen he made 4. The next starting frontcourt player is Basabe, the other senior, who is an excellent rebounder which is going to be a theme of the frontcourt players. Basabe has very little range with his shot selection, but would still average a double double per 30 minutes, and is an above average shot blocker. The final starter is Woodbury, Sophomore, who is really a starter in name only considering that he is only 8th in minutes per game. He is not very athletic, but he is 7-1 which you can’t teach. He also has no range and gets all of his points in the paint. He is an above average rebounder but would deal with foul trouble if be played starter minutes.
There are three frontcourt and three backcourt reserves, going by MPG the first reserve off the bench is Uthoff who is a sophomore forward, who is a very efficient shooter, arguably a better rebounder than their 7-1 center, and second on the team in blocks. He will rarely shoot threes in that he has only shot 23 on the season but he has made 12 so he might make the three a bigger part of his game. The second reserve off the bench is McCabe, Junior, who is another forward, but unlike the others he takes a little under half his field goals from beyond the three point line, where he is a 35% shooter. He is a horrible rebounder for his size, and is the worst rebounding post player on this Iowa team. Oglesby, Junior, since returning from a broken foot 8 games ago has become the first guard off the bench. He is arguably the worst rebounder on the team, but he has been absolutely on fire from the three point line, where he has taken 63% of his total shots from and has made 14 of 24 threes. The final forward off the bench is Olaseni, Junior, who is a beast on the offensive boards and in the paint, but does deal with foul trouble. Clemmons, Sophomore, is the next reserve and the final main reserve is another backup pg in almost the same mold as Gesell. Finally Jok, Freshman, is the last reserve although he lost most of his minutes to Oglesby since he returned. He is a pretty good shooter, but below average rebounder, I would be surprised if he entered the game unless it was a blowout.
All in all, I have a bad feeling about this game. This Iowa team is very, very good at grabbing rebounds, and our post players are going to have to play the games of their lives in order to keep the rebounding numbers somewhat close. I thought this game would be close with Payne and Dawson, but without them and a one handed Appling it is going to be very difficult to pull out the win in the hostile environment. Go Green!