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Schwartz: Five Thoughts on Wisconsin Loss

February 24, 2016

Written by David Schwartz

Hawkeye Nation

The Hawkeyes are officially in a funk. Wisconsin’s 67-59 win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday night was Iowa’s third loss in four games and, well, all is not right with the Hawkeyes.

Five thoughts from the game:

1. Call a timeout. Fran, CALL A TIMEOUT

Adam Woodbury played one his best games ever. But he was a non-factor down the stretch because coach Fran McCaffery wouldn’t call a timeout and ran Woodbury’s energy down to zero. Less than zero.

McCaffery is right when he says college players learn valuable lessons when they’re forced to deal with tight situations on their own. Still, good grief. What lesson was McCaffery trying to teach Woodbury?

2. Let’s stop talking about Des Moines

The Hawkeyes have fallen from a potential 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament to a potential fifth seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

They’re not there yet, but the elevator is on the way down. One more loss by Iowa and we’ll have to do some heavy mental lifting to figure out the Big Ten’s seeding scenarios.

3. Anthony Clemmons and …

Given how much Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok shoot, we asked last weekend what would happen when one of them had an off night.

Against Wisconsin, Uthoff was off, and we found out. He shot 3-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-9 from three-point range.

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That’s not my complaint. He’s a great player, and even great players are going to struggle from time to time.

The problem is that other than Clemmons, no one else succeeded in their attempt to pick up Uthoff.

Clemmons was aggressive, tough, and brave. His driving layup early in the second half, in which he blew past three much taller Wisconsin defenders, got me out of my seat.

But that was it.

Where is Iowa going to find its offense? Wisconsin locked down Jok in the second half. Uthoff was off. Gesell tried but couldn’t buy a basket.

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I think we’ve discovered the secret to beating Iowa: put your best wing defender on Jok. Double Uthoff. And play the odds that the Hawkeyes don’t have enough secondary and tertiary offense to overcome the challenge.

4. Let’s appreciate Woodbury once more

We skimmed over him before to chastise McCaffery for not calling a timeout, so let’s slow down for a moment to consider Woodbury’s 18 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive.

Woodbury made an incredible leap between his junior and senior years. He’ll never be a consistent offensive threat, but he’s the heart of the defense and he finally — finally! — figured out how to use his size to get boards.

Iowa is struggling, but without Woodbury, it’s interesting to consider how much worse things could be at this point.

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5. Rim protection, beyond Woodbury

This is a good time to remember that before the season there were serious questions about Iowa’s lack of depth in the post.

The Hawkeyes exploded out of the Big Ten gate and we sat back to enjoy the ride, but now we’re seeing that lack of depth become a real issue.

You could just hear Oprah screaming at the Wisconsin bench, “You get a dunk! And you get a dunk! And you get a dunk!” The thing is, it’s not like any one Hawkeye failed his assignments.

They just don’t have anyone after Woodbury to challenge opponents at the rim. OK, Wagner can do it, but he doesn’t play a ton of minutes.

That thought gets scarier the closer we get to March.

* Talk with David Schwartz on Twitter @daveschwartz.

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