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MBB: Iowa at Michigan Preview/Prediction

January 29, 2011

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Hawkeye Nation

By Justin VanLaere

The Hawkeyes continue their road trip as they take on the Michigan Wolverines up in Ann Arbor.

Game Info

Michigan Wolverines (12-9, 2-6) vs Iowa Hawkeyes (8-12, 1-7)
POMEROY RATINGS:  Iowa – 91, UM – 63
RPI:  Iowa – 154, UM – 74
Tip Off:  Sunday, January 30th 2010; 3:06 PM CST
Ann Arbor, MI – Crisler Arena (13,751)
TV: BTN (HD) • RADIO: AM-600, AM-800, AM-1040 SAT: Sirius 122, XM 143
Iowa trails the series 57-87.

LIVE CHAT FOR THIS GAME CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Probable Starters

IOWA

PG – Bryce Cartwright, 6’1”, 180 lb, JR

G – Matt Gatens, 6’5”, 215 lb, JR

G – Eric May, 6’5”, 225 lb, SO

F – Melsahn Basabe, 6’7”, 225 lb, FR

C – Jarryd Cole, 6’7”, 250 lb, SR

MICHIGAN

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G – Darius Morris, 6’4”, 190 lb, SO

G – Tim Hardaway Jr, 6’5”, 185 lb, FR

F – Evan Smotrycz, 6’9”, 225 lb, FR

F – Zach Novak, 6’4”, 210 lb, JR

C – Jordan Morgan, 6’8”, 240 lb, FR

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VanLaere’s Analysis

Matt Gatens is now 28 points from becoming the 40th player in Iowa Hawkeye Basketball history to record 1,000 points in a career.  While he likely won’t surpass the mark in this game, he could do it in the next game Feb 2nd vs. Michigan State (a game all U of I students get into FREE, by the way).

Both Iowa and Michigan are 1-7 in their last games.  The Hawkeyes’ lone win was against Indiana at home, while the Wolverines pulled off the shocker at the Breslin Center against MSU.  This will be one of the few games where Iowa will play a significantly younger team than the one they field.

Michigan really relies on their backcourt to get things done for them.   Darius Morris and Tim Hardaway Jr are a couple of underclassmen that have been the catalyst for this Wolverine team.  Morris is UM’s best player and it will interesting to see who Coach McCaffery decides to stick on him.

STATS LIE, BUT WE WON’T TELL

In Conference games only:

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  • Iowa shoots a better FG% than Wisconsin and Michigan State.
  • Iowa (36.8%) shoots better from behind the arc than Northwestern (36.1%).
  • Iowa leads the Big Ten in steals by .5 SPG.
  • Matt Gatens is averaging more points per game (14.8) than Demetri McCamey, Christian Watford, John Shurna, Trevor Mbakwe, among others.
  • Melsahn Basabe grabs more rebounds per game (7.4) than Mike Davis, Mike Tisdale, Jon Leuer, Ralph Sampson III, Christian Watford, among others.
  • Bryce Cartwright dishes more dimes per game (5.75) than Juice Thompson, Aaron Craft, E’Twaun Moore, Jordan Taylor, Lewis Jackson, Kalin Lucas, among others.
  • Matt Gatens has missed just 1 FT in 21 attempts and is 3rd in the conference in steals.
  • Eric May shoots a better % from the 3 pt line than Zack Novak, Jordan Hulls, Jon Diebler, Blake Hoffarber, among others.

In a Tweet to me from pg, we get a pretty funny status update on Iowa:
illinois < indiana < IOWA > alabama > Kentucky. That’s great stuff.

KEYS TO GAME FOR IOWA:

–          Inside Presence.  Iowa has the clear advantage on the block.  Michigan doesn’t block shots, doesn’t rebound on either end of the floor, and relies on their guards.  If Iowa is to win this game, they will need to pound it down low to Basabe, Brommer, and Cole.  Look for a bounce-back game for Melsahn after he was given the seat during the Penn State game.

–           Guard the Perimeter.  See what I did there?  I moved it down to the second key point.  Tricky, huh?  It’s no secret that Michigan shoots the three ball… a lot… I mean A LOT.  45% of their FGs are from 3 pt land (think Iowa under Todd Lickliter), a percentage that is Top 10 in the nation.  That said, Michigan only HITS 34% of their long range jumpers, which is middle of the pack across the country.  Which leads me to the next point….

–           Rebound the Ball.  Michigan heaves up a lot of treys, but doesn’t make a high percentage.  However, those long rebounds can be tough to track down.  Iowa will have to be on their top of their game when it comes to position and going after the rebound.  It helps that Michigan is the worst offensive rebounding team in the Big Ten, heck they are the worst defensive rebounding team in the Big Ten too.  See something here?

PREDICTION: I always allow myself one road game and one home game per year to be a Hawkeye Homer.  I’m picking this one to be it.  Michigan is coming off a big win over MSU, and while I don’t necessarily believe in big win hangovers, I think Iowa will be hungrier after losing an 11 point lead at Penn State. Iowa shows up focused, guards the outside shot, pounds the ball inside, and gets their first Big Ten road win under Fran McCaffery.  With all the upsets happening lately in the Big Ten, this one just might happen.   FINAL SCORE:  Iowa 65,  Michigan 63


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