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The Opening Tip: Hawkeyes Begin Two-Game Road Trip in Indiana

February 12, 2020

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Road teams are beginning to find more success in Big Ten play. Iowa is looking to do just that this week.

A two-game road trip begins Thursday night in Indiana. The Hawkeyes then head to Minnesota for a Sunday matinee.

Here’s a closer look at Thursday’s contest in The Opening Tip:

TIME, TV: 7 p.m. CT on BTN with Dave Revsine and Shon Morris on the call.

RECORDS, RANKINGS: Iowa comes in at 17-7 overall and 8-5 in the Big Ten, while Indiana stands at 15-8, 5-7. The Hawkeyes are 21st in the AP and 17th in the Coaches Poll. The Hoosiers are unranked.

THE COMPUTERS: Iowa checks in at No. 26 in NET, 24 in Sagarin and 19 in Ken Pom through Tuesday’s action. Indiana comes in at 64, 52 and 43.

POINT SPREAD: TBD (will add when posted).

HISTORY LESSON: Indiana holds a 103-77 advantage in the series, dating back to 1909. The Hawkeyes swept the season series last year in Bloomington (77-72) and Iowa City (76-70 OT).

Two of the last six contests have been decided in overtime in Iowa City, with the Hawkeyes winning both (2017, 2019). The last three meetings have been decided by a combined 13 points (two in 2018; five in 2019; six in 2019).

Indiana holds a 60-30 advantage in games played at Bloomington. The teams have split the last four meetings at Bloomington, dating back to 2015.

NEXT: Iowa travels to Minnesota Sunday at noon CT.

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SCOUTING THE HOOSIERS: IU is hurting and desperate. Losers of four in a row, it needs this win badly.

The natives are getting restless with coach Archie Miller, who missed the NCAA Tournament his first two seasons at the helm. He’s making $3.35M a year.

Indiana looks like a disconnected team when you watch it. It’s sometimes difficult to figure out what it’s trying to accomplish in half-court offensive sets.

The Hoosiers aren’t without talent, however. And historic Assembly Hall can will the home team to victory, although that didn’t happen Saturday against rival Purdue on an afternoon where the school welcomed back former coach Bob Knight.

IU also lost to Maryland and Arkansas at home, and needed overtime to beat lowly Nebraska. Then again, it beat Michigan State and Florida State in Bloomington.

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Freshman big man Trayce Jackson-Davis, who Iowa pursued aggressively in recruiting, leads the Hoosiers in scoring (13.8 PPG) and rebounding (7.9 RPG). Justin Smith (11.3) and Devonte Green (10.2) also average double figures in points, and Aljami Durham (9.7) is just under the mark. Starting forward Joey Brunk chips in with 8.0 points and 6.0 boards an outing.

Indiana can give fouls against dominant Hawkeye post player Luka Garza. Jackson-Davis, Brunk and De’Ron Davis likely will challenge him.

The Hoosiers rank 10th among Big Ten teams in scoring margin (+5.5), are 11th in free throw percentage (68.8) and 12th in three-point shooting (31.5). They are last in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.0). They sit third in field goal percentage (45.2) and rebounding margin (+7.3).

Per Ken Pom, Indiana checks in at No. 53 in adjusted offensive rating and 57th in adjusted defense. It’s adjusted tempo is 213.

KEYS FOR HAWKEYES: After a defensive meltdown last week in West Lafayette, Iowa bounced back with a much better effort on that end of the floor in thumping Nebraska on Saturday. The latter took place at home, however.

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The Hawkeyes must commit to defense on the road having allowed Purdue 104 and Maryland 82 in their last two contests away from home. The Boilermakers are averaging 69.3 points, while the Terrapins are at 71.7 even after those performances against Iowa.

TIP-INS

-Three of Iowa’s next four contests will be on the road and three of the next four will be one-plays (Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State). Iowa is 3-0 this season in its one-plays, beating Northwestern, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.

– All seven remaining regular season games for Iowa will be Quad 1 opportunities. The Hawkeyes have five Quad 1 wins and five Quad 2 victories. The 10 Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins are third most in the Big Ten behind Penn State (12) and Maryland (11).

-Iowa leads the Big Ten in scoring offense (79.1); the Hawkeyes led the conference in scoring two of the last six previous seasons, including last year. In Big Ten games only, Iowa leads the league in scoring (77.8), field goal percentage (.443), and assists (17.2).

-In league play, IU has the best defensive rebounding pct. in the league hauling in 76.2 percent of opponent misses. IU leads the Big Ten in free throw attempts at 54.1 percent.

-Jackson-Davis is just one of four freshman nationally (Vernon Carey, Jr. – Duke, Zeke Nnaji – Arizona and Isiah Stewart – Washington) to lead his team in scoring, rebounds, field goal percentage, free throws made and free throws attempted and blocked shots.

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